LEWISTOWN - Noting that libraries serve as our nation's great equalizers of knowledge by providing free access to all, the Mifflin County Commissioners on Thursday adopted a proclamation recognizing April 14 through 20 as National Library Week and the month of April as National Library Month.
"Our nation's libraries are ideally positioned as the community's center of information technology that fuels educational and economic opportunity for all," Board Chairman Mark Sunderland read from the proclamation. "Our libraries have moved far beyond just being book repositories, becoming agile institutions serving the real-life needs of our citizens. 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."
Sunderland added that libraries help citizens achieve basic literacy, which leads to a better trained and skilled workforce, and a growing economy.
"Libraries are part of the American dream," Sunderland continued. "They are places for education, opportunity and lifelong learning."
On hand at Thursday's meeting were several representatives of the Mifflin County Library, including Executive Director Dr. Molly Kinney, who thanked the commissioners for their ongoing support.
"If you haven't realized it yet, we're in the middle of celebrating Library Week," Kinney said. "We're also in the middle of our annual book sale and a fundraising campaign. I would like to thank you for recognizing that libraries are an important part of this community."
The proclimation comes at a time where Mifflin County's library system is still fighting for survival. It was recently announced that branch libraries in Milroy and Allensville will close, effective June 1.
In other business Thursday, the commissioners adopted a second proclamation, this one honoring local Boy Scout Colton Lewis Copenhaver for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.
Copenhaver's Eagle Scout project was a major community service project at the St. Mark's Lutheran Church cemetery. He cleaned of the grounds and restored the tombstones that were knocked down. In his Boy Scout career, Copenhaver has earned 34 merit badges and served his troop in a variety of leadership roles, including patrol leader for two years and as a senior patrol leader for three months.
"The Eagle Scout Award is recognized by the commissioners of Mifflin County as a positive indicator that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow and we extend our congratulations to Colton Lewis Copenhaver," Sunderland said.
In other business Thursday, the commissioners:
Approved purchase of service agreements for use, if needed, by Children & Youth with United Methodist Home for Children Residential Care Inc., Mechanicsburg, and Bethany Christian Services of Central Pennsylvania, Lancaster.
Approved an amendment to the 2011 subrecipient agreement with the Borough of Juniata Terrace.
Approved the following 2013 real estate tax exonerations: a parcel in Wayne Township where a mobile home was removed in the amount of $64.13; a parcel in Wayne Township where a mobile home was removed in the amount of $87.64; a parcel in Armagh Township where a mobile home was removed in the amount of $252.23; a parcel in Armagh Township where an acreage correction will be re-billed with the August supplemental billing in the amount of $116.14; a parcel in Armagh Township where an acreage correction will be re-billed with the August supplemental billing in the amount of $619.88; a parcel in Wayne Township where a house was removed due to fire damage will be re-billed with the August supplemental billing in the amount of $425.36; a parcel in Derry Township where a structure was removed and will be re-billed with the August supplemental billing in the amount of $184.54; and a parcel in Derry Township where a structure was removed and will be re-billed with the August supplemental billing in the amount of $220.88.
Approved a letter of authorization to allow Affiliated Power Purchasers International to negotiate utility costs for county buildings. According to Sam Whiteman, director of the county's maintenance department, APPI will act as a broker to advertise and search for electricity generators to find the lowest rate for county utility usage.
"Our previous 30-month contract expires at the end of this year," Whiteman said. "They'll end up doing an on-line auction to get the best kilowatt hour price for the county." Whiteman said there is no cost to the county for this service as APPI receives a commission from the winning vendor.
A grant agreement with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency for hazardous material emergency preparedness in the amount of $11,200.
Approved acceptance of the 2013-14 Drug Court Patrol Grant in the amount of $10,000 to be used to pay overtime for client visits that occur during non-traditional working hours.
Approved a modification to the 2012-13 Intermediate Punishment Plan Grant to allow monies to be moved to other areas in the Domestic Relations budget.
Accepted the resignation of Tracy Peters from the Mifflin County Airport Authority, effective April 30.
"Tracy has been a great service to the airport. He's been very good for the airport and the authority. He will be missed," Commissioner Oits Riden said.
Approved the appointment of Troy Boring of Belleville to the airport authority, effective May 1.
Approved the hiring of Alcalde Diego as a part-time corrections officer, effective April 22.