Members of STEPS in Bradford ring the bell in the courthouse rotunda to bring awareness to Mental Health. Mary McCormack, DHS adult mental health director; commissioners Tom Kreiner and Carol Duffy; Maggie Travis, STEPS coordinator; and STEPS members: Tony Lee, Victor Lee and Joseph Lee.

The McKean County Commissioners marked Mental Health Awareness Month and Foster Parent Month during Tuesday’s meeting.

Proclamations were read for both.

In the Mental Health Awareness proclamation, the commissioners stated, “We also call upon citizens, organizations, businesses and schools in McKean County to commit our community to increasing awareness and understanding of mental health, the steps our residents can take to prevent a decline in their mental health, and the need for appropriate and accessible services for all people with mental conditions.”

Following the meeting, members of the STEPS Drop-In Center in Bradford rang the bell in the courthouse rotunda to bring awareness to mental health. The tradition began in 1956, when Mental Health America melted down iron chains and shackles used to restrain those with mental illness and recast them into a sign of hope: the Mental Health Bell.

According to the proclamation for Foster Parent Month, the commissioners “urge all citizens to change a lifetime by sharing their hearts, opening their homes, and offering help to children in foster care, foster parents and the child welfare professional staff working with them during this month and throughout the year.”

In preparation for next week’s primary election, the commissioners appointed machine inspectors. The commissioners also approved tax exempt status for the Bradford Regional Little League Inc. for a parcel of land in Bradford Township with an assessed value of $6,620.

Five sales from the tax repository were approved, including two properties on Chase Street in Kane, both of which were sold to Kane Borough for $250 a piece. Three sales to private owners were approved as well, one in Hazel Hurst, one in Eldred Township and one in Hamilton Township.

The commissioners also approved a slate of 18 agreements with resource parents, which is the latest terminology for parents who provide foster or adoptive care to children.

The next meeting will be held at 10 a.m. May 24.

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