Commissioners hire officers for new jail

Workers who opt out of the county's health insurance plan will be paid $1,326 annually, or $51 per pay.
MERCER, Pa. -- Mercer County commissioners hired six part-time correctional officers for the new jail.
The hirings came Thursday at the recommendation of the Mercer County Prison Board. They are Michael Burke and James Scott, both of Transfer; Christopher Cline of Mercer; Philip Curtin of Greenville; David Wagner Jr. of New Castle; and Nathaniel Wilson of Hadley. Each will be paid $10.58 an hour.
Also hired Thursday was Meghan Hogue of Mercer, who will work as a law clerk for Judge Thomas Dobson of Mercer County Common Pleas Court. She will be paid $20,933 annually.
Commissioners awarded a contract for replacement of a bridge on Fox Mine Road, Jackson Township, to Shingledecker's Welding, Franklin. County Engineer Mark Miller said Shingledecker's offered to do the job for $314,010, which was the lowest of 10 bids submitted. The high bid was $478,999.
Miller added that work on the bridge cannot start until June 2006 in order to protect the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake. Miller said he was told the snake's habitat would not be damaged because it would not be in the bridge area during the summer. The bridge will be paid for with 80 percent state and 20 percent local funds.
Commissioners also set the compensation at $1,326 annually, or $51 per pay for all employees who opt out of the county's health insurance plan. The former rate was $1,326 or $50 per pay. The change was among items agreed to in the recently signed United Steelworkers' contract. Commissioners said the cost of insuring employees runs about $7,000 per year for an individual or $14,000 for a family.
Commissioners also corrected an incorrect hourly raise amount that had been announced Aug. 11 for the United Steelworkers local, which includes some employees at the courthouse, county bridge department and soil conservation office. The hourly increase, retroactive to July 1, is 40 cents per hour, not 45 cents as had been announced earlier. The raises amounted to 2.25 percent over four years.
Commissioners also made several appointments:
UJames Bailey and Dennis Morgan, both of Stanley Snyder VFW Post 7465, Volant, were appointed as representative and alternate, respectively, to the Veterans Advisory Council. Beginning and ending dates for terms will be established later, commissioners said.
UGordon Davis of Gordon F. Davis Co., Hermitage, Brian Durniok of UPMC Horizon, Angela Lenzi of Mercer County CareerLink, Charles Rice of Mercer County Labor Council and Mark Wasser of Mercer County Assistance office were all re-appointed to three-year terms on the West Central Workforce Investment Board.
UAnthony Zucco of Penn Power, Mark Buskirk of Yourga Trucking Inc., Wheatland, and Mark Rath of Reynolds Food Packaging, Grove City, were appointed to the Workforce Investment Board for one- and two-year terms, respectively.

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