The search continues to replace Michael J. Sulllivan, who resigned his executive director’s position at the Pike County Economic Development Agency (EDA) in May.
County commissioner Matt Osterberg said Wednesday that the agency is interviewing and gathering resumés from candidates. Thus far, “some are without qualifications and some are looking for a higher salary,” he said.
As the commissioners’ delegate to the EDA, Osterberg has been working to keep up the momentum of new development efforts. “I’ve taken on the role of director pro-tem,” he said after the August 7 commissioners meeting. Details continue to be dealt with in the pending $2-million sale of the county’s 620-acre corporate park in Blooming Grove to gun manufacturer Kahr Arms.
Kahr would relocate its manufacturing and administrative functions there from New York State.
Osterberg said Pike is still recruiting. He spoke of a recent visit to another New York factory, which he could not identify. The small business would bring some 20 jobs to Pike.
“Some people will say ‘only 20 jobs,’ but in this economy, with our unemployment rate, only two, only one… matters,” he said.
The last reported county unemployment rate, for June, stood at 10.9%, making Pike one of only three counties in the state still reporting double-digit joblessness. The new June rate was down from 11.9% in June of 2012.
Also at the meeting on August 7, Pike County joined neighboring Wayne in offering a resolution “in recognition and profound appreciation of distinguished service,” to Jack Bishop, who is retiring from his position as veterans’ employment counselor for the state Department of Labor and Industry. Bishop served in both Wayne and Pike counties for 12 years, following a 31-year teaching career.
In other business, the commissioners adopted resolutions authorizing Delaware and Lackawaxen townships to offer tax exemptions under the state’s Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act. According to the resolutions, the law provides “temporary exemptions for certain improvements and/or new construction to industrial, commercial and other business property in the deteriorated area within each township.”
Shohola and Blooming Grove townships have already had similar resolutions adopted by the commissioners.
The commissioners also authorized chairman Rich Caridi to make a contract between Heron’s Eye Communications and the county for services related to marketing and outreach for the Scenic Rural Character Preservation program.
They further agreed to execute sub-grants for the 2013-14 State Food Purchase Program/Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program on behalf of the Human Development Office, Bushkill Outreach, Loaves to Fishes, Pike County, Holy Trinity and Blooming Grove; advertise for bids for winter maintenance of county owned roads; and advertise for bids for the sale of a county-owned 2002 Honda Odyssey van requiring a minimum bid of $3,500.