During their bi-weekly business meeting held at the Mifflin County Courthouse, the commissioners gave approval for the county election department to apply for surplus HAVA funds, which would be used to reimburse the county for dollars spent in upgrading the countywide voting system as mandated in 2006.
Nancy Laub, the county’s director of elections, said, if approved, the funding being sought – $49,935.56 in a HAVA interest grant, and $6,201.87 in in a HAVA Section 261 financial assistance grant – will allow the county to “recoup the cost of maintenance contracts on the equipment we purchased in 2006, as well as reimbursement on the initial purchase of equipment in 2006 that the initial grant did not cover.”
The smaller sum would be used for polling place accessibility ($49.48), the purchase of HAVA compliant voting systems for individuals with disabilities ($5,468.79), training election officials on how to promote the access and participation of individuals with disabilities in federal elections ($341.80), and for an information program about accessibility of polling places ($341.80), Laub pointed out.
Laub said the larger grant, if approved, would be used for the following:
¯ Offset the cost to Mifflin County for voting equipment service/maintenance contract for 2008 ($7,163.34);
¯ Reimburse Mifflin County for the initial cost of the HAVA-mandated voting equipment that was purchased in 2006 ($14,100.52); and
¯ Purchase additional voting equipment for backups for use in the event of voter machine breakdowns on election day ($28,671.70).
“In 2006, we didn’t have the resources available to buy extras in case of malfunctions on election day. This will allow us to do that,” Laub added.
In other business, the commissioners approved the recommendation by the county’s Human Services Department Fund Advisory Board for allocation of 2008-09 Human Services Development Fund grant monies to the following
¯ $16,628 to the Clear Concepts Counseling inmate counseling program;
¯ $10,500 to Shelter Services for additional beds;
¯ $8,177 to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters mentoring program;
¯ $5,177 to the LUMINA Center for its Drop-In and Summer Fun programs;
¯ $5,015 to the Abuse Network for case management services;
¯ $3,600 to the Mifflin County Probation/Parole Juvenile Drug Court; and
¯ $2,495 to Clear Concepts Counseling for its Individual & Family Therapy program.
Allison Fisher, director of the Mifflin/Juniata Human Services Department, explained that these funds are used for low income families and to fund various programs that have gaps between state and county allocations.
In other action, Mifflin County Dairy Princess Katie Laughlin was on hand to present the commissioners with a cheese tray and to accept a proclamation adopted that designates June as “Dairy Month” in Mifflin County. The proclamation noted that Mifflin County has 285 dairy farmers that produce more than 215 million pounds (approximately 27 million gallons) of milk at a value to the local economy of $30 million. It added that dairy farmers are hard at work to provide not only a safe, wholesome product for consumer enjoyment, but also to provide a clean environment for future generations through the use of new technologies and a better understanding of the links between soil, plants, animals and the natural environment.
“We encourage you to become better acquainted with all of the healthy products and economic and environmental contributions this industry provides to our county, our state and our nation,” the proclamation concluded.
Additionally, the commissioners:
¯ Approved a memorandum of agreement to connect to the Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors (SURE) county portal program.
“The portal is an internet-based access tool,” Laub said. “It’s a window that enables us to submit statistical information to the state automatically and it enables us to hook up additional computers to enter voter registration information during busy times. The state is asking us to do this to make their statistic gathering easier. We will also provide a public-access computer in the (Mifflin County Courthouse) lobby so voters can access their own information.”
¯ Approved Juniata Terrace Borough’s request for $1,275 in 2008 Liquid Fuels allocation.
¯ Approved the hiring of Haley Rothrock as a caseworker in the Children & Youth Department effective May 27.
¯ Approved the resignation of Jeffrey Weikel as a caseworker in the Children & Youth Department effective May 30.
¯ Approved the hiring of Gina M. VanGavree as an intern in the Mifflin County Probation Department effective June 2.
The board’s next meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. June 5.
Photo submitted by THE COUNTY OBSERVER
During their regular bi-weekly business meeting held Thursday, the Mifflin County Commissioners adopted a proclamation designating the month of June as “Dairy Month” in Mifflin County. The proclamation noted the county has 285 dairy farmers that produce nearly 27 million gallons of milk annually. Mifflin County Dairy Princess Katie Laughlin, second from right, presents a cheese tray to Commissioners Bob Reck, left, Mark Sunderland and Otis Riden.
Fact BoxIf you go:
What: Mifflin County Commissioners meeting
When: 9 a.m. June 5
Where: Mifflin County Courthouse, 20 N. Wayne St., Lewistown