2017-10-12 / Front Page

Townships Thanked For Barn Quilt Trail Support At Convention

Barn quilts presented at township convention
By Cassidy Pittman STAFF WRITER

Tom Duffey presents Kelly Peck, Bethel Township secretary, a Bethel Township Barn Quilt at the 95th annual convention of The Fulton County Association of Township Officials Monday at Pleasant Grove Christian Church. Tom Duffey presents Kelly Peck, Bethel Township secretary, a Bethel Township Barn Quilt at the 95th annual convention of The Fulton County Association of Township Officials Monday at Pleasant Grove Christian Church. Township representatives in attendance at this year’s 95th Annual Convention of the Fulton County Association of Township Officials Monday got a special thank-you gift from the Frontier Barn Quilt Trail Committee.

For all the support the townships have shown the Barn Quilt Trail, the committee gave a unique barn quilt to each township. The barn quilts, hand-painted by committee members such as Tom Duffey, depicted the outlines of each township in Fulton County.

Mike Crampton, president of the Barn Quilt Trail Committee, also paid special thanks to Dick Miller, president of the Fulton County Historical Society, for all his assistance in helping with the trail startup and for his continuing help in raising both funds and publicity for the Barn Quilt Trail.

The Frontier Barn Quilt Trail is the second-largest quilt trail in Pennsylvania with more than 160 barn quilts hung in various areas of Fulton County’s rural landscape. Since its kickoff in 2014, the trail has assisted in boosting Fulton County’s eco-tourism by bringing in quilt enthusiasts from all over the country.

State Rep. Jesse Topper gave a brief explanation on how the county’s new medical marijuana grower will create county jobs in areas of security, farming, administration, and more. So far, the construction of the medical grow site is on schedule, and a job fair is to be held in January 2018.

State Sen. John Eichelberger also paid a brief visit to the convention to discuss the task force created specifically to deal with the arduous state budget reassessment. Budgetary and legislative issues are a constant in state and federal government, but regarding local municipalities, Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS) Director David Sanko believes in the efficiency of smaller governments, and said “there’s more common sense in local government.” Issues regarding the state budget have been at more than one impasse over the last few years, and are becoming a growing concern for county and state government employees.

Township Association President Delmas Bard responded, saying “they (PSATS) fight for us up in Harrisburg,” and “they’re our voice” about PSATS’s speaking on behalf of local government at the capitol about budget issues.

Executive Director Sanko also spoke of the new educational catalog available for all Pennsylvania township supervisors, and encouraged all to attend the PSATS convention on April 25, 2018. Sanko went on to discuss several legislative implements, one being the Volunteer Fire Local Tax Credit Program. The program, which will be implemented in 2018, will provide municipalities with the option to offer a real estate or earned income tax credit to active members of volunteer fire companies and nonprofit emergency medical service agencies through a volunteer service credit program. Active volunteers who meet the service credit criteria are encouraged to work with their fire chiefs to determine eligibility.

County commissioners Lynch, Ulsh and McCray then took to the podium to discuss county news. Commissioner Lynch opened with an update on 911 procedures in Fulton County, stating that the firehalls were in the process of switching over to updated radio equipment, and aside from a few glitches on the electronic side of things that have slowed down the updates, the new equipment should be ready in roughly two months. Once everything is switched over to the new system, Lynch has hopes for a better 911 response.

Commissioner Ulsh followed to touch base on a few changes since the previous township convention in electronics recycling. Now that the recycling center is set up with a regular pickup schedule, all residents of Fulton County are encouraged to drop off any old electronics. The center was created in hopes of stopping illegal dumping, and has so far been a success. Ulsh also went on to encourage townships to be more involved in local news coverage in regard to the upcoming elections.

Commissioners McCray finished the county update by dismissing rumors regarding state and local government. With the numerous changes happening in the county, it is imperative that the county commissioners stick to their due responsibilities to better the lives of Fulton County residents. Changes, like staff resignations and budget balances, are keeping the commissioners busy. He went on to mention that the county CFO resigned, and that the position has yet to be filled. On a positive note, ZNA auditors came in and found zero irregularities, making it one of the finer audits the county has seen in awhile. The previous positions of human services administrator and Services for Children director, held by the late Jean Snyder, have been filled separately. Briefly addressed was the prison issue; local inmates once housed at the Franklin County Jail are now taken to Bedford County Jail due to budget restrictions. Other matters, like health insurance spikes and personnel issues, are also keeping the commissioners busy.

John Pesze of PennDOT and Clem Malot of PA Municipal Code Alliance also gave presentations. After the lunch break, members of the Fulton County Conservation District gave their updates, as did Mary K. Seville from the Fulton County Planning Commission. The convention closed with the election of officers.

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