SHAMOKIN - The Shamokin Housing Authority is looking to convert the heating system in its offices to natural gas. If the change saves money, the same could be done for its largest housing complex.

At its meeting Thursday evening, the authority board discussed researching the conversion of the authority's administration offices from oil to natural gas, tapping into UGI's gas line on Eighth Street.

"The company can look at what we are currently using for heating oil, use a formula to convert the numbers to natural gas units and see if we can save some money," authority executive director Ronald Miller said.

If the office conversion goes well, the board might do the same at the Raspberry Hill housing complex. Recently, new propane furnaces were installed into the homes, but they can be easily converted to run on natural gas.

The board awarded yearly contracts for energy purchases at Thursday's meeting. Atlantic Coast Energy, of Fleetwood, gave the lowest bids: $3.413 per gallon for heating oil and $1.43 per gallon for propane.

The board also opened three bids for a video surveillance system at Raspberry Hill. The board voted to accept the bids and handed them over the authority's architect for review. Bids were received from Spotts Brothers, of Schuylkill Haven at $54,850; Electronic Systems Integration Inc., of Camp Hill, at $51,463, and from WACOR Electronic Systems, of East Petersburg at $53,105.

In other business

Board chairman Raymond G. Splane asked authority executive director Ron Miller to send a letter of commendation to several members of the Shamokin Police Department for their efforts to curtail illegal activity in security details for the authority.

"We had one person who was using our Dumpster as a transfer station. They were picking up garbage from other people and dumping it in our receptacles," Splane said. "This was observed by Cpl. John Brown. He got the bag out, found an address, asked those people who their garbage collector was, and prosecuted that person that was doing it."

The board also approved motions for two employees to attend a one-day training session on the Section 8 housing program and to enter into an agreement with Central Susquehanna Opportunities, Inc., that allows tenants to satisfy any community service requirements by volunteering for flood cleanup efforts in Shamokin.