Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Colleagues Gather To Honor Comm. Barry Hayman

November 30th, 2023 Comments off

Potter County employees gathered for a farewell luncheon to honor Commissioner Barry Hayman, whose service to the county will conclude at the end of the year. A highlight was the presentation of a whimsical Certificate of Election declaring him the Mayor of Bingham Center, an unincorporated community where he resides. It was created by Elections Director Charlie Brown (right) and her assistant, Donna Sallade. Hayman, a retired social studies teacher with the Austin and Coudersport Area school districts, was elected to the Board of Commissioners in 2019.

During his service, he has been the commissioners’ active representative to the Potter County Conservation District Board of Directors. He has also been an advocate for military veterans, which has included a major role in the team effort to bring transportation services for veterans who need rides to medical appointments. Hayman teamed with the Conservation District and Planning/Community Development Department for an unprecedented series of meetings held across the county to connect township and borough officials with county programs and services. He was a driving force in the establishment of the Potter County Community Garden.

Hayman has been appreciated for his keen insights into county business and issues, his outgoing personality and his willingness to pitch in and help wherever and whenever needed. In addition, his experience as an educator, a long-time member of the Northern Potter School Board, a rural landowner, a library board member and student of government and history has benefitted the county government in many ways.

County, Municipalities Get Boost In Impact Fee Revenue

November 23rd, 2023 Comments off

Higher payments from the Pa. Act 13 shale gas-drilling “impact fee” have positioned many local governments to be able to avoid raising taxes, despite higher expenses anticipated in their 2024 budget drafts. Payments from the tax are based on 2022 gas drilling and production reports. Potter County’s allotment is $364,137, up from last year’s $316,801. Township/borough payments are also higher. Market conditions, mainly in the form of higher prices for natural gas, are among the largest factors in the higher revenue distribution. County/municipal population is another determinant.

Township and borough allotments this year were as follows: Sweden Twp., $89,836; Ulysses Twp., $84,464; West Branch Twp., $62,600; Summit Twp., $47,867; Eulalia Twp., $41,484; Coudersport, $23,697; Clara Twp., $23,524; Wharton Twp., $23,000; Pleasant Valley Twp., $22,838; Keating Twp., $22,830; Pike Twp., $16,475; Harrison Twp., $21,708; Allegany Twp., $15,675; Sharon Twp., $15,133; Hector Twp., $14,729; Hebron Twp., $14,007; Roulette Twp., $13,493; Bingham Twp., $13,067; Sylvania Twp., $11,597; Genesee Twp., $10,982; Galeton, $10,355; Abbott Twp., $10,112; Homer Twp., $8,101; Oswayo Twp., $8,000; Ulysses Borough, $6,474; Austin, $5,561; Shinglehouse, $5,327; Stewardson Twp., $2,712; Portage Twp., $1,764; and Oswayo Borough, $943.

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; tax reduction; housing; conservation districts; emergency preparedness, public safety and flood plain management.


County Renews CodeRED ‘Reverse-911’ Contract

November 23rd, 2023 Comments off

Potter County has signed up for another year of service from a notification system that provides the public with important alerts and time-sensitive messages on tornadoes, floods, or other emergencies. At last week’s business meeting, Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Barry Hayman and Paul Heimel renewed a contract with OnSolve, the company that provides the “CodeRED Reverse-911 System.”

CodeRED sends early warnings using phone calls, email, social media sites and text messaging. Residents of Potter County are encouraged to visit and click on the CodeRED logo to enroll their contact information. There is no fee. Additional information is also available at 274-8900, extension 501.

Officials Learn About Economic Development Opportunities

November 16th, 2023 Comments off

Two representatives from Potter County learned about opportunities for federal funding to support rural community and economic development on Thursday during a Rural Partners Network meeting hosted by the White House. Commissioner Paul Heimel, representing the Rural Action Caucus of the National Assn. of Counties, along Potter County Community Development Director Kal Logue, were invited to join the session via a social networking platform. Featured speaker was Mitch Landrieu (shown), the White House Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator.

He detailed the many funding opportunities that are available to rural communities as a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. That legislation includes billions of dollars in federal funding to support high-speed internet service expansion, borough/township infrastructure projects, remediation of water pollution generators (including abandoned oil and gas wells), and other initiatives.

Potter County has embarked on a community and economic development strategic planning project. Its goal is improved coordination, communication and unified long-term planning to stimulate the economy and address the challenges of population loss and youth outmigration. Among its elements:

  • Fill Community Development Coordinator vacancy and combine County Community Development and Planning/GIS Departments for shared administrative resources and day-to-day coordination (completed)
  • Application to Pa. Dept. of Economic and Community Development for Countywide Economic Revitalization Implementation Plan (completed; grant approved).
  • Outreach to Potter County Redevelopment Authority, townships/boroughs, community organizations, regional agencies and other potential partners/stakeholders (in progress).
  • Engagement with Pa. Economic Development Assn., National Rural Action Caucus and other agencies dedicated to supporting agriculture/forest management, travel and tourism, manufacturing and other economic drivers (in progress).

County Seeks Volunteers For Important Boards/Authorities

November 15th, 2023 Comments off

Potter County Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Paul Heimel and Barry Hayman continue to seek volunteers willing to serve on any of several county authorities, commissions and advisory boards. In an effort to broaden diversity, geographic representation and background knowledge, the Board of Commissioners periodically issues call for volunteers. Goal is to build a roster of qualified individuals who have a willingness to serve. As vacancies arise or incumbents’ terms expire, the commissioners will rely on that these rosters to determine potential appointees for agencies such as:

Potter County Planning Commission. Administers subdivision and land use/development regulations; countywide comprehensive planning; regional advocacy on transportation funding priorities and other initiatives; GIS services; reliable resource/liaison for township and borough governments.

Potter County Redevelopment Authority. Economic development; support services for business and industry; administration of federal/state grants and loans for economic development.

Potter County Housing Authority. Administration of programs meeting needs for safe, healthy and affordable housing.

Potter County Human Services. Multiple advisory boards to guide administrators on meeting local social service needs.

Potter County Solid Waste Authority. Operation of transfer station/recycling center in Gold; administration of state-approved solid waste management/flow ordinance.

Potter County Hospital Authority. Public agency assisting UPMC Cole in acquisition of funds for capital improvements and implementation of long-term planning objectives.

Farmland Preservation Board. Responsible for purchase of development rights to preserve agricultural land.

Local Emergency Planning Committee. Coordinates activities of firefighters, emergency medical services, fire police and related responders; liaison with Potter County Department of Emergency Services for training, funding opportunities, drills/exercises to test preparedness.

Those wishing to be considered for appointment should contact Danielle Gietler, executive secretary to the Potter County Commissioners, at 814-274-8290, ext. 207 or

County 911 System Review Nearing Completion

November 15th, 2023 Comments off

Earlier this year, the Potter County Commissioners contracted with MCM Consulting Group Inc. to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the county’s emergency communications system and develop a technical plan for any recommended enhancements. MCM representatives shared an update on the project this week with the commissioners and staffers of the Department of Emergency Services. A spokesman reported that findings and recommendations are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

MCM has been conducting a multi-phased assessment of the public safety radio system infrastructure, including:

  • an inspection and analysis of county 911 towers and related technology;
  • a review of the equipment being used by local and regional emergency response agencies to ensure compatibility and functionality with the county’s infrastructure.
  • a survey of all emergency responders to determine potential areas of improvement, ranging from equipment functionality and efficiency to dispatching.
  • site inspections and interviews with emergency responders.
  • preparedness for the deployment of  “NextGen 911,” which provides a faster, more resilient system that allows voice, photos, videos and text messages to flow from the public to the 911 network. It also improves dispatch center management of call overload and transfer of 911 calls based on location tracking.

To pave the way for NextGen 911, Potter County completed a $4 million systemwide upgrade in 2018-19. The project involved 14 communication towers with fiber-optic service, microwave relay technology and other infrastructure. County GIS staff has been building of a database of geographic information system addresses for each property in the county, which is necessary for a functional NextGen 911 system.