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Bids for routes 28, 322 project to be opened Thursday

BROOKVILLE — Bids are scheduled to be opened today (Thursday) for the reconstruction project of routes 28 and 322 on the east side of the borough. Members of the Brookville Municipal Authority received the update at their monthly meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Water commissioner Clyde Bullers said the actual start-up date has not yet been determined, although it could be within 30 days of the bid openings.

Engineer Josh Gunnett said the “first phase will be the utility work and building demolition. The actual roadway work” will be done during the second year of the project. Anticipated completion date is late September 2020. The work will be done by the contractor, with the BMA crews overseeing the line work.

Gunnett also reported the approval of the small water and sewer grant from the state Department of Community & Economic Development for work on the East Main Street project from the Lutheran Church to Brookville Chevrolet and across East Main through the “Richards and Pearsall properties.”

He said DCED approved the borough’s request to have the installation of a storm water line included as part of the project, but that portion of the project cost will be the responsibility of the borough and cannot be paid with the DCED grant.

Gunnett reported that the work on the new waste water treatment facility is about 90 percent complete. “The project is still behind schedule,” he said. “Last month there were a lot of what ifs, but they are starting to wrap up. At 90 percent complete, Global Heavy is trying to get everything running in automatic mode.”

During his report the board approved payment requisitions in the amount of $172,362.74 be submitted to USDA-Rural Development for payment.

Following the meeting an executive session was held to discuss legal matters, with no action anticipated.

The next meeting of the Brookville Municipal Authority will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, in the Borough Complex.


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NICU benefits from Jefferson County Fair's Beautiful Baby contest

BROOKVILLE — Once again the NICU at Penn Highlands DuBois is benefitting from donations made by visitors to the last year’s Jefferson County Fair.

Money deposited as votes in the Beautiful Baby photo contest was given to the NICU. A total of $2,174.85 was donated and will be used to buy billiblankets, used to treat neonatal jaundice, and a new isolette.

“They were very grateful for the donation,” board member Toni Facchine said. The baby contest will be held again during this year’s fair, with Lorie Park as chairman. More details will be announced as plans are finalized.

Quilt block competition

Also planned for this year’s fair is the quilt block competition. Quilt block squares entered in last year’s fair have been made into a quilt by Susan Alexander, who then had the quilt professionally quilted. A matching bag for the quilt was also created with a quilt block. The set will be one of the fundraisers at this year’s Spring Fling, to be held Saturday, May 4, at the fairgrounds. Tickets are now available at $20 per couple from any fair board member.

Petting zoo

A new attraction at this year’s fair will be a petting zoo provided by the Bar C Ranch. “They will set up a petting zoo and will also have an area where you can go inside and feed some parakeets,” fair board president Wayne Jackson said. “She assured me that the animals they have, even though it is a petting zoo, are from other countries, so they are not going to look like the animals we have here.”

Contracts

Jim Grant reported that his committee has mailed out “about 60 vendor contracts to last year’s vendors and some new ones who have shown interest.” He already has received commitments from 16 food vendors and a few non-food vendors.

The authority also approved a contract with Full Pull Productions for the truck and tractor pulls to be held Monday, July 15, and Tuesday, July 16, as the grandstand shows at the fair. Monday night’s show will be reduced by two classes; details to be announced later.

The board also approved a contract with Full Pull Productions for the truck and tractor pull to be held Saturday, June 15.

Bird pens

Amanda Kanouff and Matt Snyder, representing Jefferson County’s 4-Hers reported that they are looking at panels to build new bird pens before this year’s fair. “I was talking to a couple of leaders this week and we are going to have a huge amount of kids bringing birds,” Kanouff said. “We might need to increase the number of pens we are looking at.”

Grandstand cleaning

The board discussed the much-needed professional cleaning of the grandstand. Bids have been submitted by three contractors. The executive committee will meet with the contractors later this month to review the proposals and select a contractor, as the authority wants the project completed before fairground activities begin in mid-May.

4-H Livestock Field Day

Kanouff reported briefly on the 4-H livestock field day held recently at the fairgrounds. “We had over 50 people attending. We had workshops in swine, beef, sheep and goat, rabbits, manure management and more. The kids really seemed to enjoy it. We had families come from Greene County, Erie County and all the way over from Lycoming County.”

State convention

The board approved payment of $579.40 in expenses for the queen committee members who attended the state fair convention in January to support co-queen Danielle VanSteenberg. The money had been raised last year in fundraisers held by the committee. “They raised almost $2,000, so they more than covered their expenses,” Jackson said. Facchine said “that it is an expensive endeavor, but we would like to continue it as long as we have young ladies that want to participate.”

August Demolition Derby

Facchine also reported on the demolition derby to be held early in August. “Things are really hopping,” she said. “As of today (March 6), there were 67 cars registered and paid. They are coming from all over; we got one from Canada the other day. I think it’s going to be a really big show.”

Upcoming meetings

The next meeting of the finance committee will be held Wednesday, March 27, and the next regular meeting of the Jefferson County Fair Authority will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, in the conference room of the Conservation Center.


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Jeff Tech students give presentation at Brookville school board meeting

BROOKVILLE — The Brookville Area School Board was given a glimpse into the achievements of students attending Jeff Tech during a presentation at the board’s work session Monday night.

Students from the cosmetology and machine shops spoke briefly about their learning experiences at Jeff Tech.

Kyle Knapp, a junior in the machine shop, plans to be involved in his family business after he completes his schooling. “Jeff Tech has had a great impact on me,” he said. “I’m glad they gave me this opportunity to pursue my dreams.” Knapp said he passed his NIMS certifications before the end of his tenth-grade year. He showed several parts he had created in his shop, saying that just passing “is not good enough; in our trade you have to be perfect.”

Cosmetology students Kelsey Delarme, Richelle Allshouse and Falisha Hutchins talked about the recent district skills competition.

Delarme showed a hairstyle she had completed on a mannequin. “We are assigned four skills, just the hands-on skills that we do in school from week to week.” She said the students are also available to serve the public on Thursday afternoons, offering cuts, colors, perms, manicures, and pedicures, “anything like that, the hands-on skills that learn.”

During the skills competition she was given a mannequin and a picture of a hairstyle. She had to cut and style the mannequin’s hair to match the picture.

Hutchins said, “We had about 30 students go to district skills competition. There are many different competitions you can go to, such as job skill interview and competitions within your specific trade. There are a lot of different opportunities for students.”

Board president Don Gill told the students “we are very proud of all of you. You represent our districts well. Jeff Tech is something this board believes in, and it is an untapped resource, in my mind.”

Fred Park, who represents Brookville on the Jeff Tech board, said he enjoys having “students come from the various shops and present things that are going on. We hold our meetings in those shops, and it’s always interesting to have students come and do that.”

In other action during the meeting:

  • Superintendent Robin Fillman presented a certificate to business manager Ellen Neyman, who recently became certified by the state of Pennsylvania as a school business administrator.
  • Fillman talked briefly about the vacancy in the elementary music department, following the resignation of teacher Kim Thomas, who is retiring at the end of this school year. The board will discuss the vacancy next week, to decide whether to fill the position with a full-time or half-time teacher, or to reassign Thomas’ duties among other teachers.
  • Assistant superintendent Brigette Matson reported that the district has been recognized by the College Board with a Computer Science Female Diversity Award. She said the award recognizes the female students “participating in our AP Computer Science class, and that is a rarity. We were recognized as a district for this and it is something we should be very proud of.”

Matson also reported that two Brookville teams participated in the Vex Robotics state competition on Saturday. “This is our first year to have the course and they had a great experience with it.” Some of the students will be giving a demonstration at next week’s board meeting.

  • Fillman reported the district has received a request to have a name on a diploma changed. “After students graduate there are instances where students have changed their gender, so they ask that their name be changed on the diploma. That is something the school district is to honor, and we did honor that,” she said. Fillman said she expects to have additional requests. “At the administration level we discussed possibly charging a fee for the new diploma, as diplomas are quite expensive. Since this was our first request we did that free of charge, but we are looking at the future, if these requests are more common.”

The school board will meet in regular session at 7 p.m. Monday, March 18, in the LGI room at Hickory Grove.


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