SMETHPORT — The 2020 Census will start this spring, and McKean County leaders want to get as many people to take part as possible.

McKean County Commissioner Carol Duffy gave an update on those efforts at the regular commissioners meeting Tuesday morning.

One benefit when people participate is that it makes the area eligible for more federal funding. Duffy explained that “for every head missed” the county could miss out on up to $2,100 in funding.

She said there was a meeting on Feb. 5 for the development of the Census 2020 Complete Count Committee. About a dozen people attended. Heather Conrad, partnership specialist, guided the meeting and talked about the purpose of the committee.

Duffy said they are “now in the awareness and motivation phase,” and they will be working to spread information on the importance of taking part in the Census, the safety measures in place and the ease of taking the survey.

Residents will now be able to complete the Census survey online or by mail, Duffy noted. In May, Census workers will start coming to the doors of people who have not filled out the survey.

Commissioner Thomas Kreiner added the Census begins everywhere on April 1.

They will be applying for grant money to pay for awareness efforts, Duffy noted.

Commissioners appointed several people to serve on the Census 2020 Complete Count Committee: Lacey Love, Bradford Area Public Library; Robbin Puvel and Shelley Alcorn, YWCA Bradford; Sarah Matzner and Anita Dolan, City of Bradford Office of Economic and Community Development; Tonia Hartzell, Children’s Advocacy Center of McKean County; Dan Wertz, Department of Human Services; Bob Rusiewski, North Central Regional Planning and Development Commission; Robert Boyer, Bonnie Fuller and Peggy Chapman, McKean County residents; Mary Grace Collier-Kister, S.W. Smith Memorial Public Library; Bill Orzechowski, Office of Human Services; Jeremy Morey, McKean County Planning Commission; and Stacey Williams, Bradford Regional Medical Center. Duffy and Kreiner are both on the committee, too.

Duffy said they are still looking for more volunteers to serve in different capacities.

Also at the meeting, Carolyn Boser Newhouse, executive director of the Bradford Area Alliance, talked about the Bradford Business Competition, which is open to anyone wanting to start a new business venture in the Bradford area. This area includes not just Bradford City but also Lewis Run Borough and Foster, Bradford, Lafayette and Corydon townships.

People can learn more at www.bradfordareaalliance.com. Submissions are due April 3.

Under the human resources update, commissioners announced the following staffing changes: Josh Haney will move into a forensic interviewer position at the Children’s Advocacy Center, Alley Coast will move from voter registration to the position of first deputy treasurer, and Kyle Babcock and Brianna Jones are both leaving their employment with the county.

Commissioners also gave approval for two requests from McKean County Emergency Management.

One was approval to apply for an Emergency Management Performance Grant for salaries and benefits of $74,485.23 with a local match of $74,485.23, for a total budget amount of $148,970.46. The other is related to the Hazardous Material Response Fund, which EMS Director Tracy Carl explained is related to fees from local facilities that use chemicals; first responders are notified of what chemicals are at the facilities and given information on how to react if there is an incident.

Commissioners approved a public defender request to purchase case management software from Karpel Solutions. Fees are initial migration of $28,200, which includes software licensing of $7,200; $300 for installation; $11,300 for professional services; $4,800 for onsite training; $2,400 for annual support services; and $2,200 for estimated travel.

The next commissioners meeting will be at 10 a.m. Feb. 25.

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