Blair County


Xerox contract could cut expenses

Blair County spends almost $49,000 annually on toner and hardware to maintain 50 desktop printers, an amount that could be reduced by $15,800 annually through a contract with Xerox.

Commissioners on Tuesday reviewed a proposed contract with Xerox that if approved, calls for Xerox to supply toner for the printers’ cartridges and to handle maintenance of those printers for a monthly fee of $1,270 or $15,240 annually.

Blair County Purchasing Agent Deb Wyland, working with county Internet technician Tom Loucks and county Finance Director Robert Kuntz, said the proposed contract should generate a savings for the county based on current usage.

Wyland said the county currently buys toner cartridges from companies that quote prices low enough to qualify for governmental bulk purchasing programs. But Xerox can offer a lower price, Loucks said, because of its access to toner and the refilling of cartridges.

The proposed three-year contract indicates that it can be terminated early, with a 90-day notice.


County tax assessments settled

Compromises have been reached between Blair County and owners of three commercial properties who appealed the assessments, for taxing purposes, assigned to their properties.

Commissioners voted Tuesday to assign new assessed values for two parcels with structures previously housing Anderson Electronics along Scotch Valley Road in Frankstown Township. The parcels are owned by Energy Plaza Associates Limited Liability Corp. and are posted as available for rent.

Those parcels, prior to the appeal, were assessed at $140,000 and $67,020 respectively, based on 1958 values. Their new assessments, after a review and evaluation of recent appraisals that were adjusted to reflect 1958 values, will be $60,160 and $58,240 respectively.

Commissioners also voted Tuesday to settle a tax appeal with Ogden Newspapers of West Virginia, owner of the Altoona Mirror building on Cayuga Avenue in Logan Township.

The previous assessment of $740,000, based on 1958 values, will be reduced to $527,680, based on a current appraisal recalculated to reflect 1958 values.

Blair County began this year to work on collecting data to update 1958 property assessments. That task is expected to continue into 2015 and result in new property assessments for use in 2017.