Voters Reminded Of Registration Deadline; New Machines

September 10th, 2019 Comments off

Potter County Director of Elections Sandy Lewis reminds residents that Oct. 7 is the final day to register, change party affiliation or report change of address for the Nov. 5 Municipal Election. More election information is available on the website, pottercountypa.net (click on Departments/Elections). Included on the website will be dates and times for demonstrations of the county’s new voting machines, which will be in use for the Nov. 5 election.

Federal and state funding will cover only a portion of the machines’ price tag, which is upwards of $400,000. After soliciting proposals from state-certified vendors, the Potter County Commissioners purchased the machines and related software and services from Election Systems and Software (ES&S). All Pennsylvania counties must have in place certified voting machines that electronically record each vote and generate a paper ballot as an added level of security. The new machines are expected to last for about ten years, if regulations and changing technology do not require them to be updated sooner.

Employee Picnic Proceeds Donated To LEEK Preserve

September 10th, 2019 Comments off

Potter County employees received a letter of appreciation from the LEEK Hunting and Mountain Preserve for the donation of proceeds from the recent employee picnic at Coudersport Area Recreation Park. “Your donation will be used to support our wounded and injured veterans in their recovery,” LEEK president Army Col. (Ret.) Edward J. Fisher said. “We could not perform our mission without such continued support and for that we are eternally grateful.” LEEK, located in Oswayo, is now in its 12th season of serving veterans. Its focus is on therapeutic recreation, provided through six programs for veterans and one for vets and their families. Fisher reports that LEEK has completed installation of a trap range and continues to implement its plan to build additional handicapped-accessible projects and other facilities. More information is available online at leekpreserve.org.

Tax Claim Bureau ‘Upset Sale’ Moves Three Properties

September 10th, 2019 Comments off

TCB personnel conducting the Upset Sale were, from left, Karin Karr, Jake Ostrom, Deanna Johnston and Linda Gambino.Just three properties were sold during Monday’s annual Potter County Tax Claim Bureau (TCB) “upset sale” at the Gunzburger Building. It’s a last-resort auction to sell those properties on which taxes for 2017 or earlier have not been paid. The resultant revenue is divided among the affected school district, municipality and county. A Vine Street property in Coudersport Borough was sold for $9,000 to Thomas Majot following bidding that started at $6,700. Two other parcels, one in Bingham Township and the other in Austin Borough, were sold for the minimal bid covering taxes, interest and costs. Fourteen properties that did not sell will be re-offered during the TCB’s Continuance Sale at 10 am Monday, Sept. 23, at the Gunzburger Building. TCB personnel conducting the Upset Sale were, from left, Karin Karr, Jake Ostrom, Deanna Johnston and Linda Gambino.

As of mid-August, more than 200 properties from across Potter County were slated to go to the auction block. TCB has implemented a series of changes to make things easier for those who have fallen behind on their taxes to redeem their properties. These include a monthly installment option and a credit card payment system. These changes have had positive results, according to TCB Director Deanna Johnston. “The number of delinquent properties has been tracking downward in recent years,” she said. “Selling someone’s property due to unpaid taxes is always a last resort and we work with anyone who has fallen behind to try to avoid that outcome.” Tax Claim Bureau personnel are located in Suite 111 of the Gunzburger Building, 1 North Main Street, Coudersport PA 16915; telephone (814) 274-0488, option 1.

Two Potter County Departments Create GIS Prototype

September 4th, 2019 Comments off

Two Potter County departments have teamed to create a new tool that streamlines environmental inspections for everything from the Clean Streams Law to road and bridge projects. It combines internet-based data entry and storage with geographic information systems (GIS) technology. This week, three Pa. Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) officials came to Coudersport for a demonstration of the mobile applications, which have impressed DEP and other agencies. They’re being viewed as best practices that can be emulated in other counties and perhaps at the statewide level. Will Hunt and Charlie Tuttle from the county’s Planning/GIS Department were joined by Jason Childs and Glenn Dunn II from the Potter County Conservation District in sharing information about the new tool with the DEP representatives. Dunn, who has been kept busy inspecting clear-cut forest tracts and road construction related to a major wind energy generation system in northeast Potter County, described how the application has reduced his burden in the field and improved data collection. Flanked by two of the DEP representatives in the photo above are, from left, Will Hunt, Glenn Dunn II and Jason Childs.

Galeton Project Recommended For County’s CDBG Grant

August 30th, 2019 Comments off

On Nov. 1, the Potter County Commissioners plan to submit an application to the Pa. Dept. of Community and Economic Development for Federal Fiscal Year 2019 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.  The board is proposing that the federal funding be expended in support of the Galeton Borough Authority wastewater treatment plant, with $182,560 to be used for rehabilitation of the facility and $40,000 for administration. A public hearing to receive comments on the proposed use of these funds will be held at 10:30 am on Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Gunzburger Building. Following the hearing, the commissioners will consider the approval of Potter County’s 2019 CDBG application at their 11 am meeting. Potter County strives to make all programs and activities accessible to the learning, mobility, vision, hearing, and language-impaired persons. If you have a disability or limited English proficiency and require an auxiliary aid or accommodations, please contact Glenda Ruch at SEDA-COG, available at 1-800-332-6701, 1-800-654-5984 TTY, 1-800-654-5988 TDD to discuss your needs.  Translators will be available upon request. Any complaints should be submitted to Glenda Ruch.

SEDA-COG has been contracted by the county to assist with administration of the CDBG program, which requires a significant amount of administrative responsibilities, as promulgated by the U.S. Dept. of House and Urban Development and the Pa. Dept. of Community and Economic Development. Ruch assisted the commissioners in assessing the three projects that were proposed to the board. She recommended that the Galeton facility receive the funds, based on multiple factors, including the severity of the treatment plant’s deficiencies and the anticipated high cost of rehabilitating the facility. Ruch further advised that projects submitted by Ulysses and Shinglehouse boroughs do meet the CDBG criteria. Each could be considered during the 2020 CDBG funding cycle, or could be eligible for other state or federal funding programs.

Sen. Casey Focuses On Expansion Of High-Speed Internet

August 21st, 2019 Comments off

Expansion of high-speed internet service was on the agenda of U.S. Senator Bob Casey during a stop in Coudersport on Monday. The senator has been seeking input from across the state as he advocates for federal support to expand broadband to underserved areas. Potter County Planning Director Will Hunt (right) detailed a local needs assessment he has been spearheading. It will determine current availability, including download speeds and related technical data, and result in a strategic plan to bring internet service to sections that are not included in the Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative buildout.

Dr. Michele Moore, executive director of the Potter County Education Council, shared with Sen. Casey the benefits of expanded broadband capabilities for high schools, as well as post-secondary and career/technical education. Jim Kockler, executive director of Potter County Human Services, discussed the positive impact of internet access to clients of that agency as well as senior citizens across the county. Sen. Casey also heard concerns from Commissioner Paul Heimel about long delays some military veterans are facing when they appeal the rejection of a medical claim by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs. Many of those rejections are overturned following a thorough review, but the process can take years.