Tourism talk at commissioners meeting

Jean Ruhf, director of the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau, spoke about the organization’s tourism work for a three-county region, including Susquehanna County.

“A lot of what we do happens out of the county to get people to visit,” Ruhf said at the March 27 county commissioners’ meeting. EMVB handles tourism for Susquehanna, Wyoming and Sullivan counties.

Ruhf noted an increase in 2017 traveler spending in Susquehanna County by over the previous year.

EMVB distributes 150,000 copies of its Endless Mountains visitors guide, featuring parks and public lands, shopping, restaurants, and accommodations in the region, as well as community resources and events.

Ruhf also noted the Room Tax Grant Program which returns 30 percent of the funds collected back in the form of grants to county non-profits.

She reported the area “finally” has a really good presence in the state’s travel guide, where the three county area competes for coverage with Lackawanna County and the Poconos region to get a mention in the guide.

Membership in EMVB is open to any business, Ruhf said, with most members coming from tourism specific businesses.

She said the organization also works closely with the state’s Welcome Centers.

One new publication is a D&H RailTrail Map, and Ruhf said there are plans to add an outdoor kiosk for brochures at the trailhead in Forest City, as the trail draws many visitors to the area.

Commissioner Alan Hall thanked Ruhf for the report and said her organization “does an excellent job for the county.”

The sidewalk near the courthouse on the corner of Lake Avenue and Maple Streets will be made handicap accessible.

The commissioners approved the proposal for a sidewalk repair project that will bring the walk to ADA standards.

The total cost of the project is $42,000, with $18,000 funded with grant money, and $24,000 coming from the county’s general fund.

In other business, the commissioners handled some personnel matters, including:

*acknowledging, with regret, the resignation of Timothy Burgh as a task force detective;

*acknowledging, with regret, the resignation of Ruth Evans from the position of First Deupty Treasurer;

*acknowledged the hiring of Rebecca Wescott as the First Deputy Treasurer, Tax Claim, effective March 28, per the recommendation of Treasurer Jason Miller;

*approve the hiring of Andrew Genneken as a part-time 911 Telecommunicator, Dispatcher trainee;

*acknowledge the hiring of John Colon to the position of Deputy Sheriff, per the recommendation of Sheriff Lance Benedict;

*and approve the hiring of Nicole Colton as a part-time corrections officer.

The commissioners also approved several exoneration requests from the Tax Claim Bureau.

The Susquehanna County Local Emergency Planning Committee members for 2019 were approved.

Members include the three county commissioners, as well as representatives from several sectors, including hospitals, health care, fire fighting, hazard material response, emergency management, broadcast media, community groups, PA American Water, oil and gas, and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency,

The commissioners also voted to advertise for public and municipal bids for a 2013 black Ford Explorer, and a 2007 silver Chevrolet Impala.

Twelve people were also appointed to serve on the Susquehanna County Tick Borne Diseases Task Force. Those appointments are effective until March 9, 2020.

The commissioners also adopted several proclamations:

*April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

*National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 7-13.

*Telecommunicator Week, April 14-20.

*April as Pennsylvania 811 Safe Digging Month.

The Susquehanna County Commissioners meet on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at 9 a.m. in the conference room located just off the main lobby in the county courthouse. The next meeting is Wednesday, April 10.


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