Clearfield County may purchase more property|
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
By Jeff Corcino Staff Writer
The Clearfield County Commissioners discussed the possibility of purchasing additional property in downtown Clearfield.
At yesterday's workshop meeting, county Solicitor Kim Kesner reported that at the request of the commissioners he approached Lon Lord, the owner of 214 E. Locust St., and asked him if he would be willing to sell it for $135,000 and he replied that he would.
This is the address of an apartment building located in between the county's Administrative Office Building on East Locust Street and the State Farm Insurance building.
Kesner said this was not an official offer but rather an inquiry on the owner's willingness to sell the building at this price, but he asked the commissioners if they would like to make an official offer on the property.
Commissioner Joan Robinson McMillen said there are a number of factors they also have to consider such as other costs in addition to the purchase price, such as the cost of removing the building and rehabilitating the property and asked that they discuss the matter in executive session.
The motion to go into executive session was approved by all three commissioners. It lasted about 15-20 minutes and after reconvening the commissioners took no action.
When asked by The Progress what the commissioners intended to use the property for, Kesner said it would be inappropriate to discuss the matter at this time because no vote was taken.
When McMillen was asked what she meant when she said the building would have to be removed and the property rehabilitated, she answered by saying said she is only one commissioner and does not speak for the board, but said the property possibly could be used for parking, a new building or a park or a combination of these.
In other business:
• Commissioner Mark McCracken gave an update on the county's prescription drug discount program. The county is enrolled in a program with the National Association of Counties that allows residents to receive discounts on prescription drugs at area pharmacies.
Since the county enrolled in the program in 2007, the program was utilized by county residents 14,642 times.
The average discount was 30.02 percent, total savings was $424,888 and the average discount was $14.10, according to the data supplied to the media from the commissioners.
McCracken said it costs the county about $7,000 a year to belong to the program.
McCracken said there have been a few improvements to the program. To receive the discount, one has to present a discount card to one of the participating pharmacies. He said the county has discount cards available for residents, but they also now have the option of printing them at home by going to its website http://www.nacorx.org/.
The website also includes the prices of all prescription drugs listed so one can determine whether it is beneficial for one to purchase prescription drugs through the program.
McCracken said the National Association of Counties is currently running pilot programs in certain parts of the country that include pet medications and dental expenses as well. McCracken said it should be available locally within a year or so.
• the commissioners reported the state Legislative Reapportionment Commission will hold a public meeting on Friday at 2 p.m. in Harrisburg to take a final vote on the reapportionment plan. The county commissioners are opposed to the current proposed reapportionment plan that would divide Clearfield County into three legislative districts and relocate the 74th District, which currently encompasses much of the county, to Philadelphia.
In his presentation before the commission, Kesner argued that the plan is unconstitutional because it splits the county up unnecessarily and discriminates against rural Pennsylvania in favor of Allegheny County because the three districts representing Clearfield County would have more than 64,000 residents per representative while the 45th in Allegheny County would only have 61,000 residents per representative.
McCracken said the word is that the plan will be modified but it is not known how much it will be modified.
Kesner said he does not know how much public comment would be allowed at Friday's hearing but said whatever plan is approved on Friday, those in opposition would have to decide whether to challenge it in court.
• Erin Miles, caseworker with Children, Youth and Family Services, said there is a need in the county for people to become foster parents, especially for older children over five years of age. If there are not enough foster care parents available, children are placed in an institutional setting, which is not only more expensive but not as beneficial to the child. She said they try to place the child in a home in their current school district and said there is a pressing need for foster care parents in the DuBois Area School District. Miles said the county currently only has one foster care family in that school district.
McMillen agreed that placing a child in foster care is more desirable than an institutional setting because the child learns important lessons such as how to be a part of a family and work ethic.