CDBG awards for projects OK'd

County tax collectors were given a small pay increase.
MERCER, Pa. -- Mercer County commissioners have approved Fiscal Year 2005 Community Development Block Grant awards for several projects.
The $273,191 total is divided as follows: $203,184 for reconstruction of four roads in Wheatland Borough; $48,000 for sanitary sewer work in Mercer Borough; $12,007 for an outreach program for AWARE, a facility for abused women; and $10,000 each for public service projects for The Literacy Council of Mercer County and Community Counseling Center.
The projects now go to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for final approval.
The Mercer County Regional Planning Commission will be paid $62,164, also from CDBG funds, to administer the grant.
Commissioners also agreed to accept $2,500 to satisfy a debt for unpaid taxes on the former Elks property in Sharon. The property, now owned by Mercer County Industrial Development Authority, will be sold for redevelopment. A potential buyer is interested in putting professional offices there, according to Sharon City Council President Fred Hoffman.
Michael DeForest, director of the County Revenue Department, said the property's actual debt to the county is $8,386, a sum that is uncollectible. He said that the Sharon School District and city of Sharon have taken similar action to forgive taxes.
Commissioners also approved an increase to Mercer County tax collectors' wages by 5 cents per parcel in 2006 on collected real estate taxes, bringing the total to $3.05 per parcel.
Uncollected real estate parcels will remain at $2.25 each. In 2007 through 2009, an additional 5 cent increase per collected or paid parcels will be given. The per-capita payment will be increased from 25 to 28 cents per statement starting in 2006. Commissioners said the increase will cost the county $2,000 to $2,500 additional per year. Tax collectors had wanted a larger increase. However, Commissioner Brian Beader said that with "tough years ahead," commissioners gave a minimum increase to elected officials and will also give a minimal increase to the tax collectors.
In other action, commissioners:
UAppointed Nancy Fincel of Sharon and Fred Kiser of Greenville to the Children & amp; Youth Services Advisory Board for three-year terms. They reappointed Raymond Green of Sharon to a three-year term.
UThey entered into a contract with Seven Mountains Academy, Lewistown, for group home services at $225 per day and partial hospital services at $240 per day for Children & amp; Youth Services. The services will be used as needed. One child from the county is currently placed with the facility.
UAuthorized continuing Family Center Services in the Greenville School District for $164,804. The services are funded by the state.
UAgreed to pay the law firm McNickle & amp; Bonner of Grove City, Pa., $38,000 through the end of the year to provide legal services to Mercer County Children & amp; Youth Services for dependency matters, Department of Public Welfare hearings and appeals involving clients.