2011-01-15 / Front Page


Joann Smith Joann Smith Cameron County Commissioner s will run again

If the current board of commissioners had it their way, they would continue on as the team that is responsible for managing Cameron County the next five years.

All three commissioners Monday said they will seek a new term in November and at the same time said they believe their combined and varied talents make them a good team to lead the county in the years ahead.

“There’s one thing I will say about us all— we work hard and give it our all,” Board Chairperson Joann Smith said. “We each have our strengths and we work well together.”

Smith will be seeking her second term, as will Phil Jones. Their colleague Glen Fiebig will seek a fourth term.

“It’s gone by fast and it’s really hard to believe it’s been close to 12 years,” Fiebig said. “I’ve enjoyed working with every board and had good relationships with them all, but I’ll (reiterate) that I believe this is the best board in terms of how we work together and get things done that help the people.”

Phil Jones Phil Jones On a related note, Chief Clerk Brenda Munz reminded those who may run for office in the fall that Feb. 15 is the first day petitions can be picked up and circulated.

Commissioners announced that the county will save as much as 17 percent on its natural gas expenditures in 2011, thanks to a newly-inked agreement with Open Flow Energy.

Open Flow Energy is a natural gas supply corporation headquartered in Oil City.

Commissioners approved an agreement with them that will lower the county’s per dekatherm (100,000 BTUs) rate from $7.17 to $5.96.

Cameron County paid just over $10,000 in 2010 for usage and another $3,125 for natural gas delivery.

Glen Fiebig Glen Fiebig The new rate for usage could save the county close to $2,000 in 2011.

In other business, commissioner Jones noted that some of the grillwork of the bridge in Sterling Run at the bottom of Mason Run Road has been repaired. Steel plates were welded over parts of the decking that were deteriorated. The county’s engineer will now inspect the work to ensure safety.

In a related matter, Fiebig said another county bridge, this one in Hunt’s Run, has been cleared of the debris that has been threatening the stability of the structure since the flooding of early December.

“I’m surprised we didn’t lose that bridge during the flood,” Fiebig said. “We have to consider ourselves lucky.”

In other business, commissioners agreed to modifications to a right-of-way agreement with John F. McManigle.

McManigle, who owns the right-of-way to the county’s 911 tower, asked for additional compensation from the county when he learned that Krise Busing had added equipment to the tower and that the county was charging them a fee for it.

Under the new agreement, Mc- Manigle will receive $100 per month for use of his right-of-way. That’s an increase from the $100 per year agreement that had been in place for many years.

In a final matter, commissioners agreed to increase the per day meal reimbursement for county employees from $22.50 per day to $28. Commissioners noted that is per day, not per meal.

Cameron County’s Salary Board met briefly Monday following the commissioners’ meeting. That group agreed to increase the county’s on-call pay to $140 per week. It was formerly $100.

That compensation is given to the on-call employees in the Sheriff’s, Probation and Children & Youth Services departments. One person per department is on call every day.

“This isn’t a lot of money ($20 per day) when you consider the fact that they don’t have a choice; they must respond to the calls,” Fiebig said. www.endeavornews.com

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