Commission addresses concerns about tax notices

BROOKVILLE — The Jefferson County Commissioners Tuesday addressed changes to tax notices this year.

Commission Chairman Paul Corbin said changes to the tax notice have caused some confusion among residents.

He said the new tax notices are only a single page rather than two, and they are mailed directly to taxpayers’ homes.

“The envelopes say, very noticeably, ‘Important tax information enclosed,’” Corbin said, adding that two tax notices will be sent out, one for property tax and one for occupational tax.

The changes were made because the county realizes a savings of more than $6,000 and for convenience.

“We are trying to make it more convenient,” Commissioner Jeffrey Pisarcik said. “You will get an envelope with your name on it, but that envelope serves for the return also.”

“The projected savings is about $6,000 per year, which is not insignificant,” Commissioner James McIntyre said. “That is shared with the municipalities and county. Any time we can save the taxpayers’ money, that is important.”

In other business:
• Bill Setree, of the Jefferson County Department of Development, reported definitively that Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding is expected to be reduced by 7.5 percent.
Setree reported the figure one week after Brookville Borough Council reported CDBGs could be cut entirely.

“There is no plan to eliminate CDBG money,” Setree said. “This will take us back to our level of funding back to what we received three years ago. Everything is proposed right now. It has to go through the budgeting process with all of the congressmen and the president.”

• Setree reported that a public hearing for 2011 CDBG funds is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. March 8.

• Jefferson County Election Board member Karen Lupone addressed recent petition guidelines for local elections.

She said the number of signatures on a petition changes for different offices. For example, she said 100 signatures are needed to be placed on the ballot for district judge, but only 10 are needed for school board.
Also, she said residents can sign petitions for only candidates in the amount of positions open in that election, meaning residents can sign only one person’s petition for district judge, because there is only one opening for district judge. Conversely, if there are four openings for school board, a resident can sign positions for four candidates.

• The commissioners appointed Pat Hanley, Punxsutawney, to the Route 119 Improvement Committee.

• The commissioners appointed Jeff Kiser, Reynoldsville; Jackie Dixon, Reynoldsville; and Larry Bowers, Punxsutawney, to the Jefferson County Planning Commission. The three were appointed for four-year terms, which will conclude Dec. 31, 2015.

County Planner Kristen Hullihen said the appointments fill the planning commission.

• The commissioners proclaimed Feb. 28 through March 4 as Weather Emergency Preparedness Week in Jefferson County.

• The commissioners entered into a purchase of service agreement on behalf of Children & Youth Services (CYS) with Keystone Adolescent Center; Keystone Residential Center; Keystone Independent Living Center; and Transitional Independent Living Program.

CYS Director Brian Mowrey said the agreement will provide group home services in the event that group homes that are usually used are full.
• The commissioners approved the actual gross payroll for the period Jan. 30 through Feb. 12 in the amount of $194,258.13, and the tentative gross payroll for the period Feb. 13 through Feb. 26 in the amount of $190,000.

• The commissioners approved the payment of invoices in the amount of $229,394.87 for the period Feb. 9 through Feb. 22.