The Wyoming County Commissioners recently learned that the county will not receive compensation for its new voting machines.
“It was a pretty big blow to us at the county when the governor vetoed our monies for the voting machines,” Commissioner Tom Henry said at Tuesday’s commissioners meeting.
Counties in Pennsylvania were mandated to purchase new voting machines that produce a paper record.
Earlier this year, the commissioners used around $450,000 to purchase machines from Clear Ballot with the expectation that Gov. Tom Wolf would reimburse at least half of the cost through the state government.
“We shelled out a ton of money that we didn’t have and we were thinking we were getting most of it back,” Henry said, noting that he understands Wolf’s reasons behind the veto. “But it’s really got us nervous here. That’s a bunch of money that we’d have to recoup and we’re not sure exactly how to do that.”
Tomorrow when Sen. Lisa Baker speaks at the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Stonehedge in Tunkhannock, Henry said he hopes she touches on this issue.
Regardless, the county plans to roll out the voting machines for this fall’s election and hopes to have them on display at the Wyoming County Community Fair later this summer.
The commissioners also discussed medication assisted treatment in the Wyoming County Correctional Facility on Tuesday.
Henry said the commissioners have a meeting set up with Prime Care Medical about using MAT to treat individuals with substance use disorder in the prison.
At this time, MAT is provided to pregnant women in the prison who need it, but this is costly because the inmates to be transported elsewhere to receive it.
The hope is to provide the treatment right at the jail and possibly offer it to other inmates if the need arises.
The commissioners also made a proclamation for the American Legion Auxiliary as it celebrates its centennial this month.
Within its first year, the American Legion Auxiliary had 121,000 members. Following World War II, it became the “largest and most influential women’s organization of its kind in the world today.”
“We honor our American Legion Auxiliary as they celebrate their 100th year centennial and praise their continued support and work for our American Legion unit,” Henry said in the proclamation.
On Sunday, July 21, the American Legion Auxiliary plans to host a celebration outside of the Wyoming County Courthouse.
Starting at noon, the auxiliary will offer food, entertainment and guest speakers to celebrate 100 years of existence.
Mike Rogers, recycling coordinator and waste director in Wyoming County, attended Tuesday’s meeting in regard to the solid waste plan adoption.
The plan is revised every 10 years, and Rogers said there were no significant changes.
The commissioners also received written notice from BVK Operating that the company filed a notice of intent with the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, which seeks approval for consumptive use of water for drilling and development of natural gas wells.
This includes an average of over five million gallons per day.
Representatives of the Dietrich Theater and Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau were also present to share an update on the Historic Tunkhannock Walking Tour.
Dietrich Theater Executive Director Erica Rogler said the theater was able to revive the walking tour three years ago with the help of the Wyoming County Room Tax Fund and the EMVB.
This year, in addition to guided tours with local historians, people can go on self-guided walking tours with an audio component through the Dietrich’s website on their smartphone.
The tour guides, who were also in attendance on Tuesday, recorded short blurbs about each landmark for people who cannot make it to a guided tour.
In the past, people on self-guided tours only had a pamphlet to read that detailed the landmarks.
Rogler thanked the commissioners and the EMVB for making this possible.
For more information about the walking tour, visit dietrichtheater.com.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Henry also took a moment to remember the late Barbara Kapalski, a member of the Endless Mountains Council of the Arts who played an active role in the courthouse art gallery for 18 years.
A retrospective of her work opens at the courthouse this Friday at 4 p.m.
The Wyoming County Commissioners are scheduled to meet again on Tuesday, July 23 at 9 a.m.