Commissioners accept bids, approve update to hazard plan

The Warren County Commissioners accepted repository sale bids and handled a handful of administrative matters at their meeting Wednesday morning.

Repository sale bids for properties in Sheffield, Freehold, Limestone and Conewango townships of $250, $201, $300 and $250, respectively, were accepted. A repository sale bid of $250 for a property in Youngsville Borough was also accepted.

County Public Safety Director Todd Lake was on hand seeking approval to contract a company to formulate an update to the county’s hazard mitigation plan.

Lake noted the plan is required to be updated every five years in order for the county to be eligible for federal disaster relief funds.

While Warren’s plan is not due for an update until 2015, Lake said that, due to Hurricane Sandy, there is currently funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to pay to have an update done now. He noted the update will satisfy update requirements for the hazard mitigation plan through 2020.

“The money is there to do it now,” Lake said. “It probably won’t be there a year from now.”

The county has already secured the approximately $39,000 in FEMA funding for the update.

The commissioners approved moving forward with the update. MCM Consulting Group of McMurray will be contracted to work on the update. MCM is a state-approved vendor for the service.

Lake also requested the commissioners approve a joinder of Erie County to the 911 coalition the county participates in.

Erie County will bring 15 additional work stations for the system to serve, but its inclusion should reduce costs overall through cost sharing, according to Lake.

Erie County will also provide a $193,000 buy-in fee to be held in escrow for future system enhancements.

“It should reduce our re-occuring annual maintenance cost by about 27 percent,” Lake said.

The commissioners approved the measure.

Transit Authority of Warren County (TAWC) Director John Aldrich attended in support of continuing the three-way agreement between TAWC, Experience Inc. and the county.

The agreement includes a county contribution for transportation services which is used to partly make up funding shortfalls left after state funding, ad revenue and municipal contributions to the program are accounted for.

The commissioners approved continuing the agreement.

County Fiscal Director Toby Rohlin reported cash on hand of approximately $2,266,000, an increase from last year when the county had $1,801,000 at this time.

Payable items totalled $250,394, including $220,937 in county expenditures and $29,457 in Warren County Jail expenditures.

Commissioner John Bortz asked for a report on how much the county has invested thus far in ongoing tax appeals lawsuits. Rohlin noted he did not have an exact figure with him, but that he believed it to be approximately $38,000 to date.