The Potter County Commissioners proclaimed May 3-9 as Conservation Week during the May 7 meeting.

The conservation districts were created in Pennsylvania in 1945 in response to the dust bowl in 1930, to improve water and soil conservation, and Potter County was the first Pennsylvania county to have a conservation district.

The Potter County Conservation District carries out natural resource management programs and works with government and local landowners to help them manage and protect water, land and resources on private and public land, the proclamation states. Local municipalities rely on the conservation district to plan development in a way that serves and protects the local environment, it states.

Commissioner Barry Hayman, also a board member of the Potter County Conservation District, congratulated Jason Childs, district manager, and his staff, for a “job well done,” especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. He encouraged residents to check out the conservation district’s new YouTube channel, which has educational videos, by searching “Potter County Conservation District” on YouTube.

Commissioner Paul Heimel said Steven Green, of Homer Township, submitted a comment regarding the conservation district, commending Jason Childs, Jared Dickerson, watershed/NM technician, and the rest of the team for the South Woods Road project that is currently underway. The project has reduced road wash-outs, erosion and sediment load reduction on the South Woods branch.

Will Hunt, planning/GIS director, said the county planning department is working on a revitalization plan for the county, “revitalize Potter County.” A comprehensive and interactive map is available on the county’s website where residents can see what local businesses are open, their hours and services available. Businesses are encouraged to participate in the survey at https://pottercountypa.net by clicking on “help for local businesses.”

“Small businesses are the heart of Potter County, so we definitely want to keep them going as strong as possible,” Hunt said. Revitalize Potter County will do that, he said.

The board acknowledged resignations from Michael Salvadge and Jan TaraBori from the Potter County Solid Waste Authority board, both effective April 27. The commissioners thanked both of them for their support, input and ideas over the years. John Stilson was appointed to the Potter County Solid Waste Authority board to fill the vacancy of TaraBori, with the term expiring Dec. 1, 2024. The board reappointed Gary Morley as vice chair of the Potter County Solid Waste Authority, with the term expiring Dec. 1, 2023.

Hayman reminded residents to take a few minutes and fill out their census reports, as the county relies on the funds that are distributed based on the census report. He also reminded everyone to continue to practice social distancing, even as the county moves in the yellow phase.