Casey Announces $2.5 Million
Loan for Charles Cole Memorial Hospital
WASHINGTON, DC — U.S.
Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today announced that the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved a $2.5 million
loan for Charles Cole Memorial Hospital for improvements to
“I applaud the USDA for
helping Pennsylvania’s strong rural communities maintain
their high quality of life,” said Senator Casey. “These
funds will help Charles Cole Memorial Hospital make
improvements to better serve the Coudersport region.”
Funds will be used to
expand and renovate the hospital’s emergency department and
improve the HVAC system. The renovations will add private ER
rooms, update the facility and provide consistent heating
and air conditioning.
The funds are available
through the USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities
Program, which supports projects to improve quality of life
by ensuring rural communities can create jobs, attract
businesses and provide necessary services to their
Sprinkler Mandate Repeal
Now Law, Causer Says -
Measure also ends automatic
adoption of international building code changes
HARRISBURG – Legislation to repeal a mandate that would have
required the installation of sprinklers in all new single-family home
construction has been signed into law by Gov. Tom Corbett, Rep. Martin Causer
(R-Turtlepoint) said today.
“This mandate was another example of
government overreaching its bounds,” Causer said. “The decision about whether or
not to have sprinklers installed in a home should be made by the homeowner, not
Installing a sprinkler system could add
anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 to the cost of new home construction. The cost
tends to be higher in rural areas where people rely on well water and additional
work would have to be done to ensure adequate water pressure to support the
sprinkler system, Causer said.
The sprinkler mandate became part of the
state’s Uniform Construction Code in January when it was adopted by the
International Codes Council (ICC) family of codes. Under House Bill 377, any
future updates made to these codes will not automatically become part of the
state’s building code. Instead, the new law requires a two-thirds vote by the
19-member Review and Advisory Commission (RAC) to accept any future updates of
the ICC codes.
“Because of the uncertainty surrounding the
sprinkler mandate, new home construction has slowed down across the state over
the last four months,” Causer said. “By being proactive in reviewing the
proposed changes to the ICC to determine if they are appropriate for
Pennsylvania, we can prevent these types of problems in the future.”
The law takes effect immediately, and the
mandate repeal is retroactive to Jan. 1.
Commissioners Order Furniture, Shift CDBG $$
SMETHPORT—Bids for furniture for
the new Domestic Relations Office building came in considerably lower than
estimates approved earlier, McKean County Commissioners found when bids were
opened Tuesday morning.
The apparent winning bid was from
Watt Office Supplies, of Warren, with a quotation of $98,941.99. The other bid
was from Mazany Office Interiors, Jamestown, N.Y., and was for $99,943.50. It
had been estimated that the items could cost upwards of $138,000.
On a motion by Al Pingie, the
commissioners voted to contract with Watt for provision of the furniture
package. The motion included a proviso that review by personnel from R.W.
Larson, who are overseeing the project, and by solicitor Dan Hartle, would be
performed prior to a contract being awarded.
Rayne Tucher of R.W. Larson noted
that the furniture package might not be delivered and installed until July, if
ordered now. The commissioners agreed that a decision should not be delayed
until their next meeting, May 10.
As for the furniture in the
present DomRel offices in the Court House, that will be left in place, for use
as needed by the next agency to occupy that space, presumably the probation
In a decision based on bids
previously opened and held for review, the commissioners voted to award a
contract to Horizon Construction Group, Inc. of Sandy Lake, at a contract sum of
Horizon was apparent low bidder at
the March 22 bid opening. There were five other bids, ranging as high as
$1,758,056. The commissioners had called for a review by Northwest Engineering
and Hartle, prior to award of the contract.
Commissioner chairman Joe DeMott
read a report from Northwest prior to the vote on awarding the contract, and
Hartle agreed that the contract was in order.
In another decision based on a
March bid opening, the commissioners agreed to purchase a variety of janitorial
supplies from five different firms, in the 2011 and 2012 fiscal years. Two other
vendors will also supply certain items this year.
Buildings and grounds supervisor
Ken Bush was on hand to add detail to the written summary of successful bidders
and the items on which theirs were the winning quotations.
The purchase decision as approved
results in 2011 purchases totaling 25,535.21, and 2012 costs of $26,405.23.
Janitorial supplies cost $28,975.81 in 2010.
Some vendors will deliver the
items in lots spaced several months apart, because, as Bush pointed out, the
county does not have sufficient storage space to receive the full quantities at
Previously the items had been bid
every year, but Bush said he had aimed to lock in prices for a longer period.
Also, some quotations were slightly less, for two-year supply agreements, than
they would have been on a one-year basis.
The commissioners recycled some
Community Development Block Grant money left over from projects funded with 2008
and 2009 CDBG grants. The proposals for the new fund uses had been aired at a
public hearing conducted by the McKean County Redevelopment Authority last week,
at which no objections were lodged.
Four 2008 projects had these
unexpended sums after completion: Foster Township Building’s unisex restroom,
$10,866.79; Port Allegany Pearl Street area sewer laterals, $20,035; Smethport
Senior Center handicapped capable restrooms, $1,824.09; and Sergeant Township
Clermont Park equipment, $615.91.
The commissioners voted to
reallocate the $33,342.06 total to fund assistance of low-to-moderate income (LMI)
households with hookups to the Eldred Township West Side sewer collector area.
Similarly, there were these sums
remaining from five 2009 projects: Otto Township Volunteer Fire Department (VFD)
self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) equipment, $56,998; Smethport Borough
Hamlin Lake Park bleachers, $7,367.20; Otto Township VFD thermal imaging camera,
$1,547; Eldred Borough sewer system generators, $905.32; and Norwich Township
Park ball field bleachers, $10.20.
The commissioners adopted a
resolution reallocating $46,827.72 to the same Eldred Township West Side LMI
sewer lateral installation project and $20,000 to a similar program in
connection with Foster Township Harrisburg Run sewer laterals.
Commissioners approved a payment
of $13,172.25 to the Area Transportation Authority for a portion of their budget
allotment for the second quarter, and a $412,350 payment to the agency for the
second quarter actual cost and a fourth quarter advance for the medical
assistance transportation program they administer for the county. The
latter amount is funded through a Public Welfare grant.
Corydon Township will be paid
$1,325 for their completed Liquid Fuel Fund project, commissioners agreed.
A payment of $1,001.61 to
Northwest Engineering was approved, for services through April 17 relating to
the Galico Bridge project.
The Office of Human Services will
receive $12,500, representing a portion of their budget allotment for the
current fiscal year, according to another authorization by the commissioners.
They approved adding Kids Peace
National Centers, Schnecksville, as a service provider for the Department of
Commissioners adopted a resolution
authorizing the county to enter into a memorandum of understanding with DuBois
Vet Center, whereby the county will provide space in its Route 6 facility for
the federal agency to provide readjustment counseling services to area military
service members. No money is involved.
Also approved was a reimbursement
services agreement with American Family Life Assurance Company (AFLAC) for
McKean County employees. Costs are borne by the employees who want the
coverage, through a deduction arrangement.
The commissioners voted to extend
an agreement with DSI-ITI, LLC for case management-related professional services
for the Adult Probation Department.
A maintenance agreement with
Karpinski Office Systems, Coudersport, was renewed, covering a copy machine in
the Sheriff’s Department. Cost is pegged to .9 cents per copy.
GOP Candidates Seek Support In May 17 Primary
By Martha Knight
Rain dampened arriving candidates and audience members who came
to the Meet the Republican Candidates forum in Port Allegany Tuesday night,
diminishing numbers in comparison with such events in previous years. But it
did not seem to damp the enthusiasm of the candidates or their listeners, in the
First Presbyterian Church social rooms.
On hand were all four candidates for Common Pleas Court Judge, the three
Republican candidates for McKean County Commissioner, Register of Wills/Clerk of
Orphans Court Harrijane Hannon-Moore, and a smattering of borough, school
district and township candidates.
Former County Commissioner John Egbert said, concerning his 2004-08 term and the
record of the “New Directions” team, “I think we did a pretty good job.” He
noted that those commissioners had taken over a county government plagued with
unpaid bills, but had left it with more than $7 million in reserve.
Egbert said he believes the county should be run in a manner similar to a
business, and business acumen is an essential quality in a county commissioner.
Incumbent commissioner Joe DeMott told the hometown audience that the county’s
$7 million reserve has grown to about $7.2 million under his, Al Pingie’s and
Judy Church’s governance. Meanwhile, improvements and cost saving measures have
been accomplished. He credited the joint efforts of all three commissioners with
the accomplishments of their three-plus years in office.
DeMott said the present commissioners have taken steps to save county government
and taxpayers money by doing jail food service in-house, and by building a
work-release facility and expanding jail capacity by 28. These measures will
save up to $150,000 and $300,000 a year, respectively. Also, recent refinancing
of a bond issue will reduce
Pingie, of Bradford Township, spoke of his years as a fire department member, a
bricklayer and elected official in the township and the county. He expressed
pride in the energy efficiency accomplished by the updates to county facilities,
with savings of $450,000 in the first year.
Judge candidate Chris Hauser told the audience that his extensive background in
civil law would be an asset as the “other” Common Pleas Court judge in McKean
County, because President Judge John Pavlock’s greatest strength lies in
criminal law as a former district attorney. Hauser’s many years as a district
magistrate provide other important experience, he pointed out.
Tony Alfieri said experience, a love of the community and the qualities of a
good parent are essential in a judge, and outlined his claims to all. He spoke
of his involvement in parenting, and service in numerous organizations, as well
as his years practicing law.
Anthony Clarke said that he possesses balanced qualifications, including a long
practice of law, experience as a plumber, and previous education and a
bachelor’s degree in psychology. His legal practice has included criminal
defenses and civil cases. His experience in a blue collar profession has helped
him understand that portion of the population, Clarke said.
Former district attorney Michele Alfieri-Causer pointed to her 28 years of
practice, both civil and criminal, and her experience as a prosecutor, as some
of her qualifications. A former solicitor and member of the Human Services
department, Alfieri-Causer said she has a special interest in the needs of
children who are involved in matters that come before the court, from child
custody to placements to juvenile offenses.
Candidates for Annin and Liberty township offices were unable to attend, except
for Jim Boorum, who is opposing incumbent township supervisor Fred Ernst III and
is also running for constable and auditor. Boorum’s speech was highly critical
of the present supervisors, who laid him off as roadmaster months ago.
Boorum said that most current township officials and workers are employees of
Saint-Gobain (Verallia) and have high salaries, with supervisors having
“promoted their friends” into township positions. He charged that they have
over-run township budgets in the two past years and had voted to double real
estate taxes. Later in the event he corrected that statement by saying they had
voted to do so, but later changed their mind and doubled per-capita taxes
Eric Button, who is running for one of three borough council seats in a field
that also includes Lynn Farber, Kate Kysor and Democrat Lewis Duell, said he
would like to serve on borough council so as to benefit the community in an
additional way. He is a fire department volunteer. Also, he believes this would
help encourage more persons of his generation to become active in local
government as office holders or as candidates.
Incumbent borough council member Kate Kysor spoke of having lived in the
community for 20 years, and served on the council for the past six. She noted
that the borough had accomplished some significant projects and is still working
on others, and said she would like to continue serving on the council to see
ongoing projects finished.
Incumbent school director and vice-president of the board Dan Kysor noted that
there are five school board seats to be filled this year and five candidates
Concerning the board’s current struggle to produce a balanced budget for the
2011-12 fiscal year in the face of probable deep cuts in state support, Kysor
said, “We have to figure out what we are going to do. We need to cut come
employees—that’s where the bulk of the costs are.” But he said the
administration will have to make those determinations.
“I am not interested in property tax increases,” Kysor said. He joked that he
was one of the youngest people there, along with borough council candidate Eric
Incumbent school director Gary A. Hardes said that he is in his 28th. year as a
school board member and also noted that there are some young people running for
First time school board candidate Scott Moses emphasized that he is no newcomer
to the local scene, having grown up in the community, worked for Citizens Trust
Bank and then been co-owner of J&B Furniture for 16 years. “I am interested in
seeing the district improve,” he said. He commented that “we either have to get
involved” or not complain about situations confronting the community.
“This economic time is not the end-all and be-all,” Moses said, predicting that
the economy and local community will rebound.
School board candidates not
present were Ingrid Lapp and Sean Lathrop. All candidates except Ingrid Lapp
have cross-filed, as have all judicial candidates.
Also unable to attend was Bill Todd, running unopposed for re-election as a
magisterial district judge.
Retired teacher Vernice Irons was timekeeper, alerting speakers when their three
minutes were up.
An Opportunity To Meet Possible Future Leaders
Generation - Borough council candidate Eric Button told the
GOP Ladies' candidate forum audience that he hopes his election will
enable him to serve his community in an additional way (he is a fire
department volunteer), and attract other people of his age group to the
political field. Martha Knight
Where There's A Will - Register of
Wills and Clerk of Orphans' Court incumbent
Harrijane Hannon (also a former county commissioner) addressed the small
crowd at the GOP Ladies' meet-the-candidates forum. She is
unopposed for re-election. Martha
Be The Judge - These four attorneys all
want to be judge of the McKean County Court of Common Pleas. Which
would you pick? They are, from left, Tony Alfieri, Chris Hauser,
Michele Alfieri-Causer and Tony Clarke.
Martha Knight Photo
Commish - Port Allegany's own incumbent
county commis-sioner, Joe DeMott, looked thoughtful while listening to
constituents and eating cookies after the GOP Ladies' candidate forum. Martha Knight Photo
& Pingie - Incumbent county commissioner Al Pingie listens
to Marg Healy as Judy Taylor and school board candidate Scott Moses look
on, after the GOP Ladies meet-the-candidate forum.
Martha Knight Photo
Boorum - Jim Boorum is running for
supervisor, constable and auditor of Liberty Township. His candidates'
forum speech was a fiery "throw the rascals out" one.
Martha Knight Photo
Have something to
Send us the
Involved - Jim Boorum told voters that the people have to
start getting involved. He is running for supervisor, constable
and auditor in Liberty Township, and opposing incumbent Fred Ernst III,
who did not attend the GOP Ladies' Republican Candidate forum Tuesday
night. Martha Knight Photo
- Former McKean County Commis-sioner John Egbert addresses local voters
at the GOP Ladies' meet-the-candidate forum. Also participating
were incumbent commissioners Joe DeMott and Al Pingie. Republicans
will pick two of them in the May 17 primary.
Martha Knight Photo
Stump Speech - Scott Moses
his candidacy for school board at the meet-the-Republican-candidates
forum Tuesday night. He said the current economic hard times will pass.
Martha Knight Photo
Sticky Fingers? - Common Pleas Court
candidate Chris Hauser clearly enjoyed the cookies supplied by GOP
Ladies at their
forum Tuesday night. His wife is looking on. Looks like Chuck Boller and
Merle Johnson in the background, checking out the campaign literature.
Martha Knight Photo
Smile? - Michele Alfieri-Causer smiles radiantly while
mingling with voters at the GOP Ladies' candidate forum. All four
candidates for Common Pleas Court Judge were there. Martha
Left and Right -
Borough manager Dick Kallenborn is flanked by Eric
Button and Kate Kysor, candidates for
borough council, at the GOP Ladies' meet-the-Republican-candidates
forum. Button is running as a challenger to incumbents
Kysor and Lynn Farber. Incumbent Lewis Duell, a Democrat, was not
invited to the all-Republican event.
Martha Knight Photo
Payne Honored At Award Ceremony
ERIE - Tyler Payne, a sophomore from Port Allegany, was honored
by Penn State Ere, The Berhend College, at its 62nd Annual Honors and Awards
Convocation. Payne received the General Anthony Award for a Second-Year
Annually, Student Affairs coordinates this effort to recognize
members of the Penn State Berhend community for their outstanding efforts in
student life, athletics and special service to the college. More than 200
awards were presented.
For more information about Penn State Berhend, visit,