Venango Co. starting process to ramp up for election season

Venango County commissioners heard some updates and took care of routine matters at their monthly meeting Tuesday.

Sabrina Backer, the chief clerk and director of elections, said the county is starting to ramp up for the 2022 election season.

Backer said each voter who is on the list to receive a mail-in ballot every election will receive a letter asking them if they would like to remain on that list or stop getting a mail-in ballot sent to them.

Backer said the letters must be filled out and returned whatever option the voter chooses.

She also noted that the county is again looking for poll workers.

The first day that candidates who want to run in the May primary election can start circulating petitions is Feb. 15, Backer said.

In other business Tuesday, county Emergency Management coordinator Tim Dunkle said the ergonomic chairs for 911 employees have come in and are being used.

He said that as far as he knows the employees like the chairs.

Dunkle also told the commissioners he received a price break for uniform shirts for 911 employees. The shirts will be ordered through PARIS Uniform Services, which also is contracted to provide shirts for the county maintenance department.

The commissioners approved the reappointment of John Neidich to the county’s regional planning commission board.

A consulting agreement was reached with Spark Community Capital calling for that firm to be a grant manager for some projects in Venango County, including a project at Two Mile Run County Park.

The contract is for $10,000 on an hourly basis and will run through the end of the year, planning commission executive director Hilary Buchanan said.

Additionally, the commissioners approved the purchase of a scanner from Ford Office Technologies for the Veterans Affairs Office.

Backer said the Veterans Affairs office will scan all its documents in a push to digitize its system and make it more efficient.

Commissioner Mike Dulaney said Venango is one of the first counties in the state to begin digitizing the documents in its Veterans Affairs office.

The commissioners also ratified a contract with Laurel Mountian Leasing and Financial Services for a lease on a new maintenance truck.

Backer said the new truck will replace a truck that had to go out of service because it wasn’t working properly.

Two Mile Run County Park manager Luke Kauffman told the commissioners the annual polar plunge is scheduled for Feb. 19.

A night Jeep ride is scheduled for the evening of Feb. 19, provided the ground remains frozen, Kauffman said.

Kauffman also noted that if this cold weather continues the ice on Justus Lake will be thick enough for people to come out and fish.