Archive

Archive for January, 2020

County Commissioners To Unveil ‘Project 2025’

January 13th, 2020 Comments off

A strategy to address two of the most serious challenges facing Potter County in the new decade will be unveiled at the next public meeting of the Board of Commissioners, slated for 11 am Thursday, Jan. 16, at the Gunzburger Building. “Project 2025” is a blueprint to reverse the steady descent of the county’s population, coupled with the growing outmigration of young adults. These trends have serious implications for the future vitality and quality of life in Potter County. Most recent U.S. Census Bureau figures reflect another 5-percent drop in population, from 17,462 in 2010 to 16,622 as of June 2019. At the same time, the county’s median age has gradually risen to 47 years, far above the statewide median of 41.

Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Paul Heimel and Barry Hayman have assigned two of their department heads, Planning Director Will Hunt and Community Development Director Ellen Russell, to spearhead Project 2025. Its lofty goal is to assemble stakeholders, conduct intensive research, and implement a strategy to reverse the population loss and median age growth by the end of 2025.

Some of the options are spelled out in the 2020-29 Countywide Comprehensive Plan. That document reflects input provided by hundreds of community leaders, business owners, conservation advocates, education and tourism officials, and others with an interest in the county’s future. A website will be developed to serve as a clearinghouse for Project 2025. It will include progress reports, links to helpful resources and other features.

Dog Licenses Available Online, By Mail, Or In Person

January 13th, 2020 Comments off

Pet owners are reminded to renew their dog license for 2020. All dogs three months of age or older must be licensed in Pennsylvania as of Jan. 1, either on an annual basis or with a lifetime license. Annual license fees vary from $6.50 to $8.50, with fee reductions for senior citizens and those owners with disabilities. Lifetime licenses, which cost $31.50 or $51.50, are available for dogs that carry identifying microchips or tattoos. These must be purchased in-person at a county treasurer’s office. All license applications require owner contact details and information about the dog’s name, age, breed and color.

In Potter County, licenses are available through the county’s website, pottercountypa.net (click on Departments/Treasurer’s Office), or at the Treasurer’s Office in the Gunzburger Building. Applications printed from the county’s website should be filled out and mailed with payment to County Treasurer, 1 N. Main St. Suite 202, Coudersport PA 16915. There is a $2.00 fee for online orders, which are usually processed within one to two working days. Police agencies and dog law enforcement officers have access to the online system to facilitate return of lost dogs through license numbers. The site also offers a free service through which owners of lost pets can upload a picture and information.

Under Pennsylvania state law, owners who fail to license and/or immunize their dogs could face fines up to $300 per violation for each dog three months of age or older. In addition, owners of non-vaccinated pets may be fined up to $300 plus court costs.

County Officials Installed During Swearing-In Ceremony

January 12th, 2020 Comments off

A new Potter County Board of Commissioners was seated this week for a four-year term. President Judge Stephen Minor administered the oath of office to (from left) Barry K. Hayman, Paul W. Heimel and Nancy J. Grupp. Commissioner Heimel returns for a fourth term. Commissioners Hayman and Grupp succeed Susan Kefover and Doug Morley, who retired after 12 years of service. During a reorganizational meeting on Monday, the new board elected Commissioner Grupp as chair, reappointed Thomas Shaffer as county solicitor, and handled other administrative matters.

Among other county officials who were installed last week were Judge Minor, who was elected to a second 10-year term; returning incumbents Krista Miller, Treasurer; Kathy Schroeder, Prothonotary/Clerk of Courts; Glenn Drake, Sheriff; and Michele Gledhill, Pauline Kleintop and Jeanine Stuckey, Auditors; Nicole Larsen, who has succeeded Gary Kelsey as Register of Wills and Recorder of Deeds; as well as deputies/administrators for county offices. (Photo by Meredith Peachey/Potter Leader-Enterprise)

Many Taxpayers Missing Out On ‘Homestead Exemption’

January 10th, 2020 Comments off

taxexemption-300x300Potter County homeowners who qualify for the “homestead exemption” receive a credit on their school taxes, reflecting a discount for owner-occupied homes. School districts are reimbursed from money the state receives from licensed gambling establishments.

Austin Area School District homeowners had a reduction of $336 in 2019. In Coudersport, the tax cut was $183. Tax credits in Galeton were $217; Oswayo Valley, $157; Northern Potter, $201; Port Allegany, $214; and Keystone, $233.

Many homeowners in local school districts have not applied for the homestead exemption since the program was introduced. Those who may qualify and are not enrolled are notified by mail. They have until March 1, 2020, to apply for the reduction on their 2020-21 school tax bills.

An application form is available on the county website, pottercountypa.net (click on Departments and Assessment/Tax). In most cases, those who are already registered will not have to apply, but there may be exceptions in some school districts. To verify that you are registered, it is best to call the Assessment Office at 274-0517.

Future tax reductions will fluctuate, based on the amount of revenue the state derives from gambling operations. School tax bills are mailed out in July. Taxpayers will receive a two-percent discount if they pay their bill by Sept. 30. A penalty is applied to payments made after Nov. 30.

Jessica Giebel Sworn In As New County Chief Clerk

January 8th, 2020 Comments off

Jessica Giebel was sworn-in by President Judge Stephen Minor as chief clerk for the Potter County Board of Commissioners on Monday. A Coudersport native, Giebel was previously employed by Northwest Bank.

She was hired by the commissioners as criminal justice resources coordinator in May 2018, based on her experience in accounting, financial analysis, project management and communications. In October 2018, Giebel was named fiscal director. For the past several months, she has served as assistant chief clerk, where she has trained under chief clerk Kathleen Majot, who retired at the end of the year. Jessica is the daughter of John (Mike) Renko and the late Nancy Troupe Reed. She is married to Rob Giebel Jr. They have three children.

Senate Commendation For Outgoing Commissioners

January 2nd, 2020 Comments off

A Pennsylvania Senate commendation was presented to the two outgoing members of the Potter County Board of Commissioners. Chuck Dillon (center), district aide for State Senator Joe Scarnati, presented the documents to Susan Kefover and Doug Morley. They served for a 12-year tenure that concluded in December. Commissioner Kefover had earlier served on the board for eight years. An installation ceremony will be held at 9 am on Monday, Jan. 2, in the courthouse for incoming elected officials and chief deputies. Among those taking the oath of office will be President Judge Stephen Minor; Commissioners-elect Nancy Grupp, Barry Hayman and Paul Heimel; Treasurer Krista Miller; Register and Recorder-elect Nicole Larsen; Sheriff Glenn Drake; Prothonotary/Clerk of Courts Kathy Schroeder; and Auditors Michele Gledhill, Pauline Kleintop and Jeannie Stuckey.