Commissioners hire new planner
BY PAT FARNELLI
WYOMING COUNTY PRESS EXAMINER
Wyoming County Commissioners announced the hiring of Nicole Wooten as county planner Tuesday.
Wooten will replace Paul Weilage who is retiring.
Wooten, a graduate of Shippensburg University who has a certificate in geographic information systems, will start Feb. 4, at an annual salary of $42,000, county clerk Bill Gaylord said.
The commissioners also hired two tele-communicator trainees: Ariah Brown and Daniel Rood.
The commissioners discussed an opening for a confidential secretary job opening, which became available when Marisa Crispell decided to remain at the Luzerne County Courthouse, where she serves as Chief of Elections.
The confidential secretary position is for the commissioners’ and sheriff offices.
The commissioners have a person in mind for the job: Jill Porter, a 16-year employee with the county day care, which is closing soon due to funding cuts.
A second public hearing on the Community Develop-ment Block Grant funding was held, with no changes or additions to projects, but some revised figures.
The expected allocation of funds totals $224,015 as of Tuesday.
To meet the primary national objective, the CDBG regulations require that grantees expend not less than 70 percent of CDBG funds for activities that benefit low to moderate income persons.
A list of six items under consideration was provided for the 2013 fiscal year. These include:
*Countywide housing rehabilitation, $68,584;
*Demolition of property, $60,000, for a project by Bridge for Housing Opportunities, Inc.;
*Installation of Emergency Generator for the borough building of Tunkhannock, $26,568, down from $70,000;
*Demolition of property, North Branch Township, $28,540;
*Administrative costs, $37,323, down from $40,655;
*Audit Costs, $3,000.
The total for the CDBG requests submitted was down from the original $282,528.
The first demolition project involves razing an old school gymnasium in Nicholson, where the property could then be used for housing development.
Tunkhannock Borough Council president Stacy Huber said that Carl Williams checked into the availability of generators through the state, but none are available.
Gaylord announced that there has been a change to the commissioner meeting schedule. The Mar. 19 meeting will be rescheduled for Mar. 26, to accommodate a conference the commissioners plan to be at in Harrisburg.
Gaylord said that the grant program for the courthouse door project has an application deadline in June, but the project can still be completed this year once the grant is approved.
The entryway doors of the courthouse are old and drafty, commissioners said.
The proposal is for a second set of doors to be installed, creating a foyer space and allowing for a security device to be implemented on the second set of doors, similar to those at the EMA/Comp center.
Gaylord said that the large courtroom windows also need to be redone, as they are not energy efficient, and the wood frames are rotted.
“This project needs to be done really soon,” Gaylord said.
Solicitor James Davis reported on a hearing Monday with the county tax claims bureau. He said that the former owner of a property sold in the Sept. 14, 2012, tax sale was not properly notified.
The Flores property, which was damaged by flooding, sold for $8,000, Davis said.
The former owners allege that there was a problem with addresses, that one owner is deceased, and that the surviving owner resides in New Jersey.
Davis said that the outcome of the hearing is not yet known. He said that the tax claim office did make efforts to contact the owners, “more than the law requires.”
The commissioners signed the fourth quarter tax claim reimbursement. The meeting was adjourned for an executive session for personnel.