With gaming funds in hand, group proceeds


First Posted: 3/26/2012

The Back Mountain Community Partnership discussed how to proceed with its emergency management agency center at a meeting March 15 after receiving money from gaming funds.

The partnership applied for a grant to renovate a former medical building on Route 118 in Lehman Township into a regional emergency management agency center.

Dallas Fire & Ambulance Inc. purchased the building in 2010 with the hopes of eventually building a similar center. The project also includes the construction of a pole building on the 9-acre property.

The space will be used for equipment and medical supply storage, partnership and other civic organization meetings, emergency responder training, sleeping quarters for evacuees and a control center for the Back Mountain Regional Emergency Management Agency.

Joe Chacke of NEPA Alliance said the partnership must decide whether its plans to scale back on the project or attempt to secure other funding for the project. The group initially requested $1.2 million for the project but received $975,000.

Chacke said the partnership could choose to scale back the facility’s plans or find funding elsewhere.

Chairman James Reino Jr. said the partnership has many options, but wanted to discuss the issue with members of Dallas Fire & Ambulance Inc., the building’s owner, before making a decision.

The partnership also heard from Roger Heydt of Central Tax/Don Wilkinson Agency, who presented ways officials can research whether an address is located within, and paying proper taxes to, a municipality.

He said the passage of Act 32 will help remedy some of those concerns, but public websites allow officials to double-check residents’ addresses.

Reino said the municipalities want a workable electronic document to check addresses against the information they find through personal research.

Heydt said it’s possible to provide that information, but the method would need to be approved by the Tax Collection Committee.

The partnership also approved a motion to send a letter to local legislators to support state House bills 1329 and 1685 related to changing the prevailing wage laws.

The current prevailing wage law, passed in 1961, requires that workers on government projects exceeding $25,000 be paid a rate set by the state secretary of labor and industry rather than a number based on local market rates.

House Bill 1329 would set the project rate at $185,000 to correspond with market inflation. House Bill 1685 would require the secretary of labor and industry to develop a uniform list of worker classifications.

Reino said the current law covers most projects within townships, which can cause financial hardships.

The next Back Mountain Community Partnership meeting will be held at 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 19 in the Sandy & Marlene Insalaco Hall at Misericordia University, 301 Lake St., Dallas Township.


The space will be used for equipment and medical supply storage, partnership and other civic organization meetings, emergency responder training, sleeping quarters for evacuees and a control center for the Back Mountain Regional Emergency Management Agency.


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