What's new in the Upper Delaware region January 6 to 12
MILFORD, PA — On December 29, R. Anthony Waldron was appointed to fill a vacancy in the office of Pike County Commissioner. The opening was created by the resignation of Steven R. Guccini, whose term was set to expire in 2023.
Waldron is an attorney based in Hawley, and serves as the solicitor for the Wallenpaupack Area School District and Lackawaxen Township.
HARRISBURG, PA — On December 30, 2021, Gov. Tom Wolf announced an investment of $70 million for 317 projects across Pennsylvania that will revitalize communities, create new recreational opportunities, and conserve natural spaces. The grants fall under the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Community Conservation Partnerships Program. Funding comes from the Keystone Fund, which is generated from a portion of the realty transfer tax, the Environmental Stewardship Fund, fees for ATV/snowmobile licenses and from federal dollars.
The investment includes $60,000 to prepare a comprehensive recreation, park, open space and greenways plan for Pike County; $250,000 to develop the Industrial Point river access park along the Lackawaxen River in Honesdale Borough, Wayne County; and $158,000 to develop a White Mills river access park along the Lackawaxen River in Texas Township, Wayne County. For a full list of awardees, visit https://bit.ly/2021CCPPgrants.
ALBANY, NY — Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) commissioner Basil Seggos reminded New Yorkers that the ban on expanded polystyrene foam containers and so-called “packing peanuts” began January 1. While an estimated 65 percent of New Yorkers are living in communities that have already banned polystyrene, New York’s statewide ban on polystyrene-foam containers and loose-fill packaging is among the first in the nation. The DEC and its partners say that they are advising affected entities about the ban, particularly sellers and distributors of disposable food service containers, such as retail food stores, restaurants, hospitals and schools.
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam is a major contributor to environmental litter, causing harm to wildlife, waterways, and natural resources. EPS foam is lightweight, breaks apart easily, and does not readily biodegrade, rendering it persistent in the environment and susceptible to becoming microplastic pollution. In addition, EPS foam containers and loose-fill packaging are not accepted by most recycling programs in New York State because the foam is difficult to recycle, easily contaminates the recycling stream, is often soiled, and has low value.
ALBANY, NY — The New York State Department of Public Service announced the addition of a toll-free consumer hotline and a mail-in paper option in addition to the online survey for the department’s Broadband Assessment Program survey.
As called for in the 2021 Executive Budget, the Broadband Assessment Program will release an interactive broadband map in the second quarter of 2022, detailing the availability and reliability of high-speed broadband infrastructure statewide with an accompanying report. Through field-verified research, and with the help of internet service providers, the interactive map will demonstrate not only those areas meeting the state’s definition of “served,” but will also note where the unserved and underserved broadband-infrastructure areas remain across the state. The work will be updated annually.
State residents unable to take the survey online due to lack of connectivity can contact the department’s toll-free hotline at 855/NYBBMAP (855/692-2627) to request that a paper version be sent to their homes with a return envelope and pre-paid postage. Residents are also encouraged to complete the online survey at home at https://empirestatebroadband.com, on their cell phones, or to complete the survey at local libraries with internet access.
ALBANY, NY — The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Hemp Program Plan was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, all states interested in administering a state hemp program were required to submit a plan to the USDA. The plan allows the department to continue to administer a hemp-grower licensing program starting this year.
All currently licensed growers participating in New York’s program need to reapply under this new program to grow hemp next year. The current Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program expired at the end of 2021.
The state launched the program in 2015, recognizing its potential impact on manufacturing, job creation, and the profitability of farms across New York. Over its duration, the pilot program had nearly 800 authorized growers, and approximately 30,000 acres registered to grow industrial hemp.
The department is accepting applications for the program. Applications and additional information are available at https://agriculture.ny.gov/plant-industry/hemp-grower-licensing.
HONESDALE, PA — The Wayne County Commissioners adopted the 2022 General Fund and Debt Service Budget, which includes a 4.8 percent tax increase. The balanced budget of $37,554,380 was slightly higher than the proposed budget, to account for a $70,000 grant from the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency, in support of the Wayne County Drug Court.
ELDRED, NY — In a move to guarantee a smooth transition, the American Legion Post #1363 agreed to extend their contract with the Town of Highland to provide ambulance service until January 31. The contract had been expected to run out on December 31, 2021.
Due to the lack of needed state-issued certificates, the newly formed Highland Ambulance Service was unable to legally provide that service. Discussion at the December 21 signing of a two-year contract with the new corps revolved around using mutual aid and EMTs from the Yulan Fire Department. The extension of the contract with the post nullifies the need for those measures.
The development was announced at a December 30 public hearing, during which contracts for the Yulan Fire Department, Highland Lake Fire Department and Sunshine Free Library were approved.
A letter from the American Legion Post appears in the opinion section of this website.
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