Cell service expanded to southwestern Lyco County

AUCHTOWN – Cellphone users in southwestern Lycoming County, including the Nippenose Valley, will now get service, Department of Safety Director John Yingling announced late last week at the Lycoming County commissioners’ meeting.

The tower was built earlier in the year in Crawford Township, Clinton County, and Verizon ran verification tests Wednesday to ensure 911 calls would be routed to the correct 911 center, Yingling said.

“Before, there was (largely) no cellphone service. It was long overdue,” Yingling said.

The commissioners approved a Community Development Block Grant budget revision of 2010 funds Thursday.

Because the state Department of Community and Economic Development deemed the Beaver Lake Sewage Treatment Plan ineligible based on certain criteria, those funds of over $73,000 will be “parked” in the DuBoistown sanitary sewer lateral repair project until the final project destination is decided.

The commissioners awarded a $714,000 contract to Atlantic Lining Co. to cap four fields at the county landfill.

Yingling announced the county was one of nine counties in the state to participate in the Great Northeast ShakeOut Thursday, the largest earthquake drill in U.S. history. Schools and municipalities participated in reviewing safety procedures, he said.

Unlike conventional wisdom, it’s no longer considered safe to take shelter in doorframes during earthquakes as construction isn’t the same as it used to be, Yingling said. He urged listeners to go against their instincts to run out of a building during an earthquake as many injuries occur from falling debris. Instead, “Drop, cover and hold on,” he said.

Next week, the commissioners will revisit an agreement not to exceed $20,000 with Pioneer Sports Production to produce a 20-video series on Lycoming County Area Television.