19530230ua

AN ACT

 

Relating to counties of the second class and second class A; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the laws relating thereto. (Title amended Oct. 20, 1967, P.L.472, No.224)

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 301(a)(16) of Act 58 of 1996, which created the Department of Community and Economic Development and abolished the Department of Community Affairs, provided that all other powers and duties delegated to the Department of Community Affairs not otherwise expressly transferred elsewhere by Act 58 and currently performed by the Department of Community Affairs under Act 230 are transferred to the Department of Community and Economic Development.

Compiler's Note:  Section 2104 of Act 32 of 1989 provided that Act 230 is repealed insofar as it is inconsistent with Act 32.

Compiler's Note:  Section 1 of Act 165 of 1970 provided that the limits heretofore imposed by Act 230 upon the rates of interest and interest costs permitted to be paid upon bonds, obligations and indebtedness issued by the Commonwealth or its agencies or instrumentalities or authorities, and by local political subdivisions or their agencies or authorities, are hereby removed for such bonds, obligations or indebtedness.

Compiler's Note:  Pursuant to the act of Oct. 20, 1967, P.L.472, No.224 and others, the Second Class County Code has been made partially applicable to counties of the second class A. However, under certain circumstances this act may apply only to one or the other, with other acts applying to the other. Therefore, please be careful whenever reading any provision to ascertain its correct application.

19530230uc

 

CONTENTS

 

Sections

101-111

201-211

(a)  Division of the State into

201-203

210-211

301-306

401-472

401-413

420-431

432-437

450

460

(f)  Destruction of Valueless

470-472

501-521

501-511

(b)  Chief Clerk of County

520-521

501-A

601-605

701-708

801-807

901-904

1001-1002

1101-1106

1201-1263

1201-1217

1231-1250

(c)  Provisions Relating to

1260-1263

1301-1315

1401-1441

1401-1408

(b)  Assistant District Attorneys,

1420-1422

1440-1441

1501-1532

(a)  Police, Firemen and Fire

1501-1525

(b)  Employes of Jails and

1531-1532

1601

1701-1717

1801-1825

1801-1810

1820-1825

1901-1997

1901-1904

(b)  Accounts, Audits and Reports

1920-1938

1950-1954

(d)  County Treasury, County

1960-1964

(e)  County Taxation, Borrowing

1970-1976

1980-1982

1990-1995

1997

1901-A-1906-A

1901-B-1902-B

2001-2003

2101-2199.18

(a)  Appropriations for

2101-2104

(b)  Burial of Deceased

2108-2116

2121-2123

2128-2130

(e)  Animal and Plant

2135-2138

2143

(g)  Prevention and Control

 

2147

(h)  Aid to Fire Fighting

Departments and Companies

2152

(i)  Utilities

2155-2157

(j)  Law Libraries

(Repealed)

2162

(k)  Rewards

2171

(l)  Garbage and Refuse

Disposal

2175-2193

(m)  Smoke Control

2195-2197

(n)  Surplus Foods and Food

Stamp Program

2198-2198.1

(o)  Museums of Fine Art or

Natural History

2199

(p)  Public Defender

(Repealed)

2199.1-2199.8

(p.1)Legal Aid Services

2199.1A

(q)  Parking Facilities

2199.9

(r)  Traffic Control Devices

2199.10

(s)  Reservoirs and Water

Resources

2199.11

(t)  Appropriations for

Recreation

2199.12

(u)  Industrial Development

and Tourist Promotion

Agencies

2199.13-2199.15

(v)  Health and Welfare

Programs with the Federal Government

2199.16

(w)  Non-debt Revenue Bonds

for Industrial Development Projects

2199.17

(x)  Insurance Liability for Errors and Omissions (Repealed)

2199.18

2101-A-2106-A

2201-2251

(a)  County and Regional Planning

2201-2211

2220-2239

(c)  County Transit and Traffic

2250-2251

2201-A-2209-A

2301-2355

2301

(b)  County and Joint County

2310-2325

(c)  County Health Aid to

Institutions and Political

2330-2333

(d)  Joint Management of County

2350-2355

2401-2409

2501-2595

2501-2503

(b)  Acquisition, Use, Leasing and

2505-2511

(c)  Construction or Alteration of

2515-2520

(d)  Policing, Administration and

Public Order of Grounds and

2525-2529

(e)  Special Provisions for

2535-2543

(e.1)Special Provisions for

2543.1-2543.6

(f)  Improvement of Streets Along

2545-2546

(g)  Comfort Stations, Parks and

2550

2555-2572

(i)  Public Auditoriums, Public

Libraries, Public Memorial

2577-2579

(j)  Orphans' and Childrens' Homes

2583-2586

2590

2595

Article XXV-A.  Sports and Exhibition Authority

2501-A-2518-A

2601-2633

2701-2857

(a)  General Authority and

2701-2734

(b)  Authorization and

2751-2758

(c)  On Action of County

2771-2781

(d)  Between Municipalities on

2791-2797

(e)  Joint Action of Counties or

2801-2804

2811-2813

(g)  Acquiring and Rebuilding

2821-2824

(h)  Erected by Private Persons or

by Public Subscriptions and

2831-2834

2841-2845

(j)  Joint Action with

2851-2857

2901-2956

(a)  Authorization, Construction

2901-2907

2909

(c)  Continuous Highways from One

2912

(d)  County Aid to Municipalities

2920-2934

2940-2942

2950-2956

3001-3053

3001-3007

3025-3035

3050-3053

3001-A-3009-A

3101-3110

3101-A

3101-B-3173-B

3101-B-3102-B

(b)  Allegheny Regional Asset

3110-B-3119-B

3130-B-3131-B

3140-B-3144-B

3150-B-3157-B

(f)  Local Tax Relief and

 

3170-B-3173-B

3101-C-3113-C

3201-3207

3301-3302

 

19530230uh

 

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:

 

19530230u101h

 

Article I

Preliminary Provisions

 

19530230u101s

Section 101.  Short Title.--This act shall be known and may be cited as the Second Class County Code. The provisions of this act shall become effective on the first day of the month next following its final enactment.

19530230u102s

Section 102.  Applicability.--Except where otherwise specifically limited, this act applies to all counties of the second class and second class A.

(102 amended Oct. 20, 1967, P.L.472, No.224)

19530230u103s

Section 103.  Excluded Provisions.--This act does not include any provisions of and shall not be construed to repeal:

(1)  The Municipal Borrowing Law, approved the twenty-fifth day of June, one thousand nine hundred forty-one (Pamphlet Laws 159).

(2)  The Pennsylvania Election Code, approved the third day of June, one thousand nine hundred thirty-seven (Pamphlet Laws 1333).

(3)  The County Institution District Law, approved the twenty-fourth day of June, one thousand nine hundred thirty-seven (Pamphlet Laws 2017).

(4)  The Local Health Administration Law, approved the twenty-fourth day of August, one thousand nine hundred fifty-one (Pamphlet Laws 1304).

(5)  The Municipal Unclaimed Moneys Act, approved the seventeenth day of May, one thousand nine hundred forty-nine (Pamphlet Laws 1403).

(6)  Any law relating to the collection of municipal and tax claims.

(7)  Except as provided by Articles XIX-A and XIX-B, any law relating to the assessment and valuation of property and persons for taxation. ((7) amended July 17, 2007, P.L.130, No.38)

(8)  Any law relating to the giving of county consent to public utility corporations.

(9)  Any law relating to State highways.

(10)  Any law relating to the validation of elections, bonds, resolutions and accounts of corporate officers.

(11)  Any law relating to collections by county officers of moneys for the Commonwealth and the issuance of State licenses.

(12)  Any law relating to the government and regulation of jails, prisons and other correctional institutions and the commitment thereto and maintenance and care of prisoners or inmates therein.

(13)  Any law relating to civil and criminal procedure, except special provisions concerning actions by or against counties or county officers.

(14)  Any law relating to joint county and municipal buildings and works.

(15)  Any law relating to county libraries, except law libraries.

(16)  Any law relating to the recording of deeds, mortgages or other instruments in writing.

(17)  Any law relating to the clerk or clerks of the County Court of Allegheny County.

(18)  Any law relating to the re-binding, re-indexing and transcribing of records in county offices.

(19)  Any law relating to the fees of county officers.

(20)  Any temporary law.

(21)  Any amendment or supplement of any of the laws referred to in this section.

(22)  Court criers and tipstaves, official court stenographers and interpreters and court room employes.

19530230u103v

 

Compiler's Note:  See sections 3 and 5 of Act 38 of 2007, which amended section 103, in the appendix to this act for special provisions relating to construction of law and applicability.

19530230u104s

Section 104.  Saving Clause.--(a)  The provisions of this act, as far as they are the same as those of existing laws, shall be construed as a continuation of such laws and not as new enactments. The repeal by this act of any provisions of law shall not revive any law heretofore repealed or superseded, nor affect the existence or class of any county heretofore created. The provisions of this act shall not affect any act done, liability incurred or right accrued or vested, nor affect any suit or prosecution pending or to be instituted to enforce any right or penalty or punish any offense under the authority of such repealed laws.

(b)  All resolutions, regulations and rules made pursuant to any act of Assembly repealed by this act shall continue with the same force and effect as if such act had not been repealed. All local acts of Assembly applying to the County of Allegheny not specifically repealed by this act shall continue in force and any provisions of this act inconsistent therewith shall not apply to said county.

(c)  All acts and parts of acts of Assembly relating to counties or to particular classes of counties in force at the time of the adoption of this act and not repealed hereby shall remain in force in the same manner and with the same effect as prior to the adoption of this act.

19530230u105s

Section 105.  Holding of Office.--Any person holding elective office under any act of Assembly repealed by this act shall continue to hold such office until the expiration of the term thereof, subject to the conditions and salary attached to such office prior to the passage of this act.

19530230u106s

Section 106.  Construction of References.--Whenever in this act reference is made to any act by title or name, such reference shall also apply to and include any codifications wherein the provisions of the act referred to are substantially reenacted or to reenactments, revisions or amendments of the act.

19530230u107s

Section 107.  Constitutional Construction.--The provisions of this act shall be severable, and if any of its provisions are held to be unconstitutional, the decision of the court shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions of this act. It is hereby declared as a legislative intent that this act would have been adopted by the General Assembly had such unconstitutional provisions not been included therein.

19530230u108s

Section 108.  Legislation According to Class.--The affairs of counties of the second class are herein and shall hereafter be legislated for and regulated by general laws applicable to said counties. All laws adopted by the General Assembly for counties of the second class shall be deemed to be general laws.

19530230u108.1s

Section 108.1.  Collection of Tax on Real Property from Rent Paid to Owner.--(a)  Where the owner of any residential or commercial real property which is subject to a claim pursuant to the act of May 16, 1923 (P.L.207, No.153), referred to as the Municipal Claim and Tax Lien Law, derives any rental income from that property, the county treasurer shall notify the property owner in writing of his duty to remit that rental income to the office of the county treasurer. The rent so remitted is to be applied to the amount of tax owed, along with any interest or penalties due, until the claim is paid in full.

(b)  The notice of the county treasurer shall include the amount of the claim on the property, including interest and penalties, and the date or dates the rental income is to be remitted. If after fifteen days of the date or dates specified in the notice the property owner fails to remit the rental income the county may immediately begin the judicial sale process provided for in the Municipal Claim and Tax Lien Law.

(108.1 added May 16, 1996, P.L.210, No.39)

19530230u109s

Section 109.  Proceedings for Recovery of Penalties.--Unless herein otherwise specifically provided, in every case in which any pecuniary penalty or forfeiture is imposed by this act, the proceeding for the recovery of the same shall be by indictment in the court of quarter sessions or by civil action as debts of equivalent amount are by law recoverable. Aldermen or justices of the peace shall not have jurisdiction of any suit or action for the recovery of any penalty imposed by this act for official misconduct. Such suit or action, when brought in the court of common pleas, shall have preference for trial over all other actions.

19530230u109v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 28 of Act 207 of 2004 provided that any and all references in any other law to a "district justice" or "justice of the peace" shall be deemed to be references to a magisterial district judge.

19530230u109.1s

Section 109.1.  Collection of Tax and Municipal Claims by Suit; Limitations.--(a)  In addition to the remedies provided by law for the collection of tax and municipal claims, the county may proceed for the recovery and collection of any tax or municipal claim against any owner or owners of the property owing such tax or municipal claim by a civil action or other appropriate remedy. To each judgment obtained for such taxes or municipal claim, there shall be added a penalty of ten per cent, interest at the prevailing legal rate and costs of suit. Upon judgment, execution may be issued without any stay or benefit of any exemption law.

(b)  The right of the county to collect unpaid taxes or municipal claims under the provisions of this section shall not be affected by the fact that such tax or municipal claims have or have not been entered as liens in the office of the prothonotary.

(c)  A civil action brought to recover unpaid taxes or municipal claims shall be commenced within twenty years after the tax is due or after the completion of the improvement from which said claim arises.

(d)  The remedy granted under this section shall be applied retroactively.

(109.1 amended May 16, 1996, P.L.210, No.39)

19530230u110s

Section 110.  Publication of Legal Notices.--Whenever under the provisions of this act advertisement, notice or publication is required to be published in one newspaper, such publication shall be made in a newspaper of general circulation, as defined by the act, approved the sixteenth day of May, one thousand nine hundred twenty-nine (Pamphlet Laws 1784), known as the Newspaper Advertising Act, printed in the county, unless the matter in connection with which the advertising is being done affects only a political subdivision, in which case such advertisement shall be published in a newspaper printed in such political subdivision, if there is such a newspaper, and if not, then in a newspaper circulating generally in such political subdivision. If such notice is required to be published in more than one newspaper, it shall be published in at least one newspaper of general circulation, defined as aforesaid, printed, if there be such a newspaper, or circulating generally, as above provided, in the county. When such notice relates to any proceeding or matter in any court, or the holding of an election for the increase of indebtedness, or the issue and sale of bonds to be paid by taxation, such notice shall also be published in the legal newspaper, if any, designated by the rules of court of the proper county for the publication of legal notices and advertisement, unless such publication be dispensed with by special order of court. All ordinances, auditors' reports, controllers' reports, or advertisements inviting proposals for public contracts and for bids for materials and supplies, shall be published only in newspapers of general circulation, as hereinbefore defined.

19530230u111s

Section 111.  Adoption of Budgets for 2001.--(a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, each county of the second class and each political subdivision situate within a county of the second class that is required to adopt a budget for a calendar year prior to January 31 of that year shall have until January 31, 2001, to adopt its budget for the 2001 calendar year.

(b)  If a budget for the 2001 calendar year is not adopted before January 1, 2001, the governing body of a county of the second class or political subdivision situate within a county of the second class shall be authorized to make interim expenditures between January 1, 2001, and the date the budget is adopted, provided that the following requirements are satisfied:

(1)  Each interim expenditure must be of a type and nature as the expenditures made under the budget approved for the 2000 calendar year.

(2)  The amount of the interim expenditures in the aggregate must not exceed one-twelfth of the budget approved for the 2000 calendar year.

(3)  The interim expenditures must be ratified in their entirety for inclusion in the budget for the 2001 calendar year.

(c)  A county of the second class or political subdivision situate within a county of the second class that makes interim expenditures in accordance with this section may borrow, if necessary, funds sufficient to pay for the interim expenditures. The borrowing shall comply with the provisions of applicable law.

(d)  This section shall expire February 1, 2001.

(111 added Oct. 30, 2000, P.L.616, No.85)

19530230u112s

Section 112.  Adjustments Based on Consumer Price Index.--(a)  Adjustments to the base amounts shall be made as follows:

(1)  The Department of Labor and Industry shall determine the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: All Items (CPI-U) for the United States City Average as published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the twelve-month period ending September 30, 2012, and for each successive twelve-month period thereafter.

(2)  If the department determines that there is no positive percentage change, then no adjustment to the base amounts shall occur for the relevant time period provided for in this subsection.

(3)  (i)  If the department determines that there is a positive percentage change in the first year that the determination is made under paragraph (1), the positive percentage change shall be multiplied by each base amount, and the products shall be added to the base amounts, respectively, and the sums shall be preliminary adjusted amounts.

(ii)  The preliminary adjusted amounts shall be rounded to the nearest one hundred dollars ($100) to determine the final adjusted base amounts.

(4)  In each successive year in which there is a positive percentage change in the CPI-U for the United States City Average, the positive percentage change shall be multiplied by the most recent preliminary adjusted amounts, and the products shall be added to the preliminary adjusted amount of the prior year to calculate the preliminary adjusted amounts for the current year. The sums thereof shall be rounded to the nearest one hundred dollars ($100) to determine the new final adjusted base amounts.

(5)  The determinations and adjustments required under this subsection shall be made in the period between October 1 and November 15 of the year following the effective date of this subsection and annually between October 1 and November 15 of each year thereafter.

(6)  The final adjusted base amounts and new final adjusted base amounts obtained under paragraphs (3) and (4) shall become effective January 1 for the calendar year following the year in which the determination required under paragraph (1) is made.

(7)  The department shall publish notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin prior to January 1 of each calendar year of the annual percentage change determined under paragraph (1) and the unadjusted or final adjusted base amounts determined under paragraphs (3) and (4) at which competitive bidding or written or telephonic price quotations are required for the calendar year beginning the first day of January after publication of the notice. The notice shall include a written and illustrative explanation of the calculations performed by the department in establishing the unadjusted or final adjusted base amounts under this subsection for the ensuing calendar year.

(8)  The annual increase in the preliminary adjusted base amounts obtained under paragraphs (3) and (4) shall not exceed three per cent.

(112 added Nov. 3, 2011, P.L.360, No.89)

19530230u112v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 6 of Act 89 of 2011, which added section 112, provided that Act 89 shall apply to contracts and purchases advertised on or after January 1 of the year following the effective date of section 6.

19530230u201h

 

Article II

Names and Corporate Powers

Classification of Counties

 

(a)  Division of the State into Counties;

Corporate Powers

 

19530230u201s

Section 201.  Enumeration of Counties.--The State shall be divided into the following sixty-seven named counties, as now established by law: Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Lancaster, York, Cumberland, Berks, Northampton, Bedford, Northumberland, Westmoreland, Washington, Fayette, Franklin, Montgomery, Dauphin, Luzerne, Huntingdon, Allegheny, Mifflin, Delaware, Lycoming, Somerset, Greene, Wayne, Adams, Centre, Beaver, Butler, Mercer, Crawford, Erie, Warren, Venango, Armstrong, Indiana, Jefferson, McKean, Clearfield, Potter, Tioga, Cambria, Bradford, Susquehanna, Schuylkill, Lehigh, Lebanon, Columbia, Union, Pike, Perry, Juniata, Monroe, Clarion, Clinton, Wyoming, Carbon, Elk, Blair, Sullivan, Forest, Lawrence, Fulton, Montour, Snyder, Cameron and Lackawanna.

19530230u202s

Section 202.  General Powers.--The county shall have capacity as a body corporate to:

(1)  Have succession perpetually by its corporate name.

(2)  Sue and be sued and complain and defend in all proper courts by the name of the county of ..........................

(3)  Purchase, acquire by gift or otherwise, hold, lease, let and convey such real and personal property as shall be deemed to be for the best interests of the county.

(4)  Make contracts for carrying into execution the laws relating to counties and for all lawful purposes.

(5)  Have and use a seal which shall be in the custody of the commissioners thereof. The official acts of the commissioners shall be authenticated therewith. There shall be engraved upon such seal the same device as is engraved upon the great seal of the State, together with the name of the county.

(6)  To make appropriations for any purpose authorized by this or any other act of the General Assembly.

19530230u203s

Section 203.  Vesting of Corporate Power.--The corporate power of the county shall be vested in a board of county commissioners.

19530230u210h

 

(b)  Classification

 

19530230u210s

Section 210.  Counties Divided Into Nine Classes.--For the purposes of legislation and the regulation of their affairs, counties of this Commonwealth, now in existence and those hereafter created, shall be divided into nine classes as follows:

(1)  First Class Counties, those having a population of 1,500,000 inhabitants and over.

(2)  Second Class Counties, those having a population of 800,000 and more but less than 1,500,000 inhabitants.

(2.1)  Second Class A Counties, those having a population of 500,000 and more but less than 800,000 inhabitants.

(3)  Third Class Counties, those having a population of 250,000 and more but less than 500,000 inhabitants.

(4)  Fourth Class Counties, those having a population of 150,000 and more but less than 250,000 inhabitants.

(5)  Fifth Class Counties, those having a population of 95,000 and more but less than 150,000 inhabitants.

(6)  Sixth Class Counties, those having a population of 45,000 and more but less than 95,000 inhabitants.

(7)  Seventh Class Counties, those having a population of 20,000 or more but less than 45,000 inhabitants.

(8)  Eighth Class Counties, those having a population of less than 20,000 inhabitants.

(210 amended Dec. 10, 1982, P.L.1084, No.254)

19530230u211s

Section 211.  Ascertainment, Certification and Effect of Change of Class.--(a)  The classification of counties shall be ascertained and fixed according to their population by reference, from time to time, to the last preceding decennial United States census, deducting therefrom the number of persons residing on any lands that have been ceded to the United States.

(b)  Whenever it shall appear by any such census that any county has attained a population entitling it to an advance in classification, or that a county has heretofore or hereafter decreased in population so as to recede in classification, as herein prescribed, it shall be the duty of the Governor, under the great seal of this Commonwealth, to certify that fact  accordingly to the board of county commissioners on or before the first day of October of the year succeeding that in which the census was taken, or as soon thereafter as may be, which certificate shall be forwarded by the commissioners to the recorder of deeds and be recorded in his office.

(c)  Changes of class, ascertained and certified as aforesaid, shall become effective on the first day of January next following the year in which the change was so certified by the Governor to the county commissioners, but the salaries of county officers shall not thereby be increased or decreased during the term for which they shall have been elected. In the municipal election following such certification of change of class and preceding the effective date of such change, the proper number of persons shall be elected to fill any elective office which will exist in the county by the change of classification certified. No election shall be held for any office which will be abolished as a result of such change of classification.

19530230u301h

 

Article III

Fixing and Relocating Lines and

Boundaries

 

19530230u301s

Section 301.  Petition to Superior Court.--(a)  The boundary line between any two adjoining counties may be determined, surveyed, relocated or marked in the manner provided by this article. ((a) repealed in part Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

(b)  Such a proceeding shall be instituted on petition of any taxpayer, the county commissioners or the corporate authorities of any political subdivision of either of the counties involved.

19530230u301v

Compiler's Note:  Section 509(k) of Act 223 of 1970 provided that section 301 is repealed insofar as it vests jurisdiction and powers in the Superior Court and such jurisdiction and powers are vested by Act 223 in the Commonwealth Court.

19530230u302s

Section 302.  Superior Court to Designate Neutral Court; Appointment of Commission.--(a)  The court, upon the filing of such petition, shall designate a court of a county not affected by the question and not adjoining either of the counties involved to act in the proceeding. The court so designated shall sit in its home county. ((a) repealed in part Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

(b)  If it appears to the court so designated that the county line or any part thereof should be surveyed or marked, it shall appoint a commission composed of three surveyors or professional engineers in civil engineering to act for the court, as hereinafter provided.

19530230u302v

Compiler's Note:  Section 2 of Act 53 of 1978 provided that upon petition the Commonwealth Court shall designate the court having jurisdiction under section 302. All actions by or against a county of the second class or second class A shall be conducted by the board of commissioners.

Compiler's Note:  Section 509(k) of Act 223 of 1970 provided that section 302 is repealed insofar as it vests jurisdiction and powers in the Superior Court and such jurisdiction and powers are vested by Act 223 in the Commonwealth Court.

19530230u303s

Section 303.  Compensation; Assistants and Expenses.--(a)  The surveyors or professional engineers in civil engineering composing such commission shall each receive such compensation as the court shall fix for the time necessarily spent in the discharge of their duties and, in addition thereto, shall be reimbursed the necessary expenses incurred by them respectively while engaged upon the work of such commission.

(b)  The commission may employ such assistants as the court shall allow, at a compensation to be fixed by the court, and such assistants shall be reimbursed the actual necessary expenses incurred by them respectively while employed by such commission.

(c)  The necessary expenses of advertising the meeting of the commissioners, as hereinafter provided, and in procuring and setting the monuments needful to mark in a permanent manner such county line, the expenses of the commission and its assistants and all other expenses necessarily incurred, shall be paid by the interested counties jointly in equal parts, upon presentation of properly itemized bills duly verified by affidavit of the person claiming payment or some one on his behalf.

19530230u304s

Section 304.  Oath; Organization and Duties.--(a)  The members of the commission shall take and subscribe an oath to perform their duties impartially and with fidelity.

(b)  The commission shall meet and organize within two weeks of its appointment. It shall select from its membership a chairman and also a secretary who shall keep a full record of the proceedings and work of the commission. Before entering upon its duties, it shall designate, by advertisement in not more than two newspapers published in each of said counties, a time and place of meeting when and where parties interested shall be heard. After such hearing it shall, without unreasonable delay, ascertain the location and survey and mark with suitable monuments of a permanent character the existing county line between such counties, if it shall consider such old county line a proper one.

19530230u305s

Section 305.  Authority to Fix New County Line.--(a)  When the commission has ascertained, located and determined said line, if it appears to it that the existing county line, from any cause whatever, has become inconvenient for any purpose, or improper, difficult to ascertain or not related to the natural or other land marks, the commission shall report these facts or any of them to the court of quarter sessions having appointed the commission, with a recommendation that a new county line be established in whole or in part.

(b)  Thereupon, if said court shall be of opinion that it is to the interest and advantage of the respective counties that a new county line be established, they may direct said commission to fix and determine a new county line and to mark the same with suitable monuments of a permanent character.

(c)  Notice shall be given to the counties interested and to the owners of all lands which will be affected by the proposed change of the time when the recommendation of the commission for a new county line will be considered by the court.

19530230u306s

Section 306.  Report of Commission; Approval by Court; Certification of Line.--(a)  The commission or a majority thereof shall make a report in writing and attach thereto a map or draft showing the courses and distances of the line ascertained and designated by them as the existing county line, or where they may have been directed to fix and determine a new county line, such map or draft, in lieu thereof, shall show the courses and distances of such new county line. In either case, the map or draft shall also show the lands through which said line passes and the buildings in close proximity thereto, together with the roads and streams crossed by or near to such line.

(b)  The report and map, signed by the members of the commission or a majority of them, shall be filed in the court of quarter sessions having been given jurisdiction, and if approved by such court, shall be ordered recorded in the records thereof. A copy of the report and approval shall be certified by the clerk of the court to the clerk of the court of quarter sessions of each county affected, where it shall be recorded in the records. The line so ascertained, surveyed and fixed and so marked shall thenceforth be the boundary line between the two counties.

(c)  The clerk of the court of quarter sessions, having determined the matter, shall certify the approval of the court on two copies of the report and map filed in his office and, within thirty days, transmit a copy by mail to the Secretary of Internal Affairs, to be by him deposited in his department, and another to the Department of Highways.

19530230u401h

 

Article IV

County Officers

 

(a)  General Provisions

 

19530230u401s

Section 401.  Enumeration of Elected Officers.--(a)  In the county there shall be the following officers elected by the qualified electors of the county:

(1)  three county commissioners;

(2)  one controller;

(3)  one treasurer;

(4)  one coroner;

(5)  one recorder of deeds;

(6)  one prothonotary;

(7)  one clerk of the court of quarter sessions and of the court of oyer and terminer;

(8)  one register of wills;

(9)  one sheriff;

(10)  one district attorney;

(11)  two jury commissioners.

((a) amended and renumbered Nov. 27, 1968, P.L.1114, No.346)

(b)  All such officers shall be elected at the municipal election next preceding the expiration of the terms of the officers now in office, and quadrennially thereafter, and shall hold their offices for a term of four years from the first Monday of January next after their election and until their successors shall be duly qualified, but in the event that any such officer so elected, excepting a county commissioner, shall fail to qualify, or if no successor shall be elected, then the officer then in office shall continue in office only until the first Monday of January following the next municipal election, at which time his successor shall be elected for a term of four years. In the case of a county commissioner, there shall be a vacancy which shall be filled as provided in this act.

(c)  All the county officers enumerated in this section shall remain as now constituted. This section does not create any office in the county where such office does not now exist.

19530230u401.1s

Section 401.1.  Compensation of Elected Officers.--(a)  The minimum annual salaries of the elected officers of counties of the second class set forth in section 401 shall be as follows:

(1)  County commissioner, chairman, $41,540;

(2)  County commissioners, other than chairman, $39,295;

(3)  Controller, $36,181;

(4)  Treasurer, $36,181;

(5)  Coroner, $30,000;

(6)  Recorder of Deeds, $33,681;

(7)  Prothonotary, $33,681;

(8)  Clerk of Courts, $33,681;

(9)  Register of Wills, $34,804;

(10)  Sheriff, $30,000; and

(11)  Jury Commissioner, $25,700.

(b)  From and after the effective date of this section, the county commissioners of counties of the second class shall have the power to fix the salary of all county officers governed by the provisions of subsection (a).

(c)  The county commissioners of counties of the second class shall not reduce the salary of any county officer below the amount set forth in subsection (a).

(401.1 added Oct. 31, 1985, P.L.299, No.71)

19530230u402s

Section 402.  Incompatible Offices.--(a)  No elected county officer shall at the same time serve as a member of the legislative body of any city, borough, town or township of any class, nor as school director of any school district, nor as a member of any board of health.

(b)  No member of Congress from this State nor any person holding or exercising any office or appointment of trust or profit under the United States shall at the same time hold or exercise any county office in this State to which a salary, fee or perquisites are attached.

19530230u403s

Section 403.  Oath of Office.--(a)  In addition to any oath or affirmation required by any other act of Assembly, all county officers, their deputies, assistants and clerks shall, before entering on the duties of their respective offices or employments, take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of this Commonwealth, and that I will discharge the duties of my office (or employment) with fidelity; that I have not paid or contributed, or promised to pay or contribute, either directly or indirectly, any money or other valuable thing to procure my nomination or election (or appointment), except for necessary and proper expenses expressly authorized by law; that I have not knowingly violated any election law of this Commonwealth, or procured it to be done by others in my behalf; that I will not knowingly receive, directly or indirectly, any money or other valuable thing for the performance or non-performance of any act or duty pertaining to my office (or employment), other than the compensation allowed by law."

(b)  The foregoing oath shall be administered by some person authorized to administer oaths, and shall be filed in the office of the prothonotary of the county in which the same is taken. Any person refusing to take said oath or affirmation shall forfeit his office. Any person who shall be convicted of having sworn or affirmed falsely, or of having violated said oath or affirmation, shall be guilty of perjury, and be forever disqualified from holding any office of trust or profit within this Commonwealth.

19530230u404s

Section 404.  Officers to Have Commissions Recorded.--Every county officer receiving a commission from the Governor shall immediately deliver the same to the recorder of deeds for recordation, at the expense of such officer. No such officer shall execute any of the duties of his office until he has so delivered the said commission.

19530230u405s

Section 405.  Offices, Records and Papers.--(a)  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (a.1), the commissioners, controller, treasurer, sheriff, recorder of deeds, prothonotary, clerk of courts, clerk of the orphans' court, register of wills, recorder of deeds and district attorney shall keep their respective offices and all public records and papers belonging thereto at the county seat and in such buildings as may be erected or appropriated for such purpose.

(a.1)  The county commissioners shall have the power to keep and maintain records and to contract with persons for storage, retrieval and transmission of county records within or outside the county, except that no records shall be stored outside the county seat without the approval of the officer in charge of the office to which the records belong. The approval of the president judge shall be required if records are in the custody of agencies of the court of common pleas, the clerk of courts, the prothonotary, the register of wills and the clerk of the orphans' court. Public records stored outside of the county seat shall be made accessible to the general public at the county seat by means of an electronic telecopying system or facility which will permit the retrieval of the records or exact copies thereof within three business days.

(a.2)  The county commissioners shall have the power to impose a fee on recorded instruments required to be kept permanently that are filed with the county. The county commissioners, with the approval of the president judge, shall have the power to impose a fee on civil or criminal cases filed in the court of common pleas. The fees will be collected by the appropriate row officer and deposited in a special records management fund, administered by the county's records management program in the Office of Management and Productivity or, in the absence of such an office, an office that handles the same or similar functions. The fund shall be solely used to help defray the cost of maintaining, administering, preserving and caring for the records of the county. ((a.2) added July 9, 1992, P.L.682, No.99)

(b)  The county commissioners shall furnish each of such officers with an office in the county building, courthouse or other building at the county seat.

(c)  Any person failing or refusing to maintain his office and to keep all public records and papers belonging thereto in the buildings appropriated for such purpose, in accordance with the provisions of this section, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to undergo imprisonment until he complies with the provisions of this section, or until sooner discharged by order of the court, and to pay a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, to be paid to the use of the county.

(405 amended Oct. 5, 1990, P.L.519, No.125)

19530230u406s

Section 406.  Records Open to Inspection.--(a)  The minute book and other fiscal records and documents of the county may be open to the inspection of any taxpayer thereof, but the proper officers may make reasonable rules and regulations respecting the time of such inspection and fees for copying.

(b)  In case any officer shall refuse to permit the inspection of any fiscal record or document, the taxpayer may, by petition to the court of common pleas of the county, set forth his reasons for desiring to make such inspection, and if the court deems such reasons proper it shall order the officer to permit the inspection to be made.

(406 amended Oct. 5, 1990, P.L.519, No.125)

19530230u407s

Section 407.  Officers to Secure Funds, Records, Books, Et Cetera, from Predecessors.--(a)  Any person elected or appointed and duly commissioned to any county office shall demand and receive all records, books, drafts, plans, papers, seals or other official things, including all public funds, held in such office and not otherwise provided for by the act, approved the seventeenth day of May, one thousand nine hundred forty-nine (Pamphlet Laws 1403), known as the Municipal Unclaimed Moneys Act, belonging to such office, from the person or persons who held the office immediately before his election or appointment, or from any other person or persons holding or possessing them.

(b)  Any person detaining from such a county office any records, books, drafts, plans, papers, seals or other official things, including public funds, as herein provided, belonging to such office, after reasonable demand therefor, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to undergo imprisonment until the delivery of any such official things found to be in his possession or control to the proper officer, or until sooner discharged by order of the court, and to pay a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, to be paid to the use of the county.

19530230u408s

Section 408.  Deputies to Act in Certain Cases.--(a)  Whenever any county officer is authorized or required to appoint a deputy or deputies, such deputy, or principal deputy where there are more than one, shall, during the necessary or temporary absence of his principal, perform all the duties of such principal, and also, in case of a vacancy, until a successor is qualified. ((a) amended July 16, 1975, P.L.70, No.41)

(b)  No person temporarily succeeding to any county office by reason of the death or removal of the duly elected or appointed officer shall execute any of the duties of such office until he has first taken oath and filed the bond required of the principal officer.

19530230u409s

Section 409.  Vacancies Not Otherwise Provided For.--In case of a vacancy happening by death, resignation or otherwise in any county office created by the Constitution or laws of this Commonwealth, and where no other provision is made by the Constitution or by the provisions of this act to fill the vacancy, it shall be the duty of the Governor to appoint a suitable person to fill such office, who shall continue therein and discharge the duties thereof until the first Monday of January next succeeding the first municipal election which shall occur two or more months after the happening of such vacancy in counties of the second class. In counties of the second class A the appointed person shall continue therein and discharge the duties thereof for the balance of the unexpired term. Such appointee shall be confirmed by the Senate if in session.

(409 amended May 29, 1968, P.L.136, No.74)

19530230u410s

Section 410.  County Officials to Furnish Information to Heads of the Governmental Departments.--(a)  It shall be the duty of all county officers to furnish, on application thereof, to the head of any department of the State government, such information and copies of such records or documents contained in their respective offices as in the opinion of such head of department may be necessary or pertinent to the work of his respective department. The county so furnishing information shall receive for copying and forwarding the same such reasonable compensation as the Auditor General may determine. Such compensation shall be paid to the county by the State Treasurer out of moneys not otherwise appropriated, upon warrant from the Auditor General.

(b)  All county officers shall also furnish to the Department of Community Affairs such information as may be requested by it. ((b) amended Oct. 5, 1967, P.L.340, No.146)

19530230u410v

 

Compiler's Note:  The Department of Community Affairs, referred to in subsec. (b), was abolished by Act 58 of 1996 and its functions were transferred to the Department of Community and Economic Development.

19530230u411s

Section 411.  Penalty for Neglect or Refusal to Perform Duties.--If any county officer neglects or refuses to perform any duty imposed on him by the provisions of this act or by the provisions of any other act of Assembly or by any rule of court or other provision of law, he shall, for each such neglect or refusal, be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500).

19530230u412s

Section 412.  Absconding Officers.--The office of any county officer absconding from the county shall be vacant to all intents and purposes.

19530230u413s

Section 413.  Qualifications of Elected County Officers.--No person shall be elected to any county office, except the office of district attorney otherwise provided for by this act, unless he shall be at least eighteen years of age, a citizen of the United States and a resident of the county, and shall have resided within the county for one year next preceding his election.

(413 amended June 16, 1972, P.L.466, No.148)

19530230u420h

 

(b)  Official Bonds

 

19530230u420s

Section 420.  Official Bonds; Requirements.--(420 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19530230u421s

Section 421.  General Conditions; Commissioners; Treasurer.--(421 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19530230u422s

Section 422.  Obligees Suits on Boards.--(422 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19530230u423s

Section 423.  Approval, Substitution or Addition of Surety.--(423 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19530230u424s

Section 424.  Custodians of Official Bonds.--(424 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19530230u425s

Section 425.  Acknowledgment; Evidence.--(425 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19530230u426s

Section 426.  Amounts of Official Bonds; Exclusive Provisions.--(426 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19530230u427s

Section 427.  Premiums of Official Bonds.--(427 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19530230u428s

Section 428.  Bonds of Deputies and Other Appointees.--(428 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19530230u429s

Section 429.  Bond of Register of Wills.--(429 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19530230u430s

Section 430.  Form of Bond of Sheriff.--(430 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19530230u431s

Section 431.  Amount of Official Bonds.--(431 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19530230u432h

 

(c)  State Associations

 

19530230u432s

Section 432.  State Associations Authorized.--County officers of the county may join with county officers of other counties of the Commonwealth and organize a State association, as follows:

(1)  The county commissioners, together with the county solicitor and the chief clerk to the county commissioners and certain officers who are counterpart personnel in counties having a Home Rule Charter or optional form of government;

(2)  The county controllers;

(3)  The sheriffs;

(4)  The district attorneys;

(5)  The probation officers;

(6)  The registers of wills;

(7)  The prothonotaries and clerks of courts of quarter sessions;

(8)  The county treasurers;

(9)  The recorders of deeds;

(10)  The directors of veterans' affairs;

(11)  Public defenders.

(432 amended Sept. 28, 1978, P.L.798, No.153)

19530230u433s

Section 433.  Purpose; Annual Meetings.--(a)  The purpose of the respective State associations shall be to discuss and resolve the various questions arising in the discharge of the duties and functions of the respective officers, and to provide uniform, efficient and economical methods of administering the affairs of the counties pertaining to their offices.

(b)  In order to achieve such purposes by cooperation, coordination and full exchange of information, each State association is authorized to hold an annual meeting, at such time and place within the Commonwealth as it may designate.

(c)  Both the association of county controllers and the association of county treasurers may meet in joint session with the association of county commissioners, solicitors and chief clerks, if such associations mutually so agree, but in any case, each association shall have a separate session on at least two days of the annual meeting.

19530230u434s

Section 434.  Deputies and Solicitors May Attend Annual Meetings.--The deputy controller, the deputy sheriff, the deputy register of wills, the deputy treasurer, the deputy prothonotary, the deputy clerk of courts, the deputy recorder of deeds, the deputy clerk of orphans' court, the first assistant district attorney, one assistant public defender and the chief deputy coroner, with the approval of his principal and the solicitor for each office may attend the annual meetings of his respective associations, either together with the controller, sheriff, register of wills, prothonotary, clerk of courts, recorder of deeds, district attorney, public defender, coroner or treasurer, as the case may be, or in his place.

(434 amended Sept. 28, 1978, P.L.798, No.153)

19530230u435s

Section 435.  Expenses of Attending; Members to be Paid by County; Time Limit on Meetings.--(a)  The actual expenses of all authorized elected county officers attending the annual meetings of their associations shall be paid by the several counties out of the general county fund. Each of these officers, except the county commissioners, shall be reimbursed for actual expenses not to exceed one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175) per day for the number of days specified in subsection (b) of this section, together with mileage going to and returning from such meeting and the registration fee. The sum of one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175) per day as set forth in this subsection shall be adjusted annually by the annual increase in the cost of living as determined annually by the United States Department of Labor. ((a) amended June 28, 2002, P.L.465, No.75)

(a.1)  The actual expenses of all authorized nonelected county officers and employes attending the annual meetings of their associations may be paid by the several counties out of the county general fund. Each of these officers may be reimbursed for actual expenses in an amount not to exceed one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175) per day for the number of days specified in subsection (b) of this section, together with mileage going to and returning from such meetings and the registration fee. The sum of one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175) per day shall be adjusted annually as set forth in subsection (a) of this section. ((a.1) amended June 28, 2002, P.L.465, No.75)

(a.2)  Every delegate attending the annual meeting shall submit to the county an itemized account of expenses incurred at the meeting. The county may authorize employes to be compensated at their regular employe rate during their attendance at the annual meeting. The actual expenses for elected officers shall, and for nonelected officers may, be paid for the number of days specified in subsection (b). In addition, elected county officers shall receive, and nonelected county officers and employes may receive, actual expenses not to exceed one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175) per day for each day not in excess of two in going to and returning from such meeting. The sum of one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175) per day shall be adjusted annually as set forth in subsection (a). ((a.2) amended June 28, 2002, P.L.465, No.75)

(b)  The annual meeting of the association of county commissioners, county solicitors and chief clerks shall not exceed four days, and those of all other State associations shall not exceed three days, in every case, exclusive of the time spent in traveling to and from the said meetings. ((b) amended June 30, 1969, P.L.101, No.38)

19530230u436s

Section 436.  Other Meeting Expenses Paid by County.--(a)  In addition to the expenses hereinbefore authorized, the necessary expenses of the annual meetings of the associations hereinafter named, including printing, committee expenses and stenographical expense shall be paid in equal parts by the counties whose officers are members of the respective associations.

(b)  In the case of the county controllers, the sheriffs, the register of wills, the county commissioners, county solicitor and chief clerk, the prothonotaries and clerks of courts of common pleas, the county treasurers, the recorders of deeds, the public defenders and the directors of veterans' affairs, the portion of the annual expenses charged to each county of the second class shall not exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) and to each county of the second class A shall not exceed eight hundred dollars ($800); and in the case of the probation officers, an annual membership subscription not exceeding ten dollars ($10) per member shall be paid by the county, and shall be in lieu of the expenses hereinbefore in this section provided for other county officers. ((b) amended June 28, 2002, P.L.465, No.75)

19530230u437s

Section 437.  Annual Assessments for County Commissioners, Etc.--(a)  In addition to the expenses hereinbefore authorized, the necessary expenses of the association of county commissioners, county solicitors and chief clerks shall be apportioned among the counties holding membership in the association in amounts provided for by the rules and regulations of the association.

(a.1)  In addition to the expenses hereinbefore authorized, the necessary expenses of the association of district attorneys shall be apportioned among the counties holding membership in the association in amounts provided for by the rules and regulations of the association.

(b)  Such annual apportionments of expenses shall be as approved at each annual convention of the said association by a majority vote of the members present, and when so approved shall be paid from general county funds.

(437 amended Dec. 14, 1989, P.L.631, No.75)

19530230u450h

 

(d)  Removal of County Officers

 

19530230u450s

Section 450.  Removal of County Officers and Appointees.--(a)  The county commissioners, the sheriffs, coroners, prothonotaries, registers of wills, recorders of deeds, treasurers, controllers, clerks of the courts, district attorneys, and any other officers of the county, whether elected or duly appointed to fill a vacancy, shall be removable from office only by impeachment, or by the Governor, for reasonable cause, after due notice and full hearing, on the advice of two-thirds of the Senate, or upon conviction of misbehavior in office or of any infamous crime, in accordance with the Constitution of this Commonwealth, but their title to office may be tried by proceedings of quo warranto as provided by law. ((a) amended Nov. 27, 1968, P.L.1114, No.346)

(b)  Appointees to county offices or positions other than to elected offices shall be subject to removal at the pleasure of the appointing power, except as otherwise expressly provided by law, and they shall also be removed on conviction of misbehavior in office or of any infamous crime.

19530230u460h

 

(e)  Conduct of Official Business

 

19530230u460s

Section 460.  Meetings Open to Public.--(a)  All meetings, regular and special, of the board of county commissioners and of all boards, commissions and authorities, created by or operating as agencies of the county, are hereby declared to be public meetings, open to the public at all times.

(b)  Nothing contained in this section shall prevent the county commissioners or any such board, commission or authority from holding executive sessions from which the public is excluded, but no final official action shall be taken as to any proposed or existing resolution, ordinance, rule or regulation, or part thereof, at such an executive session.

19530230u470h

 

(f)  Destruction of Valueless Records

 

19530230u470s

Section 470.  Authority to Destroy Valueless Records; Approval of Courts.--(a)  Whenever any officer of the county shall have an accumulation of records or other papers in his office which such officer shall deem valueless, he may destroy and dispose of the same, provided he shall have first obtained the approval of the court of common pleas, or of the orphans' court of the county in the case of the office of register of wills or clerk of the orphans' court.

(b)  In any such case, the court of common pleas or the orphans' court, as the case may be, may prescribe such conditions, including the duty on such officer and the county commissioners to have copied and replaced any such records or papers by such mechanical process as is authorized by law, as such court shall deem advisable.

(c)  The provisions of this section shall not apply to the recorder of deeds of the county, except as to written instruments, documents or papers lodged for record and recorded and which were thereupon returnable to the persons entitled thereto, when such persons have failed to call for the same after a period of one year from the time they were ready for delivery and return.

19530230u471s

Section 471.  Destruction of Retired Public Bonds and Insurance Policies.--The county commissioners are hereby authorized and empowered to destroy by incineration, under the terms and conditions hereinafter provided, retired public bonds and coupons, whether serial or otherwise, and expired insurance policies on county property.

19530230u472s

Section 472.  Petition to Common Pleas for Order for Destruction.--(a)  Bonds of the county which have heretofore matured or may hereafter mature and all coupons pertaining to the same, upon redemption by the treasurer of the county, and all expired insurance policies on county property, both real and personal, which have been expired for a period of not less than six years, may be destroyed by incineration at a place to be designated by the county commissioners. Before the destruction of any such public records, there shall first be filed a petition in the court of common pleas of the county, by either the county commissioners, the county controller or the county treasurer, or by all of them jointly, setting forth full and detailed information about the numbers, valuations and maturity dates of the bonds so to be destroyed, and full and detailed information in regard to the insurance policies, including the date of issuance, the name of the risk, the amount of the coverage, the date of expiration, and the disposition of any claim made in regard to said policy or policies so to be destroyed.

(b)  In case of the failure or refusal of either the county commissioners, the county controller or the county treasurer to join in the prayer of the said petition, the court shall make a preliminary order upon those officers failing or refusing to sign said petition to show cause why such destructions should not be effected, said rule to be returnable in ten days.

(c)  After a hearing thereon, the court of common pleas of the county shall make such order as it may deem advisable and proper under the facts. After an order for said destruction of said public records, if the court of common pleas grants the prayer of the petition for the said destruction of said bonds and coupons and insurance policies, the county commissioners shall, at an appointed place designated by them, at a period not less than sixty days from the date of said order, publicly destroy said records, and the county controller shall make a minute in his office of such records destroyed.

19530230u501h

 

Article V

County Commissioners and Chief Clerk

 

(a)  Commissioners

 

19530230u501s

Section 501.  Election; Vacancies.--(a)  Three county commissioners shall be elected in the county in the year one thousand nine hundred and fifty-five and every fourth year thereafter. In the election of commissioners, each qualified elector shall vote for no more than two persons. The three persons having the highest number of votes shall be elected.

(b)  Any vacancy in the office of county commissioners shall be filled for the balance of the unexpired term by the court of common pleas of the county, by the appointment of an elector of the county who voted for the commissioner whose place is to be filled.

19530230u502s

Section 502.  Organization.--The county commissioners shall meet on the first Monday of January in the year one thousand nine hundred and fifty-six and on the first Monday of January every fourth year thereafter, in the office provided for them at the county seat, for the purpose of organization.

19530230u503s

Section 503.  Quorum; Execution of Official Instruments.--(a)  The commissioners shall constitute a board, two members of which shall be a quorum for the transaction of business, and when convened in pursuance of notice or according to adjournment shall be competent to perform all the duties appertaining to the office of county commissioners.

(b)  Where any official document, instrument or official paper is to be executed by the county commissioners, it shall be done by at least two of the commissioners and attested by the chief clerk who shall affix the county seal thereto.

19530230u504s

Section 504.  Certified Copies of Proceedings to be Evidence.--Copies of the proceedings of the commissioners and of all records in their possession, certified by their chief clerk under the county seal, shall be admitted in evidence in any of the courts of this Commonwealth.

19530230u505s

Section 505.  Power to Administer Oaths.--The commissioners shall respectively have power to administer oaths and affirmations in all cases arising in the performance of the duties of their office.

19530230u506s

Section 506.  Expenses.--The county commissioners shall be allowed their expenses necessarily incurred and actually paid in the discharge of their official duties or in the performance of any service, office or duty imposed upon county commissioners.

19530230u507s

Section 507.  Office Furniture, Stationery, Etc.--(a)  The county commissioners, at the cost of the county, shall purchase and provide the office furniture, equipment and supplies, blank books, blanks, dockets, books for records, stationery, postage, fuel, light and janitor and telephone service required for each of the county officers whose offices are located in the county buildings or at such other places at the county seat as may be designated by the commissioners, and all supplies used by the public in connection with such offices.

(b)  The county commissioners, at the cost of the county, shall purchase and provide all of the same items as needed for each of the county officers whose offices are not required by law to be kept and maintained in county buildings or at the county seat.

19530230u508s

Section 508.  Ordinances and Resolutions.--(a)  The board of commissioners may adopt resolutions and ordinances prescribing the manner in which powers of the county shall be carried out and generally regulating the affairs of the county.

(b)  The board of county commissioners may formulate and adopt ordinances, resolutions, rules and regulations, pertaining to the use of any property owned or used by the county and the conduct of persons in, on or about such county property, in order to preserve such property and to promote and preserve the public health, safety and welfare. The rules and regulations shall be published, promulgated and become effective in the same manner as other resolutions and ordinances of the county.

(b.1)  All such proposed ordinances, unless otherwise provided by law, shall be published at least once in one newspaper of general circulation in the county not more than sixty (60) days nor less than seven (7) days prior to passage. Public notices of any proposed ordinance shall include either the full text thereof or the title and a brief summary prepared by the county solicitor setting forth all the provisions in reasonable detail and a reference to a place within the county where copies of the proposed ordinance may be examined. If the full text is not included a copy thereof shall be supplied to the same newspaper of general circulation in the county at the time the public notice is published. If the full text is not included an attested copy thereof shall be filed in the county law library. In the event substantial amendments are made in the proposed ordinance or resolution, upon enactment, the commissioners shall within ten (10) days re-advertise in one newspaper of general circulation in the county, a brief summary setting forth all the provisions in reasonable detail together with a summary of the amendments. Such ordinances shall not become effective until recorded in the ordinance book of the county. In any case in which maps, plans or drawings of any kind are adopted as part of an ordinance, the commissioners may, instead of publishing the same as part of the ordinance, refer in publishing the ordinance to the place where such maps, plans or drawings are on file and may be examined.

(c)  All such resolutions, rules and regulations unless otherwise provided by law, shall be published at least once in one newspaper of general circulation in the county. Such resolutions, rules and regulations shall not become effective until ten days after the publication aforesaid. In lieu of publishing the resolutions, rules or regulations in their entirety, the county commissioners may publish the title or a summary thereof and the place where such resolutions, rules or regulations, together with such maps, plans or drawings which may be part thereof, are on file and may be examined.

(d)  Any person violating any of the ordinances, resolutions, rules and regulations, formulated and adopted by the board of county commissioners pursuant to this section, shall, upon conviction thereof at a summary proceeding, be sentenced to pay such fine as may be prescribed in such ordinances, resolutions, rules and regulations by the county commissioners but not in excess of one hundred dollars ($100), to be paid to the use of the county, with costs of prosecution, or to be imprisoned in the county jail for not more than thirty (30) days, or both.

The board of county commissioners may also prescribe fines and penalties, not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500), for the violation of county ordinances, which fines and penalties may be collected by suit brought in the name of the county in like manner as debts of like amount may be sued for.

(508 amended Dec. 1, 1977, P.L.234, No.74)

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Section 509.  Take Money and Property By Gift, etc.--The county commissioners may take by gift, grant, devise or bequest, any money or property, real, personal or mixed, in trust for the benefit of the county, and the care and management, investment, sale, reinvestment and disposal of such trust funds or property shall be vested in the sinking fund commission and shall be governed thereby, subject to such direction as the donors of such funds and property may prescribe.

19530230u510s

Section 510.  Creation of Capital Reserve Fund for Anticipated Capital Expenditures.--The county commissioners shall have the power to create and maintain a separate capital reserve fund for anticipated legal capital expenditures. The money in the fund shall be used from time to time for the construction, purchase or replacement of or addition to county buildings, equipment, machinery, motor vehicles or other capital assets of the county and for no other purpose.

The county commissioners may, annually, appropriate moneys from the general county funds not to exceed five per cent of the current general county fund budget, to be paid into the capital reserve fund, or place in the fund any moneys received from the sale, lease or other disposition of any county property or from any other source unless received or acquired for a particular purpose. The fund shall be controlled, invested, reinvested and administered, and the moneys therein and income from such moneys expended for any of the purposes for which the fund is created in such manner as may be determined by the county commissioners. The money in the fund when invested shall be invested in securities designated by law as legal investments for sinking funds of municipalities.

This clause shall not be construed to limit the powers of the county to the use of moneys in the capital reserve fund in making lawful capital expenditures.

(510 added Dec. 8, 1959, P.L.1723, No.635)

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Section 511.  Operating Reserve Fund.--(a)  The county commissioners shall have the power to create and maintain a separate operating reserve fund in order to minimize future revenue shortfalls and deficits, provide greater continuity and predictability in the funding of vital government services, minimize the need to increase taxes to balance the budget in times of fiscal distress, provide the capacity to undertake long-range financial planning and develop fiscal resources to meet long-term needs.

(b)  The county commissioners may annually make appropriations from the general county fund to the operating reserve fund, but no appropriation shall be made to the operating reserve fund if the effect of the appropriation would cause the fund to exceed five per cent of the estimated revenues of the county's general fund in the current fiscal year.

(c)  The commissioners may at any time, by resolution, make appropriations from the operating reserve fund for the following purposes only:

(1)  to meet emergencies involving the health, safety or welfare of the residents of the county;

(2)  to counterbalance potential budget deficits resulting from shortfalls in anticipated revenues or program receipts from whatever source; or

(3)  to provide for anticipated operating expenditures related either to the planned growth of existing projects or programs or to the establishment of new projects or programs if for each such project or program appropriations have been made and allocated to a separate restricted account established within the operating reserve fund.

(d)  The operating reserve fund shall be invested, reinvested and administered in a manner consistent with the provisions of section 1964 of this act relating to the investment of county funds generally.

(511 added Oct. 30, 2000, P.L.616, No.85)

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(b)  Chief Clerk of County Commissioners

 

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Section 520.  Chief Clerk.--The county commissioners shall appoint a chief clerk.

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Section 521.  Duties and Powers of Chief Clerk.--(a)  The chief clerk shall keep the books and accounts of the board of county commissioners, record and file their proceedings and papers, attest all orders and warrants issued by them, and perform all other duties pertaining to his office as chief clerk.

(b)  He shall have general power to administer oaths and affirmations pertaining to the business of the office of the county commissioners.

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Article V-A

Civil Service

(Art. added Nov. 30, 1967, P.L.649, No.299)

 

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Section 501-A.  Civil Service for Certain Employes.--The county commissioners are hereby authorized to establish by ordinance, a merit system for the selection, tenure, promotion and discharge of employes involved in any work for which the county receives or is eligible to receive Federal or State grants-in-aid.

(501-A added Nov. 30, 1967, P.L.649, No.299)

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Article VI

Controller

 

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Section 601.  Election and Term; Seal.--(a)  At the municipal election immediately preceding the expiration of the term of the controller now in office and quadrennially thereafter, the qualified electors of the county shall elect one citizen of the county, who shall serve as controller for the term of four years from the first Monday of January following his election or until his successor shall be qualified, if he so long shall behave himself well.

(b)  The county controller shall be provided with an official seal of his office by the county commissioners of the county which shall be used for the attestation of all official papers.

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Section 602.  Eligibility.--(a)  No person holding office under the United States shall be eligible to the office of county controller during his continuance in such office nor until one year thereafter.

(b)  The county commissioners, county treasurer, prothonotary, register of wills, clerk of the courts, recorder of deeds, sheriff and district attorney and their chief clerks or deputies shall be ineligible, during their continuance in such office and for two years thereafter, to the office of county controller.

(c)  The controller shall always be eligible to re-election or appointment.

19530230u603s

Section 603.  Deputy Controller and Clerks.--The controller shall appoint a deputy controller and clerks, and may authorize one or more of the clerks employed in his office to administer to all persons oaths and affirmations pertaining to the business of the office, with the same force and effect as if administered by the controller or deputy controller.

19530230u604s

Section 604.  Solicitor to the Controller.--The county controller may designate and appoint one person learned in the law to act as his solicitor. Such solicitor shall advise upon all such legal matters as may be submitted to him and shall conduct any litigation desired by the county controller. He shall hold office at the pleasure of the controller. He shall receive such salary as may be fixed by the salary board.

19530230u605s

Section 605.  Expenses.--The county controller and his deputy clerks and employees shall be allowed their expenses necessarily incurred and actually paid in the discharge of their official duties or in the performance of any service or duty imposed upon them.

19530230u701h

 

Article VII

Lot and Block System

 

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Section 701.  County Commissioners to Establish.--The county commissioners are hereby empowered to establish, in the office of the county controller, the lot and block system for the registration of land titles, for the accumulation of county tax liens, and for the enumeration of the parcels of real estate to be assessed for county, city, borough, township, school and institution district taxation.

19530230u702s

Section 702.  Systems Which may be Adopted.--In establishing the said lot and block system, the commissioners may adopt any system covered by such designation, now in use either in municipalities in the Commonwealth or in use in the municipalities in other states, or a combination of such systems, as they shall deem proper, in order to supply the needs of said county.

19530230u703s

Section 703.  Cost and Expense.--For the purpose of defraying the cost and expense of establishing said lot and block system, the commissioners may use current tax revenue or may issue general obligation bonds in such amounts as are necessary and in such manner as provided by the Municipal Borrowing Law.

19530230u704s

Section 704.  Part of System Transferred to Deed Registry Office, Part Maintained in Office of Controller.--When installation of the lot and block system has been completed, the division of said system having custody of the plats and plat books and the upkeep of the same shall be transferred to the deed registry office of said county, and the files, cards, indexes and records relating to the liening of county taxes shall remain in and be maintained by the office of the controller of said county. The deed registrar and the controller of the county are hereby charged with and required to operate and maintain the several portions of the lot and block system placed in their custody, as herein provided.

19530230u705s

Section 705.  Putting System into Effect.--Where the commissioners have established the lot and block system in the office of the county controller, and where the county controller has certified to the commissioners that said system has been completely installed in either the whole of the county or completely installed in one or more municipal subdivisions thereof, then the commissioners shall proceed to put said system into effect in the manner hereinafter set forth.

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Section 706.  Petition to Common Pleas; Determination; Order.--Immediately upon the receipt of the certification of completion from the county controller, the commissioners shall present their petition to the Court of Common Pleas, setting forth the establishment of such lot and block system, the fact of its completion, either in the county as a whole or within one or more municipal subdivisions, and a brief statement describing the method of operation of the lot and block system so established. If the court shall determine that the said system has been established in accordance with the provisions of this article and has been completed, it shall make an order placing the same in effect as of the first Monday of January next succeeding such order.

19530230u707s

Section 707.  Effect of Order: Correction of Assessments; Recording Instruments; Tax Bills; Liens; Tax Sales.--The effect of the order of the Court of Common Pleas shall be as follows:

(a)  The district assessors appointed by the Board of Property Assessment, Appeals and Review, whose assessments are being made within the municipal subdivisions that have had the lot and block system completed therein, shall immediately proceed to correct their original books of assessment by adding thereto the lot and block system descriptive numbers.

(b)  The Board of Property Assessment, Appeals and Review shall, as to assessments already in its hands, which assessments are within municipal subdivisions covered by said order or orders of court, correct such assessments by adding thereto the lot and block system descriptive numbers.

(c)  The recorder of deeds shall receive for recording any deed that shall refer to a specific parcel of real estate, whether or not said deed shall bear the certification by the custodian of the lot and block system that the lot and block system descriptive numbers incorporated in the description of the real estate described therein are correct, but before transcribing any such deed lacking the certification, he shall obtain the same from the custodian of the lot and block system.

(d)  The treasurer or tax collector of each city, borough, town, township or school district, where the lot and block system has been completed under the order of court, shall place upon each tax bill sent out, and upon each tax receipt issued upon payment, the lot and block system descriptive numbers.

(e)  The county controller, in the case of the county, and the treasurer, tax collector or solicitor, as the case may be, in each city, borough, township or school district, within which the lot and block system has been completed, shall, at the time of filing liens for unpaid taxes with the prothonotary, set forth on such liens the individual lot and block system descriptive numbers, and the prothonotary shall not receive and file such liens unless the said descriptive numbers are contained thereon.

(f)  For the purposes of the sale of real estate for delinquent taxes, either by the sheriff of the county or by the commissioners and treasurer of the county, or by the treasurer of any city, the lot and block system descriptive numbers are hereby declared to be sufficient description for the advertising preceding such sale, for the oral description read at such sale prior to receiving bids, and for the purposes of the description to be inserted in any tax deed to be given to the purchaser at such sale.

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Section 708.  Registration of Ownership of Property.--(a)  All persons, corporations, municipal corporations, authorities, districts or political subdivisions, hereafter acquiring any interest in real estate, whether by purchase, gift, devise, inheritance, order of court, treasurer's sale, sheriff's sale, judicial sale, eminent domain or otherwise, shall register in the office of the county commissioners their deeds, resolutions, orders of court or other evidence of title, so that the same may be endorsed in accordance with the act of May 2, 1899 (P.L.162).

(b)  No real estate so registered shall be subject to sale for taxes or other municipal claims, except in the name of the owner as registered in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(c)  All persons, corporations, municipal corporations, authorities, districts or political subdivisions, heretofore acquiring any interest in real estate, may register their real estate in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(708 added Oct. 22, 1959, P.L.1358, No.468)

19530230u801h

 

Article VIII

Treasurer

 

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Section 801.  County Treasurer; Eligibility.--No judge, clerk or prothonotary of any court, register of wills, recorder of deeds, county commissioner or county controller shall be eligible to serve as county treasurer during their continuance in office.

(801 amended Nov. 26, 1968, P.L.1102, No.343)

19530230u802s

Section 802.  Bond in Favor of Commonwealth.--(802 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

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Section 803.  Removal from Office for Failure to Transmit Bond to Auditor General.--(803 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

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Section 804.  When Auditor General to Deliver Up Bond of Treasurer.--(804 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

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Section 805.  Misapplication of Funds Collected for Specific Purposes.--Whenever any moneys are collected by law in any county for any special purpose and paid into the hands of the treasurer of the county, it shall be unlawful for such treasurer to apply such moneys or any part thereof to any other purpose than that for which such moneys were collected. Every such misapplication shall be a misdemeanor, upon conviction whereof the treasurer shall be punished by a fine of not less than the amount so misapplied and by imprisonment for not less than three months nor more than one year.

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Section 806.  Deputy Treasurer.--The county treasurer is hereby authorized to appoint a deputy county treasurer who shall perform such duties as shall be prescribed by the county treasurer.

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Section 807.  Solicitor to County Treasurer.--The county treasurer is hereby authorized to appoint one person, learned in the law, as his solicitor. The solicitor shall advise upon all legal matters that may be submitted to him and shall conduct any litigation when requested so to do by the treasurer.

(807 added June 4, 1969, P.L.53, No.17)

19530230u901h

 

Article IX

County Solicitor

 

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Section 901.  Appointment; Qualifications.--The county commissioners shall appoint a county solicitor, who shall be an attorney-at-law admitted to practice in the courts of this Commonwealth. He shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, file with the county commissioners an agreement to pay all fees, attorney's fees and commissions received from every source as county solicitor into the county treasury.

19530230u902s

Section 902.  Duties.--He shall commence and prosecute all suits brought or to be brought by the county wherein or whereby any rights, privileges, properties, claims or demands of the county are involved, as well as defend all actions or suits brought against the county, and shall perform all duties now enjoined by law upon county solicitors, and shall do all and every professional act and render legal advice incident to the office, which may be required of him by the commissioners.

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Section 903.  Employes.--The county solicitor may, with the approval of the county commissioners, appoint such clerks and stenographers as may be necessary in the discharge of his duties.

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Section 904.  Assistant Solicitors.--The county solicitor may, with the consent of the county commissioners, appoint, to assist him in the discharge of the duties of his office, assistant county solicitors and special counsel, who shall be attorneys-at-law admitted to practice in the courts of this Commonwealth. Each assistant and special counsel shall perform such duties in connection with the legal affairs of the county as may be assigned to him by the county commissioners or the county solicitor.

19530230u1001h

 

Article X

Engineer

(Hdg. amended Nov. 27, 1968, P.L.1114, No.346)

 

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Section 1001.  County Engineer; Appointment; Term.--The county commissioners of the county may appoint a professional engineer in civil engineering who shall be styled the county engineer. Such engineer shall serve at the pleasure of the commissioners.

(1001 amended Nov. 27, 1968, P.L.1114, No.346)

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Section 1002.  Duties.--The county engineer shall:

(1)  prepare plans, specifications and estimates of all engineering work undertaken by the county, and whenever required shall furnish the commissioners with reports, information or estimates on any such work, and, in general, shall perform all such duties with reference to any county engineering work as the county commissioners may from time to time prescribe;

(2)  perform all duties relating to surveying as may be assigned to him by the county commissioners or by law; and

(3)  perform all duties heretofore imposed on county surveyors.

(1002 amended Nov. 27, 1968, P.L.1114, No.346)

19530230u1101h

 

Article XI

Board of Viewers

(Art. repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

 

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Section 1101.  Number of Members; Qualifications.--(1101 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

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Section 1102.  Qualifications.--(1102 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

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Section 1103.  Appointment of Members; Vacancies; Rules and Regulations.--(1103 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

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Section 1104.  Term of Office; Removal.--(1104 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

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Section 1105.  Power to Administer Oaths.--(1105 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

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Section 1106.  Clerks and Stenographers.--(1106 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

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Article XII

Sheriff and Coroner

 

(a)  Sheriff

 

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Section 1201.  Unfinished Business of Outgoing Sheriff.--(a)  It shall be the duty of every outgoing sheriff to deliver all unfinished and unexecuted writs and process whatsoever to his successor, whose duty it shall be to receive and execute the same as if said writs and process had been originally issued and directed to him, and to carry out and complete all other official duties of his predecessor.

(b)  Whenever any real estate shall be sold under any execution by a sheriff who shall in any lawful manner be succeeded in office before any deed shall be executed and acknowledged by him in due form of law for such real estate, his successor in office shall have the same power and be under the same duty to execute and acknowledge a deed for such real estate to the purchaser thereof as the sheriff selling such real estate under execution if he were still in office, which deed so executed shall be as effectual in law as if the title had been completed by the former sheriff.

(c)  No court order shall be necessary in any event to authorize an incoming sheriff to carry out his duties as prescribed by this act.

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Section 1202.  Sheriff May Act by Deputy.--Whenever the sheriff is or shall be required by law to act in person under or by virtue of any writ or process whatsoever issued by the courts of this Commonwealth, he may act either in person or by a regularly appointed deputy sheriff.

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Section 1203.  Chief Deputy.--The sheriff of the county shall appoint, by commission duly recorded in the office for recording deeds, a chief deputy, whose appointment shall be revocable by the sheriff at pleasure on recording in said office a signed revocation thereof. The chief deputy, during his continuance in office, shall have full power and authority to perform any duty incumbent upon such sheriff with like effect in law as if such official act had been done by the sheriff in person, regardless of the ability or temporary disability of such sheriff to act while such sheriff continues in office. Nothing in this section shall operate to relieve such sheriff or his sureties from liability upon their official bond.

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Section 1203.1.  Chief Deputy in Counties of the Second Class.--In counties of the second class, the sheriff of the county shall appoint in accordance with section 1216, by commission duly recorded in the Department of Real Estate, a chief deputy, whose appointment shall be revocable by the sheriff at pleasure on recording in said department a signed revocation thereof. The chief deputy, during his continuance in office, shall have full power and authority to perform any duty incumbent upon such sheriff with like effect in law as if such official act had been done by the sheriff in person, regardless of the ability or temporary disability of such sheriff to act while such sheriff continues in office. Nothing in this section shall operate to relieve such sheriff or his sureties from liability upon their official bond.

(1203.1 added Nov. 3, 2011, P.L.360, No.89)

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Compiler's Note:  Section 6 of Act 89 of 2011, which added section 1203.1, provided that Act 89 shall apply to contracts and purchases advertised on or after January 1 of the year following the effective date of section 6.

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Section 1204.  Real Estate Deputy.--The sheriff may have a real estate deputy to take charge of all matters relating to sheriff's sales of real estate and distributions of the proceeds thereof, whose appointment shall be made and be revocable, as hereinbefore provided for the chief deputy. Such deputy shall have full power to perform all duties incumbent upon the sheriff, in like manner as his chief deputy, with like effect in law as if such official acts had been done by the sheriff in person. Such duties shall include the execution and acknowledgment of sheriff's deeds for real estate upon receipt of the purchase price thereof. Nothing in this act shall operate to relieve the sheriff or his sureties from liability upon their official bonds, but such liability shall continue as heretofore.

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Section 1205.  Deputies and Clerks.--The sheriff of the county may appoint such deputies and clerks as may be necessary to properly transact the business of his office. He may revoke the appointment of deputies in the same manner as his chief deputy.

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Section 1205.1.  Deputies and Clerks in Counties of the Second Class.--In counties of the second class, the sheriff of the county may appoint in accordance with section 1216, such deputies and clerks as may be necessary to properly transact the business of his office.

(1205.1 added Nov. 3, 2011, P.L.360, No.89)

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Section 1206.  Deputy Sheriffs; Qualifications.--A sheriff shall not appoint any person a chief deputy or any other deputy sheriff unless the sheriff files with the prothonotary, prior to the appointment of such person, the name and photograph of such person, together with an affidavit of such person setting forth the following:

(1)  His full name, age and residence address;

(2)  That he is a citizen of the United States and eighteen years of age or over; ((2) amended June 16, 1972, P.L.466, No.148)

(3)  That he has resided in the county for a period of at least two years immediately preceding the filing of such affidavit;

(4)  That he has never been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude under the laws of this Commonwealth or of any other state or of the United States;

(5)  That he has not, for a period of two years immediately preceding the filing of such affidavit, acted either for himself or as the agent or employe of another in any labor dispute, or hired himself out or performed any service as a private detective, private policeman or private guard in any labor dispute, or received any fee or compensation whatsoever for acting as a private detective, private policeman or private guard in any labor dispute, or conducted the business of a private detective agency or of any agency supplying private detectives, private policemen or private guards, or advertised or solicited any such business in this Commonwealth in connection with any labor dispute.

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Section 1207.  False Statements in Deputy's Affidavit.--Any false statement contained in any such affidavit shall constitute perjury and shall be punishable as such.

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Section 1208.  Filed Items Public Records.--The name, photograph and affidavit of any such person so filed with the prothonotary shall constitute a public record.

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Section 1209.  Public List of Applicants for Deputy Sheriff.--The sheriff shall, from time to time, prepare a list of the names of all persons who have applied for appointment as deputy sheriff and who meet the qualifications hereinbefore prescribed. Such list shall be posted in a public place for a period of not less than ten days, and thereafter shall be filed in the office of the prothonotary. No deputies shall be appointed by the sheriff whose names do not appear on said list.

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Section 1209.1.  Public List of Applicants for Deputy Sheriff in Counties of the Second Class.--In counties of the second class, the sheriff shall, from time to time, prepare a list of the names of all persons who have applied for appointment as deputy sheriff and who meet the qualifications hereinbefore prescribed. Such list shall be posted in a public place for a period of not less than ten (10) days and thereafter shall be filed in the Department of Court Records - civil division. No deputies shall be appointed by the sheriff whose names do not appear on said list.

(1209.1 added Nov. 3, 2011, P.L.360, No.89)

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Compiler's Note:  Section 6 of Act 89 of 2011, which added section 1209.1, provided that Act 89 shall apply to contracts and purchases advertised on or after January 1 of the year following the effective date of section 6.

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Section 1210.  Private Services, Gifts and Payments; Contracts Prohibited.--(a)  No sheriff, deputy sheriff, detective or other county police officer whatsoever shall perform, directly or indirectly, any official services or official duties for any person, association or corporation, or receive, directly or indirectly, any compensation, gifts or gratuities from any person, association or corporation, during the period of his official services. Nothing herein contained shall prohibit such officers from serving writs and other legal process as authorized by law. Any compensation payable to any such officer for official duties and services shall be paid only out of the public funds, to the amount and in the manner prescribed by law. Gifts, donations and gratuities of any nature whatsoever, made by any person, association or corporation to the county or to any official or agent thereof, shall not constitute public funds within the meaning of this section.

(b)  No county, or any official or agent thereof, shall accept as a gratuity, gift or donation any arms, ammunition, military supplies, tear gas or equipment, or supplies or articles of a similar character from, nor shall any such gratuity, gift or donation be made by, any person, association or corporation.

(c)  Any contract or agreement whatsoever made in violation of the provisions of this section shall be utterly void and of no effect in law or in equity and is hereby declared to be contrary to public policy.

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Section 1211.  Penalties.--Any sheriff, deputy sheriff or any other county police officer whatsoever, or any other official of the county, or any person, association or corporation violating any of the provisions of sections 1206, 1209 or 1210 of this act, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500), or to undergo imprisonment for not less than ninety (90) days nor more than two years, or both.

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Section 1212.  Construction.--Nothing contained in sections 1206 or 1210 of this act shall be construed:

(a)  To prohibit the payment by any person, association or corporation of fees or compensation for county police or other peace officers assigned to exhibitions, athletic contests or other recreational activities.

(b)  To prohibit the appointment, employment or compensation by the county, in the manner expressly provided by law, of (1) night watchmen, (2) railroad police, (3) bank police, (4) payroll police, (5) special policemen, to police and protect cemeteries and grounds and buildings open to the public, or to enforce laws for the prevention of cruelty to persons or animals, (6) fire police, whose only duty shall be to direct traffic and maintain order to, at or from fires, (7) police or guards employed by nonprofit corporations or organizations.

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Section 1213.  Solicitor.--The sheriff may appoint one person learned in the law and admitted to practice in the county of this Commonwealth as his solicitor. Said solicitor shall advise the sheriff upon all legal matters that may be submitted to him, and shall conduct any litigation in connection with the sheriff's office, when requested so to do by the sheriff.

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Section 1214.  Chief Deputy Sheriff to Act as Sheriff in Case of a Vacancy.--If the sheriff shall be legally removed from his office, or shall die before the expiration of the term for which he was commissioned, the chief deputy sheriff of the county shall execute the office of sheriff and perform all things thereunto appertaining and receive the compensation provided by law for sheriffs until another sheriff is commissioned and notice thereof is given to such chief deputy sheriff.

(1214 amended July 16, 1975, P.L.70, No.41)

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Section 1215.  Sheriff to Keep Docket.--Every sheriff and every coroner acting as sheriff shall provide and keep in his office a book or books in which he shall enter all writs that may come to him and the proceedings thereon, and at the expiration of his term of office, such book or books shall be deposited in the office of the prothonotary, for the inspection of all persons interested therein.

19530230u1216s

Section 1216.  Sheriff's Employes, Counties of Second Class.--(a)  Appointment and promotion of deputies and other employes in the office of sheriff of a county of the second class shall be made in the manner provided by the act of May 31, 1974 (P.L.296, No.94), entitled "An act providing for the appointment, promotion, reduction in rank, suspension, furlough, discharge and reinstatement of deputy sheriffs in counties of the second class; extending civil service coverage to such deputies; and providing penalties," except as otherwise provided in this section.

(b)  Whenever a vacancy is likely to occur or is to be filled in a permanent position in the office of sheriff, the sheriff shall submit to the department of human resources a statement indicating the position to be filled. The department of human resources shall thereupon certify to the sheriff the names of the three eligibles willing to accept appointment who are highest, according to the results of the written examination, on the appropriate promotion list or employment list, whichever is in existence. If there are less than three eligibles on appropriate eligible lists who are willing to accept appointment, the department of human resources shall certify all the names on these lists. If upon inquiry by the department of human resources or appropriate authority any person on any promotion or employment list is found to be not available for promotion or appointment, the person's name shall not for the time being be considered among the names from which a promotion or appointment is to be made.

(c)  Appointees shall be selected for each existing vacancy from the eligible list in the order of names of the three persons thereon who have received the highest average on the written examination. Examinations shall be administered for positions of the rank of lieutenant and below, and interviews shall be conducted with the three persons who have received the highest average. Appointments shall be made from among the three persons who received the highest average combined score of the examination and interview.

(d)  Civil service examinations to test applicants shall relate to such matters and include such inquiries as will fairly test the merits and fitness of the persons examined to discharge the duties of employment.

(e)  Probationary appointments to positions in the force may, notwithstanding section 6 of the act of May 31, 1974 (P.L.296, No.94), be terminated, for cause, prior to completion of the nine-month probationary period.

(f)  Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1(c) of the act of May 31, 1974 (P.L.296, No.94), all positions of the rank of lieutenant and below shall be classified as competitive, thereby extending civil service coverage to such lieutenants in the applicable bargaining unit. Persons holding positions of lieutenant or below on the effective date of this section shall continue to occupy those positions but shall fulfill the requirements of any future promotions on and after the effective date of this amendment. New openings for a vacancy in the position of lieutenant and below shall be classified as competitive on and after the effective date of this section.

(g)  In no case shall an applicant for promotion to the position of sergeant in the sheriff's office be considered until the applicant shall have first served three years in the sheriff's office as a deputy sheriff. No member of the sheriff's office shall be eligible to take any promotional examination for the position of sergeant until after serving three (3) years in the sheriff's office as a deputy sheriff. No member of the sheriff's office shall be eligible to take a promotional examination for the position of lieutenant unless the member holds the position of sergeant in the sheriff's office. Each member of the sheriff's office shall have his examination mark or grade increased by an additional one-half point for each year he served in the sheriff's office, but such additional points shall not exceed ten points. Points shall be added to the mark or grade of only those members passing the examination.

(h)  All applicants for examination shall undergo a physical examination which shall be conducted under the supervision of a doctor of medicine. No person shall be eligible for appointment until a doctor certifies to the department of human resources or appropriate authority that the applicant is free from any physical or mental conditions which would preclude him or her from the discharge of the duties of the position desired in the sheriff's  office.

(1216 amended Nov. 3, 2011, P.L.360, No.89)

19530230u1216v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 6 of Act 89 of 2011, which amended section 1216, provided that Act 89 shall apply to contracts and purchases advertised on or after January 1 of the year following the effective date of section 6.

19530230u1217s

Section 1217.  Political Activity by Sheriff's Employes in Counties of the Second Class.--(a)  No employe shall use his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.

(b)  No employe shall take an active part in political management or in a political campaign. Activities prohibited by this subsection include, but are not limited to, the following activities:

(1)  Serving as an officer of a political party, a member of a National, State or local committee of a political party or an officer or member of a committee of a partisan political club or being a candidate for any of these positions.

(2)  Organizing or reorganizing a political party organization or political club.

(3)  Directly or indirectly soliciting, receiving, collecting, handling, disbursing or accounting for assessments, contributions or other funds for a partisan political purpose.

(4)  Organizing, selling tickets to, promoting or actively participating in a fund-raising activity of a candidate in a partisan election or of a political party or political club.

(5)  Taking an active part in managing the political campaign of a candidate for public office in a partisan election or a candidate for political party office.

(6)  Becoming a candidate for or campaigning for an elective public office in a partisan election.

(7)  Soliciting votes in support of or in opposition to a candidate for public office in a partisan election or a candidate for political party office.

(8)  Acting as recorder, watcher, challenger or similar officer at the polls on behalf of a political party or a candidate in a partisan election.

(9)  Driving voters to the polls on behalf of a political party or a candidate in a partisan election.

(10)  Endorsing or opposing a candidate for public office in a partisan election or a candidate for political party office in a political advertisement, a broadcast, campaign, literature or similar material.

(11)  Serving as a delegate, alternate or proxy to a political party convention.

(12)  Addressing a convention, caucus, rally or similar gathering of a political party in support of or in opposition to a partisan candidate for public office or political party office.

(13)  Initiating or circulating a partisan nominating petition.

(14)  Soliciting, paying, collecting or receiving a contribution at or in the workplace from any employe for any political party, political fund or other partisan recipient.

(15)  Paying a contribution at or in the workplace to any employe who is the employing authority of the person making the contribution for any political party, political fund or other partisan recipient.

(c)  An employe or individual to whom subsection (a) or (b) applies retains the right to vote and to express an opinion on political subjects and candidates and may engage in the following activities:

(1)  Register and vote in any election.

(2)  Express an opinion as an individual privately and publicly on political subjects and candidates.

(3)  Display a political picture, sticker, badge or button when not on duty and at locations other than the workplace.

(4)  Participate in the nonpartisan activities of a civic, community, social, labor or professional organization or of a similar organization.

(5)  Be a member of a political party or other political organization or club and participate in its activities to the extent consistent with this section.

(6)  Attend a political convention, rally, fund-raising function or other political gathering.

(7)  Sign a political petition as an individual.

(8)  Make a financial contribution to a political party or organization.

(9)  Be politically active in connection with a question which is not specifically identified with a political party, such as a constitutional amendment, referendum, approval of a municipal ordinance or any other question or issue of a similar character.

(10)  Otherwise participate fully in public affairs, except as prohibited by law, in a manner which does not materially compromise efficiency or integrity as an employe or the neutrality, efficiency or integrity of the sheriff's office.

(d)  Notwithstanding anything in this section or any other act to the contrary, no person shall be deemed ineligible for the office of school director solely on the basis that such person's political activities are otherwise restricted under this section.

(e)  Subsection (c) does not authorize an employe to engage in political activity while on duty or while in a uniform that identifies him as an employe. The sheriff of a county of the second class may prohibit or limit the participation of an employe or class of employes of the sheriff's office in an activity permitted by subsection (c) if participation in the activity would interfere with the efficient performance of official duties or create a conflict or apparent conflict of interests.

(f)  An employe who violates this section shall be removed from employment, and funds appropriated for the position from which removed thereafter may not be used to pay the employe or individual: Provided, That the civil service commission created under section 1503 of this act at its discretion may impose a penalty of suspension without pay for at least thirty (30) days, but not more than one hundred twenty (120) days, if it finds that the violation does not warrant termination.

(g)  An employe who is currently an officer in a political party or who holds a political office on the effective date of this section may fulfill the remainder of his term. Upon completion of the term, the provisions of this section shall apply.

(h)  The following words and phrases when used in this section shall have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Contribution" means any gift, subscription, loan, advance, deposit of money, allotment of money or anything of value given or transferred by one person to another, including in cash, by check, by draft, through a payroll deduction or allotment plan or by pledge or promise, whether or not enforceable, or otherwise.

"Election" means a primary, municipal, special and general election.

"Employe" means a person employed in the office of sheriff of a county of the second class. The term includes management employes, deputy sheriffs and clerical employes. The term does not include a sheriff of a county of the second class.

"Employing authority" means an employe's supervisor.

"Partisan" when used as an adjective refers to a political party.

"Political fund" means any fund, organization, political action committee or other entity that, for purposes of influencing in any way the outcome of any partisan election, receives or expends money or anything of value or transfers money or anything of value to any other fund, political party, candidate, organization, political action committee or any other entity.

(1217 added Jan. 27, 1998, P.L.1, No.1)

19530230u1231h

 

(b)  Coroner

 

19530230u1231s

Section 1231.  Deputies.--The coroner shall appoint a chief deputy and may appoint one or more deputies to act in his place and stead, as he may deem proper and necessary. Such deputy or deputies shall have the same powers as the coroner.

(1231 amended July 16, 1975, P.L.70, No.41)

19530230u1232s

Section 1232.  Duties with Respect to County Morgues.--The coroner of the county shall make general rules and regulations for the government and control of county morgues, and shall appoint suitable persons for such morgues so established to have charge of the same, and who shall be removable at the pleasure of the coroner. The number of such persons and the salary of each shall be fixed by the salary board.

19530230u1233s

Section 1233.  Removal of Bodies to Morgue.--Whenever the body of any deceased person who is unidentified, or which body is unclaimed by proper persons, has been found within the county, it shall be removed to the county morgue. The coroner shall, if he deems it necessary, cause any such body to be properly embalmed or prepared for preservation for such length of time as he may think proper. Any such body shall be examined or inspected only by such persons as the coroner authorizes in writing or who are admitted in his presence. No such body shall be removed from any such morgue except upon the certificate of the coroner.

19530230u1234s

Section 1234.  Ambulance.--In the county, the county commissioners shall furnish and maintain, from the general funds of the county, an ambulance for the removal of bodies of deceased persons to and from the morgue and for the burial of unclaimed bodies. The coroner may provide rules and regulations for the use and maintenance of the ambulance.

19530230u1235s

Section 1235.  Unclaimed Property of Deceased; Sales.--(a)  The coroner shall safely keep in his charge all personal effects and property which appear to have been on or about the person at the time of his death, or being found on any decedent whose body is received at the county morgue, and all such effects and property which are delivered to him according to law. The coroner shall hold such property for one year, unless sooner claimed by legal representatives of the deceased or otherwise duly and lawfully claimed or disposed of.

(b)  After one year, the coroner shall cause such property remaining unclaimed, or so much thereof as remains undisposed of according to law, except moneys and such properties as securities which may not be subject to such a sale, which shall be turned over to the commissioners for proper disposition or use, to be sold at public sale.

(c)  Notice of any such public sale shall be published in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the county once a week for three successive weeks. The proceeds of all such sales shall be paid immediately into the county treasury, and the coroner shall make a written report thereof to the county commissioners, under oath, at the same time. If the body has been buried at the expense of the institution district, the county shall pay the proceeds of sale, or such property as was not subject to sale, as hereinbefore provided, less costs, over to the institution district. The foregoing provisions shall be in lieu of escheat to the Commonwealth.

19530230u1235.1s

Section 1235.1.  Requests for Examinations and Reports.--(a) Requests for examinations or other professional services by other counties or persons may be complied with at the discretion of the coroner pursuant to guidelines established by the county commissioners.

(b)  A set of fees and charges for such examinations or professional services shall be established by the coroner, subject to approval by the county commissioners, and shall be accounted for and paid to the county treasurer pursuant to section 1960. Payment for examinations or professional services shall be the responsibility of the county or person requesting such services.

(c)  The coroner may charge and collect a fee of up to one hundred dollars ($100) for each autopsy report, up to fifty dollars ($50) for each toxicology report, up to fifty dollars ($50) for each inquisition or coroner's report and such other fees as may be established from time to time for other reports and documents requested by nongovernmental agencies. The fees collected shall be accounted for and paid to the county treasurer pursuant to section 1960 and shall be used to defray the expenses involved in the county complying with the provisions of the act of March 2, 1988 (P.L.108, No.22), referred to as the Coroners' Education Board Law. In counties of the second class, the collected fees shall also be used to supplement any other moneys to defray the expenses of staff, equipment and supplies related to determining cause and manner of death.  

(1235.1 amended July 9, 2014, P.L.1038, No.121)

19530230u1236s

Section 1236.  Coroner's Investigations.--(a)  The coroner having a view of the body shall investigate the facts and circumstances concerning deaths which appear to have happened within the county, regardless where the cause thereof may have occurred, for the purpose of determining whether or not an autopsy should be conducted or an inquest thereof shall be had, in the following cases:

(1)  sudden deaths not caused by readily recognizable disease or wherein the case of death cannot be properly certified by a physician on the basis of prior (recent) medical attendance;

(2)  deaths occurring under suspicious circumstances, including those where alcohol, drugs or other toxic substances may have had a direct bearing on the outcome;

(3)  deaths occurring as a result of violence or trauma, whether apparently homicidal, suicidal or accidental (including, but not limited to, those due to mechanical, thermal, chemical, electrical or radiational injury, drowning, cave-ins and subsidences);

(4)  any death in which trauma, chemical injury, drug overdose or reaction to drugs or medication or medical treatment, was a primary or secondary, direct or indirect, contributory, aggravating or precipitating cause of death;

(5)  operative and peri-operative deaths in which the death is not readily explainable on the basis of prior disease;

(6)  any death wherein the body is unidentified or unclaimed;

(7)  deaths known or suspected as due to contagious disease and constituting a public hazard;

(8)  deaths occurring in prison, a penal institution or while in the custody of the police;

(9)  deaths of persons whose bodies are to be cremated, buried at sea or otherwise disposed of so as to be thereafter unavailable for examination;

(10)  sudden infant death syndrome; and

(11)  stillbirths.

(b)  The purpose of the investigation shall be to determine the cause of any such death and to determine whether or not there is sufficient reason for the coroner to believe that any such death may have resulted from criminal acts or criminal neglect of persons other than the deceased.

(c)  As part of this investigation, the coroner shall determine the identity of the deceased and notify the next of kin of the deceased.

(1236 amended June 28, 1996, P.L.423, No.62)

19530230u1237s

Section 1237.  Autopsy; Inquest; Records.--(a)  If, upon investigation, the coroner shall be unable to determine the cause and manner of death, he shall perform or order an autopsy on the body.

(b)  If the coroner is unable to determine the cause and manner of death following the autopsy, he may conduct an inquest upon a view of the body, as provided by law. At the inquest, the coroner's duty shall be to ascertain the cause of death, to determine whether any person other than the deceased was criminally responsible therefor by act or neglect and, if so, the identity of the person, and to examine any further evidence and witnesses regarding the cause of death.

(c)  The proceedings at the inquest shall be recorded, at the expense of the county, in a manner to be provided by the county commissioners.

(1237 amended Dec. 17, 1990, P.L.728, No.182)

19530230u1238s

Section 1238.  Sudden Deaths Defined.--The coroner shall regard any death as sudden if it occurs without prior medical attendance by a person who may lawfully execute a certificate of death in this Commonwealth, or if, within twenty-four hours of death, the decedent was discharged from such medical attendance or a change of such medical attendance had occurred, or if any such medical attendance began within twenty-four hours of death and the medical attendant refuses or is unable to certify the cause of death. Medical attendance includes hospitalization.

The provisions of this section shall not be construed to affect the coroner's discretion as to whether or not any death was suspicious, nor shall they be construed to authorize a coroner to investigate a sudden death any further than necessary to determine the cause and manner of death.

(1238 amended Dec. 17, 1990, P.L.728, No.182)

19530230u1239s

Section 1239.  Bodies Not to be Moved.--In all cases where the coroner has jurisdiction to investigate the facts and circumstances of death, the body and its surroundings shall be left untouched until the coroner has had a view thereof or until he shall otherwise direct or authorize, except as may be otherwise provided by law, or as circumstances may require. Bodies upon a public thoroughfare or in other places may be removed so much as is necessary for precaution against traffic accidents or other serious consequences which might reasonably be anticipated if they were left intact.

(1239 amended Dec. 17, 1990, P.L.728, No.182)

19530230u1240s

Section 1240.  Release of Coroner's Jurisdiction.--Whenever the coroner assumes jurisdiction of a body pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision or of any other law, the body shall not be released or removed from his jurisdiction except upon his direction and consent, in accordance with law.

19530230u1241s

Section 1241.  Cooperation with District Attorney.--In the exercise of his duties as contained in this subdivision, the coroner shall, so far as may be practicable, consult and advise with the district attorney.

19530230u1242s

Section 1242.  Certificate of Cause of Death.--The coroner shall issue a certificate of cause of death in all cases referred to him by the local registrar of vital statistics, pursuant to the provisions of the act, approved the twenty-first day of May, one thousand nine hundred forty-three (Pamphlet Laws 414), known as the Uniform Vital Statistics Act, and in all other cases of which he has jurisdiction, if no person duly authorized by the said act certifies the cause of death.

19530230u1243s

Section 1243.  Power of Subpoena and Attachment.--The coroner shall have power to issue subpoenas to obtain the attendance of any person whom it may be necessary to examine as a witness at any inquest, and to compel attendance by attachment in like manner and to the same extent as any court of common pleas of this Commonwealth may or can do in cases pending before them, and also to compel in like manner the production of all papers and other things relative to such inquest. Such subpoena and attachment shall be served and executed by the sheriff or by the coroner himself or his deputy, as the case may require.

(1243 amended Dec. 17, 1990, P.L.728, No.182)

19530230u1243.1s

Section 1243.1.  Inquests; Juries.--(a)  The coroner may at his discretion summon a jury of six to be selected from the jury panels of the court of common pleas.

(b)  The function of such jury shall be to determine the manner of death and whether any criminal act or neglect of persons known or unknown caused such death. Such jury shall be paid as provided by law as if they were serving the court of common pleas.

(1243.1 added Dec. 17, 1990, P.L.728, No.182)

19530230u1244s

Section 1244.  Power to Administer Oaths.--The coroner shall have power to administer oaths and affirmations to all persons brought or appearing before him, and any person swearing or affirming falsely on such examination shall be guilty of perjury.

19530230u1245s

Section 1245.  Commitment to County Prison.--If any person appearing before the coroner for examination shall refuse to take oath or affirmation, or after having been sworn or affirmed shall refuse to make answer to such questions as shall be put to him by the coroner touching the matters of the inquest, such person so refusing may be held for contempt before the court of quarter sessions.

19530230u1246s

Section 1246.  Inquests Not Public.--The coroner may, in his discretion, admit or exclude members of the public from any inquest or part thereof, and admit or exclude any person interested or suspected from such inquest or any part thereof. No person excluded may appear by attorney, but any person required to attend may have benefit of counsel at such attendance.

19530230u1247s

Section 1247.  Chief Deputy Coroner to Act as Coroner in Case of Vacancy.--If the coroner shall be legally removed from his office or shall die or resign before expiration of the term for which he was commissioned, the chief deputy coroner of the county shall execute the office of coroner and perform all things thereunto appertaining and receive the compensation provided by law for coroners until another coroner is commissioned and notice thereof is given to such chief deputy coroner.

(1247 amended July 16, 1975, P.L.70, No.41)

19530230u1248s

Section 1248.  Vacancies; No Fees upon Commissions.--If any person elected to the office of coroner shall neglect or refuse, for the space of two months next after such election, to assume the duties of said office and to comply with the requirements of the acts of Assembly in such cases, the office shall be vacant, and it shall be the duty of the Governor, upon the notification of the recorder of deeds, to appoint and commission some suitable person to fill such vacancy, until the first Monday of January next succeeding the first municipal election which shall occur two or more months after the happening of such vacancy. Such appointee shall be confirmed by the Senate if in session. No fees shall hereafter be charged on commissions issued to the coroner.

19530230u1249s

Section 1249.  Solicitor to Coroner.--The coroner may appoint one person, learned in the law, as his solicitor. The solicitor shall advise the coroner upon all legal matters that may be submitted to him, and shall conduct any litigation in connection with the coroner's office when requested to do so by him.

The salary of the solicitor shall be determined by the salary board. This salary shall be paid out of the fees received and paid into the office of the coroner.

All costs and expenses incurred by the coroner in any manner connected with litigation or claims arising out of or relating to his office, shall be paid by the county out of fees received by the coroner's office. The provisions of this section shall apply only to counties of the second class.

(1249 added June 21, 1977, P.L.17, No.13)

19530230u1250s

Section 1250.  Anatomical Gifts.--The coroner may order the removal of parts of a decedent's body for donation purposes in accordance with 20 Pa.C.S. Ch. 86 (relating to anatomical gifts).

(1250 added Dec. 17, 1990, P.L.728, No.182)

19530230u1260h

 

(c)  Provisions Relating to Sheriffs and Coroners

 

19530230u1260s

Section 1260.  Not to Exercise Office Until Commission Granted and Recorded; Penalty.--No person elected or appointed to the office of sheriff or coroner shall execute any of the duties of such office before a commission shall have been duly granted to him by the Governor and recorded in the recorder of deeds office, under a penalty of imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, at the discretion of the court of quarter sessions. Such person shall nevertheless be liable to any person injured by any acts done by him under color of such office.

19530230u1261s

Section 1261.  Recognizances of Sheriffs and Coroners.--(1261 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19530230u1262s

Section 1262.  Sale of Real Estate Bound by Lien.--(1262 repealed Nov. 22, 2011, P.L.431, No.106)

19530230u1263s

Section 1263.  Limitation of Action; Satisfaction of Recognizance.--(1263 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19530230u1301h

 

Article XIII

Prothonotary; Clerk of Court; Clerk of

Orphans' Court; Register of Wills;

Recorder of Deeds

 

Compiler's Note:  Certain provisions of Article XIII of this Act may be effected by the Judiciary Article, Article V, of the Pennsylvania Constitution insofar as Article XIII of this Act may relate to prothonotaries, appointments, and the several courts. See especially, but not exclusively, sections 4, 15 and 16 of Article V of the Pennsylvania Constitution. As to Allegheny County see Article V, section 17 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

 

19530230u1301s

Section 1301.  Election of Prothonotary, Clerk of Court, Clerk of Orphans' Court, Register of Wills, Recorder of Deeds.--At the municipal election preceding the expiration of the term of office of any prothonotary, clerk of the court of quarter sessions, clerk of the court of oyer and terminer, register of wills, clerk of the orphans' court or recorder of deeds of the county and quadrennially thereafter, the electors of the county shall elect a person to fill such office from the first Monday of January next succeeding such election, for a term of four years and until his successor is elected and qualified. Where, under the provisions of this act or other law, it is provided that two or more of said offices shall be held by the same person, only one person shall be elected to hold such office.

19530230u1302s

Section 1302.  How Offices to Be Held.--In the county, one person shall hold the office of prothonotary, one person the office of clerk of the court of oyer and terminer and quarter sessions, one person the offices of register of wills and clerk of the orphans' court, and one person the office of recorder of deeds.

19530230u1303s

Section 1303.  Incompatible Offices.--(1303 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19530230u1304s

Section 1304.  Appointment of First Deputies.--The recorder of deeds shall appoint one first deputy to act in the case of the death or resignation of his principal, or when the office shall become vacant from other causes.

(1304 repealed in part Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19530230u1305s

Section 1305.  Power of Prothonotary, Clerks, Deputies and Assistants to Administer Oaths and Affirmations.--(1305 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19530230u1306s

Section 1306.  Appointment of Minute Clerks by the Courts of Common Pleas and Courts of Quarter Sessions and Oyer and Terminer.--(1306 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19530230u1307s

Section 1307.  Second Deputy Prothonotary.--(1307 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19530230u1308s

Section 1308.  Prothonotary to File and Keep Advance Copies of Law.--(1308 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19530230u1308.1s

Section 1308.1.  Solicitor; Cost of Prothonotary's Litigation.--(1308.1 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19530230u1309s

Section 1309.  Assistant Clerks of Orphans' Court.--(1309 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19530230u1310s

Section 1310.  Minute Clerks of Orphans' Court.--(1310 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19530230u1311s

Section 1311.  Second Deputy Recorder.--The recorder of deeds may appoint a second deputy recorder of deeds, who shall possess and discharge all the rights, powers and duties of the principal deputy recorder of deeds during his necessary or temporary absence.

19530230u1312s

Section 1312.  Clerks of Recorder to Administer Oaths.--The recorder of deeds may appoint one or more clerks employed in his office to administer oaths and affirmations to all persons pertaining to the business of the recorder's office, with the same force and effect as if administered by the recorder or deputy recorder.

19530230u1313s

Section 1313.  Functions in Certain Offices on Saturday.--Any tasks, functions or duties required to be performed in the offices of the prothonotary, clerk of the court of quarter sessions and of the court of oyer and terminer, clerk of county court, clerk of juvenile court, clerk of orphans' court, jury commissioners, register of wills, recorder of deeds, controller, treasurer, county surveyor, county engineer and the board of viewers, on Saturday, shall be valid if performed or transacted on the next succeeding secular or business day. The offices of such officials shall be closed on Saturdays except upon order of a court of record of the county or a judge thereof specifying tasks, functions or duties for which the offices shall remain open on Saturdays.

(1313 amended Aug. 19, 1965, P.L.363, No.188)

19530230u1314s

Section 1314.  Solicitor to Recorder of Deeds.--The recorder of deeds may appoint one person, learned in the law, as his solicitor. The solicitor shall advise the recorder of deeds upon all legal matters that may be submitted to him, and shall conduct any litigation in connection with the recorder of deeds office when requested to do so by the recorder of deeds.

The salary of the solicitor shall be determined by the salary board. This salary shall be paid out of the fees received and paid into the office of the recorder of deeds.

All costs and expenses incurred by the recorder of deeds in any manner connected with litigation or claims arising out of or relating to his office, shall be paid by the county out of fees received by the recorder of deed's office.

(1314 added June 14, 1957, P.L.331, No.176)

19530230u1315s

Section 1315.  Exoneration of Clerk of Courts or County Commissioners.--(1315 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19530230u1401h

 

Article XIV

District Attorney, Assistants and Detectives

 

(a)  District Attorney

 

19530230u1401s

Section 1401.  District Attorney; Qualifications; Eligibility; Compensation.--(1401 repealed July 14, 2005, P.L.312, No.57)

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Section 1402.  Duties of District Attorney; Entry of Nolle Prosequi.--(a)  The district attorney shall sign all bills of indictment and conduct in court all criminal and other prosecutions, in the name of the Commonwealth, or, when the Commonwealth is a party, which arise in the county, and perform all the duties which now by law are to be performed by deputy attorneys general, and receive the same fees or emoluments of office.

(b)  ((b) repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

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Section 1403.  Expenses Incurred by District Attorney.--All necessary expenses incurred by the district attorney or his assistants or any officer directed by him in the investigation of crime and the apprehension and prosecution of persons charged with or suspected of the commission of crime shall be paid by the county from the general funds of the county, upon the approval of the bill of expenses by the district attorney and the court. In any case where a defendant is convicted and sentenced to pay the costs of prosecution and trial, the expenses of the district attorney in connection with such prosecution shall be considered a part of the costs of the case and be paid by the defendant.

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Section 1404.  Filling of Vacancies.--If any vacancy shall occur in the office of district attorney, either by death, resignation, removal from office or from the county, or otherwise, the judges of the court of common pleas shall supply such vacancy by the appointment of a competent person to fill the office during the balance of the unexpired term.

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Section 1405.  Misconduct of District Attorney.--(a)  If the district attorney shall wilfully and corruptly demand, take or receive any other fee or reward than such as is prescribed by law for any official duties required by law to be executed by him in any criminal proceeding, or if such district attorney shall be guilty of wilful and gross negligence in the execution of the duties of his office, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor in office, and, on conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1000) and to undergo imprisonment not exceeding one year, and his office shall be declared vacant.

(b)  Upon complaint in writing, verified by the oath or affirmation of the party aggrieved, made to the court in which any district attorney shall prosecute the pleas of the Commonwealth, charging such district attorney with wilful and gross negligence in the execution of the duties of his office, the court shall cause notice of such complaint to be given to the district attorney and of the time fixed by the court for the hearing of the same. If upon such hearing the court shall be of opinion that there is probable cause for the complaint, they shall hand over or commit the district attorney to answer the same in due course of law. If the court shall be of opinion that there is no probable cause for such complaint, they shall dismiss the same, with reasonable costs to be assessed by the court.

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Section 1406.  District Attorney Charged with Crime.--If the district attorney is charged, according to law, with any crime or misdemeanor before or bound over or committed by any court to answer for wilful and gross negligence in the execution of the duties of his office, it shall be the duty of the court to appoint some competent attorney thereof to prepare an indictment against such district attorney and to prosecute the same on behalf of the Commonwealth until final judgment. Such attorney shall be paid by the county for his services a reasonable compensation to be fixed by the court. If such district attorney shall be convicted of any crime for which he may be sentenced to imprisonment by separate or solitary confinement at labor, his office shall be declared vacant by the court.

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Section 1407.  Law Books for District Attorney.--The county commissioners may purchase, for the use of the office of the district attorney, out of the funds of the county, such law books as may be selected by the district attorney.

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Section 1408.  When Private Counsel May Prosecute.--If the district attorney shall neglect or refuse to prosecute in due form of law any criminal charge regularly returned to him or to the court, or if at any stage of the proceedings the district attorney of the county and the private counsel employed by the prosecutor shall differ as to the manner of conducting the trial, the prosecutor may present his petition to the court, setting forth the character of the complaint, and verify the same by affidavit. If the court shall be of the opinion that it is a proper case for a criminal proceeding or prosecution, it may direct any private counsel employed by such prosecutor to conduct the entire proceeding, and where an indictment is necessary, to verify the same by his own signature, as fully as the same could be done by the district attorney.

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(b)  Assistant District Attorneys,

Stenographers and Clerks

 

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Section 1420.  Assistant District Attorneys; Number; Compensation.--The district attorney may appoint such number of assistants, learned in the law, to assist him in the discharge of his duties, the number and salary of such assistants to be fixed by the salary board.

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Section 1421.  Designation of First Assistant; Powers and Duties.--The district attorney shall designate one of such assistants as his first assistant. Such first assistant shall, in the absence of the district attorney from the jurisdiction or during his disability to perform the duties of his office through sickness or other cause, be vested with all the duties, powers and privileges given by law to the district attorney, and generally, at such time, be empowered to do and perform all things in connection with his office which the district attorney may by law be entitled to do or perform. In case of any such incapacity of the district attorney or his first assistant, or both, any or all of such duties, powers and privileges may be done by such other assistant district attorneys, if any, as may be designated by the district attorney.

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Section 1422.  Stenographers and Clerks.--The salary board may provide for the appointment by the district attorney of such clerks and stenographers in his office as may be deemed necessary for the proper dispatch of business.

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(c)  County Detectives

 

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Section 1440.  Appointment; Duties and Compensation of County Detectives.--(a)  The district attorney may appoint one chief county detective, an assistant chief county detective, and as many county detectives, sergeant, special county detectives and junior county detectives as the salary board shall fix.

(b)  County detectives shall at all times be subject to the orders of the district attorney, and shall investigate and make report to the district attorney as to the conduct in office of magistrates, constables, deputy constables and other officers connected with the administration of criminal justice, to make investigations, and endeavor to obtain such evidence as may be required by the district attorney in any criminal case, and perform such other duties as the district attorney may direct. Said detectives shall be general police officers and shall have all powers now conferred on constables by existing laws of this Commonwealth, so far as they relate to crime or criminal procedure, and they shall serve subpoenas in cases in which the Commonwealth is a party in a court of record.

(c)  Said chief county detective, assistant chief county detective, county detectives, sergeant, special county detectives and junior county detectives shall not be entitled to receive any fees whatsoever, but shall each receive such salary as shall be fixed by the salary board, together with all necessary traveling expenses, which said salary and expenses, having been verified by affidavit of the chief county detective, assistant chief county detective, county detective, sergeant, special county detective or junior county detective incurring the same, and approved by the district attorney, shall be paid out of the treasury of the county, on a certificate issued by the district attorney directed to the controller of the county, who shall order warrants for said amounts according to law.

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Section 1441.  Appointment of Special Detective with Approval of Court.--The district attorney of the county may, with the approval of the salary board, whenever the court of quarter sessions and district attorney may deem it necessary for a particular and temporary assignment, appoint a special detective, whose duty it shall be to assist in obtaining such evidence as shall be directed by the district attorney for the Commonwealth, and perform such other duties as the court may direct. He shall be allowed expenses necessarily and actually incurred in the performance of his duties.

Such special detective officer shall be a general police officer and shall have all the powers that are conferred on constables by the existing laws of this Commonwealth, so far as they relate to crimes or criminal procedure.

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Article XV

Police, Firemen, Fire Inspectors and

Employes of Jails and Workhouses

(Hdg. amended Aug. 13, 1963, P.L.662, No.347)

 

(a)  Police, Firemen and Fire Inspectors

(Hdg. amended Aug. 13, 1963, P.L.662, No.347)

 

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Section 1501.  Employment of Police.--(a)  The county commissioners in any county of the second class shall have power to employ such number of police as may be fixed by the salary board of the county. The compensation of such police officers shall be paid by the county. ((a) amended Oct. 20, 1967, P.L.472, No.224)

(b)  Such police officers shall have jurisdiction anywhere within the county by which employed, and shall have and possess all the following powers:

(1)  To make arrests, without warrant, for all violations of the law which they may witness, and to serve and execute warrants issued by the proper authorities. In cases of offenses for violation of any of the provisions of the Vehicle Code, the power to make arrests without warrant shall be limited to cases where the offense is designated a felony or a misdemeanor, and cases causing or contributing to an accident resulting in injury or death to any person.

(2)  The powers and prerogatives conferred by law upon members of the police force of cities of the first class.

(3)  The powers and prerogatives conferred by law upon constables of the Commonwealth.

(4)  To serve subpoenas issued for any examination, investigation or trial had pursuant to any law of the Commonwealth.

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Section 1502.  Exclusive System.--No member of the police force and no firemen or fire inspectors shall be appointed, promoted, reduced in rank, suspended, furloughed, discharged or reinstated, except in accordance with provisions of this article.

(1502 amended Aug. 13, 1963, P.L.662, No.347)

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Section 1503.  Civil Service Commission Created; Appointments; Vacancies.--(a)  There is hereby created a civil service commission, hereinafter referred to as the commission. Each commission shall consist of three commissioners, who shall be appointed by the county commissioners, and who shall be qualified electors of the county for which appointed. They shall be appointed initially to serve the term of two, four and six years, and as terms thereafter expire, shall be appointed for terms of six years. Not more than two members of the commission shall be of the majority, and at least one shall at all times be of the minority political parties.

(b)  Any vacancy occurring in any commission for any reason whatsoever shall be filled for the unexpired term within a period of thirty days after such vacancy occurs.

(c)  Each member of the commission, before entering upon the discharge of the duties of his office, shall appear before the court of common pleas and take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitutions of the United States and of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and to perform his official duties with fidelity.

(d)  No commissioner shall at the same time hold an elective or appointive office under the United States Government. ((d) amended Apr. 7, 1955, P.L.21, No.6)

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Section 1504.  Organization of Commission; Quorum.--The commission shall organize within ten days after its appointment, and shall elect one of its members as the chairman and one as the secretary of the commission. The commission shall thereafter meet and organize on the second Monday of each even-numbered year. Each commissioner shall be notified in writing of each meeting of the commission. Two members of the commission shall constitute a quorum, and no action of the commission shall be valid unless it shall have the concurrence of at least two members.

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Section 1505.  Clerks and Supplies.--The county commissioners shall furnish to the commission, on its requisition, such clerical assistance as may be necessary for the work of the commission. The board of county commissioners shall provide a suitable and convenient room or rooms for the use of the commission. The commission shall order from the county commissioners the necessary stationery, postage, printing and supplies, and the county commissioners shall aid the commission in all proper ways in carrying out the provisions of this article.

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Section 1506.  Rules and Regulations.--Each commission shall have power to prescribe, amend and enforce rules and regulations for carrying into effect the provisions of this article, and shall be governed thereby. Before any such rules and regulations are in force, the same shall first be approved by the board of county commissioners of the county. When such rules and regulations have been so approved, they shall not be annulled, amended or added to, without the approval of the board of county commissioners. All such rules and regulations and modifications thereof shall be printed for public distribution.

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Section 1507.  Minutes; Records; Annual Report.--Each commission shall keep minutes of its proceedings and records of examinations and other official actions. All recommendations of applicants for appointment received by the commission shall be kept and preserved for a period of five years. All such records and all written causes of removal filed with the commission shall be subject to reasonable regulations and open to public inspection. The commission shall make an annual report to the board of county commissioners, containing a brief summary of its work during the year, which shall be available for public inspection five days after the filing thereof.

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Section 1508.  Investigations; Subpoenas.--(a)  The commission shall have power to make investigations concerning all matters touching the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this article and rules and regulations adopted thereunder.

(b)  Each member of the commission is hereby given power to administer oaths as oaths are administered by other public officers invested by law with the power of administering oaths, with the same force and effect and carrying the same penalties.

(c)  The commission shall have power to issue subpoenas, over the signature of the chairman or secretary, to require the attendance of witnesses and the production of records and papers pertaining to any investigation or inquiry authorized by this article.

(d)  The fees of such witnesses and for travel shall be the same as for witnesses appearing in the court of common pleas, and shall be paid from appropriations for incidental expenses of the commission, as provided by the board of county commissioners.

(e)  All officers and employes in public service shall attend and testify when required to do so by the commission.

(f)  If any person shall refuse or neglect to obey any subpoena issued by the commission, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to a fine not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100) or imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed thirty days.

(g)  If any person shall refuse or neglect to obey any subpoena issued by the commission, it may, by petition, apply to the court of common pleas of the county for its subpoena requiring the attendance of such persons before the commission or the court, there to testify and to produce any records and papers, and in default thereof, shall be held in contempt of court and punished therefor.

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Section 1509.  General Provisions Relating to Examinations.--

(a)  Each commission shall make rules and regulations, to be approved as herein prescribed, providing for the examination of applicants for positions in the police force or fire department or as a fire inspector and promotions therein. The rules and regulations shall prescribe the minimum qualifications of all applicants to be examined and the passing grades. ((a) amended Aug. 13, 1963, P.L.662, No.347)

(b)  All examinations for positions or promotions in the police force and for positions or promotions as firemen or fire inspectors shall be practical in character and shall relate to such matters and include such inquiries as will fairly test the merit and fitness of the persons examined to discharge the duties of the employment sought by them. All examinations shall be open to all applicants who have the minimum qualifications required by the rules and regulations, but in no case shall an applicant for promotion in the police force be considered until such applicant shall have first served three years in the police force in which he seeks promotion. Each applicant for examination shall be subject to the rules adopted by the commission, and shall be required to submit to a physical examination. ((b) amended Dec. 2, 1976, P.L.1226, No.270)

(c)  Public notice of the time and place of every examination, together with the information as to the kind of position or place to be filled, shall be given by publication once in a newspaper or papers of general circulation in the county at least two weeks prior to each examination. A copy of the notice shall be prominently posted in the office of the commission or other public place.

(d)  The commission shall post in its office the eligible list containing the names and grades of those who have passed the examination for positions under this article.

(e)  In cases of applications for position to the police force or for positions as firemen or fire inspectors, soldiers, as defined by the act, approved the twenty-second day of May, one thousand nine hundred forty-five (Pamphlet Laws 837), entitled, as amended, "An act providing for and requiring in certain cases preference in appointments to and retention in public position or on public works for honorably discharged persons who served in the military or naval service during any war in which the United States engaged; and in certain cases for the widows and wives of such persons," shall be entitled to all the preferences and benefits therein provided, so far as applicable. ((e) amended Aug. 13, 1963, P.L.662, No.347)

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Section 1510.  Application for Examination for Appointment to the Police Force or as Fireman or Fire Inspector.--Each person desiring appointment to the police force or as a fireman or fire inspector shall apply to the commission for examination, and shall file with the commission a formal application, as provided by it, and shall state, under oath or affirmation, (1) his full name and residence or post office address, (2) his citizenship, place and date of birth, (3) his condition of health and physical capacity for public service, (4) his business or employment and his residence for the past five years, and (5) such other information as may be required by the commission's rules and regulations, showing the applicant's qualifications for the position for which he is being examined.

No person shall be eligible to apply for examination unless he is more than eighteen years of age and, with respect to applicants for the police force not over thirty-five years of age at the date of application, and has been a resident of the county for at least two years immediately preceding his application unless no resident applicants are available.

(1510 amended June 16, 1972, P.L.466, No.148)

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Section 1511.  Rejection of Applicant; Hearing.--(a)  The commission may refuse to examine any applicant, or after examination may refuse to certify as eligible anyone, who is found to lack any of the minimum qualifications for examination prescribed in the rules and regulations adopted for the position or employment for which he has applied, or who is physically disabled and unfit for the performance of the duties of the position to which he seeks employment, or who is addicted to the habitual use of intoxicating liquors or drugs, or who has been guilty of any crime involving moral turpitude or infamous or notorious disgraceful conduct, or who has been dismissed from public service for delinquency or misconduct in office, or who is affiliated with any group whose policies or activities are subversive to the form of government set forth in the Constitutions and laws of the United States and of Pennsylvania.

(b)  If any applicant or person feels himself aggrieved by the action of the commission in refusing to examine him or to certify him as eligible, they shall, at the request of such person, within ten days, appoint a time and place where he may appear personally and with counsel, whereupon the commission shall then review its refusal to make such examination or certification, and take such testimony as may be offered, and then again render its decision.

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Section 1512.  Manner of Making Appointments.--Every position of employment, except that of superintendent of police or equivalent official, and except that of fire chief or equivalent official or chief fire inspector or equivalent official, unless filled by promotion or reinstatement, shall be filled only in the following manner: The county commissioners shall notify the commission of any vacancy in the police force or as fireman or fire inspector which is to be filled and shall request the certification of a list of eligibles. The commission shall certify for each existing vacancy, from the eligible list, the names of three persons thereon, who have received the highest average in the last preceding examination held within a period of three years next preceding the date of the request for such eligibles. The county commissioners shall thereupon, with sole reference to the merits and fitness of the candidates, make an appointment from the three names certified, unless they make objections to the commission as to one or more of the persons so certified for any of the reasons stated in the preceding section. As each subsequent vacancy occurs in the same or another position precisely the same procedure shall be followed.

(1512 amended July 10, 1986, P.L.1394, No.120)

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Section 1513.  Superintendent of Police or Fire Chief or Chief Fire Inspector, etc.--In the case of a vacancy in the office of superintendent of police, assistant superintendent of police, inspector of police, or fire chief or chief fire inspector or equivalent official, the county commissioners may nominate a person to the commission. It shall thereupon become the duty of the commission to subject such person to a noncompetitive examination, and if such person shall be certified by the commission as qualified, he may then be appointed to such position, and thereafter shall be subject to all the provisions of this article.

(1513 amended Oct. 30, 1969, P.L.288, No.119)

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Section 1514.  Probationary Period.--All appointments to any position in the county police force shall be for a probationary period of eighteen months and for any position as fireman or fire inspector shall be for a probationary period of six months, but during the probationary period an appointee may be dismissed only for cause, as specified in section 1511 of this act. If at the close of the probationary period, the conduct or fitness of the probationer has not been satisfactory to the board of county commissioners, the probationer shall be notified in writing that he will not receive a permanent appointment. Thereupon, his appointment shall cease; otherwise, his retention shall be equivalent to a permanent appointment.

(1514 amended May 31, 1974, P.L.302, No.95)

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Section 1515.  Provisional Appointments.--Whenever there are urgent reasons for the filling of a vacancy in any position in the police force or as fireman or fire inspector and there are no names on the eligible list for such appointment, the board of county commissioners may nominate a person to the commission for a noncompetitive examination, and if such nominee shall be certified by the commission as qualified, after such noncompetitive examination, he may be appointed provisionally to fill such vacancy until an examination for such position can be held. It shall thereupon become the duty of the commission, within three weeks from the date of provisional appointment, to hold a competitive examination for such position, and certify a list of eligibles to the board of county commissioners, and they shall then make a regular appointment as prescribed in this article. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the appointment without examination of persons temporarily as police officers, in emergency cases, for the suppression of riots, tumults, in times of war, pestilence, conflagration or public celebration.

(1515 amended Aug 13, 1963, P.L.662, No.347)

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Section 1515.1.  Special Examination and Appointment of Police for Criminal Investigation.--In counties of the second class within thirty days the commission shall arrange for special examinations of applicants for positions in the police force for the purpose of increasing the force by forty persons. The examination shall be practical in character and shall relate to such matters and include such inquiries as will fairly test the persons examined with respect to their expertise in criminal investigation and related police work and their merit and fitness to discharge the duties of their employment. Applicants for examination under the provisions of this section shall be eighteen years of age or older and need not be a resident of the county, but shall in all other respects meet the eligibility requirements of this article for examination for positions in the police force.

Except as otherwise in this section provided, examinations of qualified applicants shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this Article XV relating to examination of applicants for positions in the police force. Appointments not to exceed forty in number shall be made within one year and except as otherwise in this section provided, shall be made in accordance with the provisions of this Article XV relating to appointments to the police force. Anyone appointed under the provisions of this section shall in all respects be subject to the provisions of this article relating to members of the police force.

(1515.1 added May 31, 1974, P.L.302, No.95)

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Section 1515.2.  Limited Filling of Fifteen Vacancies on the Police Force.--In counties of the second class for a period of one year from the effective date of this section, county commissioners may fill fifteen vacancies in the police force as prescribed in this section. The county commissioners may nominate persons to the commission for a noncompetitive examination. It shall then become the duty of the commission to submit such persons to an examination to determine their merit and fitness to discharge the duties of police officers. Such persons who qualify shall be so certified by the commission and may then be appointed by the county commissioners. In order to qualify for such appointment, such persons must be at least eighteen years of age or older. Such persons need not be residents of the county. Persons appointed under this section shall thereafter be subject to the provisions of this article relating to members of the police force.

(1515.2 added Nov. 26, 1978, P.L.1290, No.307)

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Section 1516.  Promotions.--Promotions shall be based on merit. The county commissioners shall notify the commission of any vacancy in the police force or as firefighter or fire inspector which is to be filled by promotion and shall request the certification of a list of eligibles. The commission shall certify for each existing vacancy, from the eligible list, the names of three persons thereon, who have received the highest average in the last preceding promotional examination held within a period of two years next preceding the date of the request for such eligibles. The county commissioners shall thereupon, with sole reference to the merits and fitness of the candidates, make an appointment from the three names certified, unless they make objections to the commission as to one or more of the persons so certified. No member of the county police force or a firefighter or fire inspector shall be eligible to take any promotional examination until after serving three years in the county police force or as a firefighter or fire inspector for which such examination is held. Each member of the county police force or a firefighter or fire inspector shall have his examination mark or grade increased by an additional one-half point for each year he served on the county police force or as a firefighter or fire inspector in excess of five years but such additional points shall not exceed ten points. The board of commissioners shall have power to determine in each instance whether an increase in salary shall constitute a promotion.

(1516 amended Dec. 10, 1980, P.L.1156, No.209)

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Section 1517.  Physical Examinations.--All applicants for examination shall undergo a physical examination, which shall be conducted under the supervision of a doctor of medicine appointed by the board of county commissioners. No person shall be eligible for appointment until said doctor certifies to the commission that the applicant is free from any bodily or mental defects, deformity or disease that might incapacitate him from the discharge of the duties of the position desired in the police force or as fireman or fire inspector.

(1517 amended Dec. 2, 1976, P.L.1226, No.270)

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Section 1518.  Reducing in Rank; Suspension; Furloughing; Discharging.--(a)  No person employed in a county police force shall be reduced in rank (except superintendent of police), suspended, furloughed or discharged, and no fireman or fire inspector (except fire chief or chief fire inspector) shall be suspended, furloughed or discharged, except for the following reasons: (1) neglect or violation of any official duty; (2) violation of any law of this Commonwealth which provides that such violation constitutes a misdemeanor or a felony; (3) inefficiency, except as hereinafter provided, wilful disobedience of orders, or conduct unbecoming a police officer; (4) drinking of intoxicating liquor while on duty or the use of which renders him unfit for duty when called upon. ((a) amended Aug. 13, 1963, P.L.662, No.347)

(b)  In every case of reduction of rank (except that of superintendent of police), suspension, furlough or discharge, a copy or statement of the reasons therefor and written answers thereto shall be furnished to the person sought to be reduced in rank, suspended, furloughed or discharged, if he shall make demand therefor. He shall have the right to appeal to the commission for a hearing on the reasons or charges preferred against him within ninety days of the date of service of a copy or statement of the reasons or charges. ((b) amended July 10, 1986, P.L.1394, No.120)

(c)  Upon the written request for a hearing, the commission shall arrange for the hearing within ten days from receipt of such request. At such hearing, the person against whom the charge or reason is made may be present in person and by counsel, and the burden shall be upon the party making such charges or reasons to justify his action.

(d)  In the event the commission fails to uphold the action of the party who made the charges or reasons, then the person against whom the charges were preferred shall be paid in full his salary for the time he may have been prevented from performing his usual employment as a police officer or as a fireman or fire inspector, and no record of the case shall be placed against his service record in the police force or as fireman or fire inspector. ((d) amended Aug. 13, 1963, P.L.662, No.347)

(e)  If, in the case of demotion of any employe (except that of superintendent of police), the charges or reasons are sustained, then such person shall not be reverted below his seniority standing on the roster of the grades of patrolman in the police force.

(f)  A written record of all testimony shall be taken at each hearing held by the commission, and such records shall be sealed and not available to public inspection in the event no appeals are taken from the action of the commission.

(g)  In the event the commission shall sustain the party who preferred the charges or reasons, then the party against whom the charges or reasons were made shall have immediate right of appeal to the court of common pleas of the county. Such appeal shall be taken within the period of ninety days from the date of entry by the commission of its final order and shall be by petition. Upon such appeal being taken and docketed, the court of common pleas shall fix a day for the hearing and proceed to hear the appeal de novo on the original record, and the employe shall be reduced, suspended, furloughed or discharged, in accordance with the order of the court.

(h)  In cases where a member of a county police force whose duties are those of an outside policeman is found to be physically unfit to perform such duties due to an infirmity resulting from the performance of his duties as a policeman, or whenever any such member has served for a period of twenty years and is at least fifty years of age, such member, upon application to the board of county commissioners, if there is any vacancy existing in the number of building policemen, building guards or other positions, the responsibility of which is building protection or security, as set forth in the budget of the county, shall be assigned to inside work as building policeman or other special duties and be paid such compensation as shall be fixed by the salary board for building policemen. Where more applications are made and filed than there are vacancies existing, such assignments shall be made first to applicants found to be physically unfit and secondly to applicants in order of their seniority in service. Where two or more applicants have equal seniority in service, assignments shall be determined by the alphabetical order of the first letter of the surname of the applicants. As vacancies occur, assignments shall be made according to a seniority list determined as aforesaid. ((h) amended July 27, 1955, P.L.284, No.101)

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Section 1519.  Reduction in Number of Policemen, Firemen or Fire Inspectors; Reinstatement.--If, for reasons of economy or other reasons, it shall be deemed necessary by the board of county commissioners to reduce the number of policemen in the police force or firemen or fire inspectors, then such reduction in numbers shall be made in the following manner: (1) if there are any policemen, firemen or fire inspectors eligible for retirement under the terms of any retirement or pension system or law, then such reduction in numbers shall be made by retirement, if the party to be retired has served in the police force or as a fireman or fire inspector for a period of at least twenty-five years and his age exceeds the maximum age as defined in the act of October 27, 1955 (P.L.744, No.222), known as the "Pennsylvania Human Relations Act"; (2) if the number of policemen, firemen or fire inspectors eligible for retirement is insufficient to effect the reduction in numbers decided upon by the board of county commissioners, or if no retirement or pension system or law exists, or if there are no policemen, firemen or fire inspectors eligible for retirement or pension, then the reduction shall be made by furloughing the last policeman, fireman or fire inspector, including the probationers, that have been appointed to the police force or as fireman or fire inspector, and continue in numerical order until the reduction decided upon by the board of county commissioners has been effected. In any case where there has been more than one employe appointed at the same time, then such furloughing shall be determined by the standing on the civil service list as hired, the individual having the lowest civil service score to be furloughed first. In the event the said police force, firemen or fire inspectors shall again be increased in numbers, then the employes furloughed shall be reinstated, in the inverse order of that in which they were furloughed, before any new appointments shall be made to the police force or as firemen or fire inspectors.

(1519 amended May 9, 1984, P.L.261, No.61)

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Section 1520.  Present Employes Exempted.--(a)  All members (except superintendent of police) of the county police force upon the fourth day of May, one thousand nine hundred forty-three, shall continue to hold their positions, and shall not be required to take any examination under the provisions of this article except such as may be required for promotion. Any member of a county police force who was dismissed from such force between the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred forty-three, and the fourth day of May, one thousand nine hundred forty-three, for any reason except those as specified in section 1511 of this act, shall be reinstated to his former position in the police force without any examination whatsoever.

(a.1)  All members (except the fire chief) of the county fire department and all fire inspectors upon the effective date of this amending act shall continue to hold their positions and shall not be required to take any examination under the provisions of this article except such as may be required for promotion.

(b)  Each member of the county police force and every fireman or fire inspector now or hereafter serving in the armed forces of the United States during any war or any police action in which the United States is engaged shall, upon his honorable discharge from such service and return to such police force or as a fireman or fire inspector, be reinstated in the force in a position of equal grade to that which he held immediately before entering the armed forces of the United States. He shall continue to hold such position, and shall not be required to take any examination under the provisions of this article except such as may be required for promotion.

(1520 amended Aug. 13, 1963, P.L.662, No.347)

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Section 1521.  Discrimination on Account of Religious or Political Affiliations.--No question in any form of application for any examination or in any examination shall be so framed as to elicit information concerning the religious or political opinions of any applicant, nor shall inquiry be made concerning such opinions or affiliations, and all such disclosures thereof shall be discountenanced. No discrimination shall be exercised, threatened or promised by any person in or interested in the police force, firemen or fire inspectors against or in favor of an applicant on the eligible list for appointment to or promotion in the police force or as fireman or fire inspector because of his religious or political opinions or affiliations.

(1521 amended Aug. 13, 1963, P.L.662, No.347)

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Section 1522.  Penalties.--Any county commissioner or anyone acting for the board of county commissioners who shall cause any person to be appointed to or promoted in the police force or as a fireman or fire inspector contrary to the provisions of this article, or who violates any of the provisions of this article, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500) or suffer imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both.

(1522 amended Aug. 13, 1963, P.L.662, No.347)

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Section 1523.  Compensation of the Commission and its Employes.--The compensation to be received by members of the commission or any of the employes they may require for putting into effect the provisions of this article shall be fixed by the salary board.

19530230u1524s

Section 1524.  Hours of Service; Exceptions; Vacations.--Every member of the police force shall have at least twenty-four consecutive hours of rest in each calendar week, except in emergency cases for the suppression of riots or tumults or the preservation of the public peace, in times of war, riot, conflagration or public celebration. No member shall be required to work more than eight consecutive hours in any twenty-four hours except in the aforesaid cases of emergency. Every member shall be allowed one day's vacation for each month of service for the first twelve months of service, and thereafter an annual vacation of not less than fourteen days. He shall also be allowed an annual sick leave of not less than fourteen days. All such vacation and sick leave shall be without any deduction or diminution of salary or compensation as fixed by the salary board. Work hours of firemen and fire inspectors shall be as determined by the board of county commissioners.

(1524 amended Aug. 13, 1963, P.L.662, No.347)

19530230u1525s

Section 1525.  Compensation and Expenses to Policemen, Firemen or Fire Inspectors, Injured or Ill.--Every member of the police force and every fireman and fire inspector who may be injured or become sick through the performance of his duties, and by reason thereof is temporarily incapacitated from performing his duties, shall be paid by the county his full rate of salary as fixed by the salary board until the disability arising therefrom has ceased. All medical and hospital bills incurred in connection with any such injury or sickness shall be paid by the county. All benefits under the Workmen's Compensation Law which shall be received or collected by any such member during the period he has received salary for temporary disability shall be paid over to the county and paid into the treasury thereof. If any such payment or payments shall not be so made by the member of the police force, fireman or fire inspector, the amount so directed to be paid to the county shall be deducted from any salary which shall then or thereafter become due and owing to such member.

(1525 amended Aug. 13, 1963, P.L.662, No.347)

19530230u1531h

 

(b)  Employes of Jails and Workhouses

 

19530230u1531s

Section 1531.  Employes of Jails and Workhouses Disabled by Violence; Salaries and Expenses to be Paid.--Every guard, matron, nurse or other employe who comes in contact with inmates of any jail or workhouse, who is incapacitated as a result of violence by an inmate while in the performance of his duties, shall be paid by the county by which they are employed their full rate of salary as fixed by the salary board until the disability arising therefrom has ceased, but the period of such salary payments by the county shall not exceed the period during which such employe is entitled to compensation for the injury, received under the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act. All medical and hospital bills incurred in connection with any such injuries shall be paid by such county. All benefits under the Workmen's Compensation Law which shall be received or collected by any such employe during the period he has received salary for temporary disability shall be paid over to the county and into the treasury thereof. If any such payment or payments shall not be so made by such employe, the amount so directed to be paid the county shall be deducted from any salary which shall then or thereafter become due and owing to such employe.

19530230u1531v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 9(b) of Act 173 of 1978 provided that section 1531 is repealed insofar as it is inconsistent with 1 Pa.C.S. § 2301(d) (relating to equality of rights based on sex)..

19530230u1532s

Section 1532.  Prison Inspectors to Appoint Jail Chaplains.--The board of prison inspectors shall appoint jail chaplains necessary to care for the spiritual welfare or prisoners under their charge.

The number and compensation of such chaplains shall be fixed by the salary board. Said compensation to be paid from the county treasury.

19530230u1601h

 

Article XVI

Commission for the Selection of Jurors

(Art. repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

 

19530230u1601s

Section 1601.  Commission for the Selection of Jurors.--(1601 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19530230u1701h

 

Article XVII

Employes' Retirement System

 

19530230u1701s

Section 1701.  Definitions.--The following words and phrases as used in this article shall be construed to have the following meaning:

"Board," county employes' retirement board.

"Compensation," (1)  Pickup contributions plus salary or wages received per day, weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, monthly, annually, or during an official term year.

(2)  For employes hired on or after the effective date of this paragraph, the term shall not include overtime pay in an amount in excess of ten per centum of base pay.

(Def. amended Dec. 23, 2013, P.L.1242, No.125)

"Contributions," pickup contributions and the amount paid into the retirement fund.

"County employe," any person employed by the county, including all elected or appointed county officers, and agricultural extension association, county institutions district, county prison, any county correctional institution, law library and county retirement board, employes whose compensation is paid out of county funds, and any person employed by an authority formed after January 1, 1998, or any such other second class county entity when approved by the board and the county commissioners and whose compensation is paid by an authority or such other entity, except employes employed by any board of trustees of a community college of which the county is a local sponsor pursuant to the act of August 24, 1963 (P.L.1132, No.484), known as the "Community College Act of 1963," as amended, county institution district funds or county retirement system funds or any department created by the office of the county commissioners, and any person receiving compensation for accidental injuries in accordance with the provisions of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act: Provided, That the injured county employe during the period of his or her disability shall pay each month a sum equal to the last monthly contribution paid into the retirement fund when said county employe was in employment and shall not include any participant in on-the-job training, work experience or public service employment whose employment with the county is funded in whole or in part by the Federal "Comprehensive Employment and Training Act," as amended, unless the retirement board has provided for the membership of such participants in accordance with the provisions of section 1710.1. It shall not include any time spent by a county employe on furlough or leave of absence without compensation, a person reemployed as a county employe subsequent to the thirty-first day of May, one thousand nine hundred fifty-three, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of section 1712, except such county employes who may be in active military service in accordance with the provisions of subsection (d) of section 1710 and former county employes whose monthly contributions are paid into the retirement fund in accordance with the provisions of section 1713. In all cases of doubt the board shall determine who is an employe within the meaning of this article. (Def. amended Jan. 27, 1998, P.L.1, No.1)

"Monthly," calendar month.

"Per Annum," twelve calendar months.

"Pickup contributions," regular contributions which are made by the county on behalf of county employes for current service in accordance with subsection (a.1) of section 1708.

"Reemployed," any former county employe who is reemployed as such, shall thereupon assume the status of a new or future county employe and may, if eligible, receive credit for previous service in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of section 1715. It shall not include any person reemployed subsequent to the thirty-first day of May, one thousand nine hundred fifty-three, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of section 1712, nor any county employe who may be in active military service in accordance with the provisions of subsection (d) of section 1710.

"Retirement Allowance," the amount to which a county employe is eligible to receive upon retirement from active service not including the amount he or she is eligible to receive as a service increment.

"Retirement fund or system," fund or system created by this article.

"Vested Interest," future county employes including persons who are reemployed as such, except as hereinafter provided, whose contributions as paid into the retirement fund have been retained therein, or have been refunded by the board, who have fulfilled all conditions required to qualify such county employes for a retirement allowance plus a service increment, if any. It shall not include persons who are reemployed as county employes in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of section 1712.

"Year or service year," twelve calendar months including an official term year beginning the first Monday of January of a given year to the first Monday of January of the year following or twenty-six pay periods if payment is made bi-weekly.

"Survivor's Benefit Allowance," a portion of a retirement allowance, plus a service increment, if any, to be paid to a surviving spouse of a deceased county employe.

"Early Retirement," reduced retirement benefits at age fifty-five with completion of the minimum number of years of service specified in subsection (a) of section 1710 depending upon the service requirements for normal retirement. (Def. amended Feb. 9, 1984, P.L.12, No.6)

"Interest," a determined rate, payable upon refund of contributions, compounded annually.

"Service Increment," the amount a county employe is eligible to receive in addition to his or her retirement allowance by reason of his or her extra years of service.

(1701 amended July 6, 1984, P.L.638, No.131)

19530230u1702s

Section 1702.  Retirement System and Fund to be Established.--The county shall provide a county employes' retirement system for county employes and shall establish and regulate a retirement fund in connection therewith.

19530230u1703s

Section 1703.  Retirement Board.--The retirement system shall be under the sole direction of a board, which shall consist of the county chief executive; one member, who shall be a member of the retirement system, appointed by the chief executive with the consent of county council; one member, who shall be a member of the retirement system, appointed by county council; the controller; the treasurer; and two persons elected by ballot from among the members of the retirement system. The terms of such members shall be four years. Ballots shall be mailed to each member of the retirement system at least twenty (20) days prior to the date of the election. A vacancy occurring during the term of any member of the board shall be filled for the unexpired term by the appointment or election of a successor in the same manner as his predecessor. A majority of the members of the board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business.

(1703 amended Dec. 23, 2013, P.L.1242, No.125)

19530230u1704s

Section 1704.  Treasurer and Secretary of Board; Power of Board to Employ Persons.--The county treasurer shall be the treasurer of the board, and shall give such bond for the proper performance of his duties as is required by the board. The premium on said bond shall be paid from the retirement fund on warrants of the board. The controller and the treasurer each shall receive for their service the sum of five hundred dollars ($500) per annum from the retirement fund, payable on warrants of the board. The controller shall be the secretary of the board.

The board shall have power and authority to pay all necessary expenses in the administration of the retirement system, employ one solicitor and necessary assistants, who shall receive such compensation as the board shall fix, which shall be paid from the retirement fund on warrants of the board.

The board may authorize one or more of its assistants to administer to all persons oaths and affirmations pertaining to the business of the retirement system.

(1704 amended May 31, 1955, P.L.111, No.35)

19530230u1704.1s

Section 1704.1.  Tax Qualification.--The board may make such technical changes to the retirement plan as are necessary in order to qualify the retirement system and fund under section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Public Law 99-514, 26 U.S.C. § 401(a)).

(1704.1 added Dec. 23, 2013, P.L.1242, No.125)

19530230u1705s

Section 1705.  Register of Employes; Rules and Regulations of Board.--The board shall keep a register of all county employes containing the names, ages, residence, nature of employment, time of entering employ, and such other information as the board deems necessary in the performance of its duties. The board may adopt, amend, revise and abolish such rules and regulations as it deems necessary, not inconsistent with this act.

19530230u1706s

Section 1706.  Investment or Deposit of Fund; Standard of Care and Liability of Board Members.--(a)  The board shall be the trustees of the retirement fund, and shall have exclusive control and management of the said fund with full power to invest the money or any part thereof, subject to the terms, conditions, limitations and restrictions that are provided by law for investments of trust funds by fiduciaries or the retention or sale of certain investments in the hands of fiduciaries. Subject to like terms, conditions, limitations and restrictions, the board shall have power to hold, purchase, sell, assign, transfer or dispose of any of the securities and investments in the retirement fund, as well as the proceeds of said investments and of the money belonging to said fund, or it may deposit such moneys or any part thereof in one or more banks or banking institutions selected by the board. The board shall decide upon the number of banks and banking institutions of the county as depositories of retirement funds and the rate of interest to be paid by them to the board. A contract with a depository shall be for a period covering the term of the county treasurer. No moneys shall be deposited in a depository until it shall furnish to the board collateral to secure payments of deposits and interest to the board, by depositing in escrow securities to be approved by the board. Such securities to be of the kind and in the amount to be fixed by the board.

(b)  A board member shall perform his duties as a director, including his duties as a member of any committee of the board upon which he may serve, in good faith, in a manner he reasonably believes to be in the best interests of the retirement system and with such care, including reasonable inquiry, skill and diligence, as a person of ordinary prudence would use under similar circumstances. In performing his duties, a board member shall be entitled to rely in good faith on information, opinions, reports or statements, including financial statements, investment data and such other financial or investment data made available to him by the board's investment counselors or managers and the board's monitor, in each case prepared or presented by any of the following:

(1)  One or more officers or employes of the board whom the director reasonably believes to be reliable and competent in the matters presented.

(2)  Counsel, actuaries, investment managers or consultants, the investment monitor, the board's agent or other persons as to matters which the director reasonably believes to be within the professional or expert competence of such persons.

(3)  A committee of the board upon which he does not serve, duly designated in accordance with law, as to matters within its designated authority, which committee the director reasonably believes to merit confidence.

(c)  A director shall not be considered to be acting in good faith if he has knowledge concerning the matter in question that would cause his reliance to be unwarranted.

(d)  In discharging the duties of their respective positions, the board, committees of the board and individual members of the board may, in determining the effects of any action upon the employes of the board, the active employes of the county retirement system and of the retirees of the county retirement system who are receiving benefits, consider all other pertinent factors, which shall include, but not be limited to, the actions or activities of the duly appointed monitor, investment counselors or managers, the actuary and the custodial agent. Consideration of factors contained in this subsection shall not constitute a violation of subsection (b).

(e)  Absent breach of a fiduciary duty, lack of good faith or self-dealing, actions taken as a member of the board by any member of the board, or any failure to take any action, shall be presumed to be in the best interest of the retirement system.

(f)  Whenever the provisions of this act require the members of the board to undertake any action by a vote of the board, a member of the board shall not be personally liable for monetary damages as such for any action taken, or any failure to take any action, unless:

(1)  the board member has breached or failed to perform the duties of his position under subsections (b), (c), (d) and (e); and

(2)  the breach or failure to perform constitutes self-dealing, wilful misconduct or recklessness.

(g)  The provisions of subsections (b), (c), (d), (e) and (f) shall not apply in any case involving responsibility or liability of a board member under any criminal statute.

(1706 amended Dec. 14, 1989, P.L.631, No.75)

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Section 1707.  Heads of Departments, Offices and Agencies to Certify List of Employes.--The head of every department, office or agency shall promptly certify to the board the names of all county employes of such department, office or agency, residence, age, nature of employment, time of entering employ, and the amount of compensation received by each, together with dismissals, resignations or terminations of service; also, furnish such other relevant information as the board may require. The head of every department, office or agency shall, in accordance with the provisions of section 1708, cause to be deducted each month from the payroll of such department, office or agency the necessary contribution to be paid by each county employe who is a member of the retirement system.

(1707 amended May 31, 1955, P.L.111, No.35)

19530230u1708s

Section 1708.  Compulsory Membership; Payments Into Fund; Exceptions; Vested Interest.--(a)  Each county employe shall be required to become a member of the county employes' retirement system within six months from the date of his or her employment. The said county employe may elect to become a member of the retirement system at any time during the aforesaid six months period of time by notifying the head of the department, office or agency in which department, office or agency he or she is employed of the said election. A copy thereof shall be filed immediately with the board. He or she shall, each month, pay into the retirement fund a monthly contribution, being a certain percentage of the amount received by him or her as compensation during the preceding calendar month. Except as provided in subsection (d), the monthly contribution shall be the percentage of his or her compensation as heretofore stated, on a graduated scale as follows:

For the year 1988 and thereafter, six and one-quarter per centum up to seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) per month.

Nine and three-eighths per centum from seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) to fifteen hundred dollars ($1500) per month.

Twelve and one-half per centum from fifteen hundred dollars ($1500) per month and above.

Except as hereinafter provided, the aforesaid increase rate of monthly contributions to be paid into the retirement fund to enhance the actuarial soundness of said fund, shall be applicable to all county employes who are members of the retirement system. Such monthly contributions shall be collected by the county treasurer and by him paid into the retirement fund. The payment of the increased rate of the aforesaid monthly contributions shall not apply to such former county employes whose monthly contributions are now paid into said fund in accordance with the provisions of subsection (d) of section 1713. Any county employe receiving compensation for accidental injuries in accordance with the provisions of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act shall during the period of time in which such county employe is receiving disability benefits, as provided in the aforesaid act, pay each month for retirement benefits a sum equal to the last monthly contribution as paid into the retirement fund when said county employe was in employment. The monthly contribution shall not be paid by any person who was receiving a retirement allowance and is subsequent to the thirty-first day of May, one thousand nine hundred fifty-three, reemployed as a county employe or any other person who is ineligible to become a member of the retirement system.

((a) amended Oct. 30, 2000, P.L.616, No.85)

(a.1)  The county may elect to contribute on behalf of each active member for current service the amount required by subsection (a) beginning the first Monday of January of the year in which the resolution to do so was adopted by the commissioners. Contributions made in accordance with this subsection shall be deemed pickup contributions and shall be treated as the county's contribution in determining tax treatment under the act of August 16, 1954, 68A Stat. 5, known as the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, for Federal tax purposes. For all other purposes pickup contributions shall be made and treated as contributions made by a member in the same manner and to the same extent as contributions made prior to the implementation of this subsection. The county on or before January 31 of each year shall, at the time when the income and withholding information required by law is furnished to each county employe, also furnish the amount of the pickup contribution made on the employe's behalf. Upon the effective date of the implementation of this subsection, the county shall pick up the required contributions by an equal reduction in the compensation of the member. ((a.1) added July 6, 1984, P.L.638, No.131)

(b)  All present and future county employes except such persons who are reemployed as such subsequent to the thirty-first day of May, one thousand nine hundred fifty-three, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of section 1712, shall upon retirement be entitled to receive the benefits of such change in the service period increased maximum retirement allowance and service increment if any as well as such other benefits as may apply to his or her status upon retirement in accordance with the provisions of this article.

(c)  No future county employe including persons who are reemployed as such, except as hereinafter provided, whose contributions as paid into the retirement fund have been retained therein or have been refunded by the board, shall have a contractual or vested interest in the retirement system prior to the time he or she shall have fulfilled all conditions required to qualify such county employe for a retirement allowance plus a service increment if any. It shall not include persons who are reemployed as county employes in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of section 1712.

(d)  To aid and assist the board in maintaining the actuarial soundness of the retirement fund, the board shall cause to be performed an annual actuarial valuation of the retirement system. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), the board, guided by the annual actuarial valuation of the retirement system, shall have the authority, each year, to increase or decrease the said monthly contribution required to be made by each county employe into the retirement fund. ((d) added Dec. 11, 1979, P.L.494, No.105)

(e)  (1)  The board, based solely upon the annual actuarial valuation of the retirement system and the actuarial indicator described in clause (2), shall each year increase the monthly retirement allowance which is required to be paid to all employes who have been, for at least one year, prior to the preceding annual actuarial study, eligible to receive a retirement allowance.

(2)  The actuarial indicator to be used for purposes of clause (1) shall be known as the Total Funded Status Ratio (TFSR) and shall be determined by the system's actuary. TFSR equals the sum of the fair market value of assets available for plan benefits as of the valuation date plus the actuarial present value of total projected future contributions computed as a percentage of the sum of the actuarial present value of future benefits and the actuarial present value of future expenses. The actuary shall determine the TFSR using an interest rate equal to the arithmetic average of the rate used in the current actuarial valuation and the rates used for the preceding four annual actuarial valuations. The level of the TFSR shall determine the range in which the retirement allowance increase may fall. The board shall implement retirement allowance increases within the permitted range determined from the following table:

TFSR

 

Percentage increase

Under one hundred ten per centum

 

Zero per centum minimum, or more at the discretion of the board

One hundred ten per centum and above

 

Two per centum minimum, or more at the discretion of the board, provided, however, that the two per centum minimum increase does not result in a TFSR less than one hundred ten per centum in which case the percentage shall be reduced so as to maintain a one hundred ten per centum TFSR increase.

The per centum increase determined shall be applied to the average monthly retirement allowance in pay status during the month of December immediately preceding the current actuarial valuation, producing a monthly dollar equivalent for the retirement allowance increase. The dollar amount so determined shall be rounded down to the next lower dollar, and such rounded amount shall be added to the retirement allowance of those eligible for the increase effective for the month of January next following.

((e) amended Oct. 30, 2001, P.L.818, No.80)

(1708 amended June 1, 1973, P.L.37, No.19)

19530230u1708v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 9(2) of Act 85 of 2000, which amended section 1708, provided that the amendment of section 1708 shall be retroactive to January 1, 2000.

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Section 1709.  Appropriation and Payment to Retirement Fund.--At their annual budget session, the county commissioners shall make such an appropriation as will enable them to pay, and there shall be paid out of county taxes and county institution district taxes, a sum of money, each month, which shall be equal to the amount paid into the retirement fund by the county employes, less any sum of money required to be paid by an authority or any such other second class county entity, during the preceding month or bi-weekly pay periods in accordance with the provisions of section 1708: Provided, That an authority or any such other second class county entity operating in the county shall make such an appropriation as will enable either of them to separately pay, and there shall be paid out of each of their respective funds, a sum of money, each month, which shall be equal to the amount paid into the retirement fund by those employes who are employed by an authority and any such other second class county entity during the preceding monthly or bi-weekly pay periods in accordance with the provisions of section 1708.

The county commissioners shall appropriate such amounts as are certified by the State Employes' Retirement Board as necessary to establish reserves for the benefit of any former member of the county employes' retirement system, whose employment with the county was terminated because of the incorporation into the State highway system of all or any county highways, or sections thereof, bridges, tunnels, viaducts, or sections thereto, in counties of the second class, and who became a member of the State Employes' Retirement System and who elected to receive credit in the State Employes' Retirement System for service as a member of the county employes' retirement system. Such appropriations shall be made at the annual budget session next succeeding the year in which certification is received from the State Employes' Retirement System and payment to the State Employes' Retirement Fund shall be made within ninety (90) days of the adoption of the budget.

It shall be the duty of the county commissioners to appropriate annually sufficient funds, necessary to guarantee payment of all administrative costs, benefit commitments and legal obligations of the Employes' Retirement Board.

(1709 amended Jan. 27, 1998, P.L.1, No.1)

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Section 1710.  Employes Eligible for Retirement Allowances.--(a)  (1)  Every county employe hired prior to the effective date of paragraph (2) who has reached the age of sixty years or upwards and who has to his or her credit a period of service of eight years, but less than twenty years, shall, upon application to the board, be eligible for retirement from service, and shall thereafter receive, during life, except as hereinafter provided, a retirement allowance computed on a service period of twenty (20) years which shall equal one twentieth (1/20) of such amount as he or she may be eligible to receive in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of section 1712, for each year's service which such county employe may have to his or her credit during the aforesaid period of time. The time spent in the employ of the county or county institution district need not necessarily have been continuous. The aforesaid retirement allowance shall be subject to a suspension thereof in accordance with the provisions of subsection (h) of this section 1710 and subsection (c) of section 1712.

(2)  Every county employe hired on or after the effective date of this paragraph who has reached the age of sixty years or upwards and who has to his or her credit a period of service of ten years, but less than twenty-five years, shall, upon application to the board, be eligible for retirement from service, and shall thereafter receive, during life, except as hereinafter provided, a retirement allowance computed on a service period of twenty-five years which shall equal one twenty-fifth of such amount as he or she may be eligible to receive in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of section 1712, for each year's service which such county employe may have to his or her credit during the aforesaid period of time. The time spent in the employ of the county or county institution district need not necessarily have been continuous. The aforesaid retirement allowance shall be subject to a suspension thereof in accordance with the provisions of subsection (h) of this section 1710 and subsection (c) of section 1712.

((a) amended Dec. 23, 2013, P.L.1242, No.125)

(b)  (1)  Every county employe hired prior to the effective date of paragraph (2), other than a member of the police force or the fire department or a fire inspector or a sheriff or deputy sheriff, who has reached the age of sixty years or upwards and who has to his or her credit a period of service of twenty years or more, and every county employe who is a member of the police force or the fire department or a fire inspector, and who shall have been a county employe during a period of twenty or more years and has reached the age of fifty years or upwards shall, upon application to the board, be eligible for retirement from service, and shall thereafter receive, during life, except as hereinafter provided, a retirement allowance plus a service increment if any, in accordance with the provisions of section 1712. Every county officer or employe who is a sheriff, deputy sheriff, prison guard or probation officer who shall have been a county officer or employe during a period of twenty or more years and has reached the age of fifty-five years or upward, shall, upon application to the board, be eligible for retirement from service and shall thereafter receive, during life, except as hereafter provided, a retirement allowance in accordance with section 1712. The time spent in the employ of the county or county institution district need not necessarily have been continuous: Provided, That when any county employe has twenty or more years service, not necessarily continuous, and has not reached the age of sixty years or upwards, and shall be separated from the service of the county or county institution district by reason of no cause or act of his or her own, upon application to the board he or she shall thereafter receive, during life, except as hereinafter provided, a retirement allowance plus a service increment if any, in accordance with the provisions of section 1713. The aforesaid retirement allowance plus a service increment if any, shall be subject to a suspension thereof in accordance with the provisions of subsection (h) of this section 1710 and subsection (c) of section 1712.

(2)  Every county employe hired on or after the effective date of this paragraph, other than a member of the police force or the fire department or a fire inspector or a sheriff or deputy sheriff, prison guard or probation officer, who has reached the age of sixty years or upwards and who has to his or her credit a period of service of twenty-five years or more, and every county employe who is a member of the police force or the fire department or a fire inspector, and who shall have been a county employe during a period of twenty-five or more years and has reached the age of fifty years or upwards shall, upon application to the board, be eligible for retirement from service, and shall thereafter receive, during life, except as hereinafter provided, a retirement allowance plus a service increment if any, in accordance with the provisions of section 1712. Every county officer or employe who is a sheriff, deputy sheriff, prison guard or probation officer who shall have been a county officer or employe during a period of twenty-five or more years and has reached the age of fifty-five years or upwards shall, upon application to the board, be eligible for retirement from service and shall thereafter receive, during life, except as hereafter provided, a retirement allowance in accordance with section 1712. The time spent in the employ of the county or county institution district need not necessarily have been continuous: Provided, That when any county employe has twenty-five or more years service, not necessarily continuous, and has not reached the age of sixty years or upwards, and shall be separated from the service of the county or county institution district by reason of no cause or act of his or her own, upon application to the board, he or she shall thereafter receive, during life, except as hereinafter provided, a retirement allowance plus a service increment if any, in accordance with the provisions of section 1713. The aforesaid retirement allowance plus a service increment, if any, shall be subject to a suspension thereof in accordance with the provisions of subsection (h) of this section 1710 and subsection (c) of section 1712.

((b) amended Dec. 23, 2013, P.L.1242, No.125)

(c)  A person who became a county employe through the consolidation of a city institution district with a county institution district may have the period of his or her city employment credited as a county employe for all purposes under this article: Provided, That said person, between the twenty-second day of May, one thousand nine hundred forty-five, and the twenty-second day of May, one thousand nine hundred forty-six, shall have paid into the retirement fund the amount which he or she would have been required to pay into the said fund if such person had been a county employe from the date of his or her original employment with the city: And further provided, That the city by which the said person was formerly employed shall have paid into the retirement fund an amount equal to that paid into the said fund by the said person in accordance with the provisions of this article. Any present county institution district employe who, prior to the twenty-second day of May, one thousand nine hundred forty-five, was a city institution district employe and who did not make payments for previous service credit as a county employe between the aforesaid period of time as herein provided, may, prior to the first day of April, one thousand nine hundred fifty-six, make application to the board and, upon approval thereof, shall pay into the retirement fund a sum equal to twice the payment which such person would have been required to pay into the said fund had such person been a county employe from the date of his or her original employment with the city. In addition thereto, interest at the legal rate shall be paid from the date when such monthly payment would have been made. Both principal and interest shall be paid into the retirement fund at one time and in one amount or, upon approval of the board, both principal and interest shall be consolidated into one amount and paid in twelve or less equal monthly installments, plus interest payment on monthly balances. Full payment thereof shall be a condition precedent to the county employe being eligible to receive the benefits of the retirement allowances.

No person shall be eligible to receive the benefits for prior service under this subsection, who is a member of a retirement or pension system of any city of the second class.

If such county employe leaves the employ of the county institution district before he or she shall be eligible to receive the benefit of the retirement allowances, a refund of his or her contributions as paid into the retirement fund shall be made in accordance with the provisions of section 1714.

(d)  Any county employe who on and after the sixteenth day of September, one thousand nine hundred forty, has been employed by the county or county institution district for a period of six or more months, and who, on or subsequent to such date, shall have enlisted or been inducted into military service of the United States in time of war or national emergency, so proclaimed by the President or the Congress of the United States, or any police action in which the United States is engaged, or shall serve in the military service of the United States during any armed conflict, shall have credited to his employment record, for retirement benefits, all of the time spent by him in such military service during the continuance of such war, armed conflict, national emergency or police action, if such person returns or has heretofore returned to his employment within one year after his separation from military service and such payments as are required to be made by such county employe into the county employes' retirement fund shall be paid into such fund by the county or county institution district, upon application by such county employe for retirement benefits. Any county employe who has been in military service and returned to the employ of the county or county institution district shall, within one year after the effective date of this article, file with the board a record of the time spent by him in such military service. Any county employe who has been in military service prior to the effective date of this article and has made payments into the county employes' retirement fund to secure for his employment record credit for his military service shall be reimbursed to the full extent of such payments by the board.

(e)  Any person who became a county employe through the consolidation of a Department of Health of a city of the second class with a Department of Health of a county of the second class may have the period of his or her city employment credited as a county employe for all purposes under this article, including any credit for United States military service for which such person of said city has been given credit for retirement benefits. Such person shall, within three years from the effective date of the consolidation, make application to the board and, upon approval thereof, pay into the retirement fund the contributions which such person would have been required to pay into the fund had such person been a county employe from the date of his or her original employment in the city. The gross sum shall be paid into the retirement fund at one time and in one amount or, upon approval of the board, the gross sum shall be paid in twelve or less equal consecutive monthly installments. Full payment thereof, as well as the gross sum to be paid by the city as herein provided, shall be a condition precedent to the county employe being eligible to receive the benefits of the retirement allowances. The city by which such person was formerly employed shall pay into the retirement fund an amount equal to the gross sum as paid into the said fund by the former city employe in accordance with the provisions of this article. Included in said gross sum to be paid by such city, shall be an amount in payment for said employes' United States military service credit, if any, for retirement benefits, which amount shall be based on the contribution which such employe would have been required to pay into the retirement fund had he or she been a county employe during such period. The city is herewith authorized and empowered to make an appropriation out of the funds of the city to pay into the retirement fund the necessary amounts as herein provided.

If such county employe leaves the employ of the county before he or she shall be eligible to receive the benefits of the retirement allowances, a refund of his or her contributions as paid into the retirement fund, less the amount as paid by said city for United States military service credit, if any, for retirement benefits, shall be made in accordance with the provisions of section one thousand seven hundred fourteen.

(f)  Any person who is an employe of any city of the third class, borough or township, and who is a member of a retirement or pension system established by such city of the third class, borough or township, who shall heretofore or hereafter be employed by a department of health of a county of the second class, may have the period of his or her employment in any of the aforesaid municipalities credited as a county employe for all purposes under this article, including any credit for United States military service for which such person of said municipalities has been given credit for retirement benefits. Such person shall, within three years from the date of his or her employment in the county department of health, make application to the board and, upon approval thereof, pay into the retirement fund the contributions which such person would have been required to pay into the fund had such person been a county employe from the date of his or her original employment in any of the aforesaid municipalities. The gross sum shall be paid into the retirement fund at one time and in one amount or, upon approval of the board, the gross sum shall be paid in twelve or less equal consecutive monthly installments. Full payment thereof as well as the gross sum to be paid by any city of the third class, borough or township or the retirement or pension board of such municipalities shall be a condition precedent to the county employe being eligible to receive the benefits of the retirement allowances. Any city of the third class, borough or township by which such person was formerly employed shall pay into the retirement fund an amount equal to the gross sum as paid into the fund by such former employe of any of the aforesaid municipalities in accordance with the provisions of this article. Included in said gross sum to be paid by such municipalities, shall be an amount in payment for such employes' United States military service credit, if any, for retirement benefits, which amount shall be based on the contribution which such employe would have been required to pay into the retirement fund had he or she been a county employe during such period.

Any city of the third class, borough or township is herewith authorized and empowered to make an appropriation out of the funds of such city of the third class, borough or township to pay into the retirement fund the necessary amounts as herein provided, or any of the aforesaid municipalities which have an established retirement or pension system, the retirement or pension board thereof shall certify to the county board, upon request, the period of service as set forth in the records of such municipal retirement or pension board, the period of service for which credit has been allowed such former municipal employe, and to transfer to the county retirement fund a sum equal to all contingent and annuity reserves and accumulated deductions as recorded to the credit of its former employe in its retirement or pension system as determined by the retirement or pension board of such municipality, for the purpose of establishing credit in the County Employes' Retirement System under which he or she may receive credit in said system as a county employe for services previously credited to him or her in the aforesaid municipal retirement or pension system. Upon receipt of the aforesaid request, the retirement or pension board of such municipalities shall make such certification and transfer of funds to the County Employes' Retirement System as herein provided.

If such county employe leaves the employ of the county before he or she shall be eligible to receive the benefits of the retirement allowances, a refund of his or her contributions as paid into the retirement fund less the amount as paid by such municipalities for United States military service credit, if any, for retirement benefits, shall be made in accordance with the provisions of section one thousand seven hundred fourteen.

(g)  Any person who is an employe of the Department of Health of this Commonwealth and a member of the State Employes' Retirement Association, as provided by the act of June 27, 1923 (P.L.858), its amendments and supplements, who has heretofore or shall hereafter be employed by a Department of Health of a county of the second class, may have the period of his or her former State employment credited as a county employe for all purposes under this article as hereinafter set forth.

Such person shall, upon employment in the county Department of Health, make application to the board within three years from the effective date of this amendment and, upon approval of said application, pay into the retirement fund the contributions which such person would have been required to pay into the fund had such person been a county employe from the date of his or her former employment in the Commonwealth as set forth in the records of the State Employes' Retirement Board.

The county board shall request the State Employes' Retirement Board to certify to it the period of service for which credit has been allowed, and to transfer to the county retirement fund a sum equal to all contingent and State annuity reserves and accumulated deductions as recorded to the credit of such former employe in the State Employes' Retirement Fund as determined by the State Employes' Retirement Board, for the purpose of establishing credit in the County Employes' Retirement System under which he or she may receive credit in said system as a county employe for services previously credited to him or her in the State Employes' Retirement Association. Upon receipt of the aforesaid request, the State Employes' Retirement Board shall make such certification and transfer of funds to the County Employes' Retirement System as herein provided.

If such county employe leaves the employ of the county before he or she shall be eligible to receive the benefits of the retirement allowances, a refund of his or her contributions as paid into the retirement fund shall be made in accordance with the provisions of section 1714.

(h)  (1)  Option I.  Any county employe hired prior to the effective date of paragraph (1.1) who has not reached sixty years of age, and who has to his or her credit a period of at least the minimum number of years of service specified in subsection (a)(1) of this section but less than twenty years of service, shall upon application to the board be eligible to receive at age sixty years a retirement allowance computed on a service period of twenty years, which shall equal one-twentieth of such amount as he or she may be eligible to receive in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of section 1712 for each year's service which such county employe may have to his or her credit during the aforesaid period of time. The time spent in the employ of the county or county institution district need not necessarily have been continuous.

(1.1)  Option I-A.  Any county employe hired on or after the effective date of this paragraph who has not reached sixty years of age, and who has to his or her credit a period of at least the minimum number of years of service specified in subsection (a)(2) of this section but less than twenty-five years of service, shall upon application to the board be eligible to receive at age sixty years a retirement allowance computed on a service period of twenty-five years, which shall equal one twenty-fifth of such amount as he or she may be eligible to receive in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of section 1712 for each year's service which such county employe may have to his or her credit during the aforesaid period of time. The time spent in the employ of the county or county institution district need not necessarily have been continuous.

(2)  Option II.  Any county employe hired prior to the effective date of paragraph (2.1) who has not reached sixty years of age, and who has to his or her credit a period of the minimum number of years of service specified in subsection (a)(1) of this section but less than twenty years of service, shall upon application to the board be eligible to receive thereafter, a retirement computed on a service period of twenty years, which shall equal one-twentieth of such amount as he or she may be eligible to receive in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of section 1712 for each year's service which such county employe may have to his or her credit during the aforesaid period of time. Further, the above retirement allowance shall be subject to a reduction of one-half of one per centum for each month under the age of sixty years. In no event shall a retirement allowance be paid until the age of fifty-five years is attained. The time spent in the employ of the county or county institution district need not necessarily have been continuous. The aforesaid retirement allowance elected under Option I shall become null and void if said county or county institution district employe is reemployed prior to age sixty in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of section 1712.

(2.1)  Option II-A.  Any county employe hired on or after the effective date of this paragraph who has not reached sixty years of age, and who has to his or her credit a period of the minimum number of years of service specified in subsection (a)(2) of this section but less than twenty-five years of service, shall upon application to the board be eligible to receive thereafter, a retirement computed on a service period of twenty-five years, which shall equal one twenty-fifth of such amount as he or she may be eligible to receive in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of section 1712 for each year's service which such county employe may have to his or her credit during the aforesaid period of time. Further, the above retirement allowance shall be subject to a reduction of one-half of one per centum for each month under the age of sixty years. In no event shall a retirement allowance be paid until the age of fifty-five years is attained. The time spent in the employ of the county or county institution district need not necessarily have been continuous. The aforesaid retirement allowance elected under Option I-A shall become null and void if said county or county institution district employe is reemployed prior to age sixty in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of section 1712.

((h) amended Dec. 23, 2013, P.L.1242, No.125)

(i)  Upon application to the board, all members of the fund who are contributors and who served in the Armed Forces of the United States subsequent to September 1, 1940, or who become members of the retirement fund on or after the effective date of this act shall be entitled to have full military service credit for each of the most recent years of military service or fraction thereof, not to exceed three full years of such service; provided, they have a retirement credit of the minimum number of years specified in subsection (a) of this section or more. The formula to be followed for payment to the fund shall be in an amount equal to the maximum rate of contribution had they been members of the fund plus an additional amount as the equivalent of the county matching appropriation, plus interest, if applicable, at the rate of six per centum per year from the date of each year of credited military service to date of repayment or by applying the employe's basic contribution rate plus the county's normal contribution rate for active members at the time of entry, subsequent to such military service, of the employe into county service to his average annual rate of compensation over the first three years of such subsequent county service and multiplying the result by the number of years and fractional part of a year of creditable nonintervening military service being purchased, together with interest, if applicable, during all periods of subsequent county service to date of purchase. Should it be determined by the retirement board that verifiable compensation data is not available it shall have the discretion to determine which formula shall be used: Provided, That said member is not entitled to receive, eligible to receive now or in the future, or is receiving retirement benefits for such service under a retirement system administered and wholly or partially paid for by any other governmental agency or private industry. Both principal and interest, if applicable, shall be consolidated into one amount and paid. Full payment thereof shall be a condition precedent to receive the benefits of the retirement allowance. If the member pays the entire principal back within the three-year period immediately following attainment of the minimum number of years of service credit specified in subsection (a) of this section or within three years from the date this amendatory act takes effect for those who already have the minimum numbers of years of service credit specified in subsection (a) of this section, no interest will be charged. Otherwise, interest will be charged at the rate of six per centum per year from the date of each year of credited military service to date of repayment. Only those employes who are active members of the retirement fund on or after the effective date of this amendatory act shall be permitted to avail themselves of either of these programs. ((i) amended Dec. 9, 2002, P.L.1443, No.185)

(j)  (1)  Any person who was employed by an authority created by the county on or after June 10, 1968, pursuant to the act of May 2, 1945 (P.L.382, No.164), known as the "Municipality Authorities Act of 1945," for the purpose of assisting and encouraging local municipalities to undertake vital and necessary capital improvement projects that could not be financed or constructed with county assistance and who subsequently became an employe of the county may have the period of his employment with such authority credited as a county employe. The person shall make application to the board within three years of the effective date of this subsection and, upon approval of the application, shall pay into the retirement fund the amount which he would have been required to pay into the fund if he had been a county employe from the date of his original employment with the authority. The county shall pay into the retirement fund an amount equal to the amount paid in by the employe in accordance with the provisions of this article.

(2)  Any person who was employed by an authority created by the county on or after February 14, 1950, pursuant to the act of May 24, 1945 (P.L.991, No.385), known as the "Urban Redevelopment Law," who participated in the Allegheny County Redevelopment Authority (ACRA) retirement plan and who subsequently became an employe of the county on or before January 1, 2001, may have the period of his employment with such authority credited as a county employe to reflect the employe's transfer of a governmental function, provided the person is not entitled to receive, eligible to receive now or in the future or currently receiving retirement benefits for such service under a retirement system administered and wholly or partially paid for by any other governmental agency or by any private employer. The person shall be required to transfer to the retirement fund an amount equal to the greater of the amount the person received from the ACRA plan plus interest at six per centum per annum from the date of the distribution from the ACRA plan to date of payment or an amount equal to the sums, both employe and county contributions, that would have been paid into the retirement fund had the person always been a member of the retirement fund plus interest at six per centum per annum from the date the sums would have been made to the retirement fund to date of payment. Upon written notification of the amount from the board, the person would be given a year to make the contribution. Interest from the date of notification to date of payment shall be charged at six per centum per annum.

((j) amended Dec. 9, 2002, P.L.1443, No.185)

(1710 amended Dec. 10, 1970, P.L.919, No.291)

19530230u1710.1s

Section 1710.1.  Exclusion of Certain Persons.--A participant in on-the-job training, work experience and public service employment whose employment with the county is funded in whole or in part by the Federal "Comprehensive Employment and Training Act," as amended, shall not be or become a member of the employes' retirement system as established and maintained under Article XVII of this act unless provisions are approved and implemented by the retirement board, in accordance with regulations adopted pursuant to the "Comprehensive Employment and Training Act," as amended, whereby all employer costs of providing for membership or service credits in the retirement system attributable to CETA participation are payable from funds provided under the "Comprehensive Employment and Training Act."

(1710.1 added Mar. 27, 1980, P.L.56, No.21)

19530230u1711s

Section 1711.  Exceptions in Favor of Employes Totally and Permanently Disabled.--(a)  Any present or future county employe, except persons who are employed in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of this section and persons who are reemployed in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of section 1715, who has been in employ for a period of not less than twelve years, upon application to the board, may receive a retirement allowance plus a service increment, if any, in accordance with the provisions of section 1712, if he or she becomes mentally incapacitated or totally and permanently disabled physically, even though such county employe has not reached the age of sixty years, provided that proof of such mental incapacity or total and permanent physical disability shall be by the unanimous opinion and sworn statements of three practicing physicians of the county designated by the board. Application in behalf of a mentally incapacitated county employe for a retirement allowance plus a service increment, if any, shall be made by a duly appointed guardian who shall be entitled to receive such retirement allowance plus a service increment, if any, to which the mentally incapacitated county employe may be eligible to receive. ((a) amended June 29, 1976, P.L.461, No.116)

(b)  Once each year, the board may require any former county employe, who is receiving a retirement allowance plus a service increment if any by reason of such mental incapacity or total and permanent physical disability, to undergo a medical examination by a physician or physicians designated by the board. Should such physician or physicians thereupon report and certify to the board that such former county employe is no longer mentally incapacitated or totally and permanently physically disabled, or that such former county employe is able to engage in a gainful occupation, and should the board concur in such report, then the amount of the retirement allowance plus a service increment if any, shall be reduced or discontinued, as the board may determine.

(c)  No person entering the employ of the county or county institution district as a county employe after the first day of August, one thousand nine hundred fifty-three, who has attained the age of fifty-five or more years at the time of such employment, shall be eligible to receive a retirement allowance by reason of total and permanent physical disability as herein provided.

(1711 amended May 31, 1955, P.L.111, No.35)

19530230u1712s

Section 1712.  Amount of Retirement Allowances.--(a)  (1)  For employes hired prior to the effective date of paragraph (2), the retirement allowance paid under the provisions of this article shall equal fifty per centum of the amount which would constitute the average monthly compensation as received by the county employe during the highest twenty-four months of the last four (4) years of his employment or two years on a bi-weekly pay basis in which period of time the said county employe made monthly or bi-weekly contributions into the retirement fund prior to his or her retirement.

(2)  For employes hired after the effective date of this paragraph, the retirement allowance paid under the provisions of this article shall be equal to fifty per centum of the amount which would constitute the average monthly compensation as received by the county employe during the highest forty-eight months of the last eight (8) years of his employment or four (4) years on a bi-weekly pay basis in which period of time the county employe made monthly or bi-weekly contributions into the retirement fund prior to his or her retirement.

(3)  Such average monthly compensation shall include the compensation which any county employe would have been entitled to and would have received except for deduction from compensation due to time spent in serving as an elected State official: Provided, That the county and the employe shall make monthly contributions based on the last compensation equal to the amount the county and he or she would have paid into the retirement fund had such compensation been paid by the county. In the event an employe, on the effective date of employment termination, shall have less than a full year of service for the purpose of computing the employe's service time, then the amount of the retirement allowance, which would have been computed had the employe completed a full twelve-month period for the year of the termination of employment, shall be prorated upon a full completed month basis for said last year of service. No retirement allowance shall be computed on a monthly compensation in excess of four thousand three hundred thirty-three dollars and thirty-three cents ($4,333.33) (referred to in this subsection as "excess compensation") unless the employe and the county have made contributions on all excess compensation received by the employe during the five-year period preceding the employe's retirement: Provided, That the required contribution is paid into the retirement system within ninety (90) days of the date of retirement. An employe who retires within five (5) years of the effective date of the compensation cap removal may elect to satisfy the contribution requirement by making a lump sum contribution that is calculated by applying the applicable contribution percentage rate to all excess compensation received by the employe during the prior five-year period on which contributions were not made. Within ninety (90) days of such contribution by an employe, contributions shall also be made by the county in an amount equal to the amount contributed by the employe. The effective date of the cap removal is December 31, 1999.

(4)  After the effective date of this amendment, certain former county employes who are now receiving a retirement allowance shall receive an increase of a certain per centum of such retirement allowance, which sum shall be computed on the average monthly retirement allowance as heretofore authorized by the board.

(5)  The per centum of increase in said monthly retirement allowance shall be a flat 10 per centum increase with the maximum amount not to exceed forty-five dollars ($45.00) per month.

(6)  Any employe who earns in excess of ten thousand eight hundred dollars ($10,800) per annum and shall retire during the period from January 1, 1973 to December 31, 1981 shall pay, as a condition to the payment of any benefits hereunder a lump sum contribution into the retirement fund, which contribution shall be computed as follows:

(i)  The difference between ten thousand eight hundred dollars ($10,800) and the annual salary of the employe multiplied by the number of years during which he was not an employe of the county for the period aforesaid and upon that amount the sum of two per centum which shall be the lump sum contribution as required herein.

(ii)  No person who is reemployed as a county employe shall be eligible to receive the benefit of a retirement allowance plus a service increment, if any, until he or she shall have made at least twenty-four monthly or fifty-two bi-weekly contributions into the retirement fund subsequent to his or her reemployment. The foregoing provisions shall not have a retroactive application and shall apply only to present and future county employes. The rate required to be paid in accordance with this provision shall apply to present county employes notwithstanding the rate of contribution that the present county employe has made into the retirement fund.

((a) amended Dec. 23, 2013, P.L.1242, No.125)

(b)  ((b) deleted by amendment June 1, 1973, P.L.37, No.19)

(b.1)  (1)  In addition to the retirement allowance which is authorized by this article and notwithstanding the limitations therein placed upon retirement allowances, any county employe hired prior to the effective date of paragraph (2) who upon retirement shall be eligible to receive payment of a retirement allowance and who has been employed as such for twenty or more years during which period of time he or she shall have made monthly contributions into the retirement fund, shall also be eligible to the payment in addition to a retirement allowance a service increment of two per centum per year computed upon the annual retirement allowance to which he or she is entitled. Said service increment shall be the sum obtained by computing the number of full years, and any portion of a year, in excess of twenty years during which period of time he or she shall have made monthly or bi-weekly contributions into the retirement fund. No service increment shall be paid for more than twenty (20) such excess service years. Effective as of January 1, 1989, in the event an employe, on the effective date of employment termination, shall have less than a full year of service for the purpose of computing the employe's service increment, then the amount of the service increment which would have been computed had the employe completed a full twelve-month period for the year of the termination of employment shall be prorated upon a full completed month basis for said last year of service increment.

(2)  In addition to the retirement allowance which is authorized by this article and notwithstanding the limitations therein placed upon retirement allowances, any county employe hired on or after the effective date of this paragraph who upon retirement shall be eligible to receive payment of a retirement allowance and who has been employed as such for twenty-five or more years during which period of time he or she shall have made monthly or bi-weekly contributions into the retirement fund shall also be eligible to the payment, in addition to a retirement allowance, of a service increment of two per centum per year computed upon the annual retirement allowance to which he or she is entitled. Said service increment shall be the sum obtained by computing the number of full years, and any portion of a year, in excess of twenty-five years during which period of time he or she shall have made monthly or bi-weekly contributions into the retirement fund. No service increment shall be paid for more than twenty (20) such excess service years. In the event an employe, on the effective date of employment termination, shall have less than a full year of service for the purpose of computing the employe's service increment, then the amount of the service increment which would have been computed had the employe completed a full twelve-month period for the year of the termination of employment shall be prorated upon a full completed month basis for said last year of service increment.

((b.1) amended Dec. 23, 2013, P.L.1242, No.125)

(c)  Any person receiving a retirement allowance and is subsequently reemployed as a county employe, during the period of such reemployment his or her retirement allowance plus a service increment, if any, shall cease until subsequent retirement. The subsequent retirement allowance and service increment, if any, in the case of persons reemployed prior to the first day of June, one thousand nine hundred fifty-three, and retiring at any time after the first day of August, one thousand nine hundred fifty-three, shall be at the rate he or she would have received had there been no previous retirement. In the case of persons reemployed after the thirty-first day of May, one thousand nine hundred fifty-three, the subsequent retirement allowance, plus a service increment, if any, shall be the same as he or she received prior to his or her reemployment. All present and future reemployed retired employes shall have the option to make bi-weekly contributions to the fund to qualify for an increased retirement allowance upon subsequent retirement: Provided, That he or she make retirement  contributions to the fund with interest at the legal rate, for said period of time when no contributions were made from the earnings of said employe during the period of such reemployment. Upon subsequent retirement, the reemployed service credit, which shall equal one-twentieth for each full year's service, shall be added to the previous retirement allowance and in one amount, be paid monthly to the reemployed retiree. In no event shall increments be paid for any such reemployment service credit. ((c) amended June 29, 1976, P.L.461, No.116)

(d)  Retirement allowance plus a service increment, if any, shall be paid in monthly installments on warrants of the board. No retirement allowance plus a service increment, if any, granted to any person who has heretofore retired or who shall hereafter retire shall be decreased or revoked during the life of any such person, except as the board may decide in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of section 1711, as well as a suspension thereof in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of this section. ((d) amended June 29, 1976, P.L.461, No.116)

(e)  Any present or future married county employe covered under the provisions of this article may receive retirement benefits in accordance with the provisions of this section to which such county employe may be entitled or he or she may elect at anytime before retirement, to receive in lieu thereof benefits under the option as hereinafter set forth.

The option shall consist of retirement benefits in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section but reduced at age fifty-five, or on commencement of retirement benefits if later, by ten per centum plus one per centum for each full year in excess of five years by which the spouse is younger than the married county employe, with a maximum reduction to seventy per centum of such retirement benefits, and minus one-half of one per centum for each year by which the spouse is older, with a maximum increase to ninety-five per centum of such retirement benefits. The reduced amount of such retirement benefits shall commence at the time of retirement, but not before age fifty-five, and shall be paid to the employe subject to the provisions of subsection (d) of this section.

((e) amended Dec. 23, 2013, P.L.1242, No.125)

(f)  (1)  The election by said county employe of the option as provided in subsection (e) of this section shall be final on attainment of age fifty or on later election prior to retirement, and no further election shall be permitted: Provided, That the election shall automatically be cancelled if the county employe shall either be divorced or if his or her spouse shall die, in each case before retirement benefits under the option shall commence. In the event the designated spouse shall predecease, or if a legal separation occurs, while on retirement, the reduced retirement option benefit shall be reinstated to the full amount had there been no option exercised. Said reinstated amount to commence immediately upon the death of the spouse so designated or upon satisfactory proof of legal separation.

(2)  All employes hired prior to the effective date of paragraph (3) may elect to provide survivorship option benefits for a spouse in the following classifications if the following conditions are satisfied:

Class I.  The deceased employe shall have attained the age of fifty years and had completed between the minimum number of years of service specified in subsection (a) of section 1710 and nineteen years of service and dies before reaching the age of fifty-five years. The reduced retirement option benefit to commence to the survivor at the time the deceased employe would have attained the age of fifty-five years. Said benefits to be paid in accordance with the provisions set forth under subsection (d), Option II, of section 1713.

Class II.  All employes hired prior to the effective date of paragraph (3), who after completion of twenty or more years of service and shall die before reaching the age of fifty years, his or her spouse shall be eligible to receive the reduced retirement option immediately, in accordance with the provisions set forth under subsection (d), Option II of section 1713.

(3)  All employes hired on or after the effective date of this paragraph may elect to provide survivorship option benefits for a spouse in the following classifications if the following conditions are satisfied:

Class I-A.  The deceased employe shall have attained the age of fifty years and had completed between the minimum number of years of service specified in subsection (a) of section 1710 and twenty-four years of service and dies before reaching the age of fifty-five years. The reduced retirement option benefit to commence to the survivor at the time the deceased employe would have attained the age of fifty-five years. Said benefits to be paid in accordance with the provisions set forth under subsection (d), Option II of section 1713.

Class II-A.  All employes hired on or after the effective date of this paragraph, who after completion of twenty-five or more years of service and shall die before reaching the age of fifty years, his or her spouse shall be eligible to receive the reduced retirement option immediately, in accordance with the provisions set forth under subsection (d), Option II of section 1713.

((f) amended Dec. 23, 2013, P.L.1242, No.125)

(g)  Sections 1710, 1711 and 1713 are to be construed as applying to the provisions of subsection (e) of this section insofar as the aforesaid sections are applicable.

(h)  Survivorship benefits at age fifty-five shall be determined according to the following table:

Maximum 95%

Spouse Years Older

 

Minimum 70% or $75.00

Spouse Years Younger

 

 

 

Same Age   = 90%

Same Age   = 90%

- 15 years = 80%

+  1 year  = 90-1/2%

-  5 years = 90%

- 16 years = 79%

+  2 years = 91%

-  6 years = 89%

- 17 years = 78%

+  3 years = 91-1/2%

-  7 years = 88%

- 18 years = 77%

+  4 years = 92%

-  8 years = 87%

- 19 years = 76%

+  5 years = 92-1/2%

-  9 years = 86%

- 20 years = 75%

+  6 years = 93%

- 10 years = 85%

- 21 years = 74%

+  7 years = 93-1/2%

- 11 years = 84%

- 22 years = 73%

+  8 years = 94%

- 12 years = 83%

- 23 years = 72%

+  9 years = 94-1/2%

- 13 years = 82%

- 24 years = 71%

+ 10 years = 95%

- 14 years = 81%

- 25 years = 70%

One-half of the rate specified in the table shall be paid to the surviving spouse on the death of the retired employe.

(i)  (1)  Any county employe hired prior to the effective date of paragraph (2) retiring under disability retirement benefits shall qualify for survivorship option benefits if he or she shall have reached the age of fifty-five years and having twenty or more years of service credit will be eligible for same benefits had he retired under the normal retirement provided for in this act. Any county employe retiring under disability retirement and having twelve years but less than twenty years of service credit, upon reaching age fifty-five will be eligible for survivorship option benefits and his or her spouse shall receive the maximum amount of seventy-five dollars ($75.00) per month upon his or her death under the option benefit clause as set forth under subsection (e) of this section.

(2)  Any county employe hired on or after the effective date of this paragraph retiring under disability retirement benefits shall qualify for survivorship option benefits if he or she shall have reached the age of fifty-five years and having twenty-five or more years of service credit will be eligible for same benefits had he or she retired under the normal retirement provided for in this act. Any county employe retiring under disability retirement and having twelve years but less than twenty-five years of service credit, upon reaching age fifty-five will be eligible for survivorship option benefits and his or her spouse shall receive the maximum amount of seventy-five dollars ($75.00) per month upon his or her death under the option benefit clause as set forth under subsection (e) of this section.

((i) amended Dec. 23, 2013, P.L.1242, No.125)

(1712 amended Dec. 10, 1970, P.L.919, No.291)

19530230u1712v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 9(2) of Act 85 of 2000, which amended section 1712, provided that the amendment of section 1712 shall be retroactive to January 1, 2000.

19530230u1713s

Section 1713.  Retirement Allowances After Leaving Service.--(a)  ((a) deleted June 1, 1973, P.L.37, No.19)

(b)  ((b) deleted June 1, 1973, P.L.37, No.19)

(c)  ((c) deleted June 1, 1973, P.L.37, No.19)

(d)  Option I.  Any person who, after twenty or more years' service as a county employe resigns from his or her office position or employment before reaching the age of sixty years when he or she attains the age of sixty years, when such former county employe shall be eligible to receive a retirement allowance which shall be computed on the average monthly compensation as received by the former county employe prior to his or her separation from the service of the county or county institution district in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of section 1712. Such former county employe shall be eligible to receive, in addition to a retirement allowance, a service increment, if any, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of section 1712 only to the time of his or her separation from the service of the county or county institution district.

Option II.  Employe may elect to receive immediate retirement allowance benefits under the age of sixty years provided that said retirement allowance be reduced by one-half of one per centum for each month under the age of sixty years. Option I or Option II election shall be final upon separation of his or her service from the county.

Option III.  Any employe under sixty years of age who has served twenty years or more and who was dismissed through no fault of his own may elect to receive immediate retirement allowance benefits plus a service increment, if any, equal to seventy per centum of the benefits he would be entitled to receive had he continued to be employed until age sixty. The service increment shall be effective as of January 1, 1989.

((d) amended Jan. 27, 1998, P.L.1, No.1)

(e)  The aforesaid retirement allowance plus a service increment, if any, as provided in subsection (d) of this section, shall be subject to a suspension thereof in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of section 1712. ((e) amended June 29, 1976, P.L.461, No.116)

19530230u1714s

Section 1714.  Separation from Service; Refund of Contribution.--(a)  Any person contributing monthly or bi-weekly into the retirement fund who shall, for any cause, cease to be a county employe before he or she shall be eligible to receive the benefits of the retirement allowances, the total amount of the contributions paid into the retirement fund by such county employe shall be refunded to him or her by the board, or, in the event of the death of any such county employe, the amount of said contributions shall be paid to such person or persons as he or she shall have designated in writing, as filed with the board, as his or her beneficiary, or to his or her estate. If no person or persons have been designated as his or her beneficiary, or no notice has been filed with the board to pay the amount of such contributions to his or her estate, as herein provided, then the board is herewith authorized to pay such contributions to the executor, administrator, surviving spouse, or next of kin of the deceased county employe. In the event the surviving spouse or next of kin of the decedent cannot be found for the purpose of making distribution of such contributions for a period of seven years from the death of the said county employe, then the aforesaid contributions shall be escheated to the Commonwealth for the benefit of the retirement system. In addition thereto, simple interest shall be paid at a monthly rate of interest that is equivalent to one-twelfth of the annual rate of interest specified herein on contributions of the member made under subsection (a) of section 1708 calculated from the beginning of the month of the deposit, or withholding, or payment into the fund of those contributions through the end of the month of refund; and such interest credited to the contributions of the member made under subsection (a) of section 1708 in a prior calendar year shall receive simple interest at the monthly rate of interest that is equivalent to one-twelfth of the annual rate of interest specified herein through the end of the month of refund. The annual rate of interest shall be fixed by the board. Such contributions and interest shall be paid to a county employe provided he was employed for a period of two consecutive years or more and has made twenty-four monthly contributions to the fund and is not eligible to receive the benefits of a retirement allowance. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, a member who has ceased to make contributions to the fund by payroll deduction shall thereafter be credited with interest only for a period of years equal to his years of current service under this amendment. Any person who has heretofore or who shall hereafter cease to be a county employe, shall thereafter cease to be a member of the retirement system, except such former county employe who may be eligible to receive the benefits of a retirement allowance plus a service increment if any in accordance with the provisions of sections 1710 and 1713.

((a) amended May 16, 1996, P.L.210, No.39)

(b)  If any former county employe receiving a retirement allowance either with or without a service increment shall die before he or she shall have received the total retirement allowance payments plus the service increment, if any, including payments of a survivor's benefit allowance, if any, equal to the total amount of contributions as made by such former county employe into the retirement fund, then the difference between the total of the retirement allowance payments plus the service increment, if any, including payments of a survivor's benefit allowance, if any, and the total of the amount of contributions paid into the retirement fund by such former county employe shall be paid to such person or persons as he or she shall have designated in writing, as filed with the board, as his or her beneficiary, or to his or her estate. ((b) amended Nov. 30, 1967, P.L.653, No.301)

19530230u1715s

Section 1715.  Reinstatement and Requirements for Credit for Previous Service.--(a)  No county employe shall be permitted to withdraw his or her contributions as paid into the retirement fund upon transfer from one office, department or agency to another. Any person who has ceased to be a county employe and whose contributions as paid into the retirement fund, have been refunded by the board, if such person has been reemployed by the county or county institution district and desires to be given credit for previous service as a county employe, he or she shall make payment in full of the amount refunded, with interest at the legal rate, the said interest to be computed from the date of the refund to the date of repayment. Both principal and interest shall be paid into the retirement fund at one time and in one amount, or, upon approval of the board, both principal and interest shall be consolidated into one amount and paid in twenty-four or less equal monthly installments, plus interest payment on monthly balances. Upon application to the board, an employe shall be permitted to pay the principal and interest in thirty-six or less equal monthly installments, plus interest payment on monthly balances. Full payment thereof shall be a condition precedent to the county employe being eligible to receive the benefits of the retirement allowance plus a service increment, if any. Such county employe shall make monthly payments into the retirement fund in accordance with the provisions of section 1708.

If any person who hereafter becomes a county employe and thereafter ceases to be a county employe and his or her contributions as paid into the retirement fund are refunded by the board, is reemployed by the county or county institution district and he or she desires to be given credit for previous service as a county employe, he or she shall make payment in full of the amount refunded, with interest at the legal rate, the said interest to be computed from the date of refund to the date of repayment. Both principal and interest shall be paid into the retirement fund at one time and in one amount, or, upon approval of the board both principal and interest shall be consolidated into one amount and paid in twenty-four or less equal monthly installments, plus interest payments on monthly balances. Whenever the time for payment in full has been extended for an additional period of one year the principal and interest may be paid in a total of not more than thirty-six equal monthly installments. Full payment thereof shall be a condition precedent to the county employe being eligible to receive the benefits of the retirement allowance plus a service increment, if any. Such county employe shall make monthly payments into the retirement fund in accordance with the provisions of section 1708. Any person who is a county employe on the effective date of this act may make payments into the retirement fund which shall cover a period of time within which such person was a county employe but was not a member of the retirement system because such membership was not compulsory.

((a) amended May 16, 1996, P.L.210, No.39)

(b)  Any person who has heretofore or who hereafter ceases to be a county employe and whose contributions as paid into the retirement fund, have heretofore or shall hereafter be refunded by the board, if such person is reemployed by the county or county institution district and desires to be given credit for previous service as a county employe, he or she shall make payment in full of the amount refunded, with interest at the legal rate, the said interest to be computed from the date of the refund to the date of repayment. Both principal and interest shall be paid into the retirement fund at one time and in one amount. Upon application to the board, an employe shall be permitted to pay the principal and interest in thirty-six or less equal monthly installments, plus interest payment on monthly balances. Full payment thereof shall be a condition precedent to the county employe being eligible to receive the benefits of the retirement allowance plus a service increment, if any. Such county employe shall make monthly payments into the retirement fund in accordance with the provisions of section 1708. No person reemployed as a county employe in accordance with the provisions of this subsection shall be eligible to receive a retirement allowance by reason of total and permanent physical disability, in accordance with the provisions of section 1711, unless he or she shall be in employ for a period of not less than twenty years, which said period of employment shall include credit given for previous service, as herein provided. No person who is ineligible to become a member of the retirement system shall be eligible to receive credit for previous service as a county employe, as hereinbefore provided. ((b) amended May 16, 1996, P.L.210, No.39)

(c)  Any county employe who desires to be given credit for previous service in the employ of the county as an elected or appointed employe or official, where such service subsequent to the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred forty, was rendered to the county at a time when such employe or official was not a member of the county employes' retirement system, including a period of probation served immediately after initial hiring, shall make application to the board, and upon approval thereof shall pay into the retirement fund a sum equal to twice the payment which such employe would have made had such person been a member thereof and had the payments been made in accordance with the provision of this article. In addition thereto, interest at the legal rate shall be paid from the date when the said monthly payment would have been made. Both principal and interest shall be paid into the retirement fund at one time and in one amount, or, upon approval of the board, both principal and interest shall be consolidated into one amount and paid in twenty-four or less equal monthly installments, plus interest payment on monthly balances. Full payment thereof shall be a condition precedent to the county employe being eligible to receive the benefits of the retirement allowances. Such county employe shall make monthly payments into the retirement fund in accordance with the provisions of section 1708. ((c) amended May 16, 1996, P.L.210, No.39)

(d)  Any person employed by any county correctional institution at the date such person became eligible for membership in the county employes' retirement system, who desires to be given credit for previous service in the employ of such institution when such employe was not eligible for membership, shall make application to the board, and upon approval thereof shall pay into the retirement fund a sum equal to twice the payment which such employe would have made had such person been a member thereof and had the payments been made in accordance with the provisions of this article. In addition thereto, interest at the legal rate shall be paid from the date when the said monthly payment would have been made. Both principal and interest shall be paid into the retirement fund at one time and in one amount, or upon approval of the board, both principal and interest shall be consolidated into one amount and paid in twenty-four or less equal monthly installments, plus interest payment on monthly balances. Full payment thereof shall be a condition precedent to the county employe being eligible to receive the benefits of the retirement allowances. Such county employe shall make monthly payment into the retirement fund in accordance with the provisions of section 1708.

(1715 amended Dec. 14, 1989, P.L.631, No.75)

19530230u1716s

Section 1716.  Contribution or Retirement Allowance Not Subject to Levy, Attachment or Assignment; Suspension of Retirement Allowances; Ineligibility.--No contribution, retirement allowance or service increment shall be subject to levy, sale, execution, attachment, garnishment, or any other process whatsoever, and shall not be subject to assignment or transfer. Said retirement allowance and service increment shall be exempt from any State tax or tax of any political subdivision.

(1716 amended Dec. 10, 1970, P.L.919, No.291)

19530230u1717s

Section 1717.  Counties to Which Applicable.--(1717 repealed Aug. 31, 1971, P.L.398, No.96)

19530230u1801h

 

Article XVIII

Fees of Salaried County Officers; Salary Board

 

(a)  Fees of County Officers

 

19530230u1801s

Section 1801.  Fees of Salaried County Officers to Belong to County.--All fees limited and appointed by law to be received by any county officer, either elected or appointed, or which they shall legally be authorized, required or entitled to charge or receive, shall belong to the county. Each of the said officers shall exact, collect and receive all such fees to and for the use of the county, except such taxes and fees as are levied by the Commonwealth, which shall be to and for the use of the Commonwealth. None of said officers shall receive for his own use or for any use or purpose whatever, except for the use of the proper county or for the Commonwealth, as the case may be, any fees for any official services whatsoever.

19530230u1801.1s

Section 1801.1.  Clerk of Courts Fees.--(a)  The fees to be charged and collected by the clerk of courts in counties of the second class shall be as follows:

(1)  A fee of not less than fifty dollars ($50) nor more than one hundred fifty dollars ($150) for all proceedings in all misdemeanor and felony cases disposed of at any time during or after trial, including the expunging of any record.

(2)  A fee of not less than thirty dollars ($30) nor more than one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125) for all proceedings in all misdemeanor and felony cases disposed of before trial, including the expunging of any record.

(3)  The fees referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be set by the clerk of courts.

(4)  A fee of twenty-five dollars ($25) for all proceedings in summary matters.

(5)  A fee of ten dollars ($10) for all certifications.

(6)  A fee of fifteen dollars ($15) for all other matters filed in the office and for all reports prepared by the clerk except that no fee shall be charged for filing township and borough audit reports or transcripts received which indicate a final disposition by the district justice.

(7)  A fee of forty dollars ($40) for the filing of an appeal from a summary conviction before a district justice.

(8)  A fee of forty-five dollars ($45) for an appeal from the court of common pleas to an appellate court.

(9)  A fee of five cents (5¢) per dollar for the first one thousand dollars ($1,000) and two cents (2¢) per dollar for each additional one thousand dollars ($1,000) or fraction thereof for the handling of money paid into court.

(b)  In counties of the second class, the clerk of courts may establish, modify or eliminate fees and charges, including the fees set forth in subsection (a). The approval of the president judge is required for the establishment of any new fees or charges or for fees which would exceed the maximum fees set forth in subsection (a). The clerk of courts shall collect such fees and charges and may establish, with the approval of the president judge, the manner in which such fees and charges shall be collected.

(c)  An amount not to exceed ten per centum of the fees and charges collected by the clerk of courts under this section may, at the discretion of the clerk of courts, be deposited into a special clerk of courts computer fund established in each county of the second class. In the alternative, the clerk of courts may, with the approval of the president judge, impose and collect a surcharge on some or all of the fees and charges collected under this section; and the surcharge collected shall be deposited into the special clerk of courts computer fund. Moneys in the special fund shall be used solely for the purpose of computerizing the office of the clerk of courts.

(1801.1 added May 16, 1996, P.L.210, No.39)

19530230u1801.1v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 28 of Act 207 of 2004 provided that any and all references in any other law to a "district justice" or "justice of the peace" shall be deemed to be references to a magisterial district judge.

19530230u1802s

Section 1802.  Books of Account to be Kept; Fees to be Paid to County Treasurer Monthly.--(a)  Each of said officers shall keep a special account book, the form of which shall be prescribed by the controller, in which entry shall be made of all the moneys received for fees and of all moneys earned and chargeable upon the county, specifying the day and date, the title of the case, if any, for what service, and from whom received.

(b)  On the first Monday of each month, each of said officers shall pay to the treasurer of the county all fees so received during the preceding month. Duplicate receipts therefor shall be taken, one of which he shall deposit with the county controller, together with a transcript, in detail, of his fee account book or books for the preceding month. He shall make oath or affirmation before the county controller that the transcript contains a true and correct list of all the fees received, earned or chargeable upon the county for services rendered in his office, either by himself, deputies or clerks, during the preceding month that said fees were severally charged and collected at regular rates, and that he has not received and is not to receive from any person or persons whatsoever, for any official services or duty, any other fees than those so entered on said transcript.

(c)  It shall be the duty of the county controller to receive such returns and thereafter to audit and verify the same and to do such other matters and things as may be required in the premises, to file said receipt and transcript in the office, and to charge the county treasurer with the money for fees so paid in.

(d)  Where fees are paid to one office which are for services rendered or to be rendered by another, the officer receiving the same shall specify the same on his account book and on his transcript as of the office to which they properly belong.

19530230u1803s

Section 1803.  Penalty for Receiving Gratuities or Percentages.--If any of the officers included in this subdivision shall receive or stipulate to receive from any deputy or clerk or from any person or persons awarded any contract for advertising or any other contract any sum or sums of money as percentage on the salaries of said deputy or clerk or on the amounts or profits of said contract, or any sum or sums of money whatsoever as compensation for making any of the said appointments or contracts, or shall neglect to render the accounts or to pay over the money received for fees as required by this subdivision, or shall wilfully neglect to make any proper entry in the book or books required to be kept, or shall wilfully neglect to charge for any official services the fees allowed by law, or shall take to his own use any such fees, or fail to comply with any of the provisions of this subdivision, or neglect to discharge any of the duties herein imposed, the same shall be deemed a misdemeanor in office, and, in addition to the other penalties for such offenses, he shall, upon conviction thereof, refund the said sum or sums of money thus unlawfully received, and shall be deemed incapable of holding longer the said office.

19530230u1804s

Section 1804.  False Swearing to County Accounts, Bills or Transcripts.--Any officer included in this subdivision or any other person who shall wilfully swear or affirm falsely as to the accuracy of any account, transcript or bill required in this subdivision, or in making any affidavit in reference thereto, shall be deemed guilty of perjury, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be liable to the punishment prescribed by law for perjury; and any person who shall procure any other person to swear or affirm falsely in verifying any such account, transcript or bill, or in making any affidavit in reference thereto, shall be deemed guilty of subornation of perjury, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be liable to the punishment prescribed by law for that offense.

19530230u1805s

Section 1805.  Officers Subject to This Subdivision to be Paid Salaries.--All county officers to which this subdivision applies, whether elected by the people or appointed according to law, and their several deputies and clerks, shall be paid for their services by fixed and specific salaries, which shall be a charge upon the treasury of the county to which each shall respectively belong, to the extent, except as hereinafter provided, of the fees collected and paid in by each officer respectively, or earned, where fees are chargeable upon the county treasury, and said salaries shall be paid semi-monthly or bi-weekly during the month in which the services were rendered, at the discretion of the county commissioners. No warrant shall be drawn for the payment of any of said officer, his deputies or clerks who shall not have filed the receipt and transcript for that month provided for in this subdivision.

19530230u1806s

Section 1806.  Salaries Payable from Fees.--All salaries fixed by law, except as may be otherwise provided for herein, shall be paid from the amounts paid into the county treasury from the respective offices, after ascertaining and deducting the amount due the deputies and clerks in each office. If there has not been a sum sufficient, from fees received and paid in or earned and due by the county for services rendered, to pay the full amount of the salary of any officer holding any of said offices, after deducting the amount due the deputies and clerks, such officer shall receive only such proportion of his salary as shall be equal to the aggregate of the net fees received and earned by him, as aforesaid, during his term of office during such month. If the fees in any subsequent month or months shall exceed the amount of the expense and salary aforesaid for such month, the deficit of such salary for such preceding month shall be made up from such excess.

19530230u1806v

Compiler's Note:  Section 26 of Act 142 of 1976 provided that section 1806 is repealed insofar as it relates to any county office or officer any of the fees and charges of which are established by the governing authority of the unified judicial system pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 1725 (relating to establishment of fees and charges).

19530230u1807s

Section 1807.  Monthly Returns to be Made of Taxes and Fees Due the Commonwealth.--(a)  At the same time that monthly returns are made, as required by section 1802 of this act, of the fees received by said officers to and for the use of the proper county for the preceding month, each of said officers shall make a separate return, to the Department of Revenue, of all taxes or fees collected or earned for the Commonwealth by him, if any. The amounts so returned by any of said officers, as received by him for the Commonwealth, shall be separately paid by him into the State Treasury through the Department of Revenue, quarterly, on the first Mondays of April, July, October and January, for which he shall take duplicate receipts.

(b)  All commissions on the collection of any such taxes and fees for the Commonwealth shall be deemed and taken as part of the regular fees of the officer collecting the same and shall be accounted for accordingly.

19530230u1808s

Section 1808.  Payment of Certain Officers.--The county solicitor, county jailor, county commissioners, county controller, county engineer, county detectives, county treasurer, interpreter of courts, district attorney and his assistants shall severally be paid bi-weekly, semi-monthly, monthly, or quarterly, at the discretion of the county commissioners. They shall be paid the full amount allowed them by law, but all fees and emoluments whatsoever that may accrue to any of them by virtue of his office shall be paid by him to the county treasurer as directed by law, and all other officers shall be paid the amounts assigned them only when the net receipts of their respective offices shall reach the amounts respectively fixed for them.

(1808 amended Nov. 27, 1968, P.L.1114, No.346)

19530230u1809s

Section 1809.  Salaries in Lieu of Fees.--Except to the extent this section may be inconsistent with any other express provision of this act, the salaries fixed and provided by law for county officers shall be in lieu of all or any moneys, fees, perquisites, or mileage expenses, and other allowances received or allowed to any such officer, and all such moneys, fees, perquisites, or mileage expenses, and other allowances, not governed by the aforesaid exceptions, shall belong to the county and shall be paid into the county treasury, except where required to be paid to the Commonwealth in the manner provided by this subdivision for fees.

19530230u1810s

Section 1810.  Salaries of County Officers.--The annual salaries of the following county officers shall be as follows:

The sheriff, eighteen thousand six hundred dollars ($18,600).

The prothonotary, eighteen thousand six hundred dollars ($18,600).

The recorder of deeds, eighteen thousand six hundred dollars ($18,600).

The register of wills and clerk of the orphans' court, ten thousand two hundred dollars ($10,200).

The clerk of the court, eighteen thousand six hundred dollars ($18,600).

The treasurer, eighteen thousand six hundred dollars ($18,600).

The controller, eighteen thousand six hundred dollars ($18,600).

The coroner, eighteen thousand six hundred dollars ($18,600).

The district attorney, twenty thousand four hundred dollars ($20,400).

The chairman of the county commissioners, twenty-five thousand eight hundred dollars ($25,800); the other county commissioners, twenty-two thousand two hundred dollars ($22,200), each.

Two elective jury commissioners, in counties of the second class, thirteen thousand two hundred dollars ($13,200), and jury commissioners in counties of the second class A, six thousand dollars ($6,000). (Par. amended Oct. 20, 1967, P.L.472, No.224)

(1810 amended Feb. 2, 1966, 1965 P.L.1878, No.596)

19530230u1820h

 

(b)  Salary Board

 

19530230u1820s

Section 1820.  Salaries and Compensation.--The salaries and compensation of county officers shall be as now or hereafter fixed by law. The salaries and compensation of all appointed officers and employes who are paid from the county treasury shall be fixed by the salary board created by this act for such purposes.

19530230u1820.1s

Section 1820.1.  Insurance and Other Employe Benefits.--In addition to any other authorized compensation, county commissioners and other county officers and their dependents shall be eligible for inclusion in group life, health, hospitalization, medical service and accident insurance plans or employe benefits, or payments made in lieu of such benefits, paid in whole or in part by the county, provided such plans, benefits or payments are offered generally to employes of the county.

(1820.1 added Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1439, No.186)

19530230u1821s

Section 1821.  Fees.--All county officers shall continue to charge and collect the fees, mileage and emoluments of office for their own use or for the use of the county, as provided by law, and where required by law, such fees, mileage and emoluments shall be paid to the county treasurer as and when required, and if no time of so paying be fixed as to any such fees, mileage or emoluments, then on or before the tenth day of each month.

19530230u1822s

Section 1822.  Salary Boards Created.--There is hereby created in the county a salary board, which shall consist of the three individual members of the board of county commissioners and the county controller. The chairman of the board of county commissioners shall be chairman of the salary board and the county controller secretary thereof. The board shall meet and organize on the first Monday of January of each year.

19530230u1823s

Section 1823.  Number and Compensation of Officers, Deputies, Assistants, Clerks and Employes.--The board, subject to limitations imposed by law, shall fix the compensation of all appointed county officers, and the number and compensation of all deputies, assistants, clerks and other persons whose compensation is paid out of the county treasury, and of all court criers, tipstaves and other court employes, and of all officers, clerks, stenographers and employes appointed by the judges of any court and who are paid from the county treasury.

19530230u1824s

Section 1824.  Revisions of Salary Schedules.--At each annual meeting, the board shall revise the salary schedule so far as it shall deem such action necessary. From time to time between annual meetings, whenever required by any judge, county officer or executive head of any separate board, commission or division, the number or compensation of whose deputies, assistants, clerks and employes is sought to be fixed, the board shall meet and consider and shall fix and determine the same. All salaries fixed under the provisions of this act shall be paid out of the county treasury.

19530230u1825s

Section 1825.  Procedure and Action of Board.--(a)  Except as herein otherwise provided, whenever the board shall consider the number of salaries of the deputies or other employes of any county officer or agency, such officer or the executive head of such agency shall sit as a member of the board, as long as any matter affecting his office or agency is under consideration and no longer.

(b)  Whenever the board shall consider the number or salaries of the court criers or tipstaves or other court employes, the president judge of the court shall sit as a member of the board, as long as any matter affecting the court criers, tipstaves or employes of his court is under consideration and no longer.

(c)  Whenever the board shall consider the number or salaries of the officers or employes appointed by any judge of any court, such judge shall sit as a member of the board, as long as any matter affecting any of his appointees is under consideration and no longer.

(d)  Whenever the board shall consider the number or salaries of the employes of the prison board, the president judge of the court of common pleas shall sit as a member of the board, and the board so constituted shall fix the number and salaries of such employes, notwithstanding any general, local or special law to the contrary.

(e)  The decisions of a majority shall govern. Each board shall keep a correct minute book of its proceedings in all cases heard and determined by it. Such minute book shall be a public record.

19530230u1901h

 

Article XIX

Fiscal Affairs

 

(a)  Fiscal Policy and Systems

 

19530230u1901s

Section 1901.  Functions of the Controller.--The controller shall have a general supervision and control of the fiscal affairs of the county and of the accounts and official acts of all officers or other persons who shall collect, receive or distribute the public moneys of the county, or who shall be charged with the management or custody thereof. He may at any time require from any of them, in writing, an account of all moneys or property which may have come into their control. He shall, immediately on the discovery of any default or delinquency, report the same to the commissioners and the court of common pleas of the county, and shall take immediate measures to secure the public moneys or property and remove the delinquent party, if in office and not removed by the commissioners.

19530230u1902s

Section 1902.  Accounts of Officers.--The controller shall furnish the commissioners of the county, whenever required by them, a detailed account of any officer or other person having in his possession or under his control funds belonging to the county, and shall, during regular office hours, give information respecting any of said accounts to any taxpayer of the county demanding the same.

He shall have power and authority to require each and every county officer to make a quarterly statement with respect to moneys in his possession or control as a county officer, showing the amount of cash on hand and the amount deposited in banks, banking institutions and trust companies, together with the names of such institutions. He shall have power to examine every such account of a county officer in any bank, banking institution or trust company, to verify the accuracy of the statement of such county officer. It shall be the duty of every such bank, banking institution or trust company, its officers and agents, to furnish full information to the controller in relation to the account of such county officer. No bank, banking institution or trust company, its officers or agents, shall be subject to prosecution under other laws of this Commonwealth for disclosing any such information with respect to any account of a county officer.

19530230u1903s

Section 1903.  Custody of Valuable Documents.--The controller shall have the custody of all title deeds to real estate owned by the county, and of all contracts entered into by or on behalf of the county, and of all books, documents and papers relating to its financial affairs, and of all bonds and other obligations issued by the county, when paid. Such bonds and other obligations, when so paid, shall be distinctly cancelled by the controller and carefully and regularly filed, a register of which cancellation shall be kept by him in a book to be provided for that purpose.

19530230u1904s

Section 1904.  Books of Fiscal Affairs.--The controller shall keep a full and regular set of books in detail, by double entry, of all the fiscal operations of the county, embracing as many accounts, under appropriate titles, as may be necessary to show distinctly and separately all the property of the county, its receipts and expenditures, and all debts and accounts due by the county officers or others, and the amount raised from each source of revenue, and the expenditures in detail, and classified by reference to the objects thereof. He shall prescribe the form and manner of keeping the books and papers used by each of the officers of the county in connection with the fiscal affairs of the county. Where the controller prescribes a new system of accounting as to the fiscal affairs of the county offices, it shall be subject to the approval of the county commissioners.

19530230u1920h

 

(b)  Accounts, Audits and Reports by Controller

 

19530230u1920s

Section 1920.  Controller's Settlement of Accounts; Report to Common Pleas; Publications; Financial Report to Department of Community and Economic Development.--The controller shall, at the end of each fiscal year, complete the audit, settlement and adjustment of the accounts of all county officers. He shall, in the month of July in every year, make a report, verified by oath or affirmation, to the court of common pleas of said county, of all receipts and expenditures of the county for the preceding year, in detail, and classified by reference to the object thereof, together with a full statement of the financial conditions of the county. A concise summary of this report shall thereupon be published one time in such newspapers published in the county as the controller may direct, but the aggregate cost thereof shall not exceed four thousand dollars ($4,000) in any one year, to be paid for out of the county treasury. Such report may also be published in printed pamphlets, at the cost of the county, the number and cost of such pamphlets to be determined by the controller and the county commissioners. The controller shall also, by the first Monday of the month of July of the year after the close of the fiscal year, make an annual report to the Department of Community and Economic Development of the financial condition of the county, on forms furnished by the Secretary of Community and Economic Development, and subject to the penalties provided in section 1921 of this act for the controller refusing or neglecting to make similar reports.

(1920 amended May 12, 2010, P.L.199, No.27)

19530230u1920v

 

Compiler's Note:  The Department of Community Affairs, referred to in this section, was abolished by Act 58 of 1996 and its functions were transferred to the Department of Community and Economic Development. The Secretary of Community Affairs, referred to in this section, was abolished by Act 58 of 1996 and the functions were transferred to the Secretary of Community and Economic Development.

19530230u1921s

Section 1921.  Penalties.--Any controller refusing or wilfully neglecting to file the report required by section 1920 of this act shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding brought at the instance of the Department of Community Affairs, be sentenced to pay a fine of five dollars ($5.00) for each day's delay beyond said sixty days and costs. All fines recovered shall be for the use of the Commonwealth.

(1921 amended Oct. 5, 1967, P.L.340, No.146)

19530230u1921v

 

Compiler's Note:  The Department of Community Affairs, referred to in this section, was abolished by Act 58 of 1996 and its functions were transferred to the Department of Community and Economic Development.

19530230u1922s

Section 1922.  Audit of the Accounts of Parole and Probation Officers and of Appropriations to National Guard Units.--It shall be the duty of the controller to audit, settle and adjust the accounts of every parole and probation officer, appointed by the court pursuant to law, who shall receive from any person or persons moneys paid under any order, sentence or judgment of any court, and to report the results of such audits to the court which shall have appointed such officer. The controller shall prescribe the system of accounting to be used by the parole and probation officer, and shall likewise audit, settle and adjust the accounts of any moneys appropriated by the county to units of the National Guard.

19530230u1923s

Section 1923.  Accounts and Audits of Moneys Collected for Taxing Units Within the County; Payments.--All taxes, penalties, fines and costs collected by the county treasurer and belonging to any city, borough, township, school district or institution district shall be entered and carried in the books of the county in the same manner as county moneys. It shall be audited in like manner, and when paid to the taxing district entitled thereto, as provided by law, such payments shall be made on warrants in the same manner as payments are made of county moneys.

19530230u1924s

Section 1924.  Audit of Accounts of Commonwealth Moneys.--It shall also be the duty of the controller to audit, settle and adjust the accounts of the county treasurer with the State Treasury, and of each of such other officers in the county receiving money for the use of the Commonwealth, and where the county has a financial interest, as may be referred to them by the Auditor General or the Department of Revenue, and to make a separate report thereof to the court of common pleas, together with a statement of the balances due from or to such treasurer or other officer. A certified copy of such report shall be transmitted to the Auditor General or Department of Revenue, as the case may be, within ten days after the same is prepared.

19530230u1925s

Section 1925.  Power of Subpoena and Attachment.--The controller shall have power to issue subpoenas to obtain the attendance of the officers whose accounts they are required to adjust, their executors and administrators, and of any person whom it may be necessary to examine as witnesses, and to compel their attendance by attachment, in like manner and to the same extent as any court of common pleas of this State may or can do in cases pending before them, and also to compel in like manner the production of all books, vouchers and papers relative to such accounts. Such subpoena and attachment shall be served and executed by the sheriff or coroner of the county, as the case may require.

19530230u1926s

Section 1926.  Power to Administer Oaths.--The controller shall have power to administer oaths and affirmations to all persons brought or appearing before him, whether accountants, witnesses or otherwise, and all persons swearing or affirming falsely on such examination shall be guilty of perjury.

19530230u1927s

Section 1927.  Commitment to County Jail.--If any person appearing before the controller for examination shall refuse to take oath or affirmation, or after having been sworn or affirmed shall refuse to make answer to such questions as shall be put to him by the controller touching the public accounts or the official conduct of any public officers, such persons so refusing may be committed by the controller to the county jail by warrant under his hand and seal, directed to the sheriff or any constable of the county, setting forth particularly the causes of such commitment, until he shall submit to be sworn or affirmed or to make answers to such questions or be otherwise legally discharged.

19530230u1928s

Section 1928.  Witness Fees.--Witnesses attending before the controller shall receive the same allowance as is received by witnesses attending before the courts of this Commonwealth. Such allowance shall be paid out of the county treasury, and where final judgment is given against any officer whose accounts are settled by the controller, shall be included in the costs assessed against such officer.

19530230u1929s

Section 1929.  Settlement of Accounts on Extraneous Proof.--If any person in possession of books, vouchers or papers relative to public accounts before the controller shall refuse to produce the same, or if any officer whose accounts are to be settled and adjusted by the controller shall refuse to attend or submit to examination, the controller shall proceed, by the examination of witnesses and other evidence, to ascertain and settle, as near as may be, the amount of public money received by such officer and its application to public purposes or otherwise.

19530230u1930s

Section 1930.  Filing Reports.--The reports of the controller shall be filed among the records of the court of common pleas of the county, and from the time of such filing shall have the effect of a judgment against the real estate of the officer who shall thereby appear to be indebted either to the Commonwealth or to the county.

19530230u1931s

Section 1931.  Appeals from Reports.--An appeal may be taken from such reports to the court of common pleas, either by the Commonwealth, the county or the officer. Such appeal may also be taken by ten or more taxpayers in behalf of the county, in the manner and subject to the restrictions provided by article thirty of this act.

Such appeal shall be entered by the Commonwealth within four months, and by the county and the officer within sixty days after the filing of the report. If the officer is the appellant, he shall enter into a recognizance with two sufficient sureties in double the sum found due by such report, with condition to prosecute the appeal with effect and to pay the costs and such sum of money as shall appear on the final determination of the appeal to be due from him.

19530230u1932s

Section 1932.  Form of Issue on Appeals.--The court of common pleas shall direct the form in which the issues shall be entered in all appeals from the reports of the county controller. Such issues shall be tried by a jury, or may be submitted to reference and arbitration in the manner and subject to the proceedings provided by law.

19530230u1933s

Section 1933.  Allowance of Counsel Fees.--When an appeal is taken from the controller's reports and such appeal results favorably to the appellants in such a manner that money is recovered for the county, the court hearing such appeal shall make an order to pay a counsel fee which it deems just and reasonable to the counsel representing such appeal, out of the funds so recovered.

19530230u1934s

Section 1934.  Payment of Costs on Appeal.--(1934 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19530230u1935s

Section 1935.  Appeals to the Superior or Supreme Court.--(1935 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19530230u1936s

Section 1936.  Execution.--(1936 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19530230u1937s

Section 1937.  Fines and Forfeited Recognizances.--(1937 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19530230u1938s

Section 1938.  Repayment of Money Collected Upon Forfeited Recognizances and Satisfaction of Certain Judgment Liens Upon Real Property.--(1938 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

19530230u1950h

 

(c)  Disbursals of County Moneys

 

19530230u1950s

Section 1950.  Claims Against County.--The controller shall scrutinize, audit and decide on all bills, claims and demands whatsoever against the county. All persons having such claims shall first present the same to the controller and, if required, make oath or affirmation before him to the correctness thereof. The controller may, if he deems it necessary, require evidence, by oath or affirmation, of the claimant and otherwise that the claim is legally due and that the supplies or services for which payment is claimed have been furnished or performed under legal authority. He may inquire or ascertain whether any officer or agent of the county is interested in the contract under which any claim may arise, or has received or is to receive any commission, consideration or gratuity relating thereto, or whether there has been any evasion of the provisions of this act by making two or more contracts for small amounts which should have been in one. If he shall find that there has been any evasion, or that any such officer or agent is so interested, he shall refuse to approve the claim. All claims which he shall find legally due, he shall certify to the commissioners.

19530230u1951s

Section 1951.  Drawing Warrants.--The commissioners shall draw no warrant on the treasury for any debt, claim or demand whatsoever not audited and approved by the controller, as provided for in the foregoing section, except for the fees of jurors, witnesses, criers and tipstaves of the several courts of the county. The amount of said fees shall be ascertained by said courts and entered on the records thereof and duly certified by their respective clerks to the commissioners, being first sworn to before the controller. Said certificate shall be delivered by the commissioners to the controller for preservation as soon as the warrants are issued.

19530230u1952s

Section 1952.  Warrants; Reports on Financial Condition.--All warrants drawn on the county treasury by the commissioners shall be countersigned by the controller, who shall keep a correct register thereof, noting the number, date and amount of each, the date of payment, and to whom and for what issued. The controller shall report to the commissioners monthly, or oftener if required by them, the amount of outstanding warrants registered and the amount of money in the treasury.

19530230u1953s

Section 1953.  Payment of County Moneys.--The treasurer shall pay no money out of the county treasury except on warrants drawn by a majority of the commissioners and countersigned by the controller. He shall cancel all warrants, when paid, by distinctly spearing or cutting them, and shall deliver such warrants to the controller who shall also cancel the same. He shall report daily to the controller all moneys paid out by him, giving the number of the warrant and the party to whom paid.

All outstanding warrants issued before the controller enters upon the duties of his office shall be presented to him as other claims against the county.

19530230u1954s

Section 1954.  Additional Clerk to Countersign Warrants.--The county controller may designate, in addition to the chief clerk, any clerk in his office to countersign warrants when properly drawn on the county treasurer, whenever, in the opinion of any such controller, it is necessary so to do for the public convenience. Warrants so countersigned by such clerk shall be honored by the county treasurer, with the same force and effect as if countersigned by the county controller or his chief clerk, during the period designated in writing to such county treasurer by the said county controller.

19530230u1960h

 

(d)  County Treasury, County Depositories

and Investment of Moneys

(Hdg. amended Nov. 5, 1971, P.L.516, No.124)

 

19530230u1960s

Section 1960.  Duty of Treasurer; Receipts of Money for the County.--The county treasurer shall receive all moneys due or accruing to the county. He shall keep a just and true account of all moneys received and disbursed. The books of the treasurer shall at all times during office hours be open to the inspection of the controller. He shall report daily to the controller all moneys received by him for the county, the person by whom, and on what account they were paid. The treasurer shall give his receipt for all moneys paid into the county treasury. Such receipts shall be countersigned by the controller, who shall keep an accurate record of the same.

19530230u1961s

Section 1961.  Board to Select Depositories.--The commissioners, controller and treasurer of the county shall be a board for the purpose of selecting depositories for the funds of the county. For the purpose of voting at their meetings, the county commissioners shall each have one vote, the controller one vote, and the treasurer one vote. The majority of said vote present at any meeting shall be sufficient to enable the board to transact its business.

19530230u1962s

Section 1962.  Meeting; Number of Depositories.--The board shall meet at the office of the county controller not later than noon of the third Wednesday after the first Monday of January following the election of the county treasurer, and thereafter as may be necessary, and shall there decide upon the number of banks and banking institutions, not less than three in number, as depositories of county funds, for such period of time as the board may determine, but not to exceed the term for which the treasurer is elected.

19530230u1963s

Section 1963.  Designation and Qualification of Depositories.--At said meeting or at any subsequent meeting agreed upon, said board shall designate the depositories and the rate of interest to be paid by them to the county.

Depositories so designated shall, upon receipt of notice of their selection as a depository of county funds, furnish collateral to secure payment of deposits and interest to the county by depositing in escrow securities to be approved by the board. Such securities shall be of the kind and in the amount to be fixed by the board. Substitution of such securities may be made with the approval of the board in each case. The board may designate a branch bank of the Federal Reserve Bank of the district, located within the county, as escrow agent for the keeping of securities and to perform such functions as the board may prescribe.

The county treasurer, upon the designation of such depository or depositories, shall immediately transfer thereto all county funds to be deposited, and shall thereafter keep such deposits solely in such depository or depositories, in the name of the county. Withdrawals from such depository shall be only drawn by the treasurer upon properly authorized checks or by other commercially accepted methods for county fund transfers.

(1963 amended Dec. 13, 1982, P.L.1136, No.259)

19530230u1964s

Section 1964.  Investment of Moneys.--(a)  The county treasurer shall have the power, subject to subsection (b) and the hereinafter stated conditions and limitations, to invest and reinvest the moneys of the general fund and special funds as shall have accumulated beyond the ordinary needs of said various funds, and which are not authorized by law to be invested by any board, commission or county officer, consistent with sound business practice, subject, however, to the exercise of that degree of judgment, skill and care under the circumstances then prevailing which persons of prudence, discretion and intelligence, who are familiar with such matters, exercise in the management of their own affairs not in regard to speculation, but in regard to the permanent disposition of the funds, considering the probable income to be derived therefrom as well as the probable safety of their capital.

(b)  A Board of Investment is hereby created. Said board shall be composed of three members, to wit: the treasurer, who shall act as a chairman of the board; the chairman of the county commissioners; and the controller. The board shall provide for an investment program, including temporary investments, subject to restrictions contained in this act, and in any other applicable statute and any rules and regulations adopted by the board. County boards, commissions or other county officers authorized to make investments under subsection (a) shall make investments in conformity with the board's investment program.

(c)  Authorized types of investments for county funds shall be:

(1)  United States Treasury bills.

(2)  Short-term obligations of the United States Government or its agencies or instrumentalities.

(3)  Deposits in savings accounts or time deposits, other than certificates of deposit, or share accounts of institutions having their principal place of business in the Commonwealth and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund or the Pennsylvania Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Pennsylvania Savings Association Insurance Corporation to the extent that such accounts are so insured, and, for any amounts above the insured maximum, provided that approved collateral as provided by law therefore shall be pledged by the depository.

(4)  Obligations of the United States of America or any of its agencies or instrumentalities backed by the full faith and credit of the United States of America, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any of its agencies or instrumentalities backed by the full faith and credit of the Commonwealth, or of any political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any of its agencies or instrumentalities backed by the full faith and credit of the political subdivision.

(5)  Shares of an investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, whose shares are registered under the Securities Act of 1933, provided that the only investments of that company are in the authorized investments for county funds listed in clauses (1) through (4).

(6)  Certificates of deposit purchased from institutions having their principal place of business in the Commonwealth and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund or the Pennsylvania Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Pennsylvania Savings Association Insurance Corporation to the extent that such accounts are so insured. However, for any amounts above the insured maximum, such certificates of deposit shall be collateralized by a pledge or assignment of assets of the institution, and such collateral may include loans (including interest in pools of loans) secured by first mortgage liens on real property. Certificates of deposit purchased from commercial banks shall be limited to an amount equal to twenty per centum (20%) of a bank's total capital and surplus. Certificates of deposit purchased from savings and loan associations or savings banks shall be limited to an amount equal to twenty per centum (20%) of an institution's assets minus liabilities.

(7)  Certificates of deposit purchased from institutions having their principal place of business outside the Commonwealth and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund to the extent that such accounts are so insured, and, for any amounts above the insured maximum, provided that approved collateral as provided by law therefore shall be pledged by the depository. Certificates of deposit purchased from commercial banks shall be limited to an amount equal to twenty per centum (20%) of a bank's total capital and surplus. Certificates of deposit purchased from savings and loan associations or savings banks shall be limited to an amount equal to twenty per centum (20%) of an institution's assets minus liabilities.

(8)  Any investment authorized by 20 Pa.C.S. Ch. 73 (relating to fiduciaries investments) shall be an authorized investment for any pension or retirement fund.

(9)  "Commercial paper" and "prime commercial paper" as provided for in subsection (d).

(d)  As used herein "commercial paper" shall mean unsecured promissory notes issued at a discount from par by any industrial, common carrier, public utility or finance company and "prime commercial paper" shall mean notes issued by corporations whose credit has been approved by the National Credit Office, Incorporated, New York, or its successor. The treasurer shall have obtained the following prior to any commitment to purchase commercial paper:

(1)  A certification or other evidence that such commercial paper is rated prime by the National Credit Office, Incorporated.

(2)  A certification or other evidence that the paper proposed to be delivered is not subordinate to any other debt of the issuer.

(3)  A certificate or other evidence that there is no litigation pending or threatened affecting said paper.

(4)  A certificate or other evidence that the issuer is not in default as to the payment of principal and interest upon any of its outstanding obligations.

(5)  A certificate or other evidence that the issuer was incorporated within the United States, is transacting business within the United States, and has assets of one billion dollars ($1,000,000,000) or more, or is a wholly owned subsidiary of a Pennsylvania corporation having assets of one billion dollars ($1,000,000,000) or more.

(6)  The treasurer shall not, at any time, have invested in prime commercial paper more than an aggregate of such total sum as the board shall have prescribed.

(e)  In making investments of county funds, the county treasurer (or other elected officials when authorized as provided in subsection (a)) shall have authority:

(1)  To permit assets pledged as collateral under subsection (c)(3), to be pooled in accordance with the act of August 6, 1971 (P.L.281, No.72), entitled "An act standardizing the procedures for pledges of assets to secure deposits of public funds with banking institutions pursuant to other laws; establishing a standard rule for the types, amounts and valuations of assets eligible to be used as collateral for deposits of public funds; permitting assets to be pledged against deposits on a pooled basis; and authorizing the appointment of custodians to act as pledgees of assets," relating to pledges of assets to secure deposits of public funds.

(2)  To combine moneys from more than one fund under county control for the purchase of a single investment, provided that each of the funds combined for the purpose shall be accounted for separately in all respects and that the earnings from the investment are separately and individually computed and recorded, and credited to the accounts from which the investment was purchased.

(3)  To join with one or more other political subdivisions and municipal authorities in accordance with the act of July 12, 1972 (P.L.762, No.180), entitled "An act relating to intergovernmental cooperation," in the purchase of a single investment, provided that the requirements of clause (2) on separate accounting of individual funds and separate computation, recording and crediting of the earnings therefrom are adhered to.

(f)  All income earned on any of the aforesaid investments shall inure to the benefit of the county and shall be placed in the general fund.

(1964 amended Dec. 13, 1982, P.L.1136, No.259)

19530230u1970h

 

(e)  County Taxation, Borrowing and Transfer of Funds

 

19530230u1970s

Section 1970.  Tax Levies.--No tax shall be levied on personal property taxable for county purposes where the rate of taxation thereon is fixed by law other than at the rate so fixed. The county commissioners shall fix, by resolution, the rate of taxation for each year. The tax levied shall be for the purpose of creating a general fund to pay expenses incurred for general county purposes, for the payment of the matters connected with roads provided for in subsection (g) of section 2901 hereof, for the payment of the matters connected with parks and related matters provided for in sections 3007 and 3035 hereof. No such tax in any county of the second class, shall in any one year exceed the rate of twenty-five mills on every dollar of the adjusted valuation: Provided, however, That the rate of taxation for payment of interest and principal on any indebtedness incurred pursuant to the act of July 12, 1972 (P.L.781, No.185), known as the "Local Government Unit Debt Act," or any prior or subsequent act governing the incurrence of indebtedness of the county shall be unlimited. No tax for general county purposes in any county of the second class A shall in any one year exceed the rate of forty mills on every dollar of the adjusted valuation: Provided, however, That the rate of taxation for payment of interest and principal on any indebtedness incurred pursuant to the act of July 12, 1972 (P.L.781, No.185), known as the "Local Government Unit Debt Act," or any prior or subsequent act governing the incurrence of indebtedness of the county shall be unlimited. In fixing the rate of taxation, the county commissioners if the rate is fixed in mills, shall also include in the resolution a statement expressing the rate of taxation in dollars and cents on each one hundred dollars of assessed valuation of taxable property.

(1970 amended Dec. 9, 2002, P.L.1383, No.170)

19530230u1970.1s

Section 1970.1.  Tax Levy for Institution Districts in Second Class A Counties.--The county commissioners in counties of the second class A shall have the power to levy a tax for institution district purposes and for the payment of the obligations of the predecessor poor districts on real estate, trades, occupations and professions, in the same manner and at the same time as county taxes, annual taxes to pay the current expense of the institution district, none of which shall exceed fifteen mills on the dollar of the last adjusted assessed valuation for county purposes: Provided, That no tax shall be levied and collected on trades, occupations and professions at the same time a per capita tax on individuals is levied and collected.

(1970.1 added Dec. 30, 1974, P.L.1154, No.367)

19530230u1970.2s

Section 1970.2.  Hotel Room Rental.--(a)  The following words and phrases when used in this section shall have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the meanings ascribed to them in this section:

"Consideration," receipts, fees, charges, rentals, leases, cash, credits, property of any kind or nature, or other payment received by operators in exchange for or in consideration of the use or occupancy by a transient of a room or rooms in a hotel for any temporary period.

"Convention center or exhibition hall," a building or series of buildings not used for the retail sale of merchandise or part of any shopping center, mall or other retail center together with any land appurtenant thereto, a major function of which is to house meetings, exhibitions, shows, conventions, assemblies, convocations, and similar gatherings: Provided, That one of the aforesaid buildings shall contain a minimum of seventy-five thousand (75,000) gross square feet of exhibition space for shows and conventions.

"Cooperating political subdivision or agency of government," any city or public authority located in such county within whose boundaries a convention center or exhibition hall is planned or constructed which shares with the county any duties, obligations or privileges with respect to the convention center situated therein.

"Hotel," a hotel, motel, inn, guest house, or other building located within the taxing jurisdiction which holds itself out by any means including advertising, license, registration with any innkeeper's group, convention listing association, travel publication or similar association or with any government agency as being available to provide overnight lodging or use of facility space for consideration to persons seeking temporary accommodation; any place which advertises to the public at large or any segment thereof that it will provide beds, sanitary facilities or other space for a temporary period to members of the public at large; any place recognized as a hostelry: Provided, That portions of such facility which are devoted to persons who have established permanent residence shall not be included in this definition.

"Municipality," a township, borough or a home rule municipality which was formerly a township or borough.

"Occupancy," the use or possession or the right to the use or possession by any person other than a permanent resident of any room in a hotel for any purpose or the right to the use or possession of the furnishings or to the services accompanying the use and possession of the room.

"Operator," any individual, partnership, nonprofit or profit-making association or corporation or other person or group of persons who maintain, operate, manage, own, have custody of, or otherwise possess the right to rent or lease overnight accommodations in any hotel to the public for consideration.

"Operating deficit," the excess of expenses over receipts from the operation and management of a convention center or exhibition hall.

"Patron," any person who pays the consideration for the occupancy of a room or rooms in a hotel.

"Permanent resident," any person who has occupied or has the right to occupancy of any room or rooms in a hotel as a patron or otherwise for a period exceeding thirty (30) consecutive days.

"Recognized tourist promotion agency," the nonprofit corporation, organization, association or agency which is and has been engaged in planning and promoting programs designed to stimulate and increase the volume of tourist, visitor and vacation business within counties served by such agencies as that term is defined in the act of April 28, 1961 (P.L.111, No.50), known as the "Tourist Promotion Law," and which particular nonprofit corporation, organization, association or agency heretofore has been recognized by the Department of Community and Economic Development all in accordance with the terms of said "Tourist Promotion Law."

"Regional tourist promotion activities," services, activities, facilities and events which result in a significant number of nonresidents visiting a county of the second class for recreational, cultural or educational purposes.

"Room," a space in a hotel set aside for use and occupancy by patrons, or otherwise, for consideration, having at least one bed or other sleeping accommodation provided therein.

"Temporary," a period of time not exceeding thirty (30) consecutive days.

"Transaction," the activity involving the obtaining by a transient or patron of the use or occupancy of a hotel room from which consideration emanates to the operator under an express or an implied contract.

"Transient," any individual who obtains accommodation in any hotel for himself by means of registering at the facility for the temporary occupancy of any room for the personal use of that individual by paying to the operator of the facility a fee in consideration therefor.

(b)  The county commissioners in each county of the second class are hereby authorized to impose an excise tax at five per centum (5%) on the consideration received by each operator of a hotel within the county from each transaction of renting a room or rooms to accommodate transients. The county commissioners in each county of the second class A are hereby authorized to impose an excise tax not to exceed three per centum (3%) on the consideration received by each operator of a hotel within the county from each transaction of renting a room or rooms to accommodate transients. The tax shall be collected by the operator from the patron of the room and paid over to the county as herein provided.

(b.1)  The treasurer of each county of the second class electing to impose the tax authorized under this section is hereby directed to collect the tax and to deposit the revenues received from the tax in a special fund. The revenues shall be distributed by the county commissioners as follows:

(1)  Two-fifths (2/5) of all revenues received by the county from the excise tax shall be distributed to a tourist promotion agency pursuant to section 2199.14.

(2)  One-third (1/3) of the five per centum (5%) excise tax collected by hotels within a municipality wherein a convention center or exhibition hall is located (less the cost of collecting the tax) shall, at the request of such municipality, be returned to that municipality wherein such convention center or exhibition hall is located, for deposit in that municipality's special fund established solely for purposes of paying for promotional programs implemented by a nonprofit organization which are designed to stimulate and increase the volume of conventions and visitors within the municipality: Provided, however, That an audited report on the income and expenditures incurred by the municipality receiving funds from the excise tax on hotel room rentals shall be made annually to the board of county commissioners; And provided further, That the members of the board of directors or other governing body of the nonprofit organization utilized by the municipality to provide the aforementioned promotional programs be appointed by the governing body of the municipality.

(2.1)  A five per centum (5%) fee shall be paid to the county for collecting the tax.

(3)  All remaining revenues from the five per centum (5%) excise tax received by the county, after paying the amounts set forth in clauses (1), (2) and (2.1), shall be used for operational and maintenance expenditures of the convention center or exhibition hall as provided in subsection (d) and for regional tourist promotion activities.

(4)  In the event that bonds are issued by the public authority to provide permanent financing or refinancing of the expansion of and capital improvements to the convention center/exhibition hall, the revenues received from the tax and deposited in the special fund shall not be distributed as aforesaid but shall be distributed by the county commissioners in the order of priority as follows: first, to the payment of all amounts set forth in clause (2); second, to the trustee for such bonds in accordance with the provisions of the indenture pursuant to which the bonds are issued to be used for the payment of debt service on such bonds and to the payment of all amounts set forth in clause (2.1) in full or pro rata if the revenues are insufficient to make such payments in full, as the case may be; third, to the payment of all amounts set forth in clause (1); and fourth, as set forth in clause (3), provided that this clause shall not apply to bonds issued subsequent to such permanent financing for purposes of completion or subsequent expansions or capital improvements.

(c)  The treasurer of each county of the second class A electing to impose the tax authorized under this section is hereby directed to collect the tax and to deposit the revenues in a special fund established solely for purposes of travel and tourism promotion and advertising related to such promotion. The treasurer is hereby authorized to establish rules and regulations concerning the collection of the tax.

(d)  In counties of the second class, expenditures from the fund established pursuant to subsection (b.1) shall be used for all purposes which a public authority may determine to be reasonably necessary to the support, operation and maintenance of a convention center or exhibition hall, including but not limited to the following:

(1)  advertising and publicizing tourist attractions in the area served by the agency;

(2)  promoting and otherwise encouraging the use of the facilities in the area served by the agency by the public as a whole;

(3)  promoting and attracting conventions, exhibitions and other functions to utilize facilities in the area served by the agency;

(4)  precompletion advertising and publicizing of any convention center or exhibition hall;

(5)  promoting and attracting conventions, exhibitions and other functions to utilize the convention center or exhibition hall;

(6)  promoting and otherwise encouraging the use of the premises by the public as a whole, or any segment thereof;

(7)  operating, furnishing and otherwise maintaining and equipping the premises and realty appurtenant thereto;

(8)  furnishing and equipping the building and grounds.

It is the intention of this section that the receipts from any tax imposed pursuant to the provisions of this act after payment of the distributions under subsection (b.1)(1), (2), (2.1), (3) and (4) be used in counties of the second class to offset the entire operating deficit, if any, of any convention center or exhibition hall including, equally, shares of any cooperating political subdivision or agency of government incurred pursuant to any agreement presently existing or executed hereafter. The operating deficit shall be determined by any public authority which is the designated operating agency of any convention center or exhibition hall.

(d.1)  In counties of the second class A, expenditures from the fund established pursuant to subsection (c) shall be annually appropriated by the county commissioners for tourist promotion activities, to be executed by the designated tourist promotion agency for:

(1)  marketing the area served by the agency as a leisure travel destination;

(2)  marketing the area served by the agency as a convention and business travel destination;

(3)  marketing the area served by the agency to the public as a whole for use of its tourist and convention facilities;

(4)  using all appropriate marketing tools to accomplish these purposes, including advertising, publicity, publications, direct marketing, direct sales, participation in travel trade shows, etc.

The county commissioners may deduct from the funds collected any direct or indirect costs attributable to the collection of the tax.

(e)  (1)  The provisions of this section relating to counties of the second class shall remain in force from year to year. Revenues in excess of amounts needed to pay the distributions under subsection (b.1)(1), (2), (2.1), (3) and (4) and to offset operating deficits under subsections (b.1)(3) and (d) shall be determined by the public authority and may be accumulated, and any revenues may be used to provide part or all of any annual payment to be paid by a county or a political subdivision under any agreement with any public authority created under the act of July 29, 1953 (P.L.1034, No.270), known as the "Public Auditorium Authorities Law," which has been designated as the operating agency for a convention center or exhibition hall or to effect necessary expansion or further capital improvements, within the discretion of the cooperating political subdivisions and the public authority.

(2)  The provisions of this section relating to counties of the second class A shall remain in force and effect for three (3) years from the date of this reenactment and may be continued thereafter by ordinance or resolution of the county commissioners of the respective counties.

(f)  Each tax year for any tax imposed hereunder shall run concurrently with the calendar year.

(1970.2 amended Dec. 21, 1998, P.L.1088, No.146)

19530230u1970.2v

 

Compiler's Note:  The act of April 28, 1961 (P.L.111, No.5), known as the "Tourist Promotion Law," referred to in this section, was repealed by the act of July 4, 2008 (P.L.621, No.50), known as the Tourist Promotion Act.

19530230u1970.3s

Section 1970.3.  Joint Tax Collector.--(1970.3 repealed Dec. 1, 2004, P.L.1729, No.222)

19530230u1970.3v

Compiler's Note:  Section 4 of Act 12 of 1997, which added section 1970.3, provided that section 1970.3 shall be implemented no later that July 1 of the first year following the effective date of Act 12.

19530230u1971s

Section 1971.  Temporary Loans.--Whenever the funds of a county have been exhausted, the county commissioners may borrow, on the credit of the county, money in anticipation of taxes to be collected for the current fiscal year, and issue a certificate of indebtedness payable on a certain date, not exceeding one year from the date of issue.

19530230u1972s

Section 1972.  Transfer of Certain Moneys into the County Fund.--The commissioners may transfer into the county fund any money placed to the credit of any city, borough or township, where the same has been paid into the county treasury upon any duplicate for taxes and has remained during a period of ten years uncalled for by the authorities of the city, borough or township to whose credit it may have been placed, and the right to said money is not at the time of such transfer a matter of litigation or dispute.

19530230u1973s

Section 1973.  Transfer of Funds.--Whenever the county has available, in any special or appropriation funds other than a sinking fund, moneys for which there is no immediate use, and another special or appropriation fund has immediate and advantageous use for moneys which such fund lacks but the procedure for the securing of which has been consummated, the county commissioners shall have power, by resolution, with the approval of the controller of such county, to temporarily transfer moneys from one special or appropriation fund wherein such moneys are not at the time required to a fund where such moneys can be so advantageously used and expended. Moneys so transferred shall be returned to the fund from which borrowed as soon as sufficient moneys are accumulated in the borrowing fund from authorized sources, except in the case of moneys raised by taxation which are transferred from one budget fund to a similar fund which derives its moneys from taxation, in which cases no such transfer shall be required.

19530230u1974s

Section 1974.  Banks Authorized to Receive Taxes.--The board for the selection of depositories shall have authority to designate any bank, savings bank, bank and trust company, trust company or national banking association located within the county as a deputy county tax collector, for the sole purpose, however, of receiving and receipting for county taxes paid to it at its place of business. The county tax collector shall not be held responsible for losses occasioned by the failure of any such institution, for moneys received by it as such deputy. Each such institution acting as a deputy county tax collector shall, within five days after the last day of each calendar month, transmit to the county tax collector all moneys received by it as such deputy during such preceding month. Each such payment shall be accompanied by an itemized statement showing what taxes have been paid, the dates when paid, and by whom they have been paid. Such an institution shall not be allowed any compensation or commission for acting as such deputy other than expenses actually incurred in transmitting moneys and records of payments to the county tax collector.

Every such institution, before entering upon its duties of receiving and receipting for taxes, shall post such security, in such amount as shall be determined by the board, to insure the faithful performance of its duties and the payment over of all taxes moneys received by it.

19530230u1975s

Section 1975.  Discount on Taxes Authorized.--(a)  The county commissioners are hereby empowered to grant a discount to all taxpayers subject to the payment of county taxes upon making payment of the whole amount thereof within the discount period.

(b)  The county commissioners shall have the power and authority to establish and fix the discount period and the rate of discount not less than two per centum, by resolution, and such action shall remain in force from year to year until again changed.

(1975 added Mar. 26, 1976, P.L.59, No.25)

19530230u1976s

Section 1976.  Homestead Property Exclusion Procedure.--(a)  The provisions of 53 Pa.C.S. § 8584 (relating to administration and procedure) shall not apply to a county of the second class, or a political subdivision of a county of the second class, that implements an exclusion authorized under 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 85 Subch. F (relating to homestead property exclusion). In lieu of the provisions set forth in 53 Pa.C.S. § 8584, a county of the second class that implements an exclusion authorized by 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 85 Subch. F shall adopt such rules, regulations and procedures as deemed necessary and reasonable for its use or the use of the political subdivisions situate therein to administer this program of exclusions.

(b)  This section shall expire December 31, 2001.

(1976 added Oct. 30, 2000, P.L.616, No.85)

19530230u1980h

 

(f)  Budgets

 

19530230u1980s

Section 1980.  Fiscal Year; Preparation of Annual Budget in Counties of the Second Class.--(Hdg. amended July 9, 1992, P.L.682, No.99)  (a)  The fiscal year of the county shall begin on the first day of January and end on the thirty-first day of December of each year. On or before the fifteenth day of November of each year the controller of each county of the second class shall transmit to the commissioners a proposed budget giving a detailed estimate of and for the legitimate purposes of the county for the next year, including interest due and to fall due on all lawful debts of the county bearing interest. Such budget, when finally adopted by the commissioners, shall be the guide to the commissioners in fixing the tax rate. Said budget shall be prepared as provided herein. ((a) amended July 9, 1992, P.L.682, No.99)

(b)  The commissioners shall, at the same time the budget is adopted, fix such rate of taxation upon the valuation of the property taxable for county purposes as will raise sufficient sum to meet the said expenditures. The commissioners shall not, by contract or otherwise, increase the expenditures of the county in any year to an amount beyond the taxes assessed as aforesaid for said year.

(1980 amended Dec. 10, 1980, P.L.1159, No.211)

19530230u1980.1s

Section 1980.1.  Fiscal Year; Preparation of Annual Budget in Counties of the Second Class A.--(a)  The fiscal year of the county shall begin on the first day of January and end on the thirty-first day of December of each year. The commissioners in counties of the second class A, at least thirty days prior to adopting the budget, shall begin preparation of the proposed budget for the succeeding fiscal year.

(b)  The controller shall transmit to the commissioners a comparative statement of revenues for the current and the immediately preceding fiscal year and a comparative statement of expenditures, including interest due and to fall due on all lawful interest-bearing debts of the county, for the same years.

(c)  The controller's statement shall also indicate the amounts of all appropriation requests, submitted to the controller or to the commissioners and supplied by them to the controller, from the several county offices and agencies, including estimates of expenditures contemplated by the commissioners as forwarded by them to the controller.

(d)  Said statements, in such form and detail as the commissioners direct, shall be prepared upon a form or forms furnished, as provided in this subdivision, by the Department of Community Affairs. With this information as a guide, the commissioners shall, within a reasonable time, begin the preparation of a proposed budget for the succeeding fiscal year.

(1980.1 added July 9, 1992, P.L.682, No.99)

19530230u1980.1v

 

Compiler's Note:  The Department of Community Affairs, referred to in subsec. (d), was abolished by Act 58 of 1996 and its functions were transferred to the Department of Community and Economic Development.

19530230u1980.2s

Section 1980.2.  Limits on Counties of the Second Class.--(a)  Notwithstanding any provisions of the act of June 21, 1939 (P.L.626, No.294), referred to as the Second Class County Assessment Law, to the contrary or any contrary provision of any home rule charter or administrative code of a county of the second class, when a county of the second class makes its reassessment or revaluation at values based upon an established predetermined ratio as required by law or when a county of the second class changes its established predetermined ratio, each political subdivision, other than a school district subject to section 327 of act of June 27, 2006 (1st Sp.Sess., P.L.1873, No.1), known as the Taxpayer Relief Act, which hereafter levies its real estate taxes on that revised reassessment, revaluation or change in ratio shall for that year reduce each tax rate levied by the political subdivision, if necessary, for the purpose of having the total amount of property tax revenue for that rate received exclusively as a result of the reassessment, revaluation or change in ratio equal, in the case of any political subdivision, the total amount of property tax revenue received in the preceding year for each tax, notwithstanding the increased valuations of properties under the annual reassessment system.

(a.1)  Except as set forth in subsection (h), this section shall apply to all rates of taxes levied on an assessment roll after a countywide revision as provided in subsection (a), including millage rates established by referendum.

(b)  After establishing a tax rate under subsection (a), a political subdivision may, by a separate and specific vote, establish a final tax rate for the first year it levies its real estate taxes on a reassessment, revaluation or change in ratio. Each tax rate levied by the political subdivision under this subsection shall be fixed at a figure that limits total amount of property tax revenue received exclusively as a result of the reassessment, revaluation or change in ratio not to exceed one hundred five per cent of the total amount of property tax revenue received in the preceding year, notwithstanding the increased valuations of properties under the reassessment system.

(c)  For the purpose of determining the total amount of revenue received exclusively as a result of the reassessment, revaluation or change in ratio for the year under subsections (a) and (b), the amount to be levied on newly constructed buildings or structures or on increased valuations based on new improvements made to existing structures shall not be considered.

(d)  With the approval of the court of common pleas, upon good cause shown, any political subdivision may increase the tax rate authorized under this section.

(e)  A political subdivision may adjust its calculation of the total amount of revenue to be received exclusively as a result of the reassessment, revaluation or change in ratio for the year under subsections (a) and (b) by the previous five-year average, excluding the year immediately preceding the effective date of the reassessment, revaluation or change in ratio, annual net increase or decrease in revenue resulting from final dispositions of assessment appeal.

(f)  (1)  To the extent that a political subdivision imposes taxes at a rate in excess of that which is required to produce revenue in accordance with subsections (a) and (b), the political subdivision, upon the filing with it, within three years of payment of the tax, of a written and verified claim for a refund of the excess taxes paid or caused to be paid by any person or corporation of this Commonwealth, shall refund the excess taxes with interest.

(2)  Interest required under this section shall be paid at the same rate and in the same manner as the Commonwealth is required to pay pursuant to section 806.1(b.1) of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.343, No.176), known as "The Fiscal Code."

(3)  For purposes of this subsection, the term "political subdivision" means a county, city, borough, incorporated town, township, home rule municipality, school district, vocational school district and county institution district.

(g)  The provisions of this section shall supersede any provision in a home rule charter, county administrative code, county ordinance or rule or regulation.

(h)  Notwithstanding subsection (b) or (d), the rate of any tax which was established by referendum and adjusted as provided in subsection (a) shall be subject to any subsequent increase, decrease or elimination only as provided by law.

(1980.2 amended Nov. 4, 2016, P.L.1182, No.155)

19530230u1980.2v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 2 of Act 155 of 2016, which amended section 1980.2, provided that the amendment shall apply to tax rates based on reassessments implemented after the effective date of section 2.

19530230u1980.3s

Section 1980.3.  Effect of Appeal; Escrow; Payment under Protest.--Notwithstanding any contrary provisions of the act of June 21, 1939 (P.L.626, No.294), referred to as the Second Class County Assessment Law, any home rule charter or administrative code, the following shall apply in a second class county:

(1)  An appeal taken from an assessment shall not prevent the collection of taxes based on the assessment appealed.

(2)  If the assessment shall be reduced, then any overpayment of taxes shall be returned to the person or persons who paid the taxes.

(3)  The appellant may protest the taxes due in writing addressed to the Board of Property Assessment.

(4)  The appellant shall notify the taxing districts of any payment under protest by delivering to them a copy of the protest.

(5)  The taxing districts shall segregate twenty-five per cent of the amount of the tax paid under protest in a separate account and may not expend any portion of any segregated amount unless the taxing districts petition the court, alleging that the segregated amount is unjustly withheld.

(6)  The court may order the use by the taxing district of a portion of any segregated amount as the court deems reasonably free from dispute, and the remainder of the segregated amount shall be held segregated by the taxing district pending the final disposition of the appeal.

(7)  Upon final disposition of the appeal, the amount of the overpayment found to be due the appellant shall be refunded to the appellant by the same taxing district.

(1980.3 added Nov. 16, 2005, P.L.382, No.71)

19530230u1981s

Section 1981.  Annual Budget; Control of Expenditures.--(a)  In counties of the second class the controller or in counties of the second class A the commissioners shall annually prepare a proposed budget for all funds for the next fiscal year no later than November 15 of the current fiscal year. Said budget shall reflect, as nearly as possible, the estimated revenues and expenditures of the county for the year for which the budget is prepared. It shall be unlawful to prepare and advertise notice of a proposed budget when the same is knowingly inaccurate. Where, upon any revision of the budget, it appears that the estimated expenditures in the adopted budget will be increased more than ten per cent in the aggregate over the proposed budget, it shall be presumed that the tentative budget was inaccurate, and such budget may not be legally adopted with any such increases therein unless the same is again advertised once as in the case of the proposed budget and an opportunity afforded to taxpayers to examine the same and protest such increases. Said budget shall be prepared on forms furnished as provided herein. Final action shall not be taken on the proposed budget by the county commissioners until after at least ten days public notice. The proposed budget shall be published or otherwise made available for public inspection, by all persons who may interest themselves, at least twenty days prior to the date set for the adoption of the budget. The county commissioners shall, after making such revisions and changes therein as appear advisable, adopt a budget for the next fiscal year prior to December 31 of the current fiscal year and necessary appropriation measures required to put it into effect. ((a) amended July 9, 1992, P.L.682, No.99)

(b)  Within fifteen days after the adoption of the budget, the county commissioners shall file a copy of the same in the office of the Department of Community Affairs. ((b) amended Oct. 5, 1967, P.L.340, No.146)

(c)  The county commissioners may at any time, by resolution, make supplemental appropriations for any lawful purpose from any funds on hand or estimated to be received within the fiscal year and not otherwise appropriated, including the proceeds of any borrowing now or hereafter authorized by law.

(d)  The county commissioners shall have power to authorize the transfer, within the same fund, of any unencumbered balance or any portion thereof from one spending agency to another, but such action shall be taken only during the last nine months of the fiscal year.

(e)  No work shall be hired to be done, no materials purchased, no contracts made, and no order issued for the payment of any moneys by the county commissioners, which will cause the sums appropriated to be exceeded.

19530230u1981v

 

Compiler's Note:  The Department of Community Affairs, referred to in subsec. (b), was abolished by Act 58 of 1996 and its functions were transferred to the Department of Community and Economic Development.

19530230u1982s

Section 1982.  Committee to Prepare Uniform Forms.--(a)  The budget and report forms specified herein shall be prepared by a committee consisting of three representatives from the Pennsylvania State Association of County Commissioners, three representatives from the Pennsylvania State Association of County Controllers, and the Secretary of Community Affairs or his agent, who shall be a person trained in the field of municipal finance.

(b)  Such representatives shall be appointed by the president of each said organization. The president of each said organization shall supply to the Department of Community Affairs the names and addresses of such representatives immediately upon their appointment. Said representatives shall serve without compensation, but they shall be reimbursed by the Commonwealth for all necessary expenses incurred in attending meetings of the committee. The committee shall meet at the call of the Secretary of Community Affairs or his agent, who shall serve as chairman of the committee.

(c)  In preparing the uniform forms for both budgets and annual reports, the committee shall give careful consideration to the differing legal requirements and needs of the counties of the several classes, producing, if necessary, separate forms for certain classes of counties or groups of classes.

(d)  It shall be the duty of the Secretary of Community Affairs or his agent to see to it that the forms required by this act are prepared in cooperation with said committee. Should said committee for any reason fail to furnish such cooperation, the Secretary of Community Affairs or his agent shall complete the preparation of the forms. After their preparation, he shall issue said forms and distribute them annually, as needed, to the commissioners, controller or auditors of each county.

(1982 amended Oct. 5, 1967, P.L.340, No.146)

19530230u1982v

 

Compiler's Note:  The Department of Community Affairs, referred to in this section, was abolished by Act 58 of 1996 and its functions were transferred to the Department of Community and Economic Development. The Secretary of Community Affairs, referred to in this section, was abolished by Act 58 of 1996 and the functions were transferred to the Secretary of Community and Economic Development.

19530230u1990h

 

(g)  Sinking Fund Commission

 

19530230u1990s

Section 1990.  Membership.--In the county there shall be a sinking fund commission, composed of the commissioners, the controller and treasurer.

19530230u1991s

Section 1991.  Management of Sinking Funds.--The sinking fund commission shall annually apply all interest received on sinking fund deposits and all interest received on bonds held in the sinking fund and all other income, if any, from the sinking fund, for the purpose of reducing the amount of money required to be paid by the county for sinking fund purposes for the ensuing year, unless such income is necessary for the purpose of having adequate funds on hand to pay the bonds of the county as they mature and become payable. The income so applied and the amount required to be paid by the county for sinking fund purposes shall annually equal the full amount required to be paid for sinking fund purposes to the several sinking funds.

The commission shall have the power, whenever it deems it necessary and for the best interests of the several sinking funds, to sell any bonds held by it other than those of the county itself.

19530230u1992s

Section 1992.  Bonds of County Held by Commission.--All bonds of the county held by the sinking fund commission shall be stamped in a conspicuous manner to show that they have been purchased for this purpose. They shall never be reissued or sold. The sinking fund commission shall not require the county to pay interest on any of its bonds held by the commission, unless the commission deems the payment thereof necessary for the purpose of having adequate funds on hand to pay the bonds of said county as they mature and become payable. All bonds of the county held by the commission shall be cancelled immediately upon their maturity.

19530230u1993s

Section 1993.  Paying Off and Cancelling of County Bonds; Priority; Sale of County Bonds in Certain Cases.--In order to facilitate the extinguishment of the county debt, the county bonds purchased by the commission from time to time shall be paid off and cancelled according to the priority of their maturity. The commission may, at its discretion, withhold the purchase of such maturing county bonds until after those purchased from a later issue of county bonds shall be paid off and cancelled. In such an event, if it appears that there will not be sufficient funds in the hands of the commission to meet the payment of such earlier maturing bonds, the same shall then be sold by said commission at not less than par.

19530230u1994s

Section 1994.  Investment in New County Bonds.--(1994 repealed Dec. 13, 1982, P.L.1136, No.259)

19530230u1995s

Section 1995.  Investment of Sinking Fund Moneys.--The commission shall have power to make investment of county sinking funds as authorized by the act of July 12, 1972 (P.L.781, No.185), known as the "Local Government Unit Debt Act"; and liquidate any such investment, in whole or in part, by disposing of securities or withdrawing funds on deposit. Any action taken to make or to liquidate any investment shall be made by the commission.

(1995 amended Dec. 13, 1982, P.L.1136, No.259)

19530230u1997h

 

(h)  Sale of Revenue Bills

 

19530230u1997s

Section 1997.  Sale of Revenue Bills Authorized; Terms and Conditions; Redeemability.--(a)  The county shall have power, by ordinance or resolution, to provide for the issue and sale, during any fiscal year, of revenue bills, which bills may be issued at a discount, if purchased in advance of the due date of the taxes for such fiscal year, or at face, if purchased after the due date of such taxes. The discount allowed on such revenue bills shall not exceed five per centum, and the discounts on such bills shall vary according to the date at which the same are purchased.

(b)  Such revenue bills shall be issued in multiples of ten dollars ($10) each, and shall be issued only for the fiscal year during which they are sold. The total issue of revenue bills in any fiscal year shall not exceed the amount of taxes levied or to be levied for that fiscal year, including any special taxes. Such revenue bills shall be negotiable by the holder thereof.

(c)  The revenue bills issued and sold in any fiscal year shall not be redeemable by the county in money, but shall be used by the holder thereof only for the payment of taxes due the county for the year for which such revenue bills were issued, and shall be received by the collector or receiver of taxes or any other person authorized to receive payment of taxes for the county at face value in payment of any taxes for such fiscal year, or any penalties, interest or costs due thereon. Such revenue bills may be received in payment of taxes at any time, so long as they shall be credited against any taxes due the county for the year for which they were issued and sold.

19530230u1901-Ah

 

Article XIX-A

Optional Assessed Value Limitations

(Art. added June 8, 2001, P.L.114, No.16)

 

19530230u1901-As

Section 1901-A.  Definitions.--The following words and phrases as used in this article shall be construed to have the following meaning:

"Base year assessed value,"  the assessed value upon which the real property tax is levied by the political subdivision in the year prior to the first year real property taxes are levied under a mandated county-wide reassessment.

"Homestead,"  shall have the same meaning as set forth in the act of March 11, 1971 (P.L.104, No.3), known as the "Senior Citizens Rebate and Assistance Act."

"Mandated county-wide reassessment,"  the application of new assessed values resulting from a county-wide revision of assessment of real property that is completed pursuant to a court order.

"Qualified owner-occupant,"  a claimant as defined by the act of March 11, 1971 (P.L.104, No.3), known as the "Senior Citizens Rebate and Assistance Act," who is qualified to receive a property tax rebate under the "Senior Citizens Rebate and Assistance Act."

"Tax-neutral assessed value,"  the assessed value calculated under section 1903-A.

"Tax-neutral ratio,"  the ratio computed by dividing the total assessed values for all properties in the school district in the first year after a mandated county-wide reassessment by the assessed values for all properties in the school district in the year immediately prior to a mandated county-wide reassessment.

(1901-A added June 8, 2001, P.L.114, No.16)

19530230u1902-As

Section 1902-A.  Optional Limitations on Assessed Value.--A county of the second class or a political subdivision located within a county of the second class may, by adopting an ordinance or resolution, utilize the tax-neutral assessed value when levying the real property tax on the homestead of a qualified owner-occupant after a mandated county-wide reassessment. For a county-wide reassessment that becomes effective in 2000, such ordinance or resolution by a political subdivision located within a county of the second class may be adopted at any time prior to June 30, 2002, and may be retroactive to no earlier than January 1, 2001. In the event that such resolution or ordinance is adopted retroactively after real property taxes are levied during 2001, the levy shall be adjusted for qualifying homesteads as if the resolution or ordinance had been adopted before real property taxes had been levied in 2001. Any overpayments of real estate taxes which arise from this adjustment shall be refunded by the political subdivision.

(1902-A amended Oct. 30, 2001, P.L.818, No.80)

19530230u1903-As

Section 1903-A.  Calculation of Tax-Neutral Assessed Value.--If a political subdivision has adopted an ordinance or resolution under section 1902-A, the assessed value of the homestead of a qualified owner-occupant shall not exceed the base year assessed value of the homestead multiplied by the tax-neutral ratio for the school district in which the homestead is located. The maximum assessed value calculated under this section shall apply only to the real property tax levied by the political subdivision that has adopted the ordinance or resolution.

(1903-A added June 8, 2001, P.L.114, No.16)

19530230u1904-As

Section 1904-A.  Duration of Tax-Neutral Assessed Value.--The tax-neutral assessed value of the homestead shall continue in effect until the earlier of:

(1)  the first year the owner of the homestead fails to meet the requirements to receive a property tax rebate under the act of March 11, 1971 (P.L.104, No.3), known as the "Senior Citizens Rebate and Assistance Act"; or

(2)  the date of the sale or transfer of the property to a person other than the spouse of the qualified owner-occupant.

(1904-A added June 8, 2001, P.L.114, No.16)

19530230u1905-As

Section 1905-A.  Administration.--A county of the second class shall administer the qualification of homeowners for a tax-neutral assessed value under this act on behalf of all other political subdivisions within the county. A person who has qualified for and received a property tax rebate under the act of March 11, 1971 (P.L.104, No.3), known as the "Senior Citizens Rebate and Assistance Act," shall not be required to file any additional application with the county in order to receive the tax-neutral assessed value with respect to real property taxes levied by a political subdivision adopting an ordinance or resolution under section 1902-A.

(1905-A added June 8, 2001, P.L.114, No.16)

19530230u1906-As

Section 1906-A.  Sharing of Information.--The Secretary of Revenue is authorized and directed to provide a county of the second class with the names and addresses of individuals residing in the county who received a property tax rebate during the last completed calendar year. The information provided by the secretary shall be confidential and shall not be used for purposes other than the administration of this act.

(1906-A amended Oct. 30, 2001, P.L.818, No.80)

19530230u1901-Bh

 

Article XIX-B

Special Provisions for Assessments

(Art. added June 8, 2001, P.L.114, No.16)

 

19530230u1901-Bs

Section 1901-B.  Deadline for Assessment Appeals.--In the year 2001 the Board of Property Assessment Appeals and Review shall permit appeals to be taken from assessments up to and including June 1, and no later, in any county of the second class, notwithstanding any contrary provision contained in any administrative code or resolution adopted by the county. For years beginning with 2002, the final date by which appeals may be taken from assessments of properties shall be determined as provided by ordinance.

(1901-B added June 8, 2001, P.L.114, No.16)

19530230u1902-Bs

Section 1902-B.  Assessment of Signs and Sign Structures.--No sign or structure predominantly used to support or display a sign shall be assessed as real property by a county for purposes of the taxation of real property by the county or a political subdivision located within the county, or by a municipality located within the county authorized to assess real property for purposes of taxation, regardless of whether the sign or sign structure has become affixed to the real estate.

(1902-B added July 17, 2007, P.L.130, No.38)

19530230u2001h

 

Article XX

Contracts

 

19530230u2001s

Section 2001.  County Commissioners to Make Contracts.--The County Commissioners may make contracts for lawful purposes and for the purposes of carrying into execution the provisions of this section and the laws of the Commonwealth.

(a)  Except as provided in subsection (a.1), all contracts or purchases in excess of the base amount of eighteen thousand five hundred dollars ($18,500), subject to adjustment under section 112, shall be in writing and, except those hereinafter mentioned and except as provided by the act of October 27, 1979 (P.L.241, No.78), entitled "An act authorizing political subdivisions, municipality authorities and transportation authorities to enter into contracts for the purchase of goods and the sale of real and personal property where no bids are received," shall not be made except with and from the lowest responsible and responsive bidder meeting specifications, after due notice in at least one newspaper of general circulation, published or circulating in the county at least two (2) times, at intervals of not less than three (3) days where daily newspapers of general circulation are employed for such publication, or in case weekly newspapers are employed, then the notice shall be published once a week for two (2) successive weeks. The first advertisement shall be published not less than ten (10) days prior to the date fixed for the opening of bids. ((a) amended Nov. 3, 2011, P.L.360, No.89)

(a.1)  The requirements of this subsection need not be followed in cases of emergency, but in such cases the actual emergency shall be declared and stated by resolution of the commissioners.

(b)  The acceptance of all bids shall be by the controller. They shall be opened publicly at a time and place to be designated in the notice. All the figures shall be announced publicly by the chief clerk or his designee and referred to the appropriate departments for tabulation without the presence of the commissioners. Whenever, for any reason, the bid openings shall not be held, the same business may be transacted at a subsequent meeting, the time and place of which shall have been announced at the previous meeting held for such openings. The contract shall be awarded or all bids shall be rejected within thirty (30) days of the opening of the bids, except for bids subject to 62 Pa.C.S. (relating to procurement). Thirty-day extensions of the date for the award may be made by the mutual written consent of the commissioners and any bidder who wishes to remain under consideration for award. The commissioners shall excuse from consideration any bidder not wishing to agree to a request for extension of the date for the award and shall release such bidder from any bid bond or similar bid security furnished under subsection (b.1). All contracts shall be filed with the controller or with the chief clerk, as the case may be, immediately after their execution.

(b.1)  All bids shall, if required by the commissioners, be accompanied by cash, a certified check, cashier's check, bank good faith check or irrevocable letter of credit in a reasonable amount drawn upon a bank authorized to do business in the Commonwealth or by a bond with corporate surety in a reasonable amount. In the event any bidder shall, upon award of the contract to him, fail to comply with the requirements hereinafter stated as to security guaranteeing the performance of the contract, or fail or refuse to enter into a contract, or otherwise fail or refuse to render the required services, the security furnished under this subsection shall be forfeited to the county as liquidated damages, and the contract subsequently may be awarded to the next lowest bidder, who shall manifest his acceptance of such contract by giving a good faith deposit in the amount and manner set forth in this subsection on or before the third day after the award of the contract to such bidder and otherwise comply with the provisions of this section.

(b.2)  The amount or price of the contract shall, in all cases whether of straight sale price, conditional sale, lease, lease purchase or otherwise, be the entire amount which the county pays to the successful bidder or his assigns, plus the value of personal property transferred from the county to the bidder or his assigns at any time during the duration of the contract, in order to obtain the services or property, or both, and shall not be construed to mean only the amount which is paid to acquire title or to receive any other particular benefit or benefits of the whole bargain. The value of personal property transferred to the bidder or his assigns upon execution of the contract shall be specified in the bid. The method of determining the value of personal property transferred to the bidder or his assigns at a time during the duration of the contract shall be specified in the bid and shall be determined using generally accepted valuation methods.

(c)  The successful bidder, when a formal bid is required herein, shall be required to furnish a bond or irrevocable letter of credit or other security in an amount sufficient to the commissioners guaranteeing performance of the contract within thirty (30) days after the contract has been awarded, unless the commissioners shall prescribe a shorter period or unless the commissioners shall waive the bond requirement in the bid specification. The successful bidder for a contract which involves the construction, erection, installation, completion, alteration, repair of or addition to any public work or improvement of any kind shall furnish security as provided in section 2518. Performance security for services and contracts for labor and materials delivered on a periodic basis, including, but not limited to, food service contracts, home health services and janitorial services and supplies, may be computed on the expected average value for one or more months at the discretion of the commissioners. Upon failure to furnish any required bond within such time, the previous awards shall be void and the commissioners may award the contract to the next lowest bidder. Deliveries, performances, accomplishment and guarantees may be required in all cases of expenditures, including the exceptions herein.

(d)  The contracts or purchases made by the commissioners involving an expenditure of over the base amount of eighteen thousand five hundred dollars ($18,500), subject to adjustment under section 112, which shall not require advertising or bidding as hereinbefore provided are as follows:

(1)  Those for maintenance, repairs or replacements for water, electric light, or other public works: Provided, That they do not constitute new additions, extensions or enlargements of existing facilities and equipment. Security may be required by the county commissioners as in other cases of work done.

(2)  Those made for improvements, repairs and maintenance of any kind made or provided by the county through its own employes. This paragraph shall not apply to construction materials used in a street improvement.

(3)  Those where particular types, models or pieces of new equipment, articles, apparatus, appliances, vehicles or parts thereof are desired by the county commissioners, which are patented and manufactured products or copyrighted products.

(4)  Those involving any policies of insurance or surety company bonds, those made for public utility service and electricity, natural gas or telecommunication services: Provided, That, in the case of utilities not under tariffs on file with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, contracts made without advertising and bidding shall be made only after receiving written or telephonic price quotations from at least three (3) qualified and responsible contractors, or in lieu of price quotations a memorandum shall be kept on file showing that fewer than three (3) qualified contractors exist in the market area within which it is practicable to obtain quotations. A written record of telephonic price quotations shall be made and contain at least the date of the quotation, the name of the contractor and the contractor's representative.

(5)  Those involving personal or professional services, including, but not limited to, services of members of the medical or legal profession, registered architects, engineers, certified public accountants or other personal services involving professional expertise.

(6)  Those involving tangible client services provided by nonprofit agencies. For the purposes of this clause, the term "tangible client services" shall mean congregate meals, home-delivered meals, transportation and chore services provided through area agencies on aging.

(6.1)  Those involving contracts entered into by nonprofit cooperative hospital service associations for hospitals and nursing homes which are part of the institutional district or which are owned by the county, operated by the county or affiliated with the county by the purchasing of or participating in contracts for materials, supplies and equipment.

(7)  Those involving the purchase of milk.

(8)  Those made with any public body, including, but not limited to, the sale, lease or loan of any supplies or materials to the county by a public body, provided that the price thereof shall not be in excess of that fixed by the public body. The requirements of 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 23 Subch. A (relating to intergovernmental cooperation) shall not apply when a county purchases cooperatively with another public body which has entered into a contract for supplies or materials. As used in this paragraph, "public body" shall mean any of the following:

(i)  the Federal Government;

(ii)  the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;

(iii)  any other state;

(iv)  a political subdivision, local or municipal authority or other similar local entity of the Commonwealth or any other state; or

(v)  an agency of the Federal Government, the Commonwealth or any other state.

(9)  Those exclusively involving construction management services.

(10)  Those involving computer software.

((d) amended Nov. 3, 2011, P.L.360, No.89)

(d.1)  Notwithstanding the provisions of this article to the contrary, the county commissioners shall have authority to enter into contracts for equipment and services related to technology and information systems on the basis of best value procurement. Contracts under best value procurement shall be made only after the county has solicited proposals based on performance and outcome specifications developed by the county and describing at minimum the objectives to be met by the system, the tasks to be performed by the system, the users of the system, system security issues, the time frame for system implementation, potential operating technologies, compatibility with existing systems, training and maintenance and shall indicate the process by which the contract shall be awarded. Best value procurement shall not require a sealed bid process and shall permit the commissioners to negotiate the terms of the agreement with any responsive and responsible vendor.

(e) Every contract subject to this article shall comply, as applicable, with the provisions of:

(1)  The act of August 15, 1961 (P.L.987, No.442), known as the "Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act."

(2)  The act of December 20, 1967 (P.L.869, No.385), known as the "Public Works Contractors' Bond Law of 1967."

(3)  The act of January 23, 1974 (P.L.9, No.4), referred to as the Public Contract Bid Withdrawal Law.

(4)  The act of March 3, 1978 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the "Steel Products Procurement Act".

(5)  The act of February 17, 1994 (P.L.73, No.7), known as the "Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act."

(6)  62 Pa.C.S. Chs. 37 Subch. B (relating to motor vehicles), 39 (relating to contracts for public works) and 45 (relating to antibid-rigging).

(f)  No person, consultant, firm or corporation contracting with a county for purposes of rendering personal or professional services to the county shall share with any county officer or employe, and no county officer or employe shall accept, any portion of the compensation or fees paid by the county for the contracted services provided to the county except under the following terms or conditions:

(1)  Full disclosure of all relevant information regarding the sharing of the compensation or fees shall be made to the board of commissioners.

(2)  The board of commissioners must approve the sharing of any fee or compensation for personal or professional services prior to the performance of said services.

(3)  No fee or compensation for personal or professional services may be shared except for work actually performed.

(4)  No shared fee or compensation for personal or professional services may be paid at a rate in excess of that commensurate for similar personal or professional services.

(g) (1)  The board of commissioners may, in its sole discretion, elect to use an alternative contracting procedure to achieve the adaptive reuse of former jail facilities. If the board of commissioners elects to utilize an alternative contracting procedure, the board shall adopt a resolution that the use of an alternative contracting procedure is the most efficient, economical and timely method to secure an adaptive reuse of former jail facilities. Upon adoption of a resolution, the board of commissioners shall request written proposals from proposers for the adaptive reuse of former jail facilities under an alternative contracting method. In its request for proposals, the board shall include such terms, conditions and requirements which it deems necessary to protect the interests of the county.

(2)  In reviewing and evaluating the proposals for the adaptive reuse of former jail facilities, the board of commissioners shall, in addition to compliance with the terms, conditions and requirements set forth in the request for proposals, consider the following criteria:

(i)  the cost of the proposer's adaptive reuse proposal;

(ii)  experience of the proposer;

(iii)  preservation of the distinct architectural design and integrity of the former jail facilities;

(iv)  adherence to prevailing wage laws and other work force standards;

(v)  commitment to enter into voluntary contract with disadvantaged business enterprises.

After due consideration of proposals under the criteria described above, the board of commissioners may, in its discretion, select a proposal and award a contract to a responsible proposer for the adaptive reuse of former jail facilities under an alternative contracting procedure. The award of a contract for the adaptive reuse of former jail facilities need not be awarded to the lowest bidder.

(3)  Any contract for the adaptive reuse for former jail facilities awarded under this subsection shall be exempt from and not be subject to sections 2517 and 2520 of this act or the act of May 1, 1913 (P.L.155, No.104), entitled "An act regulating the letting of certain contracts for the erection, construction, and alteration of public buildings."

(4)  As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Adaptive reuse."  The alteration, renovation, remodeling, modification or reconstruction of former jail facilities for reuse as courtrooms, office space or such other facilities and uses as the board of commissioners shall from time to time deem necessary and appropriate.

"Alternative contracting procedure."  A procedure under which a proposer would be responsible for all aspects or phases necessary to achieve the development of a parcel of property. Such aspects or phases of development shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the planning, design, finance, construction and management of property. The term "alternative contracting procedure" shall be similar in all respects to the commonly understood term in the real estate development and construction industry known as a "turnkey."

"Former jail facilities."  A building or group of buildings with related facilities owned by a county of the second class which are more than one hundred years old and which were previously used as jail facilities.

"Proposer."  A firm, organization or company or a combination of firms, organizations or companies acting as a partnership, joint venture, consortium or similar joint relationship with sufficient knowledge, expertise and experience in the areas of architectural design, construction, financing of real estate development or construction and real estate management.

(2001 amended Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1439, No.186)

19530230u2001v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 6 of Act 89 of 2011, which amended subsecs. (a) and (d), provided that Act 89 shall apply to contracts and purchases advertised on or after January 1 of the year following the effective date of section 6.

19530230u2001.1s

Section 2001.1.  Architects and Engineers Employed Prohibited From Bidding on Public Works; Penalty.--It shall be unlawful for any architect or engineer, in the employ of any county, and engaged in the preparation of plans, specifications or estimates, to bid or negotiate on any public work at any letting of such work by the county, except that any such architect or engineer who shall have prepared preliminary plans only shall not be prohibited from bidding or negotiating on the final contract for such work.

It shall be unlawful for the officers of any county charged with the duty of letting any public work, to award a contract to any such architect or engineer, in the employ of the county who is in any way interested in any contract for public work for the county or for any such architect or engineer to receive any remuneration or gratuity from any person interested in such contract except under the terms and conditions as provided in section 2001(f).

Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall forfeit his office, and shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500), or to undergo imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.

(2001.1 added Dec. 10, 1980, P.L.1165, No.213)

19530230u2002s

Section 2002.  Printing Contracts.--The county commissioners may, by proper resolution, require that printing firms who are desirous of presenting bids for county printing, shall be required to establish consideration as responsible bidders by all of the following:

(1)  That the printing firms shall file, with the chief clerk of the county commissioners, a sworn statement to the effect that employes, in the employ of the firm or firms which are to produce the printing, are receiving the prevailing wage rate, and are working under conditions prevalent in the locality in which the work is produced.

(2)  That whenever a collective bargaining agreement shall be in effect between an employer and employes who are represented by a responsible organization which is in no way influenced or controlled by the management, the agreement and its provisions shall be considered as conditions prevalent in the locality and shall be the minimum requirements for being adjudged a responsible bidder under this act.

(3)  That in case any dispute arises as to what is the prevailing rate of wages for work applicable to the contract, which cannot be adjusted by the county commissioners, the matter shall be referred to the county salary board and its decision thereon shall be conclusive.

(4)  The words "prevailing wage rate," as used in this act, shall be construed to mean at least the minimum wages which are received by employes of any printing firm or firms, in second class counties, as a result of collective bargaining agreements negotiated by an employer or employers with a responsible organization representing the employes. If the wage rates, so arrived at, vary in any district in such county, then any printing firm which pays wages at least equal to those provided for in any of such agreements, shall, for the purposes of this act, be deemed to be paying the prevailing wage rate.

(2002 added June 1, 1956, 1955 P.L.1996, No.669)

19530230u2003s

Section 2003.  Certain Contract Provisions Prohibited.--No political subdivision or authority in a county may enter into any contract related to a redevelopment capital assistance project as provided under section 318 of the act of February 9, 1999 (P.L.1, No.1), known as the "Capital Facilities Debt Enabling Act," which contains a provision requiring that a specified percentage of a contracting party's work force be residents of a specific municipality.

(2003 added Oct. 30, 2000, P.L.616, No.85)

19530230u2003v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 9(1) of Act 85 of 2000 provided that the addition of section 2003 shall be retroactive to February 9, 1999.

19530230u2101h

 

Article XXI

Special Powers and Duties of the County

 

(a)  Appropriations for Military Purposes

 

19530230u2101s

Section 2101.  Appropriation of Money or Land for National Guard Armories.--(a)  The board of commissioners may, either independently or in connection with any other county or with any city, town, borough or township, provide and appropriate moneys, or convey land to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to assist the Armory Board of the State of Pennsylvania in the erection, wherever deemed most advantageous by the Armory Board, of armories for the use of the National Guard of Pennsylvania. The board of commissioners may acquire land for such purpose, either by purchase at tax sale, by gift, by the right of eminent domain, or otherwise.

(b)  The board of commissioners may also furnish water, light or fuel, either or all, free of cost to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for use in any armory of the National Guard, and may do all things necessary to accomplish such purpose.

19530230u2102s

Section 2102.  Appropriation for Maintenance of National Guard.--(a)  The board of commissioners may appropriate, annually, from any moneys in the county treasury not otherwise appropriated, a sum not exceeding seven hundred and fifty dollars ($750) for the support and maintenance, discipline and training of any dismounted company or similar unit of the National Guard, and a sum not to exceed fifteen hundred dollars ($1500) for the support and maintenance, discipline and training of any mounted or motorized troop or similar unit of the National Guard. Where such units are organized as a battalion, regiment or similar organization, the total amount due may be paid to the commanding officer of the battalion, regiment or similar organization.

(b)  Any moneys so appropriated shall be paid by warrant of the commissioners, drawn to the order of the commanding officer of such company, battalion, regiment or similar organization, only when it shall be certified to the commissioners by the Adjutant General of the State that such unit or units have satisfactorily passed the annual inspection provided by law. The moneys so appropriated shall be used and expended solely and exclusively for the support and maintenance, discipline and training of the said company, battalion, regiment or similar organization, and the commanding officer shall account, by proper vouchers to the county, each year, for the expenditure of the money so appropriated, and no appropriation shall be made for any subsequent year until the expenditure of the previous year is duly and satisfactorily accounted for.

(c)  The accounts of such expenditures shall be subject to the inspection of the Department of Military Affairs, and shall be audited by the controller in the manner provided by law for the audit of accounts of county moneys.

19530230u2103s

Section 2103.  Appropriation to Rifle Clubs in Time of War.--(a)  At any time a state of war exists, the board of commissioners may appropriate money to civilian rifle clubs, duly chartered by the National Rifle Association of the United States of America, for the maintenance and rental of rifle-ranges, the employment of competent instructors and necessary employes, and for the equipment and uniform for the members of such clubs who volunteer for special military duty in the county or answer any call of the Governor of the Commonwealth.

(b)  No moneys shall be appropriated to any such club unless practice on such rifle-range by the members of the club shall be with the United States military rifle or arms approved by the State Adjutant General.

19530230u2104s

Section 2104.  Grants to Nonprofit Art Corporations.--The commissioners of each county may make grants annually, not exceeding an amount equal to one (1) mill of the real estate tax to nonprofit art corporations for the conduct of their artistic and cultural activities. For the purposes of this section nonprofit art corporation shall mean a local arts council, commission or coordinating agency, or any other nonprofit corporation engaged in the production or display of works of art, including the visual, written or performing arts. Artistic and cultural activities shall include the display or production of theater, music, dance, painting, architecture, sculpture, arts and crafts, photography, film, graphic arts and design and creative writing.

(2104 added Feb. 8, 1980, P.L.5, No.3)

19530230u2108h

 

(b)  Burial of Deceased Service Persons

and Widows

 

19530230u2108s

Section 2108.  Definitions.--(a)  The term "deceased service person" as used in this subdivision shall mean and include:

(1)  Any deceased person who, at the time of his or her death, was serving (whether or not in a combat zone) in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or any women's organization officially connected therewith, during any war or armed conflict in which the United States has been, is now, or shall hereafter be engaged, or who, at the time of his or her death, was serving in a zone where a campaign or state or condition of war or armed conflict then existed, in which the United States was, is, or shall be a participant. The existence of a campaign or state or condition of war or armed conflict and the participation of the United States therein, as well as the fact that the deceased person served in a zone where such campaign or state or condition of war or armed conflict existed, shall, in each case, be established by the records of the Department of Defense of the Federal Government; or

(2)  Any deceased person who had so served at any time during his or her life, and whose separation from such service was honorable, whether by discharge or otherwise, or who, at the time of his or her death, was continuing in such service after the cessation of the war, armed conflict, campaign or state or condition of war during or in which he or she served; or

(3)  Any deceased person who was in active service in the militia of the State of Pennsylvania under and in pursuance of any proclamation issued by the Governor during the Civil War, who was not duly mustered into the service of the United States, but was honorably discharged or relieved from such service.

(b)  The term "legal residence," as used in this subdivision, shall be construed as synonymous with "domicile," and is hereby defined as actual residence, coupled with intention that it shall be permanent, or a residence presently fixed with no definite intention of changing it or of returning to a former residence at some future period. Legal residence is to be determined by abode of person and his or her intention to abandon his or her former domicile and establish a new one. The legal residence of a deceased service person shall be prima facie in the county where he or she made his or her abode at the time of his or her death.

(2108 amended Sept. 27, 1955, P.L.592, No.158)

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Section 2109.  Funeral Expenses of Deceased Service Persons.--(a)  Any county is hereby authorized and directed to contribute the sum of seventy-five dollars ($75) and may contribute an additional sum of twenty-five dollars ($25) towards the funeral expenses of each deceased service person in the cases enumerated below, where in each case application therefor is made within one year after the date of his or her death. In the case of any deceased service person who died while in the service, application need not be made within one year after the date of his or her death, but may be made at any time thereafter. ((a) amended Dec. 29, 1971, P.L.658, No.173)

(b)  Payments shall be made under the following circumstances:

(1)  Where the deceased service person, at the time of his or her death, had his or her legal residence in the county, whether or not he or she died in the county and whether or not he or she was buried in the county. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the General Assembly that every deceased service person having a legal residence in this Commonwealth at the time of his or her death shall be entitled to the benefits of this section, regardless of where he or she may have died or where he or she may be buried, and that the liability therefor shall be on the county where the deceased service person shall have had his or her legal residence at the time of his or her death.

(2)  Where the deceased service person died and was buried in the county, but at the time of his or her death did not have a legal residence within this Commonwealth, if the county commissioners of the county where he or she died are notified in writing by any organization of veterans that the body is unclaimed by relatives or friends and upon investigation shall find such condition to exist.

(3)  Where a deceased service person has died while a member of the Pennsylvania Soldiers' and Sailors' Home at Erie, Pennsylvania, and such home incurs all funeral expenses and buries the soldier in a cemetery in the City of Erie, Pennsylvania, or the home furnishes clothing, casket and shipping case and ships the body to the county from which he was admitted to the home, the county from which he was admitted shall reimburse and pay to the Pennsylvania Soldiers' and Sailors' Home the amount of seventy-five dollars ($75), or so much thereof as was actually expended by the home.

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Section 2110.  Burial of Widows of Deceased Service Persons.--Upon due application and proof, the county is hereby authorized and directed to contribute the sum of seventy-five dollars ($75), and may contribute an additional sum of twenty-five dollars ($25) from the county funds towards the funeral expenses of any widow of any male deceased service person who, at the time of her death, had a legal residence in the county, whether or not she died in the county and whether or not she was buried in the county. The county shall not contribute any moneys toward the funeral expenses of any such widow of a deceased service person who had remarried after the death of such deceased service person, nor unless application for the payment of such moneys shall be made within one year after the date of the death of such widow.

(2110 amended Dec. 29, 1971, P.L.658, No.173)

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Compiler's Note:  Section 9(c) of Act 173 of 1978 provided that section 2110 is repealed insofar as it is inconsistent with 1 Pa.C.S. § 2301(c) (relating to equality of rights based on sex).

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Section 2111.  Payment.--(a)  It shall be the duty of the county to cause a warrant to be drawn upon the treasury of the county in the sum of seventy-five dollars ($75), or one hundred dollars ($100) if the additional sum of twenty-five dollars ($25) is authorized, for each body buried in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision, to be paid out of the funds of the county, and such warrants shall be made payable to the applicant or applicants if the application shows that the funeral expenses have been paid; otherwise, to the undertaker performing the services, with notice to the applicant.

(b)  Application for such contribution shall be made by the personal representative of such deceased service man or deceased service man's widow, if there be such personal representative, and if no such personal representative has qualified, then by any next of kin, individual or veterans' organization who or which assumes responsibility for the cost of burial of the body. The application shall be sustained by affidavit as to the facts.

(c)  The application shall be on forms prescribed by the Department of Military Affairs, and shall set forth whether or not the funeral expenses have been paid. The application shall have attached thereto a certified copy of the death certificate, and a certificate by the undertaker who had charge of the burial of the body and to the effect that the undertaker did render such service. ((c) amended Dec. 10, 1980, P.L.1156, No.209)

(2111 amended Dec. 29, 1971, P.L.658, No.173)

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Compiler's Note:  Section 9(c) of Act 173 of 1978 provided that section 2111 is repealed insofar as it is inconsistent with 1 Pa.C.S. § 2301(c) (relating to equality of rights based on sex).

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Section 2112.  Notification to County Commissioners.--The coroners and all other public officers, agents and servants, and all officers, agents and servants of any county, city, township, borough, district or other municipality, or of any prison, morgue, hospital, home or other public institution, having the control or custody of the body of the deceased service person whose body is entitled to be buried under the provisions of this subdivision, shall immediately, upon the death or arrival of the body of such deceased service person, notify the county commissioners of the county wherein such death occurred or wherein such deceased service person shall have had his legal residence.

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Section 2113.  Markers on Graves; Memorial Certificates; Headstones.--(Hdg. amended Oct. 5, 1990, P.L.519, No.125) (a)  The county commissioners of the county shall from time to time, as they consider expedient, procure appropriate markers for the graves of deceased service persons and the graves of all other deceased persons who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine during World War II or any organization officially connected therewith and whose separation from such service was honorable, whether by discharge or otherwise. Such markers shall be of cast bronze, aluminum or a suitable substitute material.  ((a) amended June 11, 2008, P.L.173, No.23)

(b)  The county commissioners shall procure bronze, aluminum or suitable substitute material markers from some manufacturer or manufacturers engaged in the manufacturing of the same, and in the contract for the furnishing thereof the manufacturer furnishing the bronze markers shall warrant that the same are made of the following metals and in the following proportions: copper, eighty-five per centum; tin, five per centum; zinc, five per centum; and lead, five per centum. ((b) amended June 11, 2008, P.L.173, No.23)

(c)  The manufacturer shall be liable to the county to an amount equal to the sum paid to him by the county for the markers if the above proportions of metals are not contained in the markers.

(d)  Nothing, except actual fraud on the part of the county commissioners, shall render them liable for any amount if it is established that the markers are not composed of the metals in the proportions above recited.

(e)  No officer, trustee, association, corporation or person in control of any cemetery or a public burying ground shall have the right to question the composition of such bronze markers, or to require that any of them be chemically analyzed before being placed in the cemetery, or under any circumstances to refuse to permit the erection thereof in the cemetery or public burying ground, or to charge for making the foundations for the same more than is charged for making similar foundations of the same proportions. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this subsection shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than ten dollars ($10) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100) for each offense.

(f)  The county commissioners of the county are hereby authorized and directed to place a marker upon the grave of each deceased service person and the graves of all other deceased persons who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine during World War II or any organization officially connected therewith and whose separation from such service was honorable, whether by discharge or otherwise, who, at the time of his or her death, had his or her legal residence in the county, whether or not he or she died in the county and whether or not he or she was buried in the county, and upon the grave of each deceased service person buried in the county who, at the time of his or her death, did not have a legal residence within this Commonwealth. When such deceased service person shall have been a veteran of any war or campaign for which the Government of the United States issued discharge buttons, the markers designated for their graves shall include a facsimile of said discharge button. When such markers are upright flag holders they shall consist of cast bronze or any other weather resistant material. When such deceased service person shall have been a veteran of the Korean Conflict, the markers designated for their graves shall include a circular emblem with the words "Korea, U.S., 1950-1953" in the border thereof, and shall incorporate the insignia of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard, in the form approved by the Veterans' Commission. In lieu of placing an upright flag holder on the grave, if the next of kin of a veteran so requests, a memorial certificate may be issued to the next-of-kin of a deceased service person who at the time of his or her death had his or her legal residence in the county, whether or not he or she died in the county and whether or not he or she was buried in the county. The memorial certificate shall indicate the deceased service person's name and designate the war or campaign in which the deceased service person served.  ((f) amended June 11, 2008, P.L.173, No.23)

(g)  It shall be the duty of the county commissioners of the county upon or at any time subsequent to the death of any deceased service person who, at the time of his or her death, had his or her legal residence in the county, on application as hereinafter provided, to cause a headstone or bronze memorial tablet to be placed at the head of or on the grave of each such deceased service person and the graves of all other deceased persons who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine during World War II or any organization officially connected therewith and whose separation from such service was honorable, whether by discharge or otherwise. ((g) amended June 11, 2008, P.L.173, No.23)

(h)  Each headstone shall contain his or her name and the rank and organization to which he or she belonged or in which he or she served, in letters raised or cut in at least three-sixteenths of an inch deep. The headstone shall be of either marble or granite and shall be placed or set in a concrete base at least three feet deep, or if a headstone has been provided for such grave by the United States Government, the county commissioners shall provide the concrete base therefor, or if lettering only on an existing memorial is desired by the family, the county commissioners shall provide such lettering.

(i)  In the event the body of any deceased service person either cannot or will not be returned to the United States of America, it shall be the duty of the county commissioners to cause a headstone to be placed in the family plot of such deceased service person. Said headstone shall have inscribed therein: (1) the name, rank and organization of such deceased service person; (2) the name of the country, location or manner in which such person lost his or her life; and (3) the cemetery or location in which the body, if buried, was finally laid to rest. Application therefor shall in each case be made on forms prescribed by the Department of Military Affairs, and may be made by any relative of the deceased service person, or by a friend if there is no objection by the nearest relative. Each application must be approved by an organization of veterans of any war in which the United States has been, is now, or shall hereafter be engaged.

(j)  The expense in each case shall be borne by the county in which the deceased service person had his or her legal residence at the time of his or her death, whether or not he or she died in the county and whether or not he or she was buried in the county. The expense shall not exceed the sum of one hundred dollars ($100) for each headstone or concrete base or lettering or bronze memorial tablet, and the county commissioners of the county, acting under this section, shall cause to be drawn a warrant on the treasury of the county for the payment of said expense in favor of the party or parties furnishing such headstone or concrete base or lettering or bronze memorial tablet. ((j) amended May 3, 1965, P.L.27, No.25)

(k)  In cases of dispute concerning the legal residence of a deceased service person, the county in which a deceased service person is buried shall perform the duties hereinbefore set forth. No such payment or payments shall be made unless the application therefor shall be approved, before the commencement of the project, by the county commissioners.

(l)  Any person who shall wilfully, maliciously or carelessly destroy, mutilate, remove or deface any grave marker or headstone placed or erected under the provisions of this section shall be guilty of the grade of offense in relation to the dollar amount of the theft or damage done in accordance with l8 Pa.C.S. § 3903 (relating to grading of theft offenses). ((l) amended May 13, 1988, P.L.395, No.62)

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Section 2114.  Burial Plots.--The county commissioners of the county are hereby authorized to purchase plots of ground in any cemetery or burial ground in the counties for the interment of deceased service persons whose bodies are entitled to be buried under the provisions of this subdivision, and to cause to be drawn a warrant upon their county treasury for the payment of the same. The purchase price of said plots of ground shall not be charged against or allotted as part of the cost of burial of such deceased service persons who may be buried in any of said plots under the provisions of this subdivision.

19530230u2115s

Section 2115.  Care of Graves and Markers.--The county commissioners of the county shall at all times see that the graves and tombstones of all deceased service persons who are buried in such county receive proper and fitting care, and may employ all necessary assistance to carry out the provisions of this section. The expense of the care of such graves and tombstones shall be borne by the county where said graves are located, except where suitable care is otherwise provided. Money so appropriated may be expended directly by the county commissioners or paid over to the person, firm, association or corporation owning or controlling any cemetery or burial place in the county where any such grave is situated. The sum so paid over in any year shall not exceed, for each grave, the charge for the annual care and maintenance of like graves in the same cemetery, or if no such fixed charge is established in that cemetery, it shall not exceed the sum charged in other cemeteries in the same county for like service.

19530230u2116s

Section 2116.  Proof of Service, Et Cetera.--(a)  In each case where application is made for a contribution towards the funeral expenses of a deceased service person or the widow of a deceased service person or for a headstone or concrete base or lettering or bronze memorial tablet, the county commissioners shall, before expending any money therefor, require proof of the following facts:

(1)  The service of the deceased service person which entitles him or his widow to the benefits of this subdivision. Such proof shall be by the production of an honorable discharge or other official record showing service during any war in which the United States is or was engaged, or by the records of the Department of Defense of the Federal Government or by copies thereof filed in the Department of Military Affairs, showing the existence of a campaign or state or condition of war, the participation of the United States therein, and the service of the deceased service person in a zone where such campaign or state or condition of war existed.

(2)  The death of the deceased service person.

(3)  In the case of the burial of the widow of a deceased service person, the death of such widow, and the fact that she was married to the deceased service person at the time of his death and that she has not since remarried. The proof required by clauses one and two of this subsection shall also be required in such cases.

(4)  Except in cases where persons not having a legal residence within this Commonwealth are entitled to any of the benefits of this subdivision, the legal residence within the county of the deceased service person or of the widow of a deceased service person, as the case may be.

(b)  Death shall in all cases be proved by death certificate where the same is procurable; otherwise, by affidavit of one or more persons personally acquainted with the deceased and the fact of his or her death, or by proof of the record of death kept by the attending physician, or by proof of the record of burial kept by the undertaker by whom he or she was buried or by the church burial association or cemetery company maintaining the graveyard, burial ground or cemetery in which he or she was buried.

(c)  Where any proof required by this subdivision has been furnished to the county commissioners, no further proof of the same facts shall be required in order to obtain any other benefit under the provisions of this subdivision.

19530230u2116v

 

Compiler's Note:  Section 9(c) of Act 173 of 1978 provided that section 2116 is repealed insofar as it is inconsistent with 1 Pa.C.S. § 2301(c) (relating to equality of rights based on sex).

19530230u2121h

 

(c)  Memorial Observances

 

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Section 2121.  Appropriations to Veterans' Organizations for Expenses of Memorial Day and Veterans' Day.--(a)  The board of commissioners may appropriate, annually, to each camp of the United Spanish War Veterans, and to each post of the American Legion, and to each post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and to each post of the American War Veterans of World War II (AMVETS), and to each detachment of the Marine Corps League, and to each Naval Association, and to each post of the Grand Army of the Republic, and to each post of the Italian American War Veterans of the United States, Incorporated, and to each post of the Disabled American Veterans of the World War, and to each organization of American Gold Star Mothers, and to each organization of ex-service men incorporated under the act of April twenty-ninth, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-four (Pamphlet Laws 73), and the supplements thereto, in the county, a sum not to exceed three hundred dollars ($300), to aid in defraying the expenses of Memorial Day and Veterans' Day.

(b)  Where the Grand Army of the Republic has ceased to exist or to function, such appropriation may be made to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, or, in the absence of such orders, to a duly constituted organization which conducts the decorating of graves of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

(c)  Such payments shall be made to defray actual expenses only. Before any payment is made the organization receiving the same shall submit verified accounts of their expenditures.

(2121 amended Oct. 9, 1967, P.L.359, No.157)

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Section 2122.  Flags to Decorate Graves.--(a)  It shall be the duty of the county commissioners to provide flags on each Memorial Day with which to decorate the graves of all deceased service persons and the graves of all other deceased persons who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine during World War II or any organization officially connected therewith and whose separation from such service was honorable, whether by discharge or otherwise, buried within the county. The flags to be used for said purposes shall be of one standard size, and shall be purchased at the expense of the county from moneys in the county treasury. ((a) amended June 11, 2008, P.L.173, No.23)

(b)  Such flags shall be furnished to the various veterans' organizations in such numbers as they shall require for their respective communities.

(c)  The moneys expended by any county under the provisions of this section shall be in addition to moneys appropriated by the county for Memorial Day purposes.

(d)  The authorities in charge of any cemetery are authorized to remove such flags when the same become unsightly or weatherworn at any time not less than ninety days after the flags have been placed on graves.

19530230u2123s

Section 2123.  Compilation of War Records; Director of Veterans' Affairs.--(a)  The county commissioners of the county are hereby authorized and directed, at the expense of the county, to compile a record of the burial places within such county of deceased service persons. Such record, so far as practicable, shall indicate the name of each such person, the service in which he or she was engaged, the number of the regiment or company or command, the rank and period of service, the name and location of the cemetery or other place in which his or her body is interred, the location of the grave in such cemetery or other place, and the character of headstone or other marker, if any, at such grave. Such record shall be known as the Veterans' Grave Registration Record of ............. County, and shall be a public record open to inspection during business hours.

(b)  The county commissioners of the county shall cause record blanks to be prepared according to forms prescribed by the Department of Military Affairs, whereby the information required for such record may be transmitted to them.

(c)  Every person, firm, association or corporation, including a municipal corporation, owning or controlling any cemetery or burial place within the Commonwealth in which are interred the bodies of deceased service persons, shall file with the county commissioners of the county in which such cemetery is located, a certificate, on the record blanks provided by said county commissioners, of the facts required for such record, as far as the same are within the knowledge of such person, firm, association, corporation, or the agents thereof.

(d)  The county commissioners shall cause record blanks to be distributed to such persons, firms, associations and corporations, as they deem advisable, with the request that such information be transmitted to them. Any such person, firm, association or corporation, except municipal corporations, upon receipt of such blanks or forms, who shall refuse or neglect to fill out and transmit to the county commissioners such blanks or forms within six months after receipt of same, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of one hundred dollars ($100).

(e)  For the purpose of locating the burial places of persons who have served in the military or naval service or other branches of the combative forces of the United States during any war or armed conflict in which the United States was engaged, the Grand Army of the Republic, the United Spanish War Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, the American Veterans of World War II (AMVETS), the Marine Corps League, and the Italian American War Veterans of the United States, Incorporated, through their local camps, posts and branches in this Commonwealth, are authorized, without expense to the county, to collect the required data and prepare and file with the county commissioners certificates embodying the information provided for in this section. ((e) amended June 19, 1961, P.L.461, No.231)

(f)  For the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this section, the county commissioners shall appoint a director of veterans affairs, who shall receive such compensation as the salary board may fix.

(g)  It shall also be the duty of the director of veterans affairs to:

(1)  Assist the county commissioners in administering the provisions of this subdivision which relate to the burial of deceased service persons and their widows and to furnishing markers and placing headstones on their graves.

(2)  Assist war veterans and their families in securing their rights as such in matters relating to their person, property and care of family, under any of the laws of this Commonwealth and of the United States, and for such services the director of veterans affairs shall be entitled to his expenses incurred therein and additional compensation. Both expenses and compensation shall be subject to the approval of the salary board or the county commissioners, as the case may be.

(3)  Assist the county commissioners in transmitting records of burial places of deceased service persons to the Department of Military Affairs of the Commonwealth, for the use of the Deputy Adjutant General in charge of Veteran Affairs, and otherwise assist the commissioners in cooperating with the said Deputy.

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Compiler's Note:  Section 9(c) of Act 173 of 1978 provided that section 2123 is repealed insofar as it is inconsistent with 1 Pa.C.S. § 2301(c) (relating to equality of rights based on sex).

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(d)  County Histories

 

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Section 2128.  County History.--The county commissioners of the county, either independently or in connection with any other municipality or municipalities within their county or any society or organization, may appropriate money for the compilation of a county war history or any general history or historical account related to the history records and government of the county, and for the publication and distribution of the same.

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Section 2129.  Payment to Historical Societies.--The board of commissioners may pay, out of the county funds not otherwise appropriated, a sum of money not exceeding four thousand dollars ($4000) annually to the county historical society, to assist in paying the running expenses thereof. If there is more than one such society in the county, such payment may be made only to the oldest society. Where any such society is comprised of residents of more than one county, the commissioners of said respective counties may jointly pay said sum in such proportion as they shall agree.

No such appropriation shall be renewed until vouchers have been filed with the commissioners showing that the appropriation for any prior year has been expended for the purpose herein designated.

(2129 amended May 29, 1968, P.L.133, No.71)

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Section 2130.  Qualification of Society.--In order to entitle any historical society to the said appropriation, the following conditions shall have been first complied with. It shall have been organized at least two years, incorporated by the proper authority, and have an active membership of one hundred or more persons, each of whom shall have paid into the treasury of said society a membership fee of at least two dollars ($2) for the support of the same. It shall hold at least two public meetings yearly, whereat papers shall be read or discussions held on historic subjects. It shall have established a museum wherein shall be deposited curios and other objects of interest, books, documents and papers relating to the history of the county or Commonwealth. It shall have adopted a constitution and code of by-laws and elected proper officers to conduct its business.

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(e)  Animal and Plant Husbandry

 

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Section 2135.  Appropriations to Societies for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.--The board of commissioners may appropriate moneys toward the maintenance of any organization or society, incorporated under the laws of this Commonwealth, for the prevention of cruelty to animals and which, for a period of at least two years prior to the making of such appropriation, shall have been engaged in carrying out the purposes of its incorporation, in whole or in part, within said county.

19530230u2136s

Section 2136.  Cooperative Extension Work in Agriculture and Home Economics.--The board of commissioners may make appropriations annually for agricultural and home economics extension work, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania State University, to encourage economic and social development in the county. An educational program will be conducted to include the body of scientific knowledge in agriculture, family living, and resource development and to encourage application of the same. The money so appropriated shall be expended according to rules and regulations prescribed or approved by the board of commissioners. The board of commissioners may also, where practicable and desirable, provide offices in the county court house for headquarters for such cooperative work.

(2136 amended Aug. 11, 1967, P.L.207, No.71)

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Section 2137.  Agricultural or Horticultural Societies.--The county commissioners are hereby authorized to make appropriations annually out of the current revenues of the county to any incorporated agricultural or horticultural society or association located within the county. The total amount of any such appropriation in any one county shall not exceed fifteen hundred dollars ($1500) in any one year. Where more than one such society or association is located in the county, the amount appropriated may be distributed and divided among said societies and associations in such proportions and such amount as the board of commissioners, in its discretion, may determine.

19530230u2138s

Section 2138.  Suppression of Animal and Plant Diseases.--The board of commissioners is hereby authorized to make appropriations from county funds for the purpose of controlling and suppressing dangerous infectious disease of livestock and poultry and dangerous plant diseases and insect pests and diseases to honeybees, in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture of Pennsylvania.

For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of the section, the board of county commissioners may enter into agreements with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture concerning terms, rules, regulations and practices for conducting the work.

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(f)  Communications

 

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Section 2143.  Appropriations for Radio Broadcasting Station.--The board of commissioners of the county may appropriate annually a sum not in excess of five hundred dollars ($500) for the purpose of assisting any naval reserve unit or amateur radio league in maintaining, equipping and operating a short wave radio broadcasting station, which shall be available at all times for public use in the event of emergency or disaster.

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(g)  Prevention and Control of Floods

 

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Section 2147.  Prevention and Control of Floods.--(a)  The board of commissioners may borrow, appropriate and expend money, and may acquire by purchase or dedication real property, or any interest therein, for the purpose of cleansing, regulating, improving and controlling rivers, streams and other bodies of water and storm water drainage systems lying within the boundaries of the county, either in whole or in part, for the prevention and control of floods. They may make contracts and expenditures for the cleansing, maintaining, regulation, improvement and control of such waters and drainage systems and for the prevention and control of floods by storage or retaining reservoirs, or otherwise, in parts of such waters beyond the limits of the county or of the Commonwealth, when, in their judgment, such expenditures may be necessary and for the benefit of the county. ((a) amended Mar. 28, 1956, 1955 P.L.1353, No.427)

(b)  The commissioners may also make appropriations and expenditures for the purpose of investigating and examining or for assisting in the investigation and examination of the condition of such waters, within or without the bounds of the county or of the Commonwealth, for the purpose of facilitating the ends aforesaid.

(c)  The commissioners may enter into such arrangements and agreements with the Secretary of Defense or other public authorities empowered to act in the premises under any law of the United States or of this or any other State, as may be necessary and proper for such purposes, with a view to harmonious and efficient action and proportionate contribution as nearly as may be arrived at or be practicable.

(d)  In exercising the powers herein conferred, the county commissioners may, in their discretion, subject to the limitation of the Constitution, issue interest bearing bonds of the county in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Borrowing Law.

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(h)  Aid to Fire Fighting Departments and Companies

 

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Section 2152.  Fire Training Schools.--The county commissioners may appropriate annually funds to lawfully organized or incorporated county or regional firemen's associations to establish, equip, maintain and operate fire training schools or centers for the purpose of giving instruction and practical training in the prevention, control and fighting of fire and related fire department emergencies to the members of paid fire departments and volunteer fire companies in any city, borough, town or township within the county.

Whenever a firemen's association is comprised of two or more counties or contemplates operation of a regional school in two or more counties, the county commissioners of each county may appropriate funds to the association.

(2152 amended July 9, 1970, P.L.460, No.159)

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(i)  Utilities

 

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Section 2155.  Drilling Gas Wells and Laying Gas Lines.--(a)  The board of commissioners may contract for the drilling of gas wells upon any lands owned by the county for the purpose of furnishing gas for light and fuel to the county buildings and for other purposes. For that purpose, they may also contract for the laying of gas lines equipped with such modern appliances and machinery as may be necessary.

(b)  All such contracts, including contracts for the building of rigs or derricks and the purchase of machinery, shall be made by the county commissioners in the manner provided for in article twenty of this act.

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Section 2156.  Contracts for Relocation, Change or Elevation of Railroads.--Subject to the provisions of the Public Utility Law, the board of commissioners may enter into contracts with any railroad companies whereby the said railroad companies may re-locate, change or elevate their railroads within the county in such manner as, in the judgment of the board, may be best adapted to secure the safety of lives and property and promote the interest of the county. For such purpose, the board shall have power to do all acts that may be necessary and proper to effectually carry out such contracts.

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Section 2157.  County May Assist Municipalities.--Upon the request of any political subdivision or subdivisions within the county, the county may assist such political subdivision in any negotiations or contest with any public utility company, and for such purpose may employ or place at the disposal of such political subdivision the legal, engineering, accounting or clerical service of the county. The county commissioners of the county may also enter their appearance as interveners or otherwise in any proceedings before the Public Utility Commission or before any court in any proceeding involving any controversy between any political subdivisions in the county and a public utility company.

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(j)  Law Libraries

 

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Section 2162.  Appropriations for Law Libraries.--(2162 repealed Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53)

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(k)  Rewards

 

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Section 2171.  Rewards for Detection or Apprehension of Criminals.--The board of commissioners, when they deem the same expedient, may offer such reward, in addition to that authorized by law, as in their judgment the nature of the case requires, for the detection or apprehension of any person charged with or perpetrating any felony or misdemeanor, or aiding or abetting the same. Upon the conviction of such person, the county commissioners may pay such reward out of the county treasury, but in no case shall the owner of any stolen property be entitled to any of the reward for the detection or apprehension of the person guilty of the larceny. In cases of misdemeanor, the county commissioners must have the approval of the president judge of the court of common pleas of the county before offering or paying such reward.

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(l)  Garbage and Refuse Disposal

 

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Section 2175.  Garbage and Refuse Disposal in County Plants.--The county commissioners of the county shall have the power to operate garbage and refuse disposal plants or facilities, sanitary land fills and incinerating furnaces, and to enter into agreements or contracts with any person, corporation or political subdivision for the disposal of garbage and refuse in such facilities and sanitary land fills erected and maintained by the county, as provided in article twenty-five of this act, and to charge and receive fees for such service.

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Section 2176.  Garbage Disposal.--For the purpose and within the meaning of this act, the following definitions shall obtain:

"Adequate provision for drainage" means closed or covered drains leading from floors, depositories of garbage, refuse or waste into a cesspool or cesspools, sewer and treatment works.

"Adequate water supply" means a head and source of water of sufficient force, pressure and volume, when directly applied, to completely flush out and clean all floors, drains, receptacles, depositories, equipment and implements used in the conduct of a garbage disposal plant, as often as may be necessary to keep the same clean and sanitary at all times.

"Cesspool" means a hole dug below the surface of the ground adequate to dispose of all liquids emanating from a garbage disposal plant, with a device for absolutely sealing such cesspool at the top.

"Garbage" means the animal or vegetable refuse from the storage, vending, transportation, sale, preparation or use of foodstuffs, such as meats, fish, fowl, fruits or vegetables, or any other organic substance or substances subject to fermentation or decay.

"Garbage disposal plant" means any place where garbage is dumped, spread, mixed, stored, incinerated, reduced, treated, buried, or otherwise disposed of.

"Impervious material" means any material which shall make and maintain the floors, depositories of garbage and waste at all times absolutely water-tight and easily cleaned.

"Municipality" means any county, city, borough or township.

"Person" includes masculine and feminine, and any firm, copartnership, institution, association or corporation, excepting municipal and quasi-municipal corporations, and any agent, servant, assistant, employe, or representative thereof.

"Waters of the Commonwealth" means all streams and springs and all bodies of surface and of ground water, whether natural or artificial, seasonal or constant, within the boundaries of the Commonwealth.

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Section 2177.  License for Disposal Plant.--It shall be unlawful for any municipality or person to keep, maintain or conduct a garbage disposal plant without a plant license from the county commissioners as in this act provided. It shall also be unlawful for any municipality or person to construct a garbage disposal plant within the county until the plans and specifications therefor have been submitted to and approved by the county commissioners and a plant license has been issued by the county commissioners authorizing such municipality or persons to keep, maintain or conduct such garbage disposal plant upon its construction: Provided, however, That the provisions of this section shall not apply to a garbage disposal plant constructed by or for the use of a municipality within its boundaries.

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Section 2178.  Application for License.--Every municipality or person desiring to construct, keep, maintain or conduct a garbage disposal plant within the county shall file an application for such plant license with the county commissioners: Provided, however, That none of the provisions of this section shall apply to a garbage disposal plant now or hereafter constructed by or for the use of a municipality within its boundaries. The application shall be on a form prescribed, prepared and furnished by the county commissioners and, together with such other information as the county commissioners shall require, shall state:

(a)  The name and address of the applicant;

(b)  The name and address of the owner or owners of the property upon which applicant desires to construct, keep, maintain or conduct such garbage disposal plant;

(c)  The location and locality of the property;

(d)  The method to be employed in disposing of garbage;

(e)  The approximate amount of garbage to be disposed of daily;

(f)  The municipalities with whom the applicant has a contract for the disposal of garbage and the duration thereof.

If the application is for the construction of a garbage disposal plant, the applicant shall submit with such application the plans and specifications pertaining to such construction.

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Section 2179.  Issuance of License; Fee; Refusal or Revocation.--Upon receipt of an application for a plant license, the county commissioners shall cause such investigation as it shall deem necessary to be made of the location and premises where the garbage disposal plant is desired to be constructed, kept, maintained or conducted, and shall make a study of the plans and specifications pertaining to the proposed construction of any garbage disposal plant. The county commissioners shall, when satisfied that the place to be used as a garbage disposal plant is a suitable place for such purpose and is properly equipped therefor and when all the requirements of this act and the rules and regulations of the county commissioners shall be complied with, issue a plant license to the applicant, upon the payment of a license fee of one hundred dollars ($100), except when the applicant is a municipality, which shall be paid into the county treasury. A plant license issued to a municipality shall be without the payment of a fee.

All plant licenses issued by the county commissioners under this act shall expire on the first day of June next following the day on which issued, unless sooner revoked or suspended, shall be on a form prescribed by the county commissioners, shall not be transferable, shall be issued only for the premises named in the application, shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the applicant's premises, and may be renewed from year to year upon application and payment of license fee as in the procurement of an original license. Applications for renewal of plant licenses shall be mailed to license holders by the county commissioners at least thirty days before the expiration date of such licenses.

The county commissioners may refuse to grant a plant license or may suspend or revoke a license if the applicant or licensee does not meet or conform to the requirements of this act and the rules and regulations of the county commissioners authorized by this act. Before the county commissioners shall refuse to grant such a license or shall suspend or revoke a license, they shall afford the applicant or licensee an opportunity to be heard, and shall give at least five days' written notice of the hearing to the applicant or licensee by registered letter sent to the address set forth in the application.

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Section 2180.  Transportation License for Vehicles.--It shall be unlawful for any person to transport or cause to be transported any garbage over any public highway in the county in any vehicle unless such person has applied to and received from the county commissioners of the county, as in this act provided, a transportation license in respect of such vehicle. Such license shall be in the possession of the driver of such vehicle at all times when garbage is being transported therein and until such vehicle has been thoroughly flushed out and cleaned after transporting garbage, and shall be exhibited to any county or municipal police officer, county road caretaker, constable, deputy constable, or other peace officer, or officer invested with the powers of a peace officer, upon his request.

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Section 2181.