County Approves Collocation Agreement for Emergency Services

CLEARFIELD – At Tuesday’s meeting, the Clearfield County Commissioners prepared for a potential disaster and ensured the county’s emergency services will not be disrupted if one should occur.

Emergency Management Director Joe Bigar Jr. said the county’s collocation agreement with Zito Media of Coudersport is a seven-county venture. He said if disaster strikes Clearfield 911, this allows the phone aspect of its services to be transferred to any of the participating counties.  Zito Media is installing the fiber optics as part of the collocation agreement.

“We could right away just flip to another county. The folks of Clearfield County would never know that their services are being disrupted,” said Commissioner Joan Robinson-McMillen.

Prior to the board’s vote, Solicitor Kim Kesner said he was concerned about conflicting language in the agreement. He said in the agreement, it provides for a “limited, non-exclusive, revocable license.” He said a revocable license is not a lease, and by Zito Media referring to the county as a “leasor,” it’s “confusing the issue.”

He said a license allows Zito Media to be there, and revocable means the county can terminate the agreement at any time. However, he said the presented agreement conflicts with this later, as it provides for a five-year term and only the ability to terminate upon cause. At the end of the term, it automatically renews unless notice is given.

“In one part, you have the agreement sayings it’s a revocable license, which gives the county the full ability to terminate with no cause,” said Kesner. “Then, you have other parts of the agreement that sets a specific five-year term with provisions that are limited. The issue becomes which is it, and obviously, I prefer the revocable license.”

Bigar said he’d envision a five-year term, as this is the “hub network” of the whole system that makes everything operate.

Kesner said if Bigar was comfortable with the agreement, he wouldn’t require any change in the agreement and would leave it up to the commissioners.

“Would I prefer the agreement to be prettier? Would I prefer the county to be referred to as licensor than leasor? Would I prefer we not have the conflicting provisions? Sure,” he said. “If this is the agreement, all the other counties are signing, I don’t know if it’s something we should fuss over.”

McCracken suggested that the commissioners approve the agreement and note the conflicting conditions within. The commissioners voted, 2-0, to approve the collocation agreement with Zito Media. Commissioner John A. Sobel was absent.

The commissioners also approved for Cen-Clear to partner with the county’s Probation Services – Juvenile Division – to request $10,000 in Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG) funding. The funding will provide the National Youth Program Using Minibikes (NYPUM) for youth that are referred to Juvenile Probation. Cen-Clear will provide a 10 percent cash match in the amount of $1,112.

The JABG funding will provide for five NYPUM slots. Based upon the success of previous years, Cen-Clear and the county’s Probation Services anticipate the following outcomes for youth served in this program:

  • reduce the number of re-offenses by 60 percent of participants;
  • reduce anti-social behavior by 40 percent of participants;
  • reduce alcohol, tobacco and other drug use by 20 percent of participants;
  • reduce school absences by 40 percent of participants; and
  • decrease days of school suspension by 20 percent of participants.
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