Archive

Archive for September, 2021

Help Available For Renters Affected By Pandemic

September 21st, 2021 Comments off

Renters affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic may be eligible for financial assistance. The commissioners have designated the county’s Human Services agency to administer a federal grant to help those who have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic pay for rent and utilities. Applications can be downloaded from a website here. Once an application is complete, a Potter County Human Services case manager will be in touch to offer assistance. To be eligible, a renter household must have one or more individuals who meet the following criteria:

  • Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19;
  • Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
  • Has a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median.

Full eligibility guidelines may be found here. Those seeking more information can contact Jim Kockler or Kara Amidon at 814-544-7315.

One In Seven Potter County Residents ‘Food Insecure’

September 21st, 2021 Comments off

Food banks across Potter County have all seen a surge in demand, much of it attributed to the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, the county commissioners paused to honor those people who have kept the food pantry shelves stocked. In observance of Hunger Action Month, the board welcomed Ryan Prater (shown), community engagement associate with the Central Pa. Food Bank, to its Sept. 9 meeting. The commissioners also approved a proclamation to draw attention to the issues of hunger and food insecurity.

Prater thanked the staffers and volunteers who serve at the county’s food banks. He pointed out that about 14 percent of Potter County’s residents are “food insecure,” defined as lacking reliable access to affordable, nutritious food. Central Pa. Food Bank is a conduit for government funds that provide food to agencies in 27 counties. Among its partners are area school districts.

Prater said his organization recently began offering Farm to Agency Resource Market (FARM) grants, connecting local farms directly to food banks so that they can expand their inventory of fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products and protein. He also called for public support of the federal government’s Emergency Food Assistance Program and child nutrition programs, whose funding is in limbo during budget consolidation negotiations in Congress.

County Residents Encouraged To Join ‘CodeRED’

September 18th, 2021 Comments off

Potter County Emergency Management Agency is encouraging residents to sign up for a notification system that provides important alerts and time-sensitive messages on tornadoes, floods, or other emergencies using phone calls, email, social media sites and text messaging. It’s a “reverse-911” system that can help people prepare for risks to public safety. Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Barry Hayman and Paul Heimel have renewed a contract with OnSolve, the company that provides the service, referred to as CodeRED.

“This system delivers critical information to thousands of individuals within minutes,” said Glenn Dunn, the county’s emergency management coordinator. “Alerts can be specific to streets, neighborhoods, or regions.” He discussed the service at a recent Potter County Commissioners meeting. Among attendees were, from left, Teresa Kisiel (obscured), Conservation District manager Jason Childs and Planning/GIS director Will Hunt.

All residents living in Potter County are encouraged to visit pottercountypa.net and click on the CodeRED logo to enroll their contact information. Dunn said no one should automatically assume he or she is in the emergency contact database. Additional information is also available at 274-8900, extension 501.

Conservation District Success Stories Celebrated

September 7th, 2021 Comments off

Roads are being improved, headwater streams protected, and coal mine pollution abated as a result of work that’s dutifully performed — with little or no fanfare — by county conservation districts. Last week, directors of these low-profile agencies whose impact stretches far and wide showcased some of their success stories in Potter and Cameron counties. About a dozen elected officials and other guests joined conservation district managers and technicians on a daylong field trip.

In Potter County, the group traveled to two project sites on Southwoods Road in Homer and Sylvania townships. Conservation District Manager Jason Childs (left) explained that over a period of four years, the Conservation District upgraded a 4.7-mile section of the road to reduce sediment loads flowing into the Southwoods Branch, and to keep the road passable for residents, seasonal property owners, tourists, school buses and emergency vehicles. Price tag was nearly $684,000. In Sylvania Township, an eroding 70-foot vertical bank had collapsed, reducing Southwoods Road to one lane threatening to close the road entirely. Some 264 tons of limestone and other materials were used to stabilize the bank and improve the stream and its habitat. Cost was $175,000.

One stop in Cameron County was at an acid mine drainage treatment project in Cameron County’s Sterling Run watershed. Deep coal mining in the late 1800s and early 1900s and surface mining that followed had badly fouled the headwaters, killing all aquatic life. Cameron County Conservation District has installed “passive treatment systems,” neutralizing aluminum and iron levels. Affected waters are now Class A Wild Trout Streams. Also in Cameron County, the group observed a streambank stabilization project along the Driftwood Branch of Sinnemahoning Creek. That 450-foot section had been severely eroded. A modified mudsill cribwall was installed to stabilize the bank and improve fish habitat. The Conservation District partnered with the Western Pa. Conservancy to plant a five-acre riparian buffer that includes trees, shrubs and live stakes.