CLEARFIELD – On Tuesday the Clearfield County Commissioners learned about a Veterans Expo and Career Fair being planned by the Veterans Affairs office and provided an update on the new application for the proposed Camp Hope Run landfill. Also, a visit by Gov. Tom Wolf is planned for the area next week.
Veterans Affairs Director Betina Nicklas explained that her office has been working with CareerLink to hold the first Veterans Expo and Career Fair on Oct. 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Expo 1 building at the Clearfield County Fairgrounds. She said more than 130 employers and vendors have been invited so far, with 41 responding so far.
The expo will include not only employment opportunities, but also education and other services.
Nicklas said that while the event is focused on veterans, anyone can attend and they won’t turn anyone away. She added that often family and friends of veterans are the best people to collect and pass on information.
More information is available by contacting the VA office at 814-765-4611.
The commissioners discussed the proposed landfill application and noted that they will be meeting with the state Department of Transportation regarding the traffic study done for the first application, which was completed in 2013.
The commissioners are concerned that traffic conditions have changed dramatically since 2013, and they want PennDOT to do another study as part of PA Waste’s new application process.
One of their worries includes the section of state Route 153 in the Litz Bridge area, where the speed limit is 45 miles per hour and there are many residential homes.
Commissioner Mark McCracken added that there has been no agreement on the timeline for review of the application. The state Department of Environmental Protection has indicated a review period of seven-and-a-half months while the commissioners would prefer the standard 21-month review period.
Solicitor Kim Kesner added that they are concerned about whether DEP is planning to review the application from the beginning, or if the agency is planning to accept those items that were already accepted from the first application.
The Harmony Grange Fair will begin next Tuesday and the fair board and commissioners are excited to announce that Gov. Tom Wolf is planning to visit the fair on Saturday, Sept. 23.
McCracken said the governor is planning to attend between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. But visitors should consider a time frame of 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The parade will then begin around 2 p.m., and everyone is invited to come and meet the governor and then stay for the parade and the rest of the day’s events.
Another concern raised by the commissioners concerned a budget plan recently presented by some representatives in the General Assembly.
McCracken explained the plan includes tapping into certain reserve funds, which would only be a short-term solution and not solve budget gap problems. One of the funds being looked at in this proposal is the state 9-11 fund.
The commissioners are concerned that the money, which this group has stated is “lying dormant,” is actually allocated. Additionally, the money was put in place by legislation that is worded indicating that it cannot be touched without further legislation, and some of the funds were even created by voter referendum.
“There is a mess down in Harrisburg, we know that,” McCracken remarked.
It was noted that the number of representatives supporting this measure is small and that neither local representative, Tommy Sankey, R-73 of Clearfield, nor Matt Gabler, R-75 of DuBois, are in support of it.
A salary board meeting was also held and salary board member Brian Spencer, prothonotary, made a motion to create a part-time department II clerk for the prothonotary office to work for the remainder of the year and for the position to not exceed 250 hours. He explained the position would be dedicated to scanning and he would like for it to fall into a full-time position.
The motion died for lack of a second, but Commissioner John Sobel said they would like to discuss the matter with Spencer during upcoming budget meetings.
The salary board also approved a raise for the chief assessor from $43,000 to $45,000 per year. The raise was part of her hiring, provided she received certification as a certified property license and is effective Sept. 1