Photo and Story by Rick Hiduk
Wyoming County Commissioners (from left) Tom Henry, Judy Mead, and Ron Williams were happy to announce that Wyoming County had been upgrade to AA status on the Standard & Poors Index. The board also negotiated a better deal on their annual Tax Anticipation Note.
At the biweekly meeting of the Wyoming County Commissioners held on Dec. 17, the board approved a bid by First Keystone Community Bank to finance the county’s annual Tax Anticipation Note (TAN). The .97 percent rate was the lowest of six bids received and the lowest that any of the commissioners and Chief Clerk Bill Gaylord had ever seen. In comparison, the highest bid received was 1.74 percent.
“That’s great,” said Commissioner Tom Henry. “We’ll save a lot of money.”
TANs are commonly used by school districts and municipal government to maintain the flow of revenue cycles, Gaylord explained, especially at the beginning of the year when tax income slows down. The TAN is usually paid off by June, but Commissioner Judy Mead related that the note could be paid off at any time.
Mead was excited to announce that Wyoming County had been upgraded two points to a AA rating on the Standard & Poors Index. The county had previously been rated at A and skipped over the A+ rating as a result of the two-point leap.
“We’re a small county to have a AA rating,” said Henry. “That’s impressive in times like this.”
“It means that we’re financially stable,” Mead stated, giving credit to Gaylord for processing the extensive paperwork that resulted in the higher rating,
Gaylord brushed off the compliment and explained that the upgraded status primarily had to do with the fiscal steadiness of the county. “You have to continue to maintain that,” he noted, adding that the new rating would work in the county’s favor in 2015 if the county does another bond issue. “In the long term, that can result in a substantial savings for us,” Gaylord suggested.
In other business, the commissioners approved implementation of the Cooper System, by which county employees and others will be notified via email or text if there is a delay in opening the courthouse due to inclement weather. Likewise, Gaylord noted, if there were a bomb scare or any other crisis in the county, “everyone (on the contact list) will know about it quickly.”
Mead added that Wyoming County EMA was very instrumental in getting the new system up and running and successfully tested.
Butch Sands and Commissioner Ron Williams were reappointed to the Wyoming County Conservation Board, and the commissioners signed an annual agreement for the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant, funds from which are used to provide services for victims of juvenile offenders.
After the more serious agenda topics had been processed, Henry took a few minutes to talk with those in attendance about some of the “feel-good” moments that the board members had shared during the past week.
The commissioners attended the annual United Rehabilitation Services Christmas Party held at the Warren Hotel, enjoying snacks and a little dancing with guests there. They also got an extended tour of the new School House Hill Apartments in Mehoopany after a ribbon-cutting ceremony there.
“It’s a beautiful complex,” Mead remarked, adding that the facility will be good for the entire community, not just the senior citizens in residence. “It’s an active little place,” she said in reference to the community room and public computer area.
The final act of the board was to agree to petition PCN (Pennsylvania Cable Network) to include the Wyoming County Courthouse in an upcoming feature about courthouses throughout the state. The original courthouse was constructed in 1844 and was enlarged and given its current appearance in the 1870s.