Two Mile project ‘has really paid off for the county’

Two Mile Run County Park is signing up local organizations and businesses to help with repair and upkeep costs at its 14 public pavilions.

“Our adopt-a-pavilion project … has really paid off for the county,” said Rich Mihalic, park director, at the Venango County commissioners meeting on Tuesday night.

To date in 2019, the county has received $2,000 from various sources for needed repairs on the pavilions. Signing agreements with the county to help are the Franklin Elks Lodge, Kris Miller Construction and Rentals, Franklin Eagles Club, Franklin VFW Post and the Oil City Rotary Club.

Mihalic said he expects “three or four more” in the next few weeks. Placards listing their sponsorships are installed at each pavilion.

The adopt-a-pavilion initiative began in 2010 as a way to involve the public in helping to maintain the county park, said Mihalic.

“We still need sponsors, so just get in touch with us,” he said.

The park campgrounds will open May 10. Park crews have been busy “cleaning up downed trees and hanging trees in the park,” said Mihalic.

Contracts and personnel

In other matters, the commissioners handled a list of contract renewals and personnel changes.

Contract renewals included one with Vertiv Corp. and 911/EMS for an uninterrupted power supply agreement, and another with the U.S.D.A. animal and plant health inspection service to provide wildlife training for airport employees.

The commissioners approved an agreement with Penn Power Systems/Penn Detroit to remove and replace a generator at the airport, and an agreement for architectural and engineering services between Amos Randolph Architecture LLC and the County of Venango.

Two resolutions involving county services were endorsed by the commissioners.

They included a measure authorizing the allocation of $450,708 for the purchase of new voting equipment, a measure that had been supported earlier by the commissioners, and a resolution opposing potential legislation that would change fees charged in the medical assistance transportation program.

Proclamations are issued

A proclamation in honor of Sam Burchfield, a member of Boy Scout Troop 34 at the First Methodist Church of Franklin, for attaining his Eagle Scout was approved.

Vince Witherup, a county commissioner who earned his Eagle Scout status as a young person, said the distinction is “really a feather in Sam Burchfield’s cap” and noted “only 2 or 3 percent of kids going into Scouting make Eagle Scout.”

Cranberry resident Ashley Cowles, a member of the young professionals organization known as FLEX, was honored by proclamation for her selection as the 2019 Young Professional of the Year.

The commissioners designated May as Paint Venango County Purple month as part of the Relay for Life campaign to fight cancer.

In the proclamation, the board urged area residents to show their support by attaching purple ribbons and bows to their homes, offices and vehicles.

Retirements and hires

The commissioners acted on a number of personnel issues. They approved the creation of six full-time but temporary intern slots in the county’s social services department. The new hires will work during the summer months.

Three retirements were approved. They are Patricia Henderson, in the human services department; Timothy Johnson, director of domestic relations; and Sue Melat, administrative assistant.

Attending their first commissioners meeting were staff members Jamie Kirkwood, who moved from the legal department to serve as administrative assistant in the commissioners’ office, and Sabrina Backer, who was hired as chief clerk and county administrator.

Leaving his post

Pastor Paul Baker, of Franklin, a cleric who has traditionally opened the commissioners meetings with a prayer, told the commissioners he would be leaving his post because of a move outside the area.

“It’s a good county, it’s a good bunch of people,” said Baker prior to the opening prayer. “… I am praying for great things for you.”