Commissioners Appoint New EMA Director
By Rick Hiduk
In addition to confirming the hiring, retention, transfers, and pay scales for at least 62 county employees on Aug. 25, Bradford County Commissioners approved the hiring of John Ambrusch of Montgomery County as the county’s new EMA director. Ambrusch, who served most recently as the emergency management coordinator for Douglas Township in Montgomery County, will start his new job on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
According to Bradford County director of public safety Robert Barnes, who recommended him for the position, Ambrusch is an eight-year Army veteran who was a firefighter with the Gilbertsville Fire and Rescue Company and a public safety dispatcher for Montgomery County 911.
As an emergency management coordinator in Bradford County’s Department of Public Safety, Ambrusch’s responsibilities will include emergency planning and coordination of response resources, as well as training and providing logistical support for emergency management agency personnel in the county’s 51 municipalities. His annual salary was set by the commissioners at $28,860.
Forty-four of the aforementioned appointments were associated with various departments of Bradford County Human Services, including Children and Youth Services and the Early Intervention Program. Director of Human Services Bill Blevins explained that the glut of annual appointments coincides with the issuance of pay rates by Harrisburg.
In other business, the board opened sealed bids for repairs to the copper roof flashing on the courthouse dome. Charles F. Evans Company of Elmira bid $34,496 for the job, and Slate Roof Repair Specialists of Lancaster County offered to do the job for $23,000.
The commissioners accepted a $716,099 Medical Assistance Transportation Grant, which, commissioner Mark Smith noted, was about $200,000 less than last year. The funds are used to cover the cost of health insurance for Endless Mountains Transportation Authority (EMTA) employees. Smith noted that EMTA has faced hard times this past year, forcing the entity to decrease, alter, and eliminate some routes in an effort to remain sustainable.
A donation from Southwest Energy of Tunkhannock was accepted to pay for repairs to a bridge over Colt Creek in Herrick Township that was most likely damaged by one of the company’s vehicles. Southwest Energy will pay Middendorf Contracting to complete the work at an estimated cost of $6,100.