Township officials meet for delayed convention

The new officers for the Clarion County Association of Township Officials are (front, from left): first vice-president Harry Smathers; president Robert Lewis; second vice-president Steve Ketner; (Back, from left): secretary Steve Allison and assistant secretary Karen “Lu” Wilson.

Township officials meet for delayed convention

By Randy Bartley

Staff Writer

MONROE TWP.

The Clarion County Association of Township Officials celebrated the organization's centennial Sept. 30, one year late. The association's 100th anniversary was actually in 2020 but, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebration was postponed to this year.

Chuck Stowe, assistant secretary of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, (PSATS) congratulated the county organization on its centennial and reminded the group that the state association was founded in the same year.

Stowe said Clarion County would be hosting a "boot camp" for newly elected township officials in the near future.

The association elected officers for 2021-2022. The incoming president is Robert Lewis, first vice-president is Harry Smathers, second vice-president is Steve Ketner, secretary is Steve Allison and assistant secretary is Karen "Lu" Wilson.

The membership defeated a proposed resolution that would have clarified the definition of a family and dependents.

Allison, acting as the host, said there would be a resolution presented at the PSATS state convention on Oct. 13 to eliminate the elected position of township tax collector. He said the resolution would be introduced by Chester County.

Allison said, as a delegate to the state convention, he would oppose the resolution.

"I am all about local government," Allison said. "I oppose the elimination of local government. What's next? Supervisor?"

Holly Fischel, PSATS Policy and Research Director, updated the organization's members on several issues. She said the state is examining ways to replace the gas tax. The liquid fuels money townships receive is based on the amount of liquid fuels tax collected. She said the amount collected by the state was down in 2020 due to the pandemic and is predicted to drop another 2 percent next year.

Fischel said there have been preliminary discussions about mileage-based fees, a package delivery fee and some cost saving methods.

"It is not a one size fits all solution," she said. "As long as the feds are pushing cars with higher gas mileage and electric cars, this will be an issue."

The daylong convention broke into several workshops in the afternoon before reconvening for a work session in the afternoon.

The convention was held at the Trinity Point Church in Monroe Township.

CLARION - It's usually "caveat emptor" let the buyer beware when buying a used vehicle through an auction, and Scott and Pamela Price of Leeper agree with that adage, but the couple believes they got a raw deal when they bought seven vehicles through the recent Clarion County surplus sale.

CLARION TWP. - Hearts are in the right place in regard to the Clarion-Limestone School Board and what to do with the Betty Willison Scholarship account, but unfortunately for the board, the laws are quite stringent when it comes to how to invest the principle.

SLIGO - Pastor Brock Beveridge is quick to point out the large diorama of "The City of Jerusalem" isn't perfectly actuate, but it is pretty close. The scene includes the temple on the mount which was destroyed by the Romans.

CLARION - Students, faculty and staff at Keystone School District returned to classes Tuesday under direction to comply with a state Department of Health mandate requiring face masks in all district buildings.

MONROE TWP. - Putting life back into the Clarion Mall, "Family Farm & Home" opened its doors to the public Oct. 14, headed up by store manager Bobbi Wood, a Clarion-Limestone High School graduate and an eight-year Army veteran.

CLARION TWP. - "Seceder Cemetery" is a secluded garden of heroes. Lying among the trees are the graves of eight veterans of the Revolutionary War, several graves of Clarion County men who served in the War of 1812 and at least one veteran of the Civil War.

RIMERSBURG — A 71-year-old Rimersburg man faces numerous charges after police said they found 13 images of a 15-year-old girl in various stages of undress and to the point of nudity.

PORTER TWP. – Tpr. Katherine Berggren reports a 48-year-old New Bethlehem man faces numerous charges, including attempted homicide, after he allegedly fired a gun in the direction of a 45-year-old South Fork woman and an 11-year-old girl, also from South Fork.

KNOX - With a much smaller audience, the Keystone School Board Oct. 11 again outlined its stance on the state's mandatory masking rule and the district's intention to enforce the rule beginning Oct. 18.

CLARION - As it has for several years, Knox Borough Council Oct. 4 agreed to hold its 2022 real estate tax level at 10 mills, and will continue budget planning into November.

CLARION - Contract negotiations are nothing new between the Clarion Area School Board and the Clarion Education Association but the way the negotiations are being handled this year is a change.

CLARION - The "hustle and bustle" has returned to the Community Learning Workshop at 505 Main Street in Clarion as the center has re-opened its doors to face-to-face tutoring and programs, a change that could be vitally important as local schools are mired in face masking and vaccine debates.

MONROE TWP. - Penny Campbell, director of the Clarion County Housing Authority, recently outlined the plans of the newly-formatted Clarion County Redevelopment Authority during the Clarion County Association of Township Officials convention in Monroe Township.

CLARION — It was Farmers and Crafters Day on Friday at the Autumn Leaf Festival, and Clarion Chamber of Business and Industry leader Tracy Becker said the day went well.

CLARION — The 68th Clarion Autumn Leaf Festival ended like it began, under sunny skies. The tractor show brought dozens of antique tractors, “hit and miss” engines and lawn tractors to Clarion’s Main Street.

FOXBURG - For most students who want to participate in a sport their school district doesn't offer, a cooperative agreement can be the best solution but in the case of one Allegheny-Clarion Valley student, it's better if her home district stays neutral.

CLARION - "We are in a crisis," said Ed Goth of the Clarion County Emergency Medical Services Task Force during the recent convention of the Clarion County Association of Township Supervisors.

CLARION — The Clarion Free Library should be a warmer place this winter.Library director Ian Snyder said the new boiler has been mostly installed and will be turned on a week from today.Snyder said the boiler will be easier to operate and takes up a lot less space in the basement boiler room…

FRILLS CORNERS - Adding the extension to the Washington Township existing sewage system has been a long, arduous process over the past couple years but there may be light at the end of the proverbial tunnel soon.

CLARION - A recent tax assessment appeal for the Regency Commons low-income housing complex along South Fifth Avenue in Clarion could cost the borough, county and school district a combined total of nearly $88,000 in real estate tax revenue.

Union High School will dismiss students at 11 a.m. today due to "several positive cases of Covid which have resulted in quarantining of staff members necessary in performing key functions," according to Superintendent John Kimmel. The high school will be operating remotely Monday, Tuesday, a…

CLARION - The Clarion Borough Stormwater Authority will soon send out its fourth-quarter bills and at the same time, it will be sending delinquent account notices to those property-owners who have not yet paid the fee.

ELK TWP. - Elk Township supervisors discussed possible road projects for the 2022 construction season Sept. 13 but didn't commit to any of the work yet.

CLARION TWP. - At the Clarion-Limestone School Board's August meeting, the board was made aware of 51 missing Chromebooks and how it cost the district around $15,000 but at the board's meeting September session, C-L Principal Mel Aaron wanted to clarify some of those figures were exaggerated.

CLARION - The Clarion County Board of Commissioners, during its Sept. 28 meeting, opened sealed bids for cars, buses, real estate and miscellaneous items that total, unofficially, well over $300,000.

CLARION - Clarion County officials Sept. 16 learned the county was awarded $1,096,125 by the Appalachian Regional Commission to design, build, and launch fixed wireless broadband services to unserved andunderserved areas.

STRATTANVILLE - Pennsylvania-American Water Co. has expressed interest in purchasing a section of the Strattanville Municipal Authority's sewerage collection system.

FRILLS CORNERS - It seems being in a state of flux has been an unfortunate reality of the Lake Lucy Municipal Authority since its inception in 2014 and it doesn't seem to be settling down any time soon.

KOSSUTH - Ashland Township supervisors plan to bring the township's broken down 2014 International general-purpose truck back to the maintenance building but beyond that, the future of the truck is uncertain.

FOXBURG - A group of around 40 concerned parents showed up at the Sept. 20 Allegheny-Clarion Valley School Board meeting to voice their displeasure with the district's handling of the mask mandate handed down earlier this month by the Pennsylvania Department of Health but the overwhelming ma…

KNOX - Opponents of the state Department of Health mandate requiring masks in public schools had nearly 90 minutes to make their case Sept. 20 in front of the Keystone School Board and in the end, the board delayed its decision on enforcing the mandate.

ERIE - The attorney representing Keystone School District believes the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health's order mandating the use of face masks in school is "legal and binding."

CLARION TWP. - In its August work session/regular meeting, the Clarion-Limestone School Board accepted the first reading of a policy regarding the district's philosophy of education and its teaching of non-traditional subjects.

FRILLS CORNERS - The North Clarion School Board Sept. 13 heard strong opinions from parents regarding a state mandate requiring their children to wear masks at school.

PAINT TWP. - Paint Township supervisors Sept. 14 followed through on a pledge to support "specific projects" by the Shippenville/Elk Township Volunteer Fire Department.

LEEPER - Farmington Township will tap into its American Rescue Plan funding to clear sewerage sludge from its treatment plant and to repair various manholes in the sewerage collection system.

CLARION - Shade trees were again a topic of discussion at the Clarion Borough September council meeting and the matter will be forwarded to the borough storm water authority for its input.

CLARION - A "paddle share" service might be coming to Clarion as soon as next spring. Pending approval from the Clarion Borough Council, Tom Switzer hopes to start a kayak and paddleboard rental service at the Toby boat launch.

ELK TWP. - State police have filed a summary traffic violation charge against a 66-year-old Kossuth woman who was allegedly at the wheel of a vehicle that struck and killed an Amish man as he drove his buggy along U.S. Route 322 in Elk Township Jan. 14, 2020.

CLARION - Since the Pennsylvania Department of Health mandated K-12 students in schools across the commonwealth wear face coverings, there has been a lot of pushback from parents, including those at Clarion Area School District.

CLARION - "Anything can happen," said Tracy Becker, executive director at the Clarion Area Chamber of Business and Industry, and while "all systems are go" for the 2021 Autumn Leaf Festival, Becker isn't taking any chances.

Union High School and career center will be dismissing students at 9:30 a.m. due to a power outage at the school, according to district Superintendent John Kimmel. Phones at the school are also not working. Sligo Elementary School students will be dismissed at the normal time.