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No Quorum at Prison Board Again

The Wyoming County Prison Board attempted to meet Tuesday morning for its regularly scheduled meeting. However, for the second month in a row, there was no quorum and so no business could be transacted although an informational meeting was held.

The District Attorney Jeff Mitchell was out of town, and President Judge Russell Shurtleff was in court, Albert-Heise was present, as was Warden Mickey Ameigh. Ameigh noted that the prison population is hovering around 50 and is stable. Because the population has dropped, the prison is able to take in boarders.

The prison holds about 70 inmates at maximum capacity. Ameigh mentioned that during the strong storms in April the prison’s new roof, installed just last year, sustained wind damage. The roof is under warranty and has already been repaired.

At the conclusion of the prison board’s informational session the commissioners convened their regular bi-weekly meeting.

The Nurse Family Partnership presented its request for $12,500 of “in kind” money from the county to obtain a grant from the state’s Office of Child Development. The county makes up that money by giving office space and administrative assistance to the program where needed. The Nurse Family Partnership also noted that they will be purchasing two new vehicles for the program in the next month. For a few years they have been banking their yearly coverage from a state Medical Assistance grant because they have not used all the money they were given. Now, the state has informed them that they must use at least 75 percent of the money or they will have to return it to the state. With the commissioners’ agreement, the program will spend the money on new four-wheel drive vehicles; currently they have been driving used vehicles obtained some years before from the county’s Human Services department, which was replacing the vehicles.

Nurse Family Partnership has about $40,000 to spend on two vehicles; they will obtain quotes from local dealers and County Clerk Bill Gaylord will check into the program the county participants in for vehicle purchase statewide. Prices will be compared and the vehicles purchased from those offering the best deal.

The commissioners noted on Tuesday that the intervention of the Nurse Family Partnership, which provides support for expectant and new mothers as well as their children, has resulted in fewer children being in the Children and Youth system and in fewer children needing placement counseling. Placement counseling is very expensive for the county. Nurse Family Partnership is funded by the state entirely with the county’s only contribution being the $12,500 in matching “in kind” money, which is not cash.

Currently, the program is starting the third in a four-year grant cycle. There was a question about vehicles, which had been purchased last year for another nursing program but it was thought perhaps that the vehicles purchased for Children and Youth or Probation had been confused by the citizen asking the question with the Nurse Family Partnership. No vehicles have been purchased recently for NFP and the commissioners could not think of another agency involved in nursing, which might have been involved. Gaylord said he would see if he could find the purchase the citizen was referring to and clear up the confusion.

Gene Dziak of the county’s EMS/911 Center presented a $4,400 grant from PEMA for the county’s Radiological Response Program. Wyoming County is a designated evacuation site in the event of a nuclear issue at Berwick’s Nuclear Power Plant. Dziak said Tuesday that the county could receive as many as 1,800 people in the event of a nuclear catastrophe and that an entire plan to handle the evacuees was in place, but needed yearly updates.

 

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