LEWISTOWN - The organization responsible for putting on the annual Great Chip Drop, offering area farmers numerous environmental services, and providing much needed funding for several events and festivals throughout the central Pennsylvania region was honored Thursday for its 20th anniversary.
During the semi-weekly business meeting of the Mifflin County Commissioners, The Community Partnerships Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council, was the recipient of a proclamation honoring its 20 years of service to the community.
According to the proclamation, read by Board Chairman Mark Sunderland, the first local RC&D Council was formed in 1992 and "in the year 2012, Community Partnership RC&D has expanded its programming exponentially since its inception to meet the needs of local communities."
According to the proclamation, the Council conducts environmental and cultural programming across the region from its headquarters on North Main Street, Lewistown.
"Community Partnerships RC&D Council has impacted thousands of acres of land in Mifflin County through its environmental programs and assistance to farmers and helped fund numerous performances, events and festivals through its work with the arts," Sunderland read from the proclamation. "(It also) has served as a catalyst for unique partnerships and projects that improve local quality of life, including the creation and facilitation of Mifflin County's own New Year's Eve event, the Great Chip Drop."
On hand to accept the proclamation were several former and present members of the organization. Executive Director Sam Price began brief remarks by thanking former director Larry Shardt, who helped form the council in 1992 and was in attendance at Thursday's meeting.
"I need to thank Larry Schardt who began the organization 20 years ago," Price commented. "We serve the community through environmental and cultural programming and we couldn't do that without the support of the County Commissioners."
Shardt said when he decided to leave his position as executive director, his biggest concern was finding the right individuals to take on the responsibilities.
"I prayed for God to send someone good to take over and He did," Schardt said. "Sam came in and rescued it to allow me to pursue my writing and public speaking career."
In addressing Schardt, Commissioner Otis Riden commented, "It's great to have as active a RC&D here. You've all done a great job and I'm sure it will continue. It's a great thing for the county."
In other business, the commissioners also adopted three proclamations honoring local boy scouts for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. They included Eric Robert Brought of Lewistown, whose Eagle Scout project included coordinating a renovation project at the Holy Communion Lutheran Church in Yeagertown; Torrin Cale Daddario of Reedsville, whose Eagle Scout project included coordinating a renovation project at the McClure Community Pool Miniature Golf Course; and Levi Paul Paterson of Lewistown, whose Eagle Scout project included coordinating a renovation project at the Walnut Street Methodist Church in Burnham.
In other business Thursday, the commissioners:
Approved an agreement with RBA Professional Data Systems Inc. of State College to staff, operate and manage the county's IT/MIS department. Commissioner Kevin Kodish said RBA has been providing these services for the past 10 years and the current five-year contract is set to expire at the end of 2012. Kodish said the negotiating process was long but worth it. "We were able to renegotiate significant savings for the county," he remarked.
Approved an agreement with Earthlink Business for telephone and internet services.
Approved an agreement with Nittany Media Inc. of Lewistown to provide internet services in the courthouse. Riden said the county had been receiving numerous complaints from citizens wishing to access data in the courthouse and having long wait times due to the lack of bandwidth. Nittany Media will also provide service should the Earthlink connections fail, it was noted.
Approved the retirement of Kathy Weaver from the Mifflin County Correctional Facility effective July 1.
Approved the resignation of Aaron Crone as a caseworker in the Children & Youth department effective June 13.
Hired Jessica Baumgardner as a county caseworker in the Children & Youth department effective July 2.