Faced with a looming deadline, Fulton County Board members agreed to allow Chairman Jason Strandberg, assisted by an attorney from Miller, Hall and Triggs, to finish negotiations - and potentially approve an agreement - with Clean Energy Design Group to add solar at the Clayberg Nursing Home.

LEWISTOWN-Faced with a looming deadline, Fulton County Board members agreed to allow Chairman Jason Strandberg, assisted by an attorney from Miller, Hall and Triggs, to finish negotiations - and potentially approve an agreement - with Clean Energy Design Group to add solar at the Clayberg Nursing Home. 

 

Health Chair Laura Hepp Kessel said there is a discrepancy between a clause in the contract and what a representative of Clean Energy Design Group told the board last year. 

 

In the event the Clayberg would suffer severe damage from a natural disaster, Kessel said, the contract states the county would be responsible for repair of the solar panels. This is different from what the representative had explained to the board last April, she noted.

 

Strandberg said Monday is the hard deadline because the solar project qualifies for incentives and that is the "drop dead date" for those monies.

 

If the agreement is not approved by Monday, Clean Energy Design Group will not proceed with the project, Kessel said. She added that the county is expected to see a $16,000 savings in the first year of the solar project.

 

Kessel noted that the county will also need to trim/remove trees near Clayberg and check with their insurance provider to see if the project is covered. If it's not covered, additional insurance will need to be purchased.

 

It was also noted that the Miller, Hall and Triggs attorney has OK'd the contract; State's Attorney Justin Jochums has allowed the other attorney to handle this project.

 

Board members voted 16-2 to allow Strandberg and the attorney to potentially approving this contract upon settling the final negotiations. Dan Kumer and John Taylor voted against the measure while Nestor Madson, Doug Manock and John Spangler were absent. 

 

In other business, Strandberg announced that Circuit Clerk Joseph Yurkovich will be retiring at the end of July. He said the county has already posted an advertisement for the position, and he hopes the county to have someone in place next month.

 

Similarly, the board approved a resolution honoring Clerk Jim Nelson who is retiring at the end of this month. Jennifer Bankert will be replacing him effective July 1.

 

Nelson was unable to be present Tuesday as he was attending his grandson's high school graduation in Philadelphia.

 

Strandberg read a letter from Nelson stating that he's proud of his tenure and the work his office has accomplished.

 

"Leaving is hard to do, but sometimes your plans change and now is that time," Nelson said in the letter.

 

Linda Mikulich, who works in Nelson's office, is retiring after 39 years of service. Strandberg read a resolution honoring her but it will not be approved until next month because it added to the agenda less than two days before Tuesday's meeting.

 

Additionally, board members approved a resolution honoring Eleanor Yurkovich who recently passed away and had previously served several years on the county board and on committees. 

 

During the public comment section, Stan Berry requested that County Highway 5/Hickory Street be more heavily patrolled as motorists are speeding dangerously in that area. He noted that there are also semis traveling the road, which was not constructed for that type of weight.

 

The Fulton County Board approved:

 

•Direct deposit for non-union and non-bargaining employee payroll

 

•The FY 17-18 audit, which went well according to the auditor. They did find a lack of segregation of duties which is not uncommon for a small government body; close monitoring of activities was recommended for this finding.

 

•Allowing the County Clerk's Office to research what bonds could be available to fund replacement of elections equipment

 

•Extending the county's current contract for property tax vendor software

 

•Changing the Personal and Legislative Committee meetings to the first Tuesday of the month at 10 a.m. in room 307 of the Fulton County Health Department in Canton

 

•Listing the former ROE building for sale with realtors

 

•Reducing the landfill's hunting lease to $6,000 in exchange for the county removing its maintenance responsibilities for the land and

 

•The State's Attorney to settle Pollitt v. Fulton County, Fulton County Case No. 15 LM 49; this was approved following an executive session.