Archive for January, 2021

‘Jasmine’ Arrives At Potter County Human Services

January 28th, 2021 Comments off

Potter County Human Services (PCHS) last week welcomed its newest staff member from Cypress, Texas. Jasmine, a German shepherd mix rescued from a shelter, is in training to comfort traumatized children who are engaged with the Children, Youth and Family Services Department. Tom Patterson (above, fourth from left), director of the department, is being trained as Jasmine’s handler and caretaker. “Jasmine has special skills to help children and other individuals who are dealing with difficult situations,” Patterson explained. “She has the skills to identify and comfort those who may be experiencing trauma or stress.”

Funding comes from a state block grant. Animal-assisted therapy has been gaining popularity. Unlike service dogs, therapy dogs are encouraged to interact with a variety of people, which eases tensions for victims, family support members and caseworkers. The human-animal bond has been shown to increase a traumatized individual’s trust in humans. Using therapy dogs in response to traumatic events can reduce depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.

Above, some of the staffers from Potter County’s Children, Youth and Family Services Department pose with the latest addition to their team. At right, Commissioner Barry Hayman took a liking to Jasmine.


County Approves Economic Development Incentive

January 1st, 2021 Comments off

Potter County Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Barry Hayman and Paul Heimel put the stamp of approval on a measure designed to create jobs and support economic development during their year-end meeting on Wednesday. A new ordinance creates tax incentives for construction or expansion of commercial properties. They could qualify for a temporary reduction of county real estate taxes. Under the county’s ordinance, qualifying property owners would receive a 100-percent tax abatement in year one, 80 percent in year two, 60 percent in year three, 40 percent in year four, and 20 percent in year five.

A 1977 state law, the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) Act, authorizes the tax incentive program to support business expansion and job retention/creation. The ordinance applies only to the county portion of real estate taxes. However, school districts, boroughs and townships could also implement a LERTA.

During a public hearing, Potter County Education Council Business and Education Liaison Bob Wicker expressed support for offering the tax incentives, citing the negative impact of the county’s steady population loss and economic recession on school districts and communities countywide. Potter County Community Development Director Ellen Russell said she believed the LERTA tax incentives would complement her office’s efforts to support businesses in the county. The commissioners also received a letter of support from the North Central Penn Board of Realtors.

To obtain a copy of the ordinance, call 814-274-8290, ext. 207.