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President’s Report

After six months of closing businesses, 25% occupancy, high unemployment, testing and tracing, masks required, social clubs closed, earning more if you are unemployed as to working, and six foot social distancing, let’s try and make this a semi-positive report associated with the coronavirus and its vast tentacles.

– Clinton County’s unemployment rate for July was 12.0%. Although that is obviously too high and basically double what the number was pre-COVID, it should be pointed out that Clinton County ranks 19th out of the state’s 67 counties, which is at least a little positive.

– The county’s largest employers were (eventually) deemed to stay open and never shut down in March when the “essential” list floated out of Harrisburg. First Quality, Croda, Avery Dennison, Dominion Energy, Truck-Lite, Terrapin, etc., all continued to operate. That can’t be said for every county.

– The local campgrounds and area state parks have certainly seen a lot of traffic over the last few months. If anything, this migration can show people what a nice area we live in.

– The City of Lock Haven’s pedestrian walkway has to be counted as a positive this summer. It allowed for restaurants to serve people outside while a limit restriction remained inside. The colder weather will come soon, and hopefully the limits will expand, and people will be OK going inside to patronize the businesses.

– We’ve had more than a couple of calls over the last few weeks from people that live in the urban areas about relocating to areas like Clinton County. We know that’s the case also with a couple of realtors. If you can work remotely from home, why not do in this region? That’s a positive.

– While some might assume that the COVID and everything that comes with it would slow down ongoing potential projects, that’s appears far from the truth here. Although there are no done deals, planning continues for the Renovo Energy Center, the petro gas plant near Keating, and a potential solar farm not far from the gas plant. Also, First Quality Tissue recently announced it is planning to locate and install two new tissue machines at sites to be determined, and Terrapin is well underway with its expansion at the medical marijuana production facility in Pine Creek Township (at the former Avis Homes facility).

– Local, state and federal governments have offered numerous financial assistance programs for many businesses throughout the pandemic. Everything from the Paycheck Protection Program to the CARES money for the counties. And from what we can tell from what’s been reported, Clinton County businesses have garnered at least a chunk of the available funds. Not sure what spending the billions and trillions all means for our grandchildren, but we needed something to help people stay afloat in 2020 (and maybe 2021).

– The people that organize and oversee the food banks should be applauded during this time of uncertainty. Thanks to all who contribute one way or the other. And the businesses and individuals that have contributed time and/or funds – some publicly and some not – should also receive a fist bump.

– It is probably hard to ascertain what went into trying to get our schools and Lock Haven University ready to open again, but I’m sure a lot of people worked hard at it and that’s a big positive.

– The last positive is perhaps the most important. As of last check, UPMC’s Haven Skilled Rehabilitation and Nursing and nearby Susque-View Home have had zero positive virus cases. That’s zero. Well done!

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