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Archive for November, 2022

Potter County Will Again Hold Line On Taxes

November 26th, 2022 Comments off

Real estate taxes in Potter County will remain at their current rate for a fifth straight year in 2023. In addition, Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Barry Hayman and Paul Heimel have decided not to collect the $5.00 per-capita tax that many other counties levy. Actions will be finalized at the commissioners’ year-end meeting next month. A copy of the drafted 2023 operating budget will be available for public review at the commissioners administrative office in the Gunzburger Building beginning on Nov. 30. Under the spending plan, real estate taxes will be 18.5 mills. A mill is one-tenth of one percent, levied against a property’s assessed value. Because state law prohibits county governments from levying an income tax, property owners bear the heaviest tax burden.

County Approves Austin, Bingham Twp. Bridge Grants

November 21st, 2022 Comments off

Two more local bridge projects were supported by Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Paul Heimel and Barry Hayman at their Nov. 3 meeting. Grants of $20,000 each were approved for the Elliott Street Bridge in Austin and the Hillcrest Road Bridge in Bingham Township. Each year, the commissioners invite local governments to apply for a share of the Pa. Act 13 Bridge Improvement Restricted Use Fund received by the county through a state fee on shale gas wells. Under Act 13, county commissioners have the authority to distribute the funds as they see fit, as long as they address at-risk bridges. Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Barry Hayman and Paul Heimel, together with the County Planning Department, developed a system whereby the money is expended according to an evaluation/ranking framework to address the most critical needs. Several other counties have since adopted the Potter County system as a model. Under Act 13, Potter County receives $40,000 annually in the Restricted Use Fund. Details can be found on the county website, pottercountypa.net, under the Planning Commission tab. More information is available from Potter County Planning Director Will Hunt at 814-274-8254.

COVID Update: Virus Still Spreading; Boosters Available

November 14th, 2022 Comments off

Local medical facilities and pharmacies continue to offer the most recent booster shots for COVID-19 coronavirus protection. So far, some 1,107 Potter County residents have received the bivalent booster that became available on Sept. 2. COVID cases continue to be diagnosed in Potter County, but getting true numbers on the extent of the spread is virtually impossible. Official records from the Pa. Dept. of Health show that another 161 people tested positive over the past six weeks. Five of them died. However, DOH points out that the numbers only reflect those who have been tested at medical facilities or pharmacies. Results of at-home test kits, which are the preferred option for many, are not included.

Overall there have been 3,719 cases and 99 COVID-related deaths documented in Potter County since the pandemic was declared in 2020. Testing is available at local pharmacies and at UPMC Cole. At-home test kits can be ordered online at covidtests.gov or by calling 1-800-232-0233.

While public health officials continually emphasize that vaccination is the most effective defense against COVID, Potter County’s vaccination rate for those age 6 and older still stands at less than 55 percent, with 1,130 people receiving at least one dose and 6,460 fully vaccinated. Pennsylvania’s statewide vaccination rate is 89 percent; just over 70 percent have been fully vaccinated. Nationally, the vaccination rate is more than percent.

UPMC Cole offers the vaccine to eligible individuals at its outpatient offices. Buchanan Brothers Pharmacy in Coudersport administers the vaccine by appointment; call 814-274-8660. Rite Aid pharmacies continue to book appointments. To access the online reservation form, click here. A detailed summary on vaccines from the respected Johns Hopkins Medicine is available here.

Unofficial Election Results For Potter County

November 8th, 2022 Comments off

With all 32 voting precincts reporting, the final unofficial results from the Nov. 8 General Election in Potter County are shown below. Officials noted that there were 907 absentee or mail-in ballots tallied among the figures. Results remain unofficial until certification by the Canvassing and Computing Board, which by state statute cannot convene prior to Friday, Nov. 11, to conduct the official count.

United States Senator— John Fetterman (Democrat) 1,409; Mehmet Oz (Republican) 5,467; Eric Gerhardt (Libertarian) 120, Richard L. Weiss (Green) 40; Daniel Wassmer (Keystone) 46.

Governor/Lt. Gov. – Josh Shapiro/Austin Davis (Democrat) 1,508; Douglas V. Mastriano/Carrie Lewis Delrosso (Republican) 5,215; Matt Hackenburg/Tim McMaster (Libertarian) 77; Christina DiGiulio/Michael Bagdes-Canning (Green) 112; Joe Soloski/Nicole Shultz (Keystone) 168.

Representative in Congress, Pa. 15th District – Mike Molesevich (Democrat) 1,219; Glenn GT Thompson (Republican) 5,803.

Representative in General Assembly, 67th District – Martin T. Causer (Republican, unopposed) 6,392.

 

Commissioners Support Local Food Banks

November 5th, 2022 Comments off

The Potter County Commissioners tapped into the county’s federal COVID-19 coronavirus relief fund last week to help six local food banks deal with increasing demand and high costs. Grants of $10,000 were approved for the food pantries in Coudersport, Austin, Galeton, Roulette, Ulysses and Shinglehouse. Each of the distribution sites supports low-income residents with healthy food. Operating hours and policies vary. The food banks are supported by Potter County Human Services, Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and donations.

Schedule is as follows:

  • Coudersport, Alliance Food Pantry, Avenue B, open to Coudersport area residents on the third Thursday of the month from 10-11 am. Food will also be provided on an emergency basis. See contact information below for details.
  • Austin, operated at the firehall, open from 12:30 to 1:30 on the third Tuesday of the month.
  • Roulette, at Riverside Methodist Church on River Street, open from 4:30 to 5:30 on the fourth Tuesday of each month.
  • Galeton, at St. Paul Lutheran Church on Adams Street, open on the fourth Friday from 10-11 am.
  • Ulysses, at Zion Christian Academy on Rt. 49, open from 10 to 11 on the fourth Thursday.
  • Shinglehouse, at Methodist Church on Lincoln Street, open from 9-10 am on the fourth Saturday.

More information on Potter County’s food banks is available from McKayla Freeborn at Potter County Human Services; 814-544-7315, option 2, or mfreeborn@pottercountyhumansvcs.org.

Photo– Colleen Osgood, second from right, representing the Galeton Food Bank, accepts a $10,000 grant from (l. to r.) Commissioners  Barry Hayman, Nancy Grupp and Paul Heimel.