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Commissioners Consider Possible Tower, Approve Contract With CYS

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 @ 12:02 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

Clarion County CommissionersCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – During Tuesday morning’s meeting, Clarion County Commissioners Ed Heasley, Ted Tharan, and Wayne Brosius reported they have found a possible suitable tower for the county.

During last week’s workshop session, the discussion ranged from an elaborate plan for acquiring a 400-foot Strattanvile Tower for the 9-1-1 system to the probability of a contract for CYS to the resignations of two employees.

Nevertheless, no official action is taken at workshop sessions.

Clarion County Eyes Possible Tower

Robert Heathe PE, LLC, will be inspecting the tower. The inspection will include structural tower mapping, TIA inspection, and tower analysis at a cost of $7,250.00.

“That project is for a tower in Strattanvile that if we have a good report on that, they will be giving us that 400-foot tower,” said Tharan. “That tower would then replace the tower that we are currently renting at Trinity Point by 2020.”

Public Safety Director Jeff Smathers explained the tower situation.

“The tower is currently owned by Robert Greene and is well known in the area as the Motorola Tower,” Smathers said. “It was constructed in 1997 by Motorola. We’re trying to consolidate and save rental fees on some of our towers. The Trinity site is $36,000.00 a year rental with the 3 to 5 percent increase every year after 2020 and our lease runs out.”

Smathers explained that he reached out to Mr. Greene to see if he would be interested in doing a co-location and he said he would be interested in transferring the ownership of the tower to Clarion County.

“I then contacted Mr. Heathe and asked him to do a tower analysis to make sure we’re buying it safe, solid, and secure. He does all the state towers inspections, and he said he would come in, do the structural analysis, the full inspection from top to bottom, and also the power analysis.”

He’s basically telling us what’s the maximum load we can put on the tower,” continued Smathers.

Tharan also said the commissioners are going to get a price from him on relighting the tower with LED lights if the county goes through with this project.

“This is all part of our plan to acquire towers, so we can then eventually work on that subject that has been out there for about 10 years, broadband communications for all the rural areas,” said Tharan.

“Jeff assures me he could hit anywhere in the county for communications with a tower being 400 feet high.”

Tharan said that the only way the county can get broadband communications to the rural area is through towers.

A tower system like this would allow emergency communications throughout Clarion County.

“We would able to relay communications out to the other sites,” Smathers said. “You have to have a master site like this that’s pretty much centralized in the county. At the current time, we are only on two towers. The plan is to move to a smaller footprint and by raising the height of the tower we’re on, I can propagate out to others.”

Another project to refine communications includes an EMMCO West Communications Projects Grant. EMMCO West pays 60 percent ($13,206.00) and Clarion County pays 40  percent ($8,804.00).

“This helps us keep from being by the river without a paddle,” Tharan explained.

Commissioners Approve Four-Year Contract with CYS

On Tuesday morning, the commissioners approved a four-year contract with the UMWA representing Children and Youth Services (CYS) caseworkers providing a 2.5 percent increase each year.

The contract, under negotiation for several years with UMCA, provided the same 2.5 percent increase given this year to all non-union employees.

Commissioners Accept Resignations of Two Employees

Commissioners accepted the resignation of Cherin Abdelsami, director of Assessment/GIS and Lori Switzer.

Abdelsami resigned for a position in the private sector in Pittsburgh. Assistant Director Lauren Elder is serving as interim departments for assessment and GIS.  The GIS function could be handled through Public Safety and 9-1-1.

A move to enable public review of GIS records was tabled and it was “back to the drawing board” until a new director is hired.  The position has been advertised.

A new position of special projects coordinator was approved and Rose Logue, former director of accounting, was hired as a part-time, nonexempt employee at no more than 29 hours per week at a salary of $25.42 per hour. The effective date was Jan. 29, 2019.

Commissioners approved the start of 5-10 year capital improvement plans and long-term financial projects and goals. “We need to get started as soon as possible on this,” said Tharan. Louge will play an important part in helping develop the plan.

In other action

• Sheriff Rex Muncy is hired Rachel Kline to the vacant position of clerk typist effective February 4, 2019, in a salary of $11.60 per hour

.• Judge James Arner is making the following actions in Courts: moving Marsha Adams into the position of interim confidential secretary effective February 4, 2019 at 40 hours per week and salary of $14.05 per hour; hiring Lexis Twentier into the position of confidential secretary effective Feb. 4, 2019 at 40 hours per week as $12.50 per hour; adjusting Sharon Dunn’s pay rate to $13.59 per hour; and hiring Heather Reiner into the position of receptionist/caseworker at domestic relations effective Feb. 4, 2019 at $10.98 per hour.


Clarion Elizabeth Joins Commissioners 9-1-1, Towers Dominate Discussion

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