Editor's Note: My concern about having a "Land Bank" is - what happens when they are the largest landlord in town?
Disclaimer: The ideas expressed above are the personal thoughts and opinions of Nate Covington and do not necessarily reflect the position of Barrett Township or the Board of Auditors.

(original article starts here)

Over the past decade, Pennsylvania has expanded the tools available to local governments to fight blight and return vacant or blighted properties to productive use. The state passed the Land Bank Act in 2012.

“Monroe County has been looking into this bringing this Land Bank ordinance to help fight blight for the past four years,” said John Moyer, Chairman of the Monroe County Board of Commissioners. “Just last week, we appointed the Redevelopment Authority as the entity that would be responsible for pulling off this Land Bank.”

The Redevelopment Authority is an arm or entity of the county that currently does housing rehabilitation for elderly people, weatherization, among other things, and now this Land Bank said Moyer.

Monday, 07 October 2019 09:49

Idea: Barrett Banks - Shared Security Guard

Due to the fact that all three banks in Mountainhome have been robbed since 2015, after the Barrett Police department disbanded, I wanted to share an idea that I heard:

The three banks should share the cost of an armed security guard. They would patrol the section of Route 390 where First Keystone, NBT, and ESSA are situated along a 0.8 mile stretch of road.

MOUNTAINHOME — Pocono Mountain Regional Police are searching for a bank robber. According to Police Chief Chris Wagner, the First Keystone Community Bank at 1154 Route 390 in Mountainhome was robbed just after 9 a.m. Thursday.

The suspect is described as a 6-foot tall, heavy set male, wearing a grey-hooded sweat suit. The suspect was wearing a mask and gloves and therefore his race was unknown at the time of this story.

According to Wagner, at the time of the incident the suspect entered the bank and accessed a teller drawer, removing bundled US currency. After removing the currency, he fled on foot across Route 390 and up toward Golf Drive.

From the August 28, 2019 Supervisor meeting minutes:

Supervisor May LaBar asked about an update on the Community Park at Ice Lake. It was noted that Solicitor Todd Weitzmann was waiting on the Easement Agreement being completed with Paradise Township. Executive Secretary, Pam Gardsy gave an update of the work being completed for Phase 1 of the Ice Lake Grant which includes the site grading and clearing, well, septic system and walking paths. Supervisor Patti O’Keefe asked about the type of septic system being installed. Sewage Enforcement Officer Jeryl Rinehart will provide her information on the Norweco At-Grade Septic System.

From the Supervisor Meeting Minutes, August 28, 2019:

a. William Pipolo, Jr. made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 082819 to request a Local Share Account grant in the amount of $280,000 from the Commonwealth Financing Authority of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to be used for the design and construction work related to the Old Canadensis Road Bridge replacement. The motion was seconded by May LaBar and carried. All Supervisors voted aye.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) has announced the re-opening of two programs in addition to the Dairy Investment Program: the Pennsylvania Small Water Program and PA H2O.

PA Small Water provides funding for activities to assist with the construction, improvement, expansion, or rehabilitation or repair of a water supply system, sanitary sewer system, storm sewer system, or flood control projects. Eligible projects are those which have a total project cost of not less than $30,000 and not more than $500,000.

Wash away your worries in the woods with a unique meditation known as forest bathing.

Forest bathing —otherwise known as shinrin-yoku — was developed in Japan in the 1980s but is catching on in Europe and the States as a new form of awakening the body and mind.

The practice involves slowing your mind down and connecting with nature using five senses: sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste.

The mobile-friendly, online application site, at votesPA.com/ApplyAbsentee, will go live on Monday, September 16, the first day that registered voters may apply for absentee ballots for the November 5 election.

[Full Article]

Monday, 09 September 2019 08:15

Prepared. Not Scared.

In recognition of September being National Preparedness Month, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is encouraging all of us to take steps to plan for emergencies by participating in September’s 30 Days/30 Ways preparedness event.

This year’s theme for National Preparedness Month is “Prepared. Not Scared.” Much like a fire drill, knowing what to do in an emergency makes the situation a little less frightening for everyone.

Some simple steps to boost your preparedness include taking a basic first aid or CPR class, creating a family emergency plan, assembling a small kit of emergency supplies for your home and car, reviewing insurance coverage, and building up an emergency fund.

Pocono Mountain School District’s enhanced property tax rebates for eligible property owners will continue for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

The District’s Board of Education approved the enhanced property tax rebates in April 2016, and has continued to offer the enhanced rebates each fiscal year since to provide qualifying property owners with additional tax relief above the state rebate rate.

For many years, the District matched the state rebate program established by the PA Senior Citizen’s Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program Act. That changed in April 2016, when the School Board passed its first resolution for the enhanced tax relief.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019 10:59

How to vote on ClearCast (New Voting Machines)

How to vote in November's upcoming election using the new ClearCast electronic voting machines: