Forest Co. pursuing grant for screening equipment

Forest County officials are working to acquire grant funding that will go toward the replacement of the courthouse’s X-ray scanner and metal detector.

Sheriff Robert Wolfgang attended Thursday’s county commissioners meeting to update the panel on the plans to purchase new equipment because the current units are reaching the end of their useful life.

Both the X-ray machine and the walk-through metal detector are located on the second floor of the courthouse to screen individuals before they enter the courtroom.

An inspector from Venango County advised Wolfgang that the X-ray machine might have only one or two more goods years left, and Wolfgang said the metal detector has “seen its better days.”

Wolfgang admitted the equipment is expensive, but he recently became aware of a grant opportunity through the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts by way of communicating with other sheriffs in the area.

The $21,500 grant is available to all counties in the state.

“It allows us $18,000 for a new X-ray machine and $3,500 for a new walk-through metal detector,” Wolfgang said.

The deadline to apply for the grant is today, but Wolfgang said he has been given the go-ahead from the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts to take the next steps.

Wolfgang is currently searching for cost estimates on equipment and, to try to expedite the process, the commissioners approved a motion Thursday to accept the lowest estimate as long as the grant funds are available.

In other county-related business:

— The replacement of water, sewer and gas lines outside of the courthouse has been completed.

— The commissioners approved a resolution Thursday informing county residents that discrimination in the sale, rental, leasing or financing of housing is prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

— Another resolution was approved Thursday that appointed three people to a Board of Assessment Appeals for a term that expires concurrently with the current term of commissioners.

Republicans Blaine Kuhn and Leonard Hetrick were appointed along with Democrat Victoria O’Neal. Compensation of $75 per day plus standard mileage rates will apply to attend tax appeal hearings.

— An agreement between EMMCO West/Forest-Warren Human Services and the county’s probation and sheriff departments was approved to obtain a supply of naloxone.