County Offices Relocate After Fire; Building Insured & Repairs Planned
CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Clarion County Commissioners Ted Tharan, Wayne Brosius, and Ed Heasley issued an emergency declaration at their Tuesday morning meeting following a fire on Friday that closed the county offices of Probation and District Court 18–3–01 (District Magistrate Duane Quinn).
(PICTURED ABOVE AND BELOW: Temporary setup for Probation at the Clarion County Courthouse. Photos by Dave Cyphert of ProPoint Media Photography.)
Probation is now operating from the second-floor lobby in the Clarion County Courthouse.
Quinn’s operation is sharing space with District Magistrate Tim Schill, adjacent to the Clarion County Jail in Shippenville.
“We’re hoping probation can be back in their building using the back door by next week,” said Tharan. “The front door will be inaccessible for several months – we have to order all new doors, glass, and everything else. It’s going to be several months until the front end is ready. Next, we’re going to try and get Quinn’s operation running again, also using the back door.”
ServiceMaster By Bell was contracted for industrial cleaning following the fire.
A State Fire Marshal inspected the site on Friday but has not yet issued a ruling on the cause of the fire.
“Unofficially, looking at the video – the fire marshal will come out with her report, and then it will be official – but, looking at the video, it started in that cigarette container outside of the building and then spread to the building,” said Tharan.
“There was nothing mechanical inside that I could see. As a matter of fact, the firemen said that the fire didn’t spread as far because of the good construction of the building, firewalls, and meeting fire codes. All electrical and the building was totally inspected as they built it.”
The building is insured, but county workers who renovated the building will probably not be doing the repairs.
“Repair work will probably not be done by county employees. We probably won’t have the time to do it, and we want to get them back into operation quickly,” Tharan said. “We’re putting windows in the courthouse, and we rented a high lift, and that goes until the end of the month. We have other projects we’re working on; you don’t want to spread yourself so thin and drop your scheduled properties.”
$1 Million State RACP Grant for Clarion Hospital ER
A resolution authorizing the submission of an application for funding to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP). The grant will find fund activities associated with the Clarion Hospital Emergency Room Renovation and Addition Project in Monroe Township.
Clarion County will essentially act as a pass-through to the hospital for the grant, as it is doing for the Clarion County YMCA RACP Grant.
“We’re excited that we can get this grant and appreciate the Commissioners for accepting the pass-through,” said John Stroup, executive director of the Clarion Hospital Foundation.
“We also thank State Senator Scott Hutchinson and State Representative Donna Oberlander for driving this through the legislative process. It will very much help the hospital for the future of the hospital. This support is a crucial element and will help with our Telestroke program some others that we’re looking at putting in the emergency room.
“The grant is basically for improving and expanding the emergency room and will include a small addition, but it’s really allowing some more privacy in the rooms and making it safer for patients.”
Cooperation Between 23 Counties Sought for Behavioral Health Medicaid
Commissioners approved an Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement and Ordinance related to BHARP (Behavioral Health Alliance of Rural Pennsylvania) serving the counties in North Central zones as the primary contractor for the healthy choices behavioral health program.
“This is a consortium of 23 counties in North Central Pennsylvania for managing Medicaid for behavioral health,” said Nancy Jeanneret, MH/DD/EI Administrator. “In 2006, the state kind of scooped up the 23 counties and held the managed care contract. Now, the State is allowing BHARP the oversight organization to hold the contract. The ordinance is the county allowing that to happen. The outcome of this is those 23 counties will have more control over the Medicaid for Behavioral Health and recoupling some of their administrative costs.”
Counties include Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Columbia, Elk, Forest, Huntingdon, Jefferson, Juniata, McKean, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Snyder, Tioga, Union, Warren, and Wayne.
Some personnel changes in Human Services and Central Accounting were approved.
Sandy Ion was repositioned into the vacant position of the Interim Human Services Fiscal Director. The position is full-time, 35 hours per week at a salary of $45,100 effective September 9.
Rose Logue was repositioned into the vacant position of Interim Director of Central Accounting, a part-time position at no more than 24 hours a week with a salary of $25.42 per hour. Commissioners also delegated authority to Rose Logue to approve rent, utility, payroll, and employee insurance premiums for the county general fund, as well as all agency funds for which the county is responsible.
“Rose Logue works special projects, including a long-term plan,” Tharan said. “She’s still going to do that, but she has to take over accounting duties because we moved Sandy down to CYS.
“We can’t leave CYS alone for very long. We need to have someone there that knows what is going on.”
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