Archive

Archive for November, 2020

Bigger Tax Base For Schools, Municipalities, County

November 27th, 2020 Comments off

Potter County Tax Assessment Office has added nearly $2.3 million to the county’s tax base in 2020, due in large part to field work taking place across the county to locate new construction and property improvements. Chief Assessor Jacob Ostrom reported that the county’s real estate tax base increase represents approximately $7 million in added market value. Real estate taxes levied by school districts, boroughs, townships and the county government are applied to a property’s assessed value. As a result of the tax base additions, the county government will receive an estimated $42,260 more in real estate taxes this year. School districts and municipalities will also see higher tax revenue.

Ostrom’s job grew harder several years ago when the state legislature eliminated the position of township and borough tax collector. In prior years, these elected officials were responsible for finding and reporting new construction and improvements. Today, the Assessment Office relies primarily on building permit records and visual inspections to update tax records.

Free Help For Medicare Recipients; Deadline Nears

November 27th, 2020 Comments off

Potter County Human Services is once again offering free help for those who may qualify for Medicare during the annual “open enrollment” period, which through Dec. 7. PCHS has adapted this year’s counseling sessions to account for coronavirus pandemic health and safety provisions, according to Lisa Harris, who is coordinating the assistance for county residents. She welcomes calls at 814-544-7315 to offer assistance.

“Medicare is confusing, and every year brings changes,” Harris said. “Many people are uncertain which options make the most sense for their situation. We can help.” She recommends a five-point checklist for each person who is qualified to enroll for Medicare or change current benefit choices. “It’s all about meeting your own health care needs and your budget. You should confirm if your plan will continue next year; what you will pay in monthly premiums and annual deductibles; how much your co-pays will be for doctor visits; whether your doctor will continue to accept your plan, and which if any extra benefits will be covered.”

PCHS’s Area Agency on Aging is affiliated with the Pa. Dept. of Aging APPRISE Program, providing informed and unbiased counseling across the state.

Grants Awarded To Local Fire, Ambulance Companies

November 27th, 2020 Comments off

Fire and ambulance organizations in Potter County were recently awarded grants from the state through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Money must be used for operational and equipment expenses, such as utilities, insurance, equipment repairs and personal protective equipment; to replace lost revenues due to pandemic restrictions; or to cover costs related to cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting equipment and property or other expenses incurred to prevent the spread of communicable illnesses.

In Potter County, Austin Volunteer Fire Dept. has been allotted $23,973 for fire services and $15,048 for ambulance service; Coudersport Volunteer Ambulance Assn., $15,048; Coudersport Volunteer Fire Dept., $24,657; Germania Fire Company, $22,603; Goodyear Hose Company of  Galeton, $11,094; Harrison Township Volunteer Fire Company, $23,836; Kettle Creek Hose Company, $22,603; Roulette VFD, $22,877 for fire services and $15,048 for ambulance service; and Shinglehouse Volunteer Fire Dept., $23,014.

THANKSGIVING DAY Update: Area COVID Case Count Soaring

November 26th, 2020 Comments off

 

While the Pa. Dept. of Health will not be issuing an update on COVID-19 coronavirus cases today, its New York State counterpart has reported 37 new cases and another death in Cattaraugus County, as well as 30 new cases in Allegany County. Potter County’s total case count stood at 177 entering Wednesday with three fatalities. Eighteen new cases were diagnosed on Tuesday. Twelve of the cases involve residents from the Coudersport area, two from the Austin area, and one each from the Roulette, Genesee, Ulysses and Shinglehouse areas. Active case count in Potter County — those diagnosed over the past two weeks — has doubled in one week and stood at 101 entering Wednesday. That breakdown is: Coudersport area, 33; Galeton area, 24; Genesee area, 15; Shinglehouse area, 11; Ulysses area, 8; Austin area, 5; Roulette area, 3; Harrison Township, 2. Eight patients are hospitalized at UPMC Cole in Coudersport, three of them in the Intensive Care Unit. All four of the hospital’s ventilators were available at last report.

Also between Tuesday and Wednesday, there were 333 more cases and one more deaths in Tioga County; 6 more cases in McKean; 36 more cases in Clinton; 27 more cases and one more fatality in Elk; 47 more cases and another death in Lycoming County, and three more case in Cameron County. Most recent total numbers are as follows: Cattaraugus, 956 cases and 24 deaths; Allegany, 974 cases and 52 fatalities; Potter, 177 cases, 3 deaths; Tioga, 832 cases, 11 fatalities; McKean, 422 cases, 4 fatalities; Lycoming, 1,840 cases, 36 deaths; Cameron, 23 cases; Clinton, 589 cases, 11 fatalities; and Elk, 481 cases, 4 deaths.

Meanwhile, 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).

Conservation District Observing 75th Anniversary

November 22nd, 2020 Comments off

For 75 years, the Potter County Conservation District has championed wise use of natural resources and support of the county’s leading industry. This month’s diamond anniversary celebration has included a look back to the founding PCCD, when the local farming community — concerned about soil erosion, water pollution and the future of agriculture — established Pennsylvania’s first conservation district. Headwaters streams were running brown as tons of fertile soil was being carried away by three of the largest watersheds in the eastern United States. Farming was boom-or-bust. Those who persevered lacked access to technical assistance.

In its early years, promotion of best management practices was PCCD’s focus. These included basic practices, such as crop rotations, cover crops, and no-till farming. Eventually, the district partnered with potato growers and dairy farmers to promote and share ideas, experiences, and feedback on budding conservation practices.

Starting in the 1970s, PCCD reached out to schools, organizations, and other agencies. Environmental education became a priority through forest and farm tours. In the 1990s, streambank restoration projects were completed while PCCD supported local leaders of Trout Unlimited in establishing the first dirt and gravel road improvement program in Pennsylvania. The program is now active all across Pennsylvania, preventing sediment from unpaved roads from polluting hundreds of prized rivers and streams. A newsletter that celebrates the district’s diamond anniversary will be available on the agency’s website.

(Above — Attending a brief ceremony celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Potter County Conservation District were, from left, Commissioners Barry Hayman, Paul Heimel and Nancy Grupp, and PCCD representatives Jared Dickerson, Earl Brown, Andy Mickey, Emily Shosh and Glenn Dunn II. The district’s mission has expanded to protection of natural resources through on-site projects, education, technical assistance, and partnerships.)

Access To County Buildings Now Restricted Starting

November 19th, 2020 Comments off

Access to the F.W. Gunzburger County Office Building is now limited to appointment only. A similar policy is also in place at the Potter County Human Services building in Roulette. Additionally, the courthouse, emergency services building and district judge offices are restricting public access.

These policies are necessary to protect the health and safety of county employees and the public as confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus rise in the county.

Many county services are available online. Telephone numbers and other contact information for county departments can be found at pottercountypa.net (click on Departments tab).

All those who are admitted into county buildings must wear face coverings, submit to temperature checks and observe social distancing.