Archive for July, 2017

AmeriCorps Team Leaves Mark On Ulysses, Austin

July 14th, 2017 Comments off

AmeriCorps/NCCC members painted the gazebo on Austin’s town square.

A number of community projects in Austin and Ulysses were addressed by young adults serving with the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). Eight NCCC members and a supervisor were in the area June 10- 24. NCCC is a community service program for 18- to 24-year-olds. College students and other volunteers receive modest compensation as well as help with college expenses and/or student loan relief. Drawn from the models of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s and the U.S. military, NCCC is built on the belief that civic responsibility is an inherent duty of all citizens.

In Ulysses, working under the supervision of a committee headed by Pastor Marty Zdrojewski, corps members worked at the former firehall, cleaned cemetery monuments, painted welcome signs, stained benches, and worked on landscaping at Northern Potter schools. “The work they did was a great help to an already busy community, which expressed itself with many thanks to the team,” Zdrojewski said. “Beyond the physical work, they created a public awareness of the ongoing need for volunteerism. Hopefully, they helped spur community pride, which will translate into each of us asking what we can do for our communities.”

In Austin, the team painted the gazebo on the town square and helped borough employees with several small projects. They worked at the Austin Dam Memorial Park, inventorying and restoring more than 20 campsites, preparing the Welcome Center/Gift Shop for the summer season, sprucing up the pavilion and grounds, and planting landscaping. Crew members also traveled to the Odin Cemetery to clean grave markers.

Businesses, community organizations, churches and individuals supported the NCCC team through financial donations and other contributions. Obtaining the AmeriCorps NCCC services was a project of downtown revitalization consultant John Bry, who was retained by the Potter County Board of Commissioners and worked with local governments and community leaders.

Commissioners Across Region Gather In Potter County

July 11th, 2017 Comments off

Doug Hill

Potter County hosted a meeting of the Northwest Pennsylvania County Commissioners Association this week, continuing a tradition that dates back several decades. Commissioners Doug Morley, Paul Heimel and Susan Kefover welcomed their colleagues during a business meeting and issues roundtable at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum. The session was followed by a tour of the museum, conducted by administrator Josh Roth.

Guest speaker was Doug Hill, long-time executive director of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania. Much of his presentation focused on uncertainties surrounding the 2017-18 state budget and the impact that many of the unresolved issues could have on county governments. With the Pa. House of Representatives adamant about not increasing the income tax or sales tax, the state government faces a $1.2 billion revenue shortfall from fiscal 2016-17 and has advanced a budget that is underfunded by another $800 million for the current fiscal year. Hill also cited a number of federal budget cuts proposed by President Donald Trump — emergency management grants, housing assistance, the Community Development Block Grant Program and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Bottom line, he told commissioners, is that county taxpayers could have to cover the shortfall by paying high real estate taxes. Hill added that the vast majority of services provided by county governments in Pennsylvania are mandated by state law, but they’re underfunded by the state. The gap has widened over the past decade, he noted, as state funding has been not been increased, but county costs have steadily risen.

Josh Roth conducts tour of the Pa. Lumber Museum.

JKLM Energy Activity Solely In Potter County

July 7th, 2017 Comments off

Among those attending JKLM tour of its shale gas drilling sites were, from left, Pete Ryan and Bob Volkmar from Trout Unlimited and the Upper Allegheny Watershed Assn.; Potter County Conservation District staffers Jason Childs and Jared Dickerson; and Sweden Township Supervisor Jon Blass.

While most shale gas drillers with holdings in Potter County have been idle, JKLM Energy continues to move forward with an ambitious plan to deliver natural gas found deep underground in Utica Shale formations to the national pipeline network. The company recently hosted county and local government leaders, representatives of conservation organizations and other guests for a guided bus tour of its Potter County shale gas drilling sites. JKLM is unique, in that all of its operations are in Potter County, where the company has about 120,000 acres under lease. At the midpoint of 2017, JKLM officials report, the plan to drill approximately a dozen more wells this year is on course. Six of those have been drilled and three have been completed as of mid-June. That brings the company’s total activity in Potter County to 14 wells drilled, six completed, and four now producing gas. By the end of the 2017, the company plans to drill seven more wells, complete 10, and put two more wells into sales. Additionally, JKLM plans to commence several pipeline projects this fall. JKLM officials said they’re pleased with the volume of gas that is being found in the deep shale layers and the company expects to have a presence in the county for years to come. For now, the company is concentrating its efforts on Sweden, Summit, Ulysses and Eulalia townships. Additional locations in Hector Township and other areas could be developed in the future.