CLARION — The Clarion County commissioners this week extended the COVID-19 emergency declaration through the end of the year.

The declaration allows the county to engage in emergency management measures that could be required to be proactive in reducing the potential severity of the coronavirus and to “protect the health, safety and welfare of the affected residents of Clarion County.”

The declaration directed the Clarion County Department of Public Safety emergency management coordinator to oversee activities of the response. The coordinator also will work with state and federal authorities to take all “appropriate actions” to alleviate the potential effects of the disaster, aid in the restoration of essential public services and take “other emergency response action” deemed necessary.

The county formed a leadership committee that includes various department heads. The committee will meet as needed in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

The declaration suspends certain "time-consuming procedures and formalities prescribed by law" pertaining to: public works, entering into contracts, incurring obligations, hiring of temporary workers, renting equipment, purchasing supplies and materials, and levying taxes.

The county initially adopted the declaration in March and had extended the action in July.

Other business

— The commissioners accepted three bids on properties being held in repository for nonpayment of taxes.

The “properties — one each in Clarion, Washington and Redbank townships — were mineral rights only.

Commissioner Ted Tharan noted the owners of the surface land were buying the mineral rights that had been held by another entity.

The 60-acre property coal rights in Clarion Township brought a bid of $353.

The 109-acre property mineral rights (minus gas and oil) in Washington Township brought a bid of $400.

The 133-acre property coal rights in Redbank Township brought a bid of $430.

— The commissioners formally approved a polling station location for Ashland Township, moving voting from Faith Church of the Nazarene to Grace Evangelical Congregational Church, 2561 Grace Church Road, for the Nov. 3 election and all future elections.

They also formally approved a polling station location for Paint Township, moving voting from the township building to the Cornerstone Church of Clarion, 3655 East End Road, Shippenville, for the Nov. 3 election and all future elections.

Clarion County Commissioner Wayne Brosius said in both cases there was not enough room to practice social distancing in the former locations.

— The commissioners approved the hiring of Patricia Thompson as a part-time elections office worker for no more than 453 hours at a rate of $9.50 per hour.

— The commissioners approved the hiring of Scott Apel and Stanley Knight as temporary, part-time maintenance employees at a rate of $40 per hour.

— The commissioners approved the hiring of Brock Radaker as a full-time 911 dispatcher at a rate of $12 per hour.

The county salary board, which is composed of the commissioners and county Treasurer Karyn Montana, took the following action:

— Abolished the full-time position of assessment assistant.

— Created the full-time position of deeds analyst administrative support (certified Pennsylvania evaluator) at a wage of $12 to $16 per hour.

— Created the position of a part-time sheriff’s deputy, not to exceed 1,000 hours per year, at a wage of $12.01 per hour.

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