CBPA to assist Railroad Authority

BY STACI WILSON

The Central Bradford Progress Authority will assist the county’s Railroad Authority in advancing rail and economic development in the county.

At their Oct. 26 meeting, the county commissioners, signed their part of the three-way memorandum of understanding.

The economic development board had previously given its blessing to the arrangement.

The Railroad Authority is scheduled to meet on Nov. 12 and will likely address the memorandum of understanding at that meeting.

Commissioner Michael Giangrieco said that although he did not agree with the county’s use of the Progress Authority for economic development, he would agree to vote for the memorandum of understanding between the groups.

The Progress Authority handles the day-to-day economic development activities for Susquehanna County.

At the Oct. 13 meeting, Commissioners Mary Ann Warren and Leon Allen voted to renew the county’s contract with the Towanda-based economic development agency.

Giangrieco voted against the move.

The commissioners were asked about the Railroad Authority’s current status and what the Progress Authority would actually be helping with.

Allen said the Railroad Authority was still active but that there wasn’t much going on.

Warren said she had not been to a Railroad Authority meeting since earlier this year or late 2009 and could not give an update about the group.

Warren also added that the Progress Authority had expertise in finding and writing grants and the rail group could take advantage of that service should any rail project grants be made available.

The commissioners acknowledged the hiring of Karissa Lewis, Kingsley, by Sheriff Lance Benedict, to an open secretarial slot in the sheriff’s office.

Eric Watkins, New Milford, was hired as a program specialist in Soil Conservation, per the recommendation of the Susquehanna County Conservation Board of Directors.

Susquehanna County Housing/Redevelopment Authority will be able to utilize $100,000 of Act 137 monies as a required local match to be used for an application to the Pennsylvania Housing Financial Agency for a New Milford housing project.

The commissioners exonerated the Tax Claim Bureau from collecting delinquent taxes on properties in Clifford Twp. and Forest City.

The Clifford property, consisting as a trailer in White’s Trailer Park, was exonerated by the county assessment office in August as unlivable. The property owner was originally Joe Gerchman, but  now belongs to Amy Wulff

Tax Claim requested the exoneration of the Forest City property’s tax balance of $45, due to a bankruptcy that had been closed.

The county also approved the acceptance of any price negotiated by the Tax Claim Bureau on properties that have been through two public sales and are no longer generating any income from taxes.

Properties include trailers in Forest Lake, Liberty, Oakland and Rush townships; and two Susquehanna, first ward, properties.

Commissioners awarded the bid to provide five refuse dumpsters, to Joe’s Disposal, Hallstead.  Dumpsters will be placed at the courthouse, county office building, recycling center and jail.

Nov. 15 was proclaimed “America Recycles Day” in Susquehanna County with the theme “I Recycle.

November was proclaimed Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month in Susquehanna County.

Toby Anderson, commissioner liaison to the Susquehanna County Library supplied information at the meeting about the use of the county libraries.

In 2009, according to a handout from Anderson, the total number of items checked out of the four branch libraries total 247,611, equaling about 6 items per county resident. According to the handout, the Susquehanna County libraries circulated more items per resident than Pike and Wyoming counties

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