COG members updated on group purchases, bridge projects, more

The Warren County Intergovernmental Co-op (COG) received updates on a number of ongoing issues at its monthly meeting last week.

County Planner Dan Glotz asked if any other municipalities would be interested in buying asphalt cold patch jointly. The City of Warren has offered to spearhead ordering as a group. In addition to Warren, Glade, Conewango and Pine Grove townships have opted to order as a group.

Glotz also gave updates on bridge projects around the county. The Irvine Road Bridge was given notice to proceed in September. The Henrys Mill Road Bridge has advertised for bids and the River Road Bridge is ready to issue a notice to proceed with preliminary engineering.

COG Advisor Alan Kugler told COG members that the county municipal secretaries held a presentation on the Pennsylvania Right to Know law and open records laws at their meeting. COG members expressed interest in having a presentation on the subject at their own meeting in the future.

It was announced that Garrison-Simonsen has offered to give a joint presentation with other insurance agencies to the COG on workers’ compensation issues. While the COG did not opt to take them up on the offer at this time, it did lead to a larger discussion on workers’ compensation issues and the dwindling number of insurance companies offering coverage.

“Essentially, we’re being forced to go with the state,” Paul Pascuzzi, representing Clarendon Borough at the COG, said in reference to the state workers’ compensation fund. “We don’t get a vote. One by one all of our municipalities have been forced to drop off (non-state plans).”

Pascuzzi updated COG members on the progress of the inter-agency fire service system.

According to Pascuzzi, 11 agencies have been interviewed for input on the layout and content of the inter- and intranet portions of the system. He announced a draft layout has been presented to the fire service committee and he will have more information on the system at the November COG meeting.

Pascuzzi also noted the committee is working with the Warren County School District to schedule a “safety day”, likely to be held in the spring.

The fire services committee is currently looking for municipal officials to serve on the committee.

Pascuzzi announced the county’s blighted property committee did not meet in September.

“At this point, we don’t have any properties being brought forward by the municipalities,” Pascuzzi said, “which isn’t a bad thing.”

He announced the committee was looking for a replacement for Joe Scully following his resignation as a Glade Township supervisor.

“We can continue to work with four (members),” Pascuzzi said, “but it certainly makes sense to have five.”

The floor was opened to nominations for the blighted property committee, but none were made.

It was announced the tax collection committee was still awaiting audit completion.

Glotz said two bills are working through the Pennsylvania General Assembly, one in the House and one in the Senate, aimed at streamlining the endangered species designation process.

“The endangered species process just takes months right now,” Glotz said.