Conservation District Movement Traced To Potter County

April 17th, 2022 Comments off

Potter County Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Barry Hayman and Paul Heimel honored the staff of the Potter County Conservation District while passing a resolution joining in the state legislature’s observance of April 10-16 as Conservation District Week. Potter County is the birthplace of the conservation district movement in Pennsylvania. For more than 75 years, PCCD has championed wise use of natural resources and support of agriculture, which remains the county’s leading industry. Commissioner Hayman (right), a member of the PCCD Board of Directors, presented the proclamation to district manager Jason Childs.

Volunteers Needed For Planned Community Garden

April 13th, 2022 Comments off

The Potter County Commissioners, together with UPMC Cole and Penn State Extension, are planning to create a Community Garden in downtown Coudersport this summer. Organizers are looking for one or more volunteers with gardening and organizational experience to manage the project. Please contact Barry Hayman at  bhayman@pottercountypa.net (814) 274-8290 ext. 201, or Mary Ann Rigas at rigasm@upmc.edu (814) 274-9198, if you are interested in this exciting volunteer opportunity. A county-owned lot on Water Street, adjacent to the Potter County Education Center, is being prepared for multiple raised garden beds.

Groundwork Continuing For ‘NextGen911’

March 12th, 2022 Comments off

Potter County continues upgrades to its emergency communications network to pave the way for “NextGen 911.” Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Paul Heimel and Barry Hayman have approved an agreement that paves the way for a system that will reduce response times and improve interagency communications. A 2015 state law calls for all 911 systems to be upgraded to a digital (internet protocol) system. NextGen 911 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, natural disasters, and transferring 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. Will Hunt, the county’s director of planning GIS services, reported this week that progress has been made in the building of a database of geographic information system addresses for each property in the county, which is necessary for a functional NextGen 911 system.

County Seeks Volunteers For Advisory Boards

March 12th, 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. Board meetings are scheduled for 10 am on May 10, July 12, Sept. 13 and Nov. 8. To participate, call PCHS at 814-544-7315.

County Criminal Justice Panel Sets Goals For 2022

February 19th, 2022 Comments off

Members of the Potter County Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB) adopted a 2022 Strategic Plan that commits its members to a series of measures designed to reduce the number of repeat offenders cycling in and out of the system. They also heard an in-depth presentation on “trauma-informed justice” from Robert Reed, one of the state’s leading authorities on the subject. Reed (right) is a former federal prosecutor in Philadelphia now serving as Pennsylvania Executive Deputy Attorney General. He discussed the impact that trauma can have on criminal behavior and on those engaged in law enforcement. Top priorities in the CJAB 2022 Strategic Plan are:

  • Continuation of a Pretrial Diversion Program and development of more comprehensive Re-entry Services for those who are being released from incarceration.
  • Partnering with the National Data-Driven Justice Initiative to guide decision-making and priorities.
  • Transitional living/halfway housing for offenders along with an increased focus on skills training and employment needs.
  • Education and investigation into Medication-Assisted Treatment.
  • Engagement with the national Stepping Up Initiative for criminal offenders with mental health issues.

Following the CJAB meeting, the county’s Re-entry Coalition held its quarterly meeting. Potter is one of 10 counties in the U.S. to be selected for a technical assistance program provided by the State Justice Institute. Its goal is to improve collaboration between the county government, law enforcement, the court system, jail administration, community-based organizations and other partners to achieve their justice and public safety goals.

Help For Homeowners Stressed By COVID-19

February 4th, 2022 Comments off

A program to help Pennsylvania homeowners who meet income guidelines grapple with unforeseen financial hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has been launched. Assistance is available to prevent and/or ease mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, displacement and utility disconnection. A $350 million allotment by the federal government funds the Pa. Homeowner Assistance Fund. It supports homeowners whose household income is at or below 150 percent of the area median income. For more information, visit www.pahaf.org.