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Clinton County applies for election integrity grant

LOCK HAVEN — Clinton County is moving forward in applying for an over $112,000 election grant.

The board of commissioners gave the go ahead to apply for an Election Integrity Grant Program during Thursday’s voting session.

The grant, funded by the Department of Community and Economic Development, could see the county receive $112,441.93.

“This amount is based on our registered voters,” Maria Boileau, county voter registrar, said.

Boileau, who previously gave a rundown on the grant during the board’s work session last week, offered a quick review Thursday morning.

According to Boileau, the funding can be used for a plethora of expenses, including for the “payment of staff, (to) pre-canvas and canvas mail-in ballots, physical security and transparency costs, post-election procedure required under this act, list maintenance activities, printing of ballots, training costs, payment of staff at polling places on Election Day and security for our election equipment.”

In the state budget, the Commonwealth allocated $45 million for the state’s 67 counties. The bipartisan compromise rests on a simple premise — county election offices will no longer be allowed to accept funding from private groups. That is a step that some jurisdictions have taken to address the rising costs of holding elections. To fill the resource gap left in their absence, the state government will provide this funding for county election offices in the next fiscal year.

The deadline for applications is Aug. 15 and, according to Boileau, the county completed its application and submitted it following the board’s meeting.

“We should receive the funding by September 1,” she said.

Commissioners Miles Kessinger, Angela Harding and Jeff Snyder did not provide comment prior to approving the application.

In other business the commissioners:

— Announced the county will rebid for sidewalk replacement at the Mellott Building. Kessinger said the county received no bids when it was first placed and it was suggested it be resubmitted in January 2023.

— Approved a one year renewal with CDW-G, effective Sept. 8, 2022 to Sept. 8 2023 for Solarwinds for network performance monitoring services at a cost of $4,430. Network Security Engineer Ernie Jackson said the software has come in handy over the years, including when it notified the IT department of downed camera systems outside the Piper Building during non-business hours. It’s also helped identify issues with phone systems at the Clinton County Correctional Facility, he said.

— Approved a one-year renewal with Real Vision Software, Inc. for imaging software support at a cost $2,475. Jackson said the software is used by four departments including the commissioners’ and treasurer’s offices.

— Approved the 2022-2023 Hazardous Materials Response Fund grant agreement with Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), covering the performance period from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 for $7,803. Andrew Kremser, department of emergency services director, said the grant funding is used to purchased supplies and equipment to clean up hazardous material spills.

— Heard from Chief Clerk Jann Meyers about its upcoming meeting schedule. Meyers said the board’s next work session will be Aug. 22 with a voting session following on Aug. 25.

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