Retired Potter County Chief Probation Officer John Moshier (right), shown here with successor Brian Abel, received a special gift from his former colleagues. The wall plaque includes the first handcuffs presented to Moshier when he began his service more than 40 years ago.
One of the longest-serving county probation officers in Pennsylvania was the guest of honor during a retirement luncheon hosted by Potter County President Judge Stephen Minor and Senior Judge John Leete and prepared by Probation Department staffers. John Moshier’s retirement took effect in February. He was succeeded at the helm by Brian Abel. A 1971 graduate of Coudersport Area High School, Moshier joined the department in October 1975 and observed his 40th anniversary of service last October. Many of his colleagues offered tributes and shared memories at Tuesday’s luncheon. Judge Minor pointed out that Moshier was instrumental in his transition from private law practice to the bench in 2010. Walter P. Wells was president judge when Moshier first arrived. He served for many years with Gary Buchanan and was assigned the chief’s position when Buchanan resigned. Moshier’s service also spanned the service tenures of Judges Perry Patterson, Harold B. Fink, and John B. Leete. A highlight of Tuesday’s luncheon was the presentation of a wall plaque that featured significant mementoes, including the handcuffs that Moshier was issued when he first joined the department in 1975.
John Moshier (front, second from right) gathered with his former colleagues during a retirement luncheon held in his honor Tuesday at the Gunzburger Building. He served for more than 40 years and directed the department’s adaptation to countless changes in state law, county policies and other operational aspects.
Military veterans may still register to receive discounts on products and services from local businesses participating in the first-ever Potter County Veterans Discount Program. Several businesses have been added to the registry of those who offer discounts on products and services. Currently on the list are these:
- Coudersport: Always In Bloom, Cheryl A. Beichner CPA, Buchanan Brothers Pharmacy, E&G Auto Plus, Fox’s Pizza Den, Hauber’s Jewelry, Jackson’s Gift Shop, Jenigen’s Auto Body, Kaytee’s Family Restaurant, Laurelwood Inn & Steakhouse, Mitchell’s Bookkeeping & Tax Service, Mosch’s Country Tavern, Olson Tenglund NAPA Auto Parts, Potter County Outfitters, Wagner Ace Hardware
- Galeton: Heart’s Desire
- Shinglehouse: Howard’s Home Furnishings & Sporting Supplies
- Austin: Big Mike’s Dairy Dine, Goodwin’s Garage
- Costello: The Costello Inn
- Ulysses: Carrine’s Custom Apparel, Corner Café, Creative Style Salon, Nostalgia
- Brookland: Oak Hall Bed & Breakfast
To register, veterans should provide full name, mailing address, and contact information (telephone and email, if possible) to the county’s Office of Veterans Affairs. There are three ways to apply: 1. send required information by an email address to Potter County Veterans Affairs Director Will Worthington at firstname.lastname@example.org; 2. send regular mail to Veterans Affairs, Gunzburger Building, 1 N. Main St., Coudersport PA 16915; 3. call Director Worthington at 814-274-8290, extension 210, to schedule an appointment or obtain additional information. Office hours are 8:30 to 4:30 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, or by appointment.
Each veteran who registers for the program receives a membership card that must be shown at participating businesses to qualify for a discount. Veterans will also receive a brochure that identifies participating businesses by name and address, along with the particulars of their discount offer. Under the program, merchants and professional service providers extend discounts – typically 10 percent or more – to Potter County veterans. Certain restrictions may apply. Businesses wishing to sign up or learn more about the program should call 814-274-8290, extension 207, or send email to email@example.com. The program is being administered by the Potter County Veterans Service Committee. Members are Veterans Affairs Director Will Worthington, Commissioner Paul Heimel, and Executive Secretary Dawn Wooster.
Potter County recently received a $90,000 check from the state government, covering another overdue installment of the state’s share of District Attorney’s Andy Watson’s salary. The state still owes Potter County some $24,122 for the DA’s salary in 2015 and another $114,122 for 2016.
Act 57 of 2005 obligates the state to pay the 65 percent of a full-time DA’s $175,572 salary. When those payments lag, the county covers the entire cost, a situation that does not sit well with the Potter County Board of Commissioners. Other counties with full-time district attorneys face a similar shortfall. According to a spokesman for the Office of Attorney General, the Criminal Justice Enhancement Account does not have enough funds to reimburse the full amount. As the funds continue to accumulate in the account, the state will make a final installment payment for 2015.
Governor Tom Wolf on Wednesday signed into law a 67-percent increase of the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) for state forest and park lands. It’s contained in Fiscal Code amendments passed by the legislature as part of the 2016-17 budget approval. The PILT increase will apply to lands currently owned by the Pa. Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) – increasing their total annual PILT amount from the current $3.60 to $6.00 per acre. The increase will take effect on July 1, 2017. Of the new $6.00 PILT per acre on DCNR land, $2.00 will go to the municipality, school district and county where the land is located. While the new PILT increase applies to DCNR land, the $3.60 figure remains in place for property owned by the Pa. Fish & Boat Commission and Pa. Game Commission. These higher PILT payments will provide significant tax relief to some of Pennsylvania’s most stressed communities, particularly those in rural areas, according to the Pa. State Land Tax Fairness Coalition, which issued this statement: “We express our appreciation to supportive Senate and House members, Governor Wolf, and the many other people — too numerous to mention — who pulled together to make this mission a success. We believe that, in the final analysis, dedicated elected officials who became aware of our plight over the past two-plus years pulled together in a bipartisan manner to advance this PILT increase because they recognized that it was the right thing to do. “
The higher PILT translates into an additional $650,000 annually coming to Potter County’s school districts, townships and the county government itself. Potter County Planning/GIS Director Will Hunt has prepared maps and charts showing the increased revenue each taxing body will receive. Shown at left is the school district map (click on image twice to make it larger). Austin Area School District will receive $269,000 under the new formula, which is a $127,600 increase from the current PILT. Galeton Area School District is slated to receive $122,226 annually, up from the current $73,335. Coudersport Area School District will see a $38,000 annual increase. Northern Potter will receive another $18,000. The county government will get a $216,420 increase from the current annual payments. A breakdown of municipal payments can be found in the map at right (click on image twice).
Latest edition of Shale Gas Roundup is now available. It’s the quarterly newsletter of the Potter County Natural Resource Center and features timely, locally relevant news about shale gas development and related topics. To access the latest edition as well as all past editions, visit the website pottercountypa.net (Shale Gas Roundup newsletter icon is found on the cover page). Copies are also available at the Commissioners Office in the Gunzburger Building (first office on right inside Main Street entrance), or by contacting Dawn Wooster at 814-274-8290, extension 207.
Among highlights of the 3rd Quarter 2016 edition:
- JKLM Energy moving forward in Potter County
- Abandoned wells pose challenges across Pennsylvania
- Shale gas ‘impact fee’ payments coming to local governments
- DEP steps up monitoring of air emissions
- New state gas-drilling regulations moving forward
- Motor vehicles converting to compressed natural gas
- Gas surpasses coal as leading electrical generation fuel
- Pa. Game Commission taps gas leasing to generate revenue
- Shell Oil local drilling slowdown seen as temporary.
A highly successful Northwinds 4-H Camp wrapped up a busy week today at Denton Hill State Park, under the direction of Amy Murphy (at right), 4-H Youth Extension Educator. About four dozen young people enjoyed the four-day camp, which blended learning with outdoor recreation and other fun. Among the activities was a day of kayaking/canoeing, swimming and fishing at Lyman Run State Park. The kids also learned about geocaching, aquatic organisms in local streams, teamwork and patriotism. A special highlight was the unexpected arrival of a black bear who looked on from a distance and eventually sauntered across the ski slopes in full view of campers. The Potter County Commissioners stopped by to observe the camp and express their appreciation to the organizers. Murphy said Denton Hill State Park was an ideal location for the camp, particularly with the availability of the log cabins to house the 4-Hers. Weather conditions throughout the week were nearly ideal. She thanked the volunteers and others who teamed up to make Northwinds 4-H Camp such a worthwhile experience, with special thanks to Chip Harrison and his team with the Pa. Bureau of State Parks.