Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

County Operational Improvements Move Forward

June 1st, 2023 Comments off

Potter County Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Barry Hayman and Paul Heimel have provided their June monthly update on a series of Operational Improvement Initiatives that were announced late last year.

1– Information Technology Upgrade

Goals: Improve functionality and security.

  • Assessment of current technological resources – servers, computers, software.
  • Security review – firewalls, employee education.
  • Document retention – shared drives/backups.
  • Training/employee education – ongoing.
  • Continuing review of best practices.


2 — Risk Management at Potter County Jail

Goal: In partnership with the Potter County Jail Board, retain the Pa. Counties Risk Pool (PCoRP) to conduct a comprehensive risk management review of the county jail and develop a plan to implement recommendations.

  • Engage an expert to study operations, facilities, policies and procedures and pinpoint areas that might increase the risk of litigation or other adverse outcomes at the jail.
  • Refer findings to a committee of the Jail Board to prepare recommendations for consideration by the full board.
  • Continuing review of best practices.

CURRENT STATUS:  Awaiting Jail Warden’s action plan.

3 — Grant Writing/Administration

Goal: To make Potter County more competitive in qualifying for federal, state and foundational grants; to coordinate pursuit of grants with county departments and agencies, local governments, community organizations, regional agencies and other stakeholders.

  • Develop a strategic plan that will incorporate specialized training, an assessment of internal resources, and the development of partnerships.
  • Pursue grants to support county government and countywide initiatives, with potential to expand to grant-writing assistance to boroughs, townships and businesses.
  • Affiliation with professional grant-writing organizations and other resources.

CURRENT STATUS: In progress.

4 — Short- and Long-Term Financial/Operational Management Planning

Goal: Engage with the Pa. Dept. of Community and Economic Development to qualify for DCED’s Strategic Management Planning Program and implement consultants’ recommendations.

  • Create short- and long-term financial plans (budgeting, capital projects planning, overall efficiency and opportunities for improvements).
  • Review each department’s operations and needs.
  • Establish system to measure results/progress through scheduled periodic review.

CURRENT STATUS: Under review.

5 — Update of Human Resources Policies

Goal: Engage a PCoRP risk management specialist to review county personnel policies and a broad spectrum of related issues.

CURRENT STATUS: Review has been completed and draft findings submitted by consultant for review by county administration.

6—Strategic Economic and Community Development.

Goal: Better coordination, communication and unified long-term planning to implement high-priority strategies identified in the Potter County Comprehensive Plan 2020-2029.

  • Fill Community Development Coordinator vacancy and combine County Community Development and Planning/GIS Departments for shared administrative resources and day-to-day coordination.
  • Outreach to Potter County Redevelopment Authority, townships/boroughs, community organizations, regional agencies and other potential partners/stakeholders.
  • Engagement with Pa. Economic Development Association, National Rural Action Caucus, Center for Rural Pennsylvania, agencies dedicated to supporting agriculture/forest management, travel and tourism, manufacturing and other economic drivers.

CURRENT STATUS: In progress.

Rural Partners Network Focuses On Local Agriculture

May 5th, 2023 Comments off

Potter County continues its engagement with the Rural Partners Network (RPN), which was launched by the federal government last April to give rural communities equitable access to federal funds and opportunities. It’s a collaboration of more than 20 federal agencies working together to elevate rural issues with decision makers. This new, direct line between rural communities and federal program leaders is changing business-as-usual by working across agencies to coordinate support farmers, senior citizens and military veterans; to create and retain jobs; to expand high-speed internet service, and to address other rural priorities. On Thursday, Commissioner Paul Heimel and Community Development Coordinator Kal Logue participated in a RPN online forum hosted by the White House and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. A USDA administrator detailed new grant programs to expand marketing opportunities for farmers and to incentivize creation of local meat/poultry production facilities. Grants of up to $100,000 are available.

County Offers To Host Meeting On ‘Warthogs’ Proposal

April 27th, 2023 Comments off

Potter County Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Barry Hayman and Paul Heimel have once again offered the Maryland Air National Guard a venue for a public meeting on its request for federal approval to stage frequent A-10 Warthog low-altitude training flights across the region. The session would be held in the auditorium of the F. W. Gunzburger County Office Building. The commissioners said they had been approached by many constituents who are concerned about the plan. They said that providing a venue where information can be disseminated and questions answered would be in the public interest. Opposition to the proposal has been voiced by U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Congressman Glenn Thompson, State Senator Cris Dush, the Pa. Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources and other public officials and agencies. All of them are calling on the Maryland ANG to conduct a environmental impact study to address their concerns.

Potter County Conservation District Celebrated

April 26th, 2023 Comments off

One of the area’s longest-running success stories was recently celebrated as another Pennsylvania Conservation District Week came and went. The occasion was noted by (from left) Potter County Commissioners Barry Hayman, Nancy Grupp and Paul Heimel with the traditional proclamation along with words of praise and appreciation for the staff and volunteer directors of the Potter County Conservation District. Potter was the first county in Pennsylvania to establish a conservation district back in November 1945, as traditional farming practices were fouling headwaters streams with soil and sediment. Its founders would scarcely recognize the organization of 2023. Today’s PCCD’s youthful staff consists of specialists who are energetic and dedicated to the district’s expanded mission.

District manager Jason Childs (second from right) and his team are on the cutting edge of innovative conservation practices in partnership with farmers, other landowners and communities. Potter County pioneered a concerted effort to protect stream quality through improved maintenance of dirt and gravel roads, working with the local Trout Unlimited chapter. The local practices have since been adopted across much of the state. A partial list of other activities includes measures to curb agricultural erosion and sedimentation entering the Chesapeake Bay watershed; no-till farming techniques; nutrient management; invasive species control; crops and planting clinics; farmland preservation; agricultural conservation; stream rehabilitation; Conservation Field Days; Junior Conservation School, and many others.

Staffers include Glenn Dunn II, Jared Dickerson, Andrew Mickey, Emily Shosh. Directors are Earl Brown (chair), Barry Hayman, Phil Lehman, Stan Hess, Chris Robbins. Jeff Cady and Jon Blass. Associate directors are Donald Heiner Jr., Dr. Peter Ryan, Bart Ianson, CC Felker, Charlie Tuttle and Betsy Long.

Potter County’s GIS Services Earn More Accolades

January 15th, 2023 Comments off

aerialHundreds of people every week tap into the parcel viewer on the Potter County website. Aerial photography and geographic information system (GIS) technology are combined in the modern tool that’s available free to anyone through the combined efforts of the County Commissioners, GIS/Planning/Community Development Department and Assessment Office. From the website (click on GIS Department), internet users have instant access to basic assessment information and a visual representation of property lines within Potter County. This eliminates inconvenient visits to county business offices by individuals looking for basic property information and it’s available 24/7.

Potter County has also made use of its state-of-the-art GIS services to help pinpoint areas where reliable high-speed internet services is not available. It’s part of the commissioners’ “Broadband for All” initiative. Potter County’s advances were recently highlighted in a story appearing in the online publication, GovLoop. To access the article, click here.

To learn more about Broadband for All, click here.

County Seeking Volunteers For Advisory Boards

January 6th, 2023 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.