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Issue Home October 12, 2004 Site Home

E-Club Discusses Tax Structures
County Welcomes Snake Creek Lasers
SCCD Holds Fall Conservation Tour
I'm Waiting For You!
Coalition Completes Public Review Draft
Blue Ridge Senior Center Update
USDA Offering Home Mortgages
Info On Voting
Joseph Plutino Is Hired As Director
Master Gardeners Receive Certificates
Seniors Urged To Receive Flu Shots
New Tax Credit to Help Pre-K's


E-Club Discusses Tax Structures

The Susquehanna County Entrepreneur Club hosted Steve and Carol Galloway, of H.R. Block in Hallstead, at their recent meeting to discuss business tax structures and various methods of business accounting.

Carol Galloway expressed the importance of good record keeping for businesses. "Good records will ensure that you don’t pay too much tax," she explained, adding that even the smallest business should establish a separate bank account and hold a credit card that is not used for personal expenses. Galloway also explained that in Pennsylvania, sales tax is charged to the end-user and that businesses buying for resale or manufacture of a product should explore their options for tax-exempt status. Galloway concluded her presentation with an overview of business deductions, such as mileage and home office expenses.

Each month the club also highlights a local business. This month Peg and Don Miller of Metro Racing talked about the growth of their six year old business and the importance of product placement. Peg and Don have benefited from publicity garnered by professional moto-cross and motorcyclists’ use of their clothing. The couple also displayed advertising that they’ve been able to place in magazines in Japan, England and Italy, by providing product samples.

The next meeting of the Entrepreneur Club is Tuesday, November 2 at 6:30 p.m. Clay and Lori Martin will present information on their software-consulting firm, MartinWorks, Inc. Clay Martin will also deliver a program on webpage development.

E-Club meetings are held at the Administrative office of Peoples Bank, in Hallstead. New members are welcome. For more information, contact the Susquehanna County Department of Economic Development at (570) 278-4600, ext. 558.

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County Welcomes Snake Creek Lasers

Snake Creek Lasers hosted an open house on Monday, September 27 to acquaint county officials, and area business people with their company’s mission to provide advanced laser technology components for both military and commercial applications. Snake Creek Lasers will perform research and development for this program at its new location in Hallstead. Dr. Brown is the inventor on a key patent for cryogenic lasers. Successful development of this type of laser will enable applications of lasers for missile defense, unexploded mine and bomb detonation, and mortar shoot-down in the interest of protecting U.S. civilians and solders. The company is also involved in the development of the Laser Dazzler, whose bright light beam disorients but does not do lasting harm to unruly persons. This product has been featured on the Discovery Channel.

Congressman Don Sherwood was on hand to announce that the 2005 federal Defense Department budget contains a $3 million earmark for a military research program, in which Snake Creek Lasers is a key partner. "Snake Creek Lasers is a small business with large potential," said Congressman Sherwood, adding that the company and its partners are involved in efforts led by the Air Force and the Army that could enable the military to fuel high power solid-state laser systems.

ONYX Optics, a California-based company will also develop and provide key components required by the program. Oliver Meissner, CEO of ONYX welcomed the partnership with Snake Creek Lasers, saying "The company’s laser expertise is a crucial component of the program." Meisnner added that ONYX is considering opening a location in Susquehanna County in order to facilitate their partnership with Snake Creek Lasers.

The Susquehanna County Department of Economic Development was instrumental in locating Snake Creek Lasers to Station Square, the former Lackawanna Rail Road Station off Susquehanna Street in Hallstead. "We’re pleased that a 21st century company has found a home in one of our historic buildings," said Economic Development Director Elizabeth Janoski. "Snake Creek Lasers is a welcome addition to our county’s business community." Janoski added that the company plans to hire up to ten people by the end of 2004 in their initial phase of operation and that the company’s high tech mission will boost the county’s appeal to other similar companies. "We can offer what today’s company needs to do business," Janoski concluded.

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SCCD Holds Fall Conservation Tour

The Susquehanna County Conservation District (SCCD) recently held a Fall Conservation Tour September 21st . The goal of the Susquehanna County Conservation District was to illustrate the wide array of programs implemented by the SCCD for Susquehanna County residents to legislators, district directors, and nominating organizations.

The Susquehanna County Conservation District Fall Tour made one of six stops at the H.B. Williams Farm.

The bus coach made six visits throughout Susquehanna County to demonstrate stream restoration, erosion and sediment control, best management practices for nutrient management, a CREP (Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program) project, no-till planting program, chapter 105 stream encroachment permitting, stream bank fencing, and a Dirt and Gravel Road Program completed project.

Lunch was served by The Susquehanna County Conservation District at the Harford Fire Hall. A short program followed explaining how to be a nominating organization. Nominating organizations select or nominate a Susquehanna County resident and present that individual’s name to the Susquehanna County Commissioners for selection on the SCCD Board of Directors.

The Susquehanna County Conservation District appreciates all who took time from their busy schedules to attend the Fall Tour.

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I'm Waiting For You!

I don’t know what my name is. I was found by the Susquehanna Borough Police, wandering around with no identification. I’m a beautiful, loving, four-year old male smooth-coated Collie who would like his owner to come get me or, if that is not possible, find a new special someone to take me home.

Please come see me at the Susquehanna County Humane Society Shelter, in Montrose, (570) 278–1228.

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Coalition Completes Public Review Draft

Thomas Swan, Chairman of the Northern Tier Coalition Multi-Municipal Planning Committee, announced that the Planning Committee has completed the public review draft of its multi-municipal comprehensive plan. The Committee will conduct three community meetings to discuss the Plan with residents of the twelve participating municipalities. The meetings, all beginning at 7:00 p.m., are scheduled as follows: October 27 at the Susquehanna County Office Building, November 11 at the Silver Lake Township Building, and November 17 at the Rush Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary Hall. Chairman Swan went on to note that "the elected officials of each municipality recognize that growth and development issues extend beyond municipal lines and created the Joint Planning Committee to develop the comprehensive plan for the area." Intergovernmental cooperation on planning issues is being promoted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and more and more communities are working together to address key issues facing them. The Northern Tier Coalition Planning Committee obtained a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Land Use Planning Technical Assistance Grant program to pay much of the cost of the survey and comprehensive plan.

The Plan includes elements for land use, environmental protection, roads and highways, housing, community facilities and services, and inter-municipal cooperation. It sets goals and objectives for the future growth and development of the area, and identifies how local officials can manage land use and growth and development to preserve the area’s rural character, agriculture and quality lifestyle, while providing for economic development. The Plan notes: Although the rate of growth in much of the Northern Tier Coalition area (NTC) has not been significant and thousands of undeveloped acres remain, loss of open space occurs incrementally. It is obvious that the NTC will remain rural for many years, but it is not too early to begin efforts to manage growth. The NTC’s location proximate to Broome County and Lackawanna County, coupled with the area's attractive rural working landscape, is expected to continue to stimulate both residential and commercial development. While development will occur more rapidly in some areas of the NTC and more slowly, or not at all in others, slow and steady growth is expected for the NTC as a whole.

The Plan is consistent with the Susquehanna County Comprehensive Plan Update recently adopted by the County Board of Commissioners. The NTC Plan establishes the Bridgewater area around Montrose, as delineated in the 2003 Susquehanna County Comprehensive Plan, as the Designated Growth Area for the twelve Northern Tier Coalition municipalities. The greatest concentration of development in the NTC is found in Bridgewater Township. This area also holds the greatest potential for higher density residential development and more intense commercial development given the nearby access to I-81, association with Montrose Borough, availability of public water and public sewer, and a state-recognized Keystone Opportunity Zone. The NTC Plan also identifies seven Village Centers at Choconut - Route 267; Fairdale - Route 706; Franklin Forks - Route 29; Friendsville - SR 4014; Lawsville Center - Route 29; Lawton/Rush - Route 267, Route 367, and Route 706; and Little Meadows - Route 858.

The NTC Planning Committee was created by the Borough Councils of Friendsville Borough and Little Meadows Borough, and the Township Boards of Supervisors of Apolacon Township, Bridgewater Township, Choconut Township, Forest Lake Township, Franklin Township, Jessup Township, Liberty Township, Middletown Township, Rush Township, and Silver Lake Township, and is comprised of one representative and one alternate from each participating municipality.

Copies of the Plan are available for public review from the municipal secretaries of all participating Boroughs and Townships, and at the office of the Susquehanna County Planning Commission in Montrose.

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Blue Ridge Senior Center Update

The Harford Agricultural Society was organized in October, 1858. The "Harford Fair" was born and it has been held every year since. We had our day at the Fair! We sold cookies, cupcakes, muffins and cold water. Also chances on our handmade quilt were sold. Thank you all for the donations thus making it a very successful day. Special thanks go to Don Ritner, Alice Patrillo, Nettie Swingle, Alice Hall, Pat Tarbox, Betty Kegleman, Mary White and David Hughes, who took turns manning the booth and selling the tickets. Hey, Don, I heard you were the "super" salesman. Keep up the good work.

One day at the center Tammy Anderline spoke on Positive Thinking. We found this very interesting and she has promised to come back another day and speak on another subject.

Did you know that Larry and Gerri Munson celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary? We wish them well and many more.

Now for the August birthdays. Those getting one year better were: Louise Ackley, Janet Mosser, David Hughes, Mary Jean Flemming, Alice Hall. Happy birthday to all.

Many took advantage of the chance to go to LeRaysville. There were two buses making the trip. We visited the Gibbs Perennial Gardens, went to the cheese factory, stopped in at Dottie-Lou’s Meat Market, then on to Gillies for lunch. The weather was perfect, it was a great day for all. Then another day we went out to lunch at one of our favorite places, Maloney’s. There were 27 out that day, and everyone had a wonderful time.

Happy news! Alice Hall has a new great-granddaughter. This new little one lives way out in South Dakota, so Alice hasn’t seen her yet, but has lots of wonderful pictures. We all miss seeing Jim Bender, he is not feeling so great at the present and hasn’t been able to get to the center. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Jim.

That’s about all for August, we continue to do our usual things, play games and cards, put together jigsaw puzzles, exercise. Something new, we are now taking a morning to go walking; many are out and it’s a great form of exercise. For those of you who don’t come out – why not? Give it a try, you don’t know what you are missing. ‘Til next time.

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USDA Offering Home Mortgages

USDA Rural Development offers a subsidized government program designed to assist low income, creditworthy families and individuals in purchasing or building homes in rural areas.

To qualify, applicants must be under the low-income limit for the county in which they live (80% of median income), have an acceptable credit history, and meet certain debt to income ratios. The current interest rate is 6.250% fixed (33 years). No down payment is required, and funds for repairs (and sometimes closing costs) may be included in the loan. The unique feature about USDA Rural Development mortgages is that the payments may be subsidized, or reduced, based on the applicant’s income.

Call the Wyoming Local Office at (570) 836–4157, ext. 4 for more information. You may be prequalified over the telephone, if you supply your annual gross household income and monthly debt payments. Deductions to the annual gross income are made for the number of children in the household, child care expenses and persons with disabilities.

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Info On Voting

The Susquehanna County League of Women Voters compiles a non-partisan Voter's Guide for each election. The Guide for the General Election (November 2nd) is now available online. The Guide can be printed and taken into the voting booth. It contains basic biographical information about each candidate, a photo, qualifications and answers to a question (all information is supplied by the candidate him or herself and is printed exactly as supplied). For the Presidential campaign, links to pages with more detail are provided instead. "There is usually no shortage of information about the presidential race," says Hilary Caws-Elwitt, "but it's the state races for which people are seeking more data." On November 2, Susquehanna County voters will be choosing a US Senator, State Attorney General, State Auditor General, State Treasurer, and State Representative, as well as President of the United States. About half of the county will also choose a State Senator. To view the Voter's Guide, and other Susquehanna County League material, visit and click on Voting. No computer at home? You can use the Internet for free at the county libraries in Forest City, Hallstead-Great Bend, Montrose, and Susquehanna.

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Joseph Plutino Is Hired As Director

Joseph Plutino, son of Amy Plutino, Susquehanna has taken the position of Director of Social Services at Lake Prince Retirement Community, Suffolk, Virginia.

Joe works with residents entering Lake Prince’s Healthcare Center for rehabilitation or a long-term stay. He tracks care plans for residents and their families and serves as a resident advocate all the way through their discharge. Joe helps families make arrangements for ongoing care, whether it’s a move to Lake Prince’s Assisted Living or Memory Care, a move home with home care services, or a stay with a family member.

Joe says he enjoys the close-knit community of Lake Prince’s Healthcare Center because he can build relationships with residents. "It’s rewarding, because you can offer so many resources that they don’t know they have. You get to focus more on their needs too, even as far as helping residents manage their worship offerings or helping someone get a bird feeder put outside their window."

Joe graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Wilkes University. He lives in Virginia Beach, with his wife, Kirstie (Neidlinger), granddaughter of Doris Deakin, Susquehanna. He enjoys golf, movies, and spending time with his wife. He hopes to pursue a Master’s Degree in Psychology.

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Master Gardeners Receive Certificates

Several Susquehanna County Master Gardeners recently received their official certification from Penn State University for their efforts in supporting the Master Gardener program.

Those recently certified were: Shirley Andre, Sioux Petrow, Joanne Decker, Gwenn Diaz, Kimberly Grace, Kathleen Harwood, Yvonne Lord, Tina McCreary-Kane, Ellen O’Malley and Marilyn Race. Three others received their certification in 2003. They are Brenna Aileo, Amber Martin and Catherine Hynes.

Through Penn State Cooperative Extension in Susquehanna County, seventeen participants participated in the Master Gardener training program in spring 2003. In return, participants were requested to volunteer a total of 50 hours to be an official Master Gardener. Each year to maintain their certification, they are required to volunteer 20 hours and receive 8 hours of training in the horticulture field.

Our local Master Gardeners are involved in many hands-on educational programs and projects throughout the county. As well as facilitating programs, Master Gardeners are on hand through the Extension office to answer home garden and horticulture questions.

The initial Master Gardener training held in 2003 was spearheaded by Joann Kowalski, Community & Economic Development Educator in an attempt to help serve clients and their horticulture questions.

Since then, there are a total of 15 certified Master Gardeners in our county delivering educational programs and answering questions to better serve the community.

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Seniors Urged To Receive Flu Shots

Harrisburg: Secretary of Aging Nora Dowd Eisenhower urged Pennsylvanians over age 50 and members of other at-risk groups to receive a flu shot now to help prevent the spread of illness during the fall and winter months. "Last year, many public health officials were caught off-guard by an early start to the flu season," said Secretary Dowd Eisenhower. "There is no reason for older adults to wait to get a flu shot – in fact, the sooner they do, the more likely they are to remain healthy." Each year, an estimated 36,000 persons die from influenza-related illnesses and more than 114,000 people are hospitalized nationwide. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost one-third of people 50 to 64 years of age in the United States have one or more medical conditions that place them at increased risk for serious complications from the flu. For that reason, since 2000, it has been recommended that all people 50 to 64 years of age get vaccinated each year. Rates of serious illness and death are highest among persons 65 years and older and persons of any age who have medical conditions that place them at increased risk for complications from influenza.

Persons recommended to receive the influenza vaccine are:

Healthy children 6-23 months of age and close contacts of children 0-23 months of age.

Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities that house persons of any age who have chronic medical conditions

People 50 years of age and older regardless of their medical history.

People between the ages of 23 months and 49 years of age with underlying health conditions such as heart, respiratory, metabolic, and immune system problems.

Women who will be pregnant any time during the influenza season.

People who wish to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill from influenza.

"Although the flu vaccine is safe for nearly everyone, people with certain medical conditions such as an allergy to eggs may experience an adverse reaction," said Secretary Dowd Eisenhower. "For that reason, it is a good idea to check with your doctor before getting a flu shot." Health care workers also should be vaccinated against influenza. Several studies indicate that vaccination of health care personnel is associated with decreased deaths among patients as well as reduced health care costs and productivity losses.

The following groups should be vaccinated:

Physicians, nurses, and other personnel in both hospital and outpatient care settings, including medical emergency response workers.

Employees of nursing homes and chronic care facilities who have contact with patients or residents.

Employees of assisted living and other residences for persons in groups at high risk.

Persons who provide home care to persons in groups at high risk.

Household contacts (including children) of persons in groups at high risk.

In the counties of Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna, and Tioga, older adults may contact the B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-982-4346 for information about the scheduling of local influenza vaccinations. In other areas in Pennsylvania, contact the local Area Agency on Aging listed in the blue pages of the phone book.

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New Tax Credit to Help Pre-K's

A new state tax credit program allows business tax dollars to benefit local families’ youngest learners – three to five year old pre-kindergarten children. Businesses that make a donation to pre-kindergarten scholarships may now receive back in tax credits, dollar for dollar, 100% of their donation up to $10,000. A 90% tax credit for donations above $10,000 up to $100,000 in the first year is also allowed.

The program is a unique opportunity for businesses to direct their own tax dollars and level the educational playing field for many poorer area children. These tots arrive at kindergarten struggling to catch-up with their peers, less ready to learn and feeling like failures because their families cannot afford pre-school. The PA Department of Community & Economic Development has approved the Community Foundation of Susquehanna County to administer the new program.

The Community Foundation will award scholarships to children based upon family needs. Families must live within the state and earn less than $50,000 to qualify. Six pre-schools have been recommended by local school districts to receive the scholarship monies. Their approval was based upon their record of solid academic preparation for kindergarten. They are Endless Mountain Learning Center of New Milford, Angel Beginnings and Treasure House of Montrose, Creative Play Pre-School of Susquehanna, Children’s Palace of Hallstead and Wee Little Tykes of Clark Summit.

Businesses in Pennsylvania that pay any of the following taxes may participate: corporate net income tax; capital stock and franchise tax; bank and trust company shares tax; title insurance companies shares tax; insurance premiums tax; and the mutual thrift institutions tax. Businesses can qualify by submitting a simple single page form.

Joseph Burke, President of the Community Foundation stresses, "Businesses have nothing to loose, and our children have so much to gain." He urges all area banks, insurance companies and any other businesses that pay these taxes to act quickly to take advantage of the program by calling him or his assistant Ruth Donnelly at 570-278-7800. The state has set dollar limits to the credits that will be allowed, and they will be approved on a first-come-first serve basis.

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