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Commissioners approve multimodal strategy

By CHASE BOTTORF

cbottorf@lockhaven.com

LOCK HAVEN — The commissioners approved the Clinton County multimodal strategy.

Following a previous work session on Monday, Keith Chase from Gannett-Fleming gave his thanks to the county commissioners during their Thursday board meeting for their leadership, involvement and push to implement the strategy in Clinton County.

“I just wanted to acknowledge the incredible participation of the leadership with the county commissioners. County Commissioner (Angela) Harding in particular who led this initiative so well from the beginning and will continue as it moves to implementation. The tremendous range of Clinton County stakeholders who have participated in so many work sessions and so many meetings. They were so enthusiastic about Clinton County and its possibilities and opportunities to improve multimodal transportation,” Chase said, adding his thanks to PennDOT for their support and involvement that they provided to the strategy.

Harding returned her thanks to Chase as well as to Jennie Louwerse’s involvement as the deputy secretary of multimodal transportation.

“He is going to continue to work with the county over the next couple months just to flesh out the strategy and help us put together a committee that will focus on the initiatives that have been laid out in the strategy,” she said.

The multimodal strategy, and all of the work that has gone into it, came to Clinton County via PennDOT at no cost to the taxpayers, Harding assured.

“It is a huge investment for our future and will also help us obtain additional funding in the future for some of the projects that are listed in the strategy,” she added.

In other business, commissioners approved the vote to accept Upward Broadband as the selected provider for the Clinton County portion of the 4-county SEDA-COG broadband project. The project will serve homes and businesses in Sugar Valley.

Along with the approval of broadband services in Sugar Valley, commissioners approved Resolution Number 9 of 2021 which will allow the ability to apply for grant funding for the Bucktail Medical Center and the Bucktail campus broadband project. Along with proposed broadband services, a portion of the grant would cover equipment upgrades that are needed for the DES radio communication project.

“We are just really happy that we’re getting these two projects up and running,” said Vice Chairman Jeff Snyder.

During the commissioner comment period of Thursday’s meeting, Harding urged more members of the Clinton County community get vaccinated. She said that between Oct. 9 and 19, there were 292 positive cases of COVID within the county.

With rising cases in the area, many of the regional hospitals have been constantly full, along with other delayed healthcare reasons. Commissioners received the information from the Lock Haven Kiwanis as they had learned from the president of UPMC Lock Haven, Ron Reynolds.

“The Lock Haven Kiwanis recently heard from Ron Reynolds with regards to the capacity in our hospitals which most days is full. Not all of those beds are taken by COVID patients obviously but delayed healthcare and other issues surrounding the health of folks in our community and in our regional hospitals,” she said. “I want to encourage everyone to consider getting the vaccination. Our vaccination rate is up to about 44% here in Clinton County, so there has been some increase in those who have chosen to get vaccinated.”

Also from the commissioners’ meeting, Clinton County is moving along and ready for the November election coming up next month, according to Director of Voter Registration and Elections Maria Boileau.

Closing out Thursday’s meeting, Boileau said county has issued about 1,600 mail-in and absentee ballots.

“We have everything ready and, so we will be looking to have a great day. We have all of our coverage at all of our polling places,” she said.

The last day to apply for mail-in or absentee ballots is next Tuesday by 5 p.m. Boileau said that ballots need to get back to the Piper Building by election day, Nov. 2 at 8 p.m., adding that the ballot box is open and under 24-hour surveillance.

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