2010-08-26 / Local & State

County Seeks Input On Polling Location

Union Township tax collector resigns
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Not wishing to jump the gun and needlessly relocate a polling place, the Fulton County commissioners will be seeking public input over the next several weeks regarding the future of the Licking Creek Township election day location.

Commissioners Bonnie Mellott Keefer, David Hoover II and Craig Cutchall shared with the “News” on Tuesday they have received notification from township officials that some residents would like to see the polling place relocated to the municipal building.

Several years ago, the township’s polling place was shifted from the municipal building to the Green Hill Sewing Club where it currently remains. At the time approximately 30 signatures were garnered in support of having election day activities at the sewing club.

In hopes of laying the issue to rest, the commissioners will be taking public comment in the form of e-mails, written letters and telephone calls on where votes should be cast in Licking Creek Township during future elections, including the upcoming November 2 gubernatorial election. Comments can be e-mailed to commissioners@ co.fulton.pa.us; mailed to the commissioners’ office located along West Market Street; or by telephone at 717-485-3691. Comments will be taken through September 14.

In other matters addressed on Tuesday, the commissioners reported they received notice from Union Township tax collector Terra Strait that she will be stepping down from her elected position effective August 31. In her letter dated August 18, Strait stated her resignation is linked to ongoing health issues resulting from a fall in January 2009.

The commissioners along with Chief Assessor Michele Sowers and solicitor Stanley Kerlin met with Hustontown resident Tina Clark on a tax appeal matter. Clark’s property located at 15197 North Clear Ridge Road is currently listed with a fair market value of $56,370 and a Clean and Green value of $38,480, which taxes are based on.

Clark reported her old house basically got a face-lift, and while she was more than willing to pay her share in taxes she was a single mom trying to make a home for her daughter. Clark added only exterior changes were made to the two-story home she inherited.

The assessment board discussed the condition of outbuildings; a recent appraisal that valued the property at $208,000; and how to apply the common level ratio. The group eventually reached a consensus that Clark’s appeal for lower taxes would be denied.

In recent months, the commissioners have received updates from various department heads on issues dealing with tax collection in Union Township such as delinquency in submitting collected payments to the county and more recently some residents not receiving tax bills.

The commissioners appointed Dan Brogdon to serve as an atlarge member on the executive board of directors of the Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission. In addition, Mark Knepper was appointed to fill the remainder of a term of office on the Fulton County Conservation District Board of Directors stemming from the resignation of Eric Cromer. Knepper’s term of office is set to expire December 31, 2013.

Furthermore, Linda Carr was appointed to the Franklin/Fulton County Behavioral Health Advisory Board with a term expiring September 30, 2013.

The commissioners met with business manager Tim Stanton, project developer Karen Hann and Tommy Lynch, project foreman for Palmer Construction, regarding the status of the county renovation project. Topics discussed included sunken areas of flooring, completion of work in the courtroom and pricing for several suggested projects. The commissioners noted they are still waiting for responses to at least six ongoing issues from Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associations and hoped to discuss the situation with Brian Haines via conference call later in the day.

The commissioners learned that Magisterial District Judge Carol Jean Johnson filled a clerk vacancy in her Needmore office by hiring Catherine Mills. Mills began her duties retroactive to August 18.

A public hearing was held concerning modifications to the 2008 Community Development Block Grant contract. No one was on hand to provide comment. The commissioners moved forward with approving the proposed changes pending project eligibility.

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