Unofficial Results From Tuesday’s Municipal Election

November 5th, 2019 Comments off

Municipal Election 2019 will go down in history for the debut of the new state-mandated voting machines with a paper-ballot generation feature. Following are the unofficial results as reported to the Potter County Board of Elections, with all 32 voting districts reporting:

Judge of Superior Court: Amanda Green-Hawkins (D) 874, Daniel D. McCaffery (D)  865, Megan McCarthy King (R) 3,204, Christylee Peck (R) 3,047

Potter County Commissioner (3 seats): Barry Hayman (D) 1,463, Paul W. Heimel (R) 3,257, Nancy J. Grupp (R) 3,234

Potter County Sheriff: Glenn C. Drake II (R) 3,929

Potter County Treasurer: Krista M. Miller (R) 4,026

Potter County Register & Recorder: Nicole F. Larsen (R) 4,060

Potter County Prothonotary/Clerk of Courts: Kathy Schroeder (R) 4,076

Potter County Board of Auditors (3 seats): Michele L. Gledhill (D) 1,255, Jeannie Stuckey (R) 3,509, Pauline A. Kleintop (R) 3,067

Judge of Superior Court Anne E. Lazarus: Yes 2,525, No 1,179

Judge of Superior Court Judy Olson: Yes 2,639, No 1,007

Judge of Commonwealth Court Kevin Brobson: Yes 2,549, No 1,064

Judge of Commonwealth Court Patricia A. McCullough: Yes 2,618, No 974

Judge of Court of Common Pleas Stephen P. B. Minor: Yes 3,254, No 694

Local Libraries Seek Continued Support From County

November 5th, 2019 Comments off

Representatives of Potter County’s public libraries met with the Potter County Board of Commissioners last week to express their appreciation for the county’s financial support and to seek continued funding in the 2020 budget.  Leslie A. Wishard, administrator of the Potter-Tioga Library System, assured the commissioners that the annual contributions are not taken for granted. She pointed out that county governments are not legally required to support libraries. However, support from the two counties has enabled community libraries to expand their services in ways that affect thousands of lives, including proven programs that support childhood development and literacy. In Potter County, Wishard noted, the commissioners not only make an annual allotment to the two-county library system itself, they also provide a $2,500 restricted-use grant for each library in Potter County to support educational programs and/or children’s learning activities. She added that she is unaware of any other Pennsylvania county that operates a similar mini-grant program.

Wishard presented a statistical summary from the Potter-Tioga Library System for 2018: 19,900 registered users; 165,000 visitors; circulation of 170,000 items; 500 children’s programs with attendance of more than 6,500; young adult program participation of 765; and nearly 500 adult programs with attendance of 6,545. “Due to our rural location, we have become the social centers for many of our communities,” she said. “We collaborate with local businesses, civic organizations, medical facilities and many non-profit agencies to help us better serve our patrons.”

Teri McDowell, director of the Coudersport Public Library, pointed out that local libraries provide a broad range of services beyond the traditional book loans. Computers with free internet access, research archives, literacy support for children and adults, training activities and community functions are among other roles local libraries are playing. She also pointed out that public libraries are increasingly filling the gaps created by public school districts cutting back on their library resources.

Commissioner Doug Morley praised the dedication of library directors and staff. He pointed out that libraries are one of the few enduring institutions that hold together communities through the generations and they’re particularly important in rural America.

County Moving Forward On Grant Support For Galeton

November 5th, 2019 Comments off

On Thursday, Nov. 7, the Potter County Commissioners propose to submit an application to the Pa. Dept. of Community and Economic Development for Federal Fiscal Year 2019 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) competitive funds.  The county is seeking $2 million to support rehabilitation of the Galeton Borough Authority wastewater treatment plant. Earlier this year, the commissioners designated federal CDBG entitlement funds of $182,560, plus $40,000 for administration expenses, for the Galeton project. A public hearing to receive comments on the application for the competitive CDBG funds will be held at 10:30 am on Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Gunzburger Building. Following the hearing, the commissioners will consider the approval of 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 entitlement 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 other municipal projects submitted for this year’s funds 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.

Supporting Employment Opportunities For Disabled

October 30th, 2019 Comments off

The Potter County Commissioners recognized the importance of supporting employment opportunities for the disabled during their biweekly business meeting. Commissioners Doug Morley and Paul Heimel heard a presentation from representatives of Employment Support Services at Dickinson Center Inc. and passed a proclamation in support of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Marsha Dippold, program director, pointed out that the abrupt loss of federal funding to operate the program has made it more challenging for Dickinson to meet all of the needs in the region. Just one in five disabled adults is actively employed, she pointed out. With support services and adaptations, the disabled can bring special talents and services to many workplaces. This, in turn, reduces the demand on social services. More information is available at 814-594-7093. Shown from left with the proclamation are Sunday Gledhill (Dickinson), Commissioners Doug Morley and Paul Heimel, and Marsha Dippold. (Photo by Halie Kines, Potter Leader-Enterprise).

Countywide Seniors Travel To Land Of Oz

October 24th, 2019 Comments off

Potter County’s four senior citizen centers combined forces for a countywide autumn gathering hosted by the Oswayo Valley Senior Center and held in the Shinglehouse Firehall. A “Wizard of Oz” theme provided opportunities for a costume contest and lots of fun. Among those getting in on the act were Oswayo Valley Senior Center director Mary Jones (left) and Barb Kiel from the Potter County Area Agency on Aging. Attendees enjoyed games and a luncheon. They also heard a health care presentation from a UPMC Cole specialist and remarks from county commissioner candidates Nancy Grupp, Barry Hayman and Paul Heimel.

Still Time For Public To Be Heard On County Plan

October 23rd, 2019 Comments off

Residents of Potter County still have time to speak their minds about their communities’ future as the Northern Pennsylvania Tri-County Comprehensive Plan moves closer to adoption. The plan will guide decision-makers across a broad spectrum of public policy areas for the 2020-29 decade. Its implications will be felt in everything from economic development and agriculture, to tourism and health care.

Initial research cited multiple public policy challenges posed by declining population, combined with steady increases in median age. Implications will be felt in terms of needed services, changes in the job market, economics and other areas. Approximately 1,000 Potter County residents have weighed in with input on a series of identified priorities, including:

  • business attraction, workforce development and employment;
  • infrastructure (including public works and high-speed internet);
  • attractions for tourism and recreation;
  • downtown amenities and community services;
  • gaps in health care and drug addiction services
  • agriculture (including the forest products industry);
  • education;
  • protection of air, water and natural places;
  • transportation.

Since that time, consultants from the Michael Baker International firm have created a draft of the plan and posted it online for public input. The plan is now available under Planning/GIS Department on pottercountypa.net. A form is posted on that page to accommodate public comment. This final 45-day comment period will run until Nov 22. In Potter County, a public hearing will be held at 11 am on Thursday, Dec. 19, at the commissioners office. The document will be on the agenda for adoption following the hearing. The comprehensive plan is mandated by the state and must be updated every 10 years.