Friday, December 07, 2012 - Dauphin County Commissioners Vote to Approve Proposed 2013 Budget
HARRISBURG, PA (December 7, 2012) – Dauphin County
Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III will vote to approve
the 2013 Dauphin County Budget at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, December 19 at the regularly
scheduled meeting in the Commissioners' Hearing Room.
eighth year in a row, Dauphin County Commissioners have proposed a budget that
holds the line on taxes. The proposed
2013 budget calls for $196,022,378 in spending, which is a decrease of over
$3,000,000 compared to the current 2012 budget of $199,040,860.
“We’re continuing to take a hard
line on spending and making the tough decisions necessary for taxpayers,” said Haste. “This board remains committed to
managing tax dollars sensibly so that citizens who are already struggling in
these tough economic times will not be burdened even more. The proposed 2013 budget reflects our pledge
to do more with less.”
The millage rate for the General
County is 6.876. The budgeted salary/benefit cost for 2013 is currently
$99.4 million for departments operating on a calendar year, and $19.7 million
for those on a July-June fiscal year. The Commissioners will be approving
only the calendar year budget on December 19.
“We take a
cautious approach to spending with the proposed 2013 budget,” said Pries. “First and foremost we are preserving and sustaining
the financial responsibilities of county taxpayers, which will be important in
maintaining economic growth and prosperity.”
pleased to report that, this year, we will once again be passing a responsible,
results-driven plan that includes no tax increase,” said Hartwick. “Despite a sluggish economy, we have
weathered the economic storm and have put the county in a strong fiscal
Commissioners’ Hearing Room is located on the fourth floor of the
Administration Building at 2 South Second Street in Harrisburg. To view the
proposed 2013 budget, visit online at www.dauphincounty.org,
or call the Commissioner’s office at 717-780-6300 for more information.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - Dauphin County Commissioners Donate to Agricultural Land Preservation Program
HARRISBURG, PA (October 31, 2012) – Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III, today donated two agricultural conservation easements for two properties in Londonderry Township on behalf of the Dauphin County Agricultural Land Preservation Program.
“The high demand for open space for residential and industrial development remains a serious concern for farmers,” said Commissioner Haste who has oversight of the county’s conservation district. “These land grants take care of any industrial development and preserve the land for what it should be, farming.”
Ray and Amy Kennedy along with Dale and Thelma Kennedy each received a check for $100 for two properties totaling 111.6 acres, enabling them to preserve the land. The Dauphin County program operates under the statewide Agricultural Land Preservation Program; these agricultural conservation easements permanently dedicate the use of land to agriculture.
“The troubled economy has impacted almost every industry, and the Pennsylvania’s $4.7 billion agriculture industry is no exception,” said Commissioner Pries. “We recognize the important role that farming plays in our local economy.”
Including the two easements presented today, the Dauphin County Agricultural Land Preservation Program has preserved 1,026 acres of farmland in Londonderry Township and 13,721 acres of farmland in Dauphin County. Statewide the program has preserved 465,953 acres of farmland.
“Reinvesting in our urban core rather than developing open land is central to farmland preservation,” said Commissioner Hartwick. “We will continue to work with local officials and businesspeople to promote smart growth in this region.”
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - Dauphin County Commissioners to Update the Public on Hurricane Sandy at Press Conference
HARRISBURG, PA (October 30 , 2012) – Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike pries, and George P. Hartwick, III, will hold a press conference today, October 30 at 10:30 a.m. at the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) located at Gibson Boulevard in Steelton.
The Dauphin County Commissioners will update the public on the affects of Hurricane Sandy throughout the county including information regarding total rainfall, road closures, power outages and safety regulations.
The county’s Emergency Management Agency is located at 911 Gibson Boulevard in Steelton.
Friday, October 26, 2012 - Dauphin County Commissioners Warn Residents of Potential Flash Flooding, Power Outages with Hurricane Sandy
HARRISBURG, PA (October 26, 2012, 11:45 a.m.) –As Hurricane Sandy, now a Category 1 storm, moves toward Pennsylvania, Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III are warning residents, particularly those near flood-prone areas, to closely monitor weather conditions and prepare for potential power outages and flash flooding along creeks and streams.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the hurricane will impact the mid-state late Sunday through Monday and produce showers and thunderstorms, with periods of heavy rainfall and high wind. The storm is estimated to last a few days. Dauphin County is projected to expect two to four inches of rain over a 48 hour period depending on the system’s track, beginning Sunday night. Flash flooding in low-lying and slow draining infrastructure locations could likely occur. Additionally, high winds will likely accompany the storm which could lead to widespread power outages. Although snow instead of rain is slightly possible, it most likely would occur in higher elevations, according to NWS.
“Our Emergency Management Operations Center is prepared to open, if necessary, to allocate any resources to local officials,” said Pries, who has oversight of the county’s Emergency Management Agency. “There is a potential for flash flooding with this storm, so we’re monitoring the forecast very closely. Please stay attentive, especially if you live along Swatara Creek or other tributaries, for potential flooding, and stay tuned to local media outlets for updates.”
“If you live in low-lying, flood-prone areas, move belongings out of basements and secure any items that are outside, such as patio furniture, in order to protect your property,” said Haste. “And in the event of a flash flood, move to higher ground immediately, and be prepared to evacuate. It could save your life.”
Follow these simple safety tips to prepare:
- Monitor local news stations for vital weather related information.
- If flooding occurs, get to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding, including dips, low spots, canyons, washes etc.
- Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
- Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. If your vehicle is suddenly caught in rising water, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
- Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.
- Be very cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
- During high winds, seek shelter indoors, move to a windowless, interior room, in a low part of the building, or take cover under a sturdy object or against an interior wall.
“High wind gusts, which are expected with this storm, can down trees and power lines, so please use extreme caution if you must travel,” said Hartwick. “At this time, you should start preparing for the storm by making sure you have emergency supplies, such as a first aid kit, flashlight, batteries, water, non-perishable food and other items, in your home.”
Report a power outage immediately by:
Check the status of your power outage by:
- Visiting PPL’s online Outage Center, or
- Calling the Urgent Response Service at (484) 634-3381.
In the mid-Atlantic, winds could reach up to 75 miles per hour in gusts during the height of the storm which will be fairly prolonged. Residents are urged to stay tuned to local news outlets for up-to-date information and advisories.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - Dauphin County Commissioners Remind Voters of Civilian Absentee Ballot Deadline
HARRISBURG, PA (October 23, 2012) – Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III, would like to remind voters, that Tuesday, October 30 is the last day to apply for a civilian absentee ballot for those who wish to vote in the November 6 general election.
“With the election quickly approaching, it is important to make arrangements ahead of time,” said Commissioner Pries, who has oversight of county Elections and Voter Registration. “If you are unable to make it to your polling place on November 6, you may contact the county’s Elections and Voter Registration Office to request an absentee ballot.”
The deadline for completed ballots is November 2. All voted absentee ballots, except those received from military and overseas electors, and emergency absentee electors, as defined by law, must be received by the county on this day to be counted. The Presidential Election is November 6.
“Voters can also call the Dauphin County Elections and Voter Registration Office to have an absentee ballot mailed to their residence,” said Commissioner Haste.
A voter may appear in person any time prior to the deadline to make an application for a civilian absentee ballot. Voters may also hand deliver applications.
“Don’t wait until the last minute to apply,” said Commissioner Hartwick. “Local mail deliveries and other unforeseen activity could hinder the process time, it is crucial for Dauphin County residence to be proactive and stay ahead of the rush.”
Voter registration and civilian absentee ballot forms, as well as a list of polling places, can be found on www.DauphinCounty.org by clicking on “Elections & Voter Registration” and then “Vote” or by calling the office at 717-780-6360.
Monday, October 08, 2012 - Dauphin County to Honor National Hispanic Heritage Month with Celebration
HARRISBURG, PA (October 8, 2012) – In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Dauphin County community is invited to attend a Hispanic Heritage celebration and lunch on Thursday, October 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Commissioners’ hearing room.
The celebration will kick-off with a Latin Caribbean music freestyle using the percussion instrument, guiro, and bongos provided by Emil and Ramon. Guests can enjoy a video presentation on the Latin American culture while dining on authentic dishes. Those interested in donating food are asked to confirm in an RSVP.
Please RSVP to David Botero at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 717-780-6499. The Commissioners’ hearing room is located on the fourth floor of the Dauphin County Administration building, 2 South Second Street, Harrisburg. For more information about this special event, facilitated by Dauphin County please call Dauphin County’s Human Services Department at 717-905-2700.
Thursday, October 04, 2012 - Dauphin County Commissioners Announce New County Website
HARRISBURG, PA (October 4, 2012) – Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III, today announced the launch of Dauphin County's events-driven, newsworthy website.
Citizens and business leaders can now navigate accessible information involving community resources, interacting with government and life in Dauphin County.
"Our new and improved website now serves as a better tool for the Dauphin County community," said Commissioner Haste. "Easy-to-use, organized access is imperative when searching for answers to the questions our community members may have. It's our job to see that questions are answered in a user-friendly manner."
The website boasts a modern, blue and gold design and is divided into three sections: Citizen, Business and Government Services. Each page provides detailed information on all three aspects of Dauphin County.
"Connecting with the Dauphin County public is very important to us as commissioners," said Commissioner Pries. "It serves as the first line of help to our constituents making it very significant to offer the most updated and informative material possible."
The website offers a few special features including a technology upgraded interface with custom made web parts known as "call-out boxes" and "sliders." These features offer automatically web-updated information in conjunction with events happening around the county. The website's user-friendly nature provides consumers with more efficient access to Dauphin County’s resources.
"Dauphin County is quickly advancing in its technological capabilities through this new website," said Commissioner Hartwick. "Our citizens can now view information faster, and easier. This is only the beginning of what our website will be able to do for our residents."
Other new functions include a reorganized media newsroom, available and updated on every page, access to individual township and municipality maps via Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and an automated emergency alert system that will scroll across the main screen, alerting community members of weather or other related emergencies.
For more information about the website, please call the Dauphin County Commissioners Office at 717-780-6300.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - Dauphin County Commissioners to View New Website at Workshop Meeting in Londonderry Township
HARRISBURG, PA (September 26, 2012) – Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III, would like to invite residents to attend a workshop meeting at the Londonderry Township municipal building on Wednesday, October 3 at 6 p.m. as they view new content for the Dauphin County website.
The new website is slated to launch on October 4. Citizens and business leaders will be able to navigate accessible information involving community resources, interacting with government, and life in Dauphin County.
The Londonderry Township municipal building is located at 783 South Geyers Church Road in Middletown. For more information about this meeting, facilitated by Dauphin County Commissioners, please call Dauphin County’s Human Services Department at 717-780-6288.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - Dauphin County Commissioners to Hold Press Conference Honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month
HARRISBURG, PA (September 26, 2012) – Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III, today announced they will hold a press conference honoring breast cancer awareness month at the county courthouse on Wednesday, October 3 at 10 a.m.
“Cancer is an emotionally and physically draining experience,” said Commissioner Haste. “We are hosting this event to create awareness for the disease, and paying tribute to those women who have succeeded in beating it.”
In honor of breast cancer awareness month, the courthouse fountain will be pink the entire month of October 2012.
“Every 68 seconds, someone in the world dies of breast cancer,” said Commissioner Pries. “Staying proactive and being informed is critical.”
“With over 3 million women battling breast cancer today, everywhere you turn there is a mother, sister, daughter or friend who has been affected,” said Commissioner Hartwick. “Our goal is to generate the knowledge and research to make sure that number declines.”
The Dauphin County Courthouse is located at 101 Market Street in Harrisburg.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - Dauphin County Commissioners Announce Series of Free Diversity Networking Forums
HARRISBURG, PA (September 12, 2012)—Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III, in conjunction with the county’s Human Services Department, today announced a series of monthly Diversity Networking Forums to highlight the importance of cultural sensitivity in this rapidly changing community. The forums are free and open to the public.
“These forums provide an open environment where participants can freely express perspectives and listen to people from all walks of life share ideas, strategies and recommendations about diversity,” said Hartwick, who has oversight of the county’s Human Services Department. “We strongly encourage interested citizens, business and community leaders, and people from different cultures, races, and religions, to participate in these forums.”
The following forums will be held this year at 8 a.m. at the Dauphin County Case Management Unit, 1100 South Cameron Street, Harrisburg:
• September 20—featuring Theo Braddy, executive director of Center for Independent Living of Central Pennsylvania
• October 18—featuring Lena Shenoy to discuss Indian culture and dealing with addiction
• November 15—Tony DiFrancesco, director of Dauphin County Veterans Affairs, to discuss veterans’ issues and services
“We established the monthly diversity forums in 2008 to engage the community in a positive, open discussion about diversity-related issues,” said Haste. “The crowds have reflected some of the finest minds, government agencies and businesses in the area—including HACC, PHEAA, the Hispanic and Harrisburg Area Chambers of Commerce, the county Juvenile Probation Department, the state Civil Service Commission and the Human Relations Commission.”
“Through endeavors like the county’s Diversity Networking Forum, it is our hope that understanding, respect and appreciation will prevail,” said Pries.
Friday, May 11, 2012 - Mosquito Sample Collected in Dauphin County Tests Positive for West Nile Virus
HARRISBURG, PA (May 11, 2012)–Dauphin County’s West Nile Virus Control Program has collected the county’s first mosquito sample infected with West Nile Virus (WNV) this year.
The infected sample was collected on May 9, 2012 in Middletown Borough. This sample was small and contained less than 100 mosquitoes.
“The county’s WNV Control Program is increasing surveillance and control measures to reduce the mosquito population,” Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III said today.
Certain species of mosquitoes carry WNV, which, when transmitted to people, can cause West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all residents of areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of getting West Nile encephalitis.
The following precautions are also recommended, particularly for those individuals who are most at risk:
- Buy products with Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis)—a naturally-occurring bacteria that kills mosquito larvae but is safe for people, pets and plants—for stagnant pools of water in the lawn and garden,
- Remove any standing water in pots, containers, pool covers, tires, wheelbarrows, wading pools, roof gutters and other containers that hold water,
- Make sure screens fit tightly over doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out of homes,
- Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors, particularly when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, or in areas known for having large numbers of mosquitoes,
- Reduce outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk during peak mosquito periods, usually April through October, and
- Use insect repellents according to the manufacturer’s instructions. An effective repellent will contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Consult with a pediatrician or family physician if you have questions about the use of repellent on children, as repellent is not recommended for children under the age of two months.
No human cases of WNV have been reported in Dauphin County.
To learn more about WNV and prevention, visit the CDC’s Web site at www.cdc.gov/westnile. For more information about Dauphin County’s WNV Control Program, contact Eric Naguski, program coordinator, at 717-921-8100.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - Dauphin County Commissioners and Youth Step USA to Host Free Youth Step Clinic on March 31
HARRISBURG, PA (March 27, 2012) - Dauphin County Commissioners will host area school districts at the third annual free youth step clinic for middle school, high school and other step teams with youth ages 12 to 18 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 31 at the Harrisburg High School Gymnasium, 2451 Market St., Harrisburg.
Step is the latest craze, combining elements of modern dance, tap, cheerleading and gymnastics.
Brock Harris, founder of the Youth Step USA organization, will bring some of the nation’s best step teams and coaches from New York City to the clinic. Teams will perform at the clinic and help local steppers work on the fundamentals, techniques and the latest moves in competitive team stepping and presentation. Special emphasis will be placed on competitive team stepping for regional and national competition levels.
Coaches will also have an opportunity to work on drills and participate in a special coaches’ session.
The third annual High School National Stepping Championship is slated for Saturday, May 26 at the Forum in Harrisburg. Over 25 high school teams from across the East Coast will participate.
To register for the step clinic, please visit www.dauphincounty.org/parks-recreation and print the registration form and bring it to the clinic. For questions about registration, please call the county’s Parks and Recreation Department at 717-599-5188. Teams or individuals in participating in this “all-call” can register at 1 p.m.
For more information, please visit the Youth Step USA organization’s Web site at www.youthstepusa.org.
Friday, January 13, 2012 - Dauphin County Commissioners Offer Home-Heating Safety Tips
HARRISBURG, PA (January 13, 2012)¬—More residential fires occur during the cold winter months, when furnaces, woodstoves, fireplaces and other heating devices are operating to heat homes, than any other time of the year, according to the American Red Cross.
Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III encourage the public to follow these simple fire prevention tips to stay safe through the winter.
• Wood stoves should be properly installed with floor support, in good condition, and have a 36’’ clearance from combustible surfaces.
• Avoid using charcoal in your stove and fireplace.
• Cover the opening with a glass or metal screen.
• Do not use flammable liquid.
• Do not close the damper with hot ashes in the fireplace.
• Limit use of paper to build a fire.
• Make sure a fire is out before going to sleep.
• Always use K1 kerosene and burn according to manufacturer’s instructions.
• Keep the heater in a well-ventilated room.
• Place the heater at least 36’’away from all other combustible materials and in a safe spot.
• Keep fuel stored in approved metal cans outside your home, and never fill a heater while hot or inside your home.
• In case of a fire, do not move a burning heater.
• Know how to turn it off manually.
• For homes that use furnaces, ensure that all controls and emergency shutoffs are in proper working condition and serviced by a professional.
• Pipes should be well-supported and free of holes, rust, or cracks.
• If a water pipe freezes, do not try to thaw with a blowtorch or open flame.
• Use hot water or a UL labeled device, such as a hair dryer for thawing.
Other general safety tips:
• Always keep combustible materials away from a heating system.
• Do not use a range or oven as a heating device.
• Monitor burning candles, and do not burn them when asleep or away from home.
• Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home, and check them regularly.
• To adequately prepare for a fire, plan an escape route, practice by crawling low to the floor to the nearest exit, and establish a meeting place outside.
For more winter fire safety information, please visit the Web site of the Office of the State Fire Commissioner at www.osfc.state.pa.us and click on the “Public Education/Information” tab, and then the “Prevention and Education Programs” tab.