New Castle News

January 9, 2013

County OKs agriculture preservation dollars

Debbie Wachter
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — The Lawrence County commissioners have allocated $16,000 this year for agricultural preservation.

County administrator James Gagliano explained Tuesday the state provides double the amount of the county’s allocation. The money is used for purchase of farm easements in Lawrence County that will go into the program to prevent it from future development.

The county also participates in the Clean and Green program and allocates an additional $330 from interest in rollback tax penalties from the previous calendar year.

The state also matches that amount in double, Gagliano said.

All of that money stays in Lawrence County for the purchase of the acreage easements, Commissioner Dan Vogler said, noting the funds are overseen by the county’s agricultural preservation board of directors.

Its members are David Whiting of Pulaski, Helen Jackson of New Beaver Borough and Penny Kretzer, Bill Allen and Loren Elder, all of Wilmington Township.

Also Tuesday, the commissioners:

•Reappointed John DiMuccio to the Lawrence County Industrial Development Authority for a four-year term.

•Reappointed Charles Hardester Sr. to another five-year term on the Lawrence County Housing Authority.

•Approved a contract with Brian F. Levine of Levine Law for title search work for the county assessor’s office. The firm will be paid $105 per parcel and $50 per mobile home. Levine, who also received the contract last year, was the only bidder for the work. His charges remain the same as last year.

•Received a letter of appreciation from the state conservation commission for its appointments to the Lawrence County Conservation District board of directors. The appointees are Gary McConnell of Volant and Commissioner Steve Craig.

•Reappointed Craig, county administrator James Gagliano and commissioner Dan Vogler to the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission. Vogler said he would give up his seat if any other elected official in the county is interested in serving on the commission.

•Announced that the county retirement board’s quarterly meeting will be Tuesday, immediately after the commissioners 10 a.m. meeting.