Luzerne to take over CCIS duties
BY PAT FARNELLI
Wyoming County Press Examiner
Luzerne County will soon take over the Wyoming County subsidized child care service program in Tunkhannock, as part of a regionalization initiative.
Wyoming County Commissioners announced that the program – Child Care Information Services- will be officially taken over as of July 1.
It is the county program that approves local day care providers.
Three local employees in Wyoming County have been laid off or transferred to other jobs, and one administrator from Luzerne County will start here at that time, Commissioner Ron Williams said.
Commissioner Tom Henry said that the Luzerne program has requested an office for their administrator here, and the commissioners discussed what rent should be charged for that office.
The commissioners commented that they didn’t like the idea of regionalization, and preferred that the program be locally staffed and administered, but said it was not their decision to make.
Henry noted that two meetings last week, one for the Luzerne/Wyoming Counties Drug and Alcohol Program and one for the Luzerne/Wyoming County Mental Health and Developmental Services Program, were both held in Wyoming County, a welcome change of pace.
“We’d like to have them meet here more often,” he said. “Usually, all of the meetings are in Luzerne County.”
He noted, “Luzerne County’s Mental Health and Developmental Services Program has been 18 months without a director.”
Chief clerk Bill Gaylord informed the commissioners that there would be a meeting this week with Commonwealth Energy Group out of Dunmore regarding the installation of new LED lighting for the courthouse. This is part of an energy savings program, and grant funds may be available.
A revised job description has been completed for the deputy sheriff position, and is ready for review by the Prison Board and commissioners.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s buyout program for county residents affected by Tropical Storm Lee was briefly discussed.
Commissioner Judy Kraft Mead said that with the exception of the Madden property in Eaton Twp., funds have yet to be released for the property buyout program. She has a list of affected properties, and said that “hopefully, by the end of May,” the property buyout checks will be issued.
“Some of these were held up for gas leases,” she said.
The commissioners plan to attend a Conservation District Field Day on Wednesday from 9:30 to 12:30 p.m. at a local farm, along with children from Wyoming County schools.
On Thursday, they will participate in a National Day of Prayer observance. The event will begin with a breakfast with a group of local pastors and their wives at Purkey’s Pink Apple at 9 a.m., followed by a prayer service at the courthouse at 10:45 a.m.
The Wyoming County Correctional Facility has chosen Pocono Produce as its grocery distributor.
Henry said that this company is the distributor for a much larger prison in Montgomery County, contracted for 10,000 meals per day.
At the April prison board meeting, Warden Ken Repsher said that he has a shortage of kitchen employees, and that it is difficult to find kitchen workers for the jail.
Repsher said that Trinity Food Services visited the facility recently, and as a national company is capable of saving the county “a huge amount of money, about $70,000.
Children and Youth Services submitted their budget, which included a fourth vehicle, an economy car for employee only. Pat Skrynski told the commissioners that a representative from Children and Youth went to three dealers, and that Sherwood Chevrolet had the low offer, for $17,371.
“It is less expensive than reimbursing our employees for mileage,” she said. The budget was approved.
The agency also requested a new security door for its office, a budgeted item at $894. She said that the new security window at the office made the front desk area “much improved.”
She said that a budget meeting held two weeks ago with the state received full approval. “We are more realistic in what we ask for, within reasonable limits,” sid said.
An executive session was held after the meeting for a question regarding personnel made by Solicitor James Davis.