2016-02-20 / News

Reaching out to employers

Operating a factory or any other business in a rural community can be challenging, but resources are available to support those who are bold enough to try.

Cameron County Commissioners Phil Jones, Jim Thomas and Lori Reed have embarked on a concerted effort to support employers in the region using county resources, regional alliances and other sources of assistance.

At a recent meeting, the commissioners reported on visits to Embassy Powdered Metals, Guardian Tactical and Ron Luckenbill’s Recreating History, part of an outreach to manufacturers and other businesses to investigate options for employee retention, additional hiring and/or expansion.

Reed said a packet is being developed that outlines available services.

“We have a great amount of talent in our community (and) should be very proud,” she added.

In another matter, the commissioners accepted a recommendation by Public Financial Management Inc. to refinance an outstanding bond, lowering the interest rate and saving the county about $400,000 in interest costs over the next 15 years.

PFM determined that a fixed-rate proposal by BB&T Bank was the best option. The original loan helped to pay for the $3 million courthouse annex built in 2002.

Commissioner Reed reported on the progress of plans to reinstate the courtordered community service program. It was largely discontinued in recent years due to staffing limitations in the Probation Department.

Two individuals are working at the courthouse to fulfill their obligations. Reed said a few kinks need to be worked out before the program is expanded. One obstacle is a requirement that each defendant be supervised.

In other business, the commissioners:

• reported that repairs to the Northern Tier Community Action Corp. building on Emporium’s Fourth Street are progressing. The project includes repairing the structure’s six monumental columns, porch and foundation stones, and rain gutters. A Pa. Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources grant will cover the cost of landscaping this spring.

• rejected a $100 bid from a Florida resident to acquire the former Admit One Video property in Emporium, which is now owned by the county due to nonpayment of taxes. The store and an adjacent apartment complex have been vacant for a number of years and are in a state of disrepair. The commissioners said the prospective owner did not intend to remove the buildings.

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