SMETHPORT — At a special meeting Wednesday, the McKean County Commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution authorizing the issuance of a tax and revenue anticipation note for 2021.

The loan from Northwest will not exceed $2.5 million, has a 1.05 percent interest rate and the county will use this money to cover current expenses until tax revenues and other funding are available. The note is to be issued on Jan. 4. The maturity date is June 30.

During the commissioners’ comments part of the agenda, Carol Duffy asked Dan Wertz, administrator of the McKean County Department of Human Services, to report on the county’s CARES funding as allocated to behavioral health.

Wertz said he was requested to do an assessment of needs for Human Services related to the county’s CARES funding that could be allocated to his department. Working with Duffy, they collaborated on a nursing home project, which revealed a concern on the limited ability for face-to-face interaction between residents and loved ones due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Then, working with the administrators of Chapel Ridge, Sena Kean Manor and Lakeview Senior Care and Living Center, among others, it was revealed there is a need for technology.

Wertz then consulted the county’s informational technology staff to purchase 44 iPad eighth generation tablets that are Wi-Fi ready. Also purchased were protective covers and screens.

According to Wertz, the tablets will be cleaned after each use and allow face-to-face calls for residents. He expected these items to be ready in a few days.

Mention was also made of a second project, a wellness package, that was a collaborative effort with The Guidance Center to provide mental and behavioral health services to local businesses and organizations for their employees and volunteers who are managing various stressors that are COVID-19-related.

This program has been promoted at the McKean County Collaborative Board.

Commissioner Cliff Lane announced that AMI, a contractor for the Department of Health, will be bringing free on-site COVID-19 testing to the county.

“This testing is already available in Potter and Warren counties and will be available in McKean County from January 20-24,” Lane said.

Duffy noted that there is already a unit operating this week in Potter County at Coudersport Area High School. “This testing is free. Anyone who wants to have it should bring their identification and insurance cards.”

Anyone who needs a test this week should confirm the hours.

Commission Chairman Thomas Kreiner reported that the commissioners have been working with the Department of Emergency Services, and a press release regarding COVID-19 vaccine was issued last week.

“Vaccines should arrive in the county and be available at the end of January,” Kreiner added. “Information will be forthcoming as soon as the timing, processes and locations are available.”

In other matters, commissioners adopted the rules and regulations and order of business at their meetings in 2021.

Meetings will be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order.

All meetings, regularly scheduled and special, will be held at the courthouse, and any official action will occur at an open meeting.

Commissioners’ regularly scheduled meetings will continue to be held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 10 a.m.

In personnel matters, the following reappointments were approved: Duffy, delegate, North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, and member of Executive and Governance Committee for a three-year term; Kreiner as alternate delegate to these same groups; Lane, the McKean County Conservation District; and John Satterwhite, Bradford Regional Airport Authority.

The following appointments to the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission were also OK’d: Jeremy Morey, planning director; Anita Dolan, economic development; and Kate Kennedy, industrial development.

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