LEWISTOWN - Noting that libraries are part of the American dream, places for education, opportunity and lifelong learning, the Mifflin County Commissioners on Thursday adopted a proclamation recognizing April as National Library Month in the county.
"Our nation's libraries are ideally positioned as the community's center of information technology that fuels educational and economic opportunity for all," Commissioner Mark Sunderland read from the proclamation. "Our libraries provide Pennsylvanians with the knowledge and information they need to master 21st Century literacies that are essential to their success as students, parents, money managers, health consumers and citizens."
The proclamation stated that libraries help citizens achieve information literacy, where a command of new online resources and technology leads to enhanced job skills and the ability to fully participate in a digital society.
Sentinel photo by JOE CANNON
The Mifflin County Commissioners on Thursday adopted a proclamation recognizing April as National Library Month in the county. Participating in the proclamation ceremony were, from left, Commissioner Kevin Kodish, Commissioner Mark Sunderland, Mifflin County Library Director Carol Veitch and Commissioner Otis Riden.
On hand to accept the proclamation was Mifflin County Library Director Carol Veitch, who noted, "If you haven't visited your local library recently, we are one of the things this community can use to deal with economic and social issues. Everyone can come. Our citizens use it to do applications for jobs and learn skills on a computer. It's really something."
Veitch pointed out the importance of the library's children's story time, noting the better people can read, the better off society is.
"The reality is if we can educate our kids and get them to be excited about reading we can save a lot of money on the costs of running prisons. Studies have shown that 80 percent of people in our prisons can't read to a third-grade level.
"It doesn't matter if you have a Kindle, a Nook or a book, reading is fundamental. Take advantage of the resources available to you at your library. There's something for everyone."
In other business Thursday, County Planning Director Bill Gomes announced three finalists to be considered for an inspection consultant for phase IV of the Monument Square Streetscape Project as mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Gomes said the county received 10 proposals, nine of which were considered when one didn't meet the project specifications. A committee then ranked the applicants and narrowed the choices down to the following three, from first to third: Stahl, Sheaffer Engineering; Larson Design Group; and Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson.
The commissioners approved the list and Gomes said he will begin negotiating with the top choice.
In other business, Commissioner Otis Riden reminded all area residents that Pennsylvania's primary election is Tuesday.
"I just wanted to publicly urge all citizens of Mifflin County to get out and vote next Tuesday," Riden said.
In other announcements, Gomes noted the 2012 Mifflin County Directory has been printed and is now available in the county planning office, located on the second floor of the Mifflin County Courthouse. The booklet, Gomes said, contains a complete directory of the departments and services of the county, boroughs and townships. In the near future, Gomes said the directories will be available at the offices of the Juniata River Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Bureau, located in the historic courthouse on Monument Square. The booklet will also be available at the county's website at www.co.mifflin.pa.us.
In other business Thursday, the commissioners:
Approved an application for an intermediate punishment grant from the office of Pennsylvania Crime and Delinquency. Larry Wolfe, director of Domestic Relations, told the commissioners at an April 12 workshop meeting this grant has become competitive and counties can apply for up to $50,000 a year. If successful, Wolfe said the grant would provide for more intense supervision for level 3 and 4 offenders, which consists mostly of multiple offenders for driving under the influence.
Approved the acceptance of an adult services grant from the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole to be used mainly for salaries. Wolfe said this is an annual grant the county has been receiving for the past 35 years.
Approved a resolution to restate the county's fair housing policy as mandated by the state.
Approved a resolution approving the fiscal year 2012 Community Development Block Grant application for the county.
Approved a purchase of service agreement for use, if needed, by Children and Youth Services with KidsPeace Corporation of Schnecksville.
Accepted the resignation of Lisa D. Fultz as a corrections officer effective April 13.
Approved the appointment of John Anthony Willard to fill an unexpired term on the Mifflin County Industrial Development Authority which expires Sept. 29.
Approved the CDBG administration agreement between the county's planning and development department and Brown Township to administer the township's 2012 CDBG funds.