Potter County’s GIS Services Earn More Accolades

January 15th, 2023 Comments off

aerialHundreds of people every week tap into the parcel viewer on the Potter County website. Aerial photography and geographic information system (GIS) technology are combined in the modern tool that’s available free to anyone through the combined efforts of the County Commissioners, GIS/Planning/Community Development Department and Assessment Office. From the website pottercountypa.net (click on GIS Department), internet users have instant access to basic assessment information and a visual representation of property lines within Potter County. This eliminates inconvenient visits to county business offices by individuals looking for basic property information and it’s available 24/7.

Potter County has also made use of its state-of-the-art GIS services to help pinpoint areas where reliable high-speed internet services is not available. It’s part of the commissioners’ “Broadband for All” initiative. Potter County’s advances were recently highlighted in a story appearing in the online publication, GovLoop. To access the article, click here.

To learn more about Broadband for All, click here.

Assistance To Firefighters Grants Available Until Feb. 10

January 13th, 2023 Comments off

Local fire organizations are eligible for a federal grant program that provides funds for equipment, training and other expenses. This year’s Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) grant program opened this week. Application deadline is Feb. 10. Fire safety grants fund critically needed resources to equip and train emergency personnel, enhance efficiencies and support community resilience. Those interested in applying are encouraged to participate in workshops to ensure that their application will be approved. To access the workshops, click here. Prior to applying, local fire departments should also check for updates from previous years by reviewing the Notice of Funding Opportunity details here: NOFO. Local fire departments with questions can contact the Help Desk by emailing firegrants@fema.dhs.gov or calling 1-866-274-0960; or they can visit the FEMA website by clicking here.

Update On County’s Operational Improvements

January 6th, 2023 Comments off

In September, Potter County Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Barry Hayman and Paul Heimel detailed a series of Operational Improvement Initiatives that are in the works. Here’s an update:

The commissioners, with the concurrence of the Potter County Jail Board, partnered with the Pennsylvania Counties Risk Pool (PCoRP) to conduct a comprehensive risk management review of the county jail. Its purpose was to study operations, facilities, policies and procedures to pinpoint areas that might increase the risk of litigation or other adverse outcomes at the jail. An expert in the field of county corrections, the laws that govern corrections and recent court rulings that affect jail operations completed that review and the commissioners and Jail Board are addressing its findings.

Also through PCoRP, the county has begun an assessment of personnel policies and human resources (HR) policies at all county offices and departments. Chief Clerk Jessica Giebel initially reviewed county personnel policies in order to recommend updates or other changes to the commissioners. PCoRP consultants are now assessing the broader spectrum of issues. As with the risk management review of the jail, this assessment is also provided to the county at no charge, as a benefit of its PCoRP membership.

Thirdly, the commissioners are researching the Pa. Dept. of Community and Economic Development’s “Strategic Management Planning Program.” Its goal is to create short- and long-term financial plans and to review management practices. State funding would cover much of the cost, but there would be a county match. Potter County has not signed up for this type of service since 2009, and much has changed over the past 13-plus years. County governments across Pennsylvania have found the DCED program to be of great value in budgeting, capital project planning and many other areas of county operations.

County Seeking Volunteers For Advisory Boards

January 6th, 2023 Comments off

Programs administered by Potter County Human Services (PCHS) affect hundreds of lives across the county. PCHS offers opportunities for public input on its many programs through dedicated advisory boards. Clients and their family members or caregivers, as well as community representatives, are encouraged to participate. All board meetings are open to the public. PCHS operates programs for victims of alcoholism and other drug abuse, older citizens, the mentally ill, children who are at risk, the intellectually disabled and those who are homeless or otherwise disadvantaged. Volunteer advisory board members are appointed by the Potter County Board of Commissioners. Anyone interested in being considered for appointment to any of the boards should contact the Commissioners Office at 274-8290, extension 207.

One group of volunteers holds quarterly meetings to provide input on the overall operations of PCHS. Directors of the county agency depend on the Potter County Human Services Advisory Board in determining program priorities and other issues.

An Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Advisory Board serves in a consulting role to PCHS in the delivery of prevention and treatment programs. The field has been changing dramatically in recent times with a growing methamphetamine epidemic, the abuse of prescription drugs, and heroin addiction. Alcohol and tobacco, among other drugs, also take a toll among county residents. AOTD meetings will be held at noon on the second Friday of each month. To participate, call PCHS at 814-544-7315 for further information.

An Area Agency on Aging Advisory Board offers input to administrators of programs and services for older county residents, ranging from senior centers and home-delivered meals to in-home care and assistance with Medicare. Next board meeting is scheduled for 10 am on Nov. 8. To participate, call PCHS at 814-544-7315.

County Renews ‘Reverse-911’ Contract For 2023

January 1st, 2023 Comments off

Potter County has signed up for another year of service from a notification system that provides the public with important alerts and time-sensitive messages on tornadoes, floods, or other emergencies. At last week’s business meeting, Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Barry Hayman and Paul Heimel renewed a contract with OnSolve, the company that provides the “CodeRED Reverse-911 System.” Cost for another year of service is $4,763.

CodeRED sends early warnings using phone calls, email, social media sites and text messaging. Residents of Potter County are encouraged to visit pottercountypa.net and click on the CodeRED logo to enroll their contact information. There is no fee. Additional information is also available at 274-8900, extension 501.

Commissioners Approve 2023 Operating Budget

January 1st, 2023 Comments off

Real estate taxes in Potter County will remain at their current rate for a fifth straight year in 2023. In addition, Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Barry Hayman and Paul Heimel have decided not to collect the $5.00 per-capita tax that many other counties levy. Actions were finalized at the commissioners’ year-end meeting on Dec. 22. A copy of the final 2023 operating budget is available for public review at the commissioners administrative office in the Gunzburger Building. Under the spending plan, real estate taxes will remain at 18.5 mills. A mill is one-tenth of one percent, levied against a property’s assessed value. Because state law prohibits county governments from levying an income tax, property owners bear the heaviest tax burden.