Tioga County commissoners unveil new seal

WELLSBORO — A new official seal soon will be affixed to all legal documents in Tioga County.

Designed by Jennifer Schultz, the county’s open records director, the seal was unveiled at Tuesday’s commissioners meeting.

Schultz’s design features representations of Tioga County’s best known natural landmark, the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, as well as images related to its history of coal mining, timbering and agriculture.

The design was crafted by local artist Stanley Parsells and, in its initial casting, is made of sculpted wood.

Commissioner Erick Coolidge said the seal ultimately will be transformed into hardware and added to all of the county’s legal documents that require an affixed official seal.

In other business, the commissioners acknowledged that the Tioga County Domestic Relations Office has contributed $324,183 to the general operating fund. Coolidge said 66 percent of the money collected for child support goes back to the county for reimbursing the cost of operating the domestic relations office.

Coolidge also said the county’s domestic relations office is one of the top three collection efforts within the commonwealth.

“It’s a nice reflection of the office and the management of that office,” he said.

The commissioners also lauded longtime county employee Denis Stager, who is retiring after 43 years of service as a caseworker supervisor of family services. Stager began working for the county on Jan. 1, 1974, and will retire effective July 6.

Commissioner Roger Bunn and his colleagues renewed an Act 13-funded relationship for emergency medical services training with the Pennsylvania College of Technology for a third year in a row. Scholarships up to $1,000 per EMS student and up to $1,500 to each student in the ShaleNET program are offered to Tioga County fire and ambulance companies to spare the companies or the individual student from out-of-pocket training and certification programs offered at Penn College.

Bunn said he attended a recent fireman’s banquet at the Middlebury Volunteer Fire Co. where fire Chief Gary Cooper “followed me out to the parking lot and enthusiastically endorsed the program and was adamant about its renewal.”

Commissioner Mark Hamilton, himself an EMS first responder, agreed that the program is a vital resource for volunteer first responders.

“Whether it’s 50 EMS students or five, we’ve had success, as these ambulance personnel give back to the community in so many ways,” Coolidge said.

The commissioners also announced the expenditure of $22,391 for emergency repairs to the Elkhorn Creek Bridge, near Tioga. Gra-Hill Construction did the work, and the bridge reopened this week.

Coolidge said the creek had eroded a supporting wall. Had the county done an engineering study and a planning assessment and put the work out to bid, the project would have languished for months, he said.

“If I was a farmer and could not drive my tractor over that bridge for two more months, I would not be happy,” Coolidge said.