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Archive for October, 2022

County, Local Governments Get Higher Payments

October 31st, 2022 Comments off

County and local governments received higher allotments this year from state’s tax on shale gas production. Potter County’s share was $316,800 for gas activity in 2021, far above the $207,015 received last year for 2020 activity. The county also received an additional $25,000 that can be used for certain environmental and/or recreational projects, and a $40,000 allotment for local bridge projects.

Top recipients in Potter County (2021 payments in parentheses) were: Sweden Twp., $76,838 ($46,613); Ulysses Twp., $68,120 ($43,873); West Branch Twp., $53,688 ($32,609); Summit Twp., $41,472 ($25,079); Eulalia Twp., $35,530 ($21,891); Clara Twp., $24,579 ($17,446); Coudersport, $20,641 ($13,517); Keating Twp., $19,706 ($12,197); Pleasant Valley Twp., $19,689 ($16,967); and Wharton Twp., $19,592 ($11,902).

A boom in local gas drilling kicked off in 2007-08 after companies verified deep pools of trapped two or more miles underground in shale formations. Two companies in particular – JKLM in Potter County and Seneca Resources in Cameron and other counties – became major players. Pennsylvania imposed a tax, described by politicians as an “impact fee,” on shale gas in 2012. Sixty percent of fees collected from energy companies go to counties and local governments and 40 percent to the state.

County and local governments can use the money for preservation and reclamation of water supplies; improvements to roads and bridges; construction and repair of water and sewer systems; delivery of social services; local tax reduction; housing; conservation districts; emergency preparedness and flood plain management.

The state’s share is used for emergency response planning, training and other activities; water, stormwater, and sewer system construction and repair; infrastructure maintenance and repair; as well as environmental initiatives.

Funds also go county conservation districts, Pa. Conservation Commission, PUC, DEP, Fish and Boat Commission, Emergency Management Agency, Dept. of Transportation and Office of State Fire Commissioner.

 

County Seeks Volunteers For Advisory Boards

October 27th, 2022 Comments off

Programs administered by Potter County Human Services (PCHS) affect hundreds of lives across the county. PCHS offers opportunities for public input on its many programs through dedicated advisory boards. Clients and their family members or caregivers, as well as community representatives, are encouraged to participate. All board meetings are open to the public. PCHS operates programs for victims of alcoholism and other drug abuse, older citizens, the mentally ill, children who are at risk, the intellectually disabled and those who are homeless or otherwise disadvantaged. Volunteer advisory board members are appointed by the Potter County Board of Commissioners. Anyone interested in being considered for appointment to any of the boards should contact the Commissioners Office at 274-8290, extension 207.

One group of volunteers holds quarterly meetings to provide input on the overall operations of PCHS. Directors of the county agency depend on the Potter County Human Services Advisory Board in determining program priorities and other issues.

An Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Advisory Board serves in a consulting role to PCHS in the delivery of prevention and treatment programs. The field has been changing dramatically in recent times with a growing methamphetamine epidemic, the abuse of prescription drugs, and heroin addiction. Alcohol and tobacco, among other drugs, also take a toll among county residents. AOTD meetings will be held at noon on the second Friday of each month. To participate, call PCHS at 814-544-7315 for further information.

An Area Agency on Aging Advisory Board offers input to administrators of programs and services for older county residents, ranging from senior centers and home-delivered meals to in-home care and assistance with Medicare. Next board meeting is scheduled for 10 am on Nov. 8. To participate, call PCHS at 814-544-7315.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month Declared

October 14th, 2022 Comments off

Attending a ceremony to mark a resolution by the Potter County Commissioners were, from left, Commissioners Paul Heimel and Nancy Grupp; David Hyde and Cheyenne Wilson (education specialist) from A Way Out; and Commissioner Barry Hayman.

Domestic violence and sexual assault trends across the nation are concerning, and Potter County is hardly immune from the epidemic. Two representatives from A Way Out, the county’s victims’ services and public education agency, shared details as guest speakers for the Potter County Commissioners’ passage of a resolution recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Of the nearly 270 new clients serviced by A Way Out over the past 12 months, 168 were women, 41 children, and 60 men. The latter figure has been rising steadily in recent years, said A Way Out executive director David Hyde. He detailed the agency’s addition of shelter/transitional living services for victims and a new mobile advocacy team being rolled out in partnership with Cameron and Elk counties. Hyde noted that the agency is responding to more “exceedingly violent” attacks in recent times. “Victimization is greater, in terms of the level of violence and the number of hotline calls we’re receiving from those who are involved in extreme emergencies,” Hyde added.

A Way Out is staffed with legal advocates, a sexual assault counselor, and staff who can meet survivors at doctor’s appointments to support them. The agency offers confidential emergency short-term shelter and 24-hour crisis counseling. There is also a 24-hour helpline, 814-274-0368.

County Contracts For Mental Health Crisis Services

October 3rd, 2022 Comments off

Potter County Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Barry Hayman and Paul Heimel have contracted with an agency to provide the county with 24/7 crisis intervention services. Center for Community Resources already serves in many other Pennsylvania counties. CCR has two decades of experience as a single point of contact coordinating supportive services for individuals and families seeking help for mental health, intellectual disabilities, substance abuse and other human service needs.

CCR provides intervention, assessment, support, screening and referral services for anyone who calls, chats, texts or otherwise requests a crisis intervention specialist to come to a home, school or community. Contact information includes a toll-free phone number, 1-866-957-3224; a website with chat service, ccrinfo.org; or text message response at 63288. Those in need of help can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or 988.