Archive for September, 2020

Potter County Coronavirus Summary: FRIDAY P.M. Update

September 25th, 2020 Comments off

Two additional COVID-19 coronavirus cases were diagnosed in Potter County between Wednesday and Friday, bringing the total number of positive tests to 28. During the same 48-hour period there were 17 more confirmed cases in Lycoming County, four more in Clinton County, three more in Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Elk counties, and two more in Tioga counties. Entering Friday, area numbers were as follows: Cattaraugus, 258 cases, 7 deaths; Tioga, 67 cases, 3 fatalities; Potter, 28 cases; McKean, 57 cases, two deaths; Lycoming, 657 cases, 25 fatalities; Allegany, 106 cases, 2 deaths; Cameron, 8 cases; Clinton, 204 cases, 6 fatalities; and Elk, 72 cases, 2 deaths. As of Friday, there have been 154,203cases in Pennsylvania, an increase of 1,669 over the past 48 hours, with 8,081 deaths.

The State Health Department reports this breakdown of the patients who have tested positive to date: 2 percent are ages 5-12; 4 percent are ages 13-18;13 percent are ages 19-24; 36 percent are ages 25-49; 22 percent are ages 50-64, and 22 percent are ages 65 or older.

Three testing sites for the COVID-19 coronavirus remain available in Coudersport. In addition to the testing site at UPMC Cole for physician-referred patients, tests are also being administered at Buchanan Brothers Pharmacy (visit the website here or call 1-800-635-8611 to complete an eligibility assessment) and Rite Aid Pharmacy (visit the website here or call 814-274-0439).

County Continues Information Technology Service Upgrades

September 18th, 2020 Comments off

Potter County leaders continue a systematic review and modernization of information technology services to keep up with the rapidly changing world of communications. Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Barry Hayman and Paul Heimel, along with Bill Solomon, director of technological services, have been assessing the county’s IT infrastructure to improve efficiencies, enhance security, create greater redundancy and adapt to changes brought on by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. A new position has been established in the IT department as part of the process. County officials have conferred with technology consultants from County Commissioners Assn. of Pa. as well as network security specialists for assistance. A growing volume of county business is being conducted online, which provides more convenient access to services for the public at the same time it increases demand on the county’s infrastructure.

Local Responders Weigh In On County’s New 911 System

September 12th, 2020 Comments off

Emergency responders from across Potter County gathered at the Gunzburger Building this week to share their experiences with the county’s new emergency communications system and identify service gaps and other issues. Consultant Mitch Smith assured the local service providers that each of the issues that surfaced during Thursday’s meeting will be addressed as the system rollout continues. It’s a comprehensive project with a price tag of nearly $4 million, meant to ensure that calls dispatched from the 911 center are instantly received by responders.

Communications coverage is being enhanced and response times shortened. This is accomplished through 14 towers, microwave relay technology and other infrastructure that carries service into a geographic area with countless challenges posed by the hilly terrain and deep valleys.

“Speed of response can be a life-or-death situation,” Smith explained. “The new system reaches some sections of the county that have been underserved. It also brings you new technology to replace equipment that has become obsolete.”

The system has a life expectancy of 15 years. Rather than incurring a major up-front expense that would create an immediate burden on taxpayers, the county commissioners negotiated a low-interest loan from a local lending institution with a payback period of 10 years. The county also qualified for a $580,000 state grant. Smith is a former Pa. Emergency Management Agency staffer and long-time volunteer firefighter himself who has been advising Potter County for more than 15 years. He has been working closely with former commissioner Doug Morley, who was contracted through 2020 as part-time 911 project coordinator, and with the county’s emergency management coordinator, Glenn Dunn. Potter’s County’s most recent system upgrade was in 2002. Its life expectancy at the time was 10 to 12 years. Dispatching continues to be provided from the Tioga County 911 Center, although the new infrastructure in Potter County is also compatible with other dispatch centers.

Potter County VA Medical Clinic Reopens

September 4th, 2020 Comments off

Potter County’s VA Medical Clinic in Coudersport has reopened. Operating hours are 8 am to 4:30 pm on Mondays. Dr. Khawaja Siddique is providing tele-primary care services from the Northport (N.Y.) VA Medical Center to the Coudersport clinic. Nursing staff is onsite on Mondays to support the delivery of care and will be providing lab draws and vaccinations. In addition, on Fridays, starting Sept. 25, Dr. Siddique will be delivering care via video-to-home visits and telephone contacts. There will be no onsite presence at the Coudersport clinic on Fridays.

Tax Claim Bureau ‘Upset Sale’ Scheduled For Sept. 28

September 4th, 2020 Comments off

Potter County Tax Claim Bureau (TCB) will be holding its annual “upset sale” at 10 am on Monday, Sept. 28, in the Gunzburger Building auditorium. It’s a last-resort auction to sell those properties on which taxes for 2018 or earlier have not been paid. The resultant revenue is divided among the affected school district, municipality and county.

At this point, about 79 properties from across Potter County are slated to go to the auction block. That number will drop significantly before the sale commences. A list of properties subject to auction is posted on the website, (click on Departments/Tax Claim).

TCB has implemented a series of changes to make things easier for those who have fallen behind on their taxes to redeem their properties. Among them is a monthly installment option. These changes have had positive results, according to TCB Director Deanna Johnston. “The number of delinquent properties has been tracking downward in recent years,” she said. “Selling someone’s property due to unpaid taxes is always a last resort and we work with anyone who has fallen behind to try to avoid that outcome.”

Tax Claim Bureau personnel are located in Suite 111 of the Gunzburger Building, 1 North Main Street, Coudersport PA 16915; telephone (814) 274-0488, option 1.