Lebanon County Commissioners unanimously agreed on Thursday to approve the Lebanon County Mental Health/Intellectual Disabilities/Early Intervention (MH/ID/EI) Program’s request to enter a 21-month contract with the Panto Group.

The Panto Group will “complete a comprehensive assessment of our current Crisis Intervention Services to produce a strategic plan to comply with the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services mandates to transition to a full walk-in center and mobile crisis team delivery model by 2028,” according to MH/ID/EI administrator Holly Leahy.

The MH/ID/EI program applied for a $175,000 Crisis Consultation Grant from the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services last year, with the approval of the commissioners. They were awarded the ARPA grant.

The contract will cost a maximum of $232,106, spanning both the 2023-24 and 2024-25 fiscal years. The amount not paid by the grant, up to $57,106, will be paid through mental health base funds.

“We believe that will be able to be covered under the base funding in the block grants,” said Leahy.

The commissioners also unanimously approved contract amendments to the MH/ID/EI’s fiscal plans for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 fiscal years.

The commissioners also approved three tax grant projects.

A $12,000 grant was awarded for Lebanon Area Fair advertising. Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz was opposed as these grants are typically limited to a maximum of $7,500, but commissioners Michael Kuhn and Robert Phillips agreed to make an exception on account of the tourism brought in by the fair.

“I just think we should follow the rules we established,” said Litz, emphasizing that she had no issue with the fair.

Commissioners also awarded a $2,626 grant to the Campbelltown Community Alliance for their Campbelltown Beautification/Flower project. The project will take place near businesses along Route 322 inside Campbelltown.

The third grant, totaling $7,500, was awarded to the Pennsylvania State University for its Penn State Crops Conference at the Lebanon Valley Exposition Center & Fairgrounds. The grant required a $1,876 match.

The commissioners also made several proclamations Thursday.

One proclamation declared July 16-22, 2023, to be Pretrial, Probation & Parole Week celebrating “all these corrections professionals who play crucial roles in the criminal justice system and help achieve safer communities,” read the proclamation.

Another proclamation recognized Oct. 13, 2023, as Breast Cancer Awareness Day and recognized METAvivor’s Light Up MBC campaign, encouraging “citizens to join the national effort towards awareness of metastatic breast cancer.”

The third grant celebrated next year’s 50th annual Mount Gretna Art Show, declaring 2024 the Year of the Arts in Mount Gretna. (The 49th annual Mt. Gretna Art Show is set to grace the historic grounds of the Pennsylvania Chautauqua on Saturday, Aug. 19, and Sunday, Aug. 20.)

In other news, commissioners:

  • Unanimously approved a proposal by the Area Agency on Aging for a $2,000 Fiscal Services Assessment Proposal.
  • Unanimously agreed to update spending plans for the RASA/VOJO and VOCA grants with the district attorney’s office.
  • Unanimously agreed to evaluate the potential cost for upgrading the aluminum flag pole, updating to period Victorian lights, and adding flower pots and benches in Monument Park.
  • Discussed crafting a policy for use of exterior grounds.
  • Unanimously agreed to look into the cost of adding automatic door openers at select bathrooms in the municipal building.
  • Unanimously approved personnel transactions.
  • Unanimously approved their June 16 meeting minutes.
  • Unanimously approved the treasurer’s report.
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Emily Bixler was born and raised in Lebanon and now reports on local government. In her free time, she enjoys playing piano and going for hikes.


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