Huntingdon County Commissioners approved extending the deadline for residents to pay the face value of the county’s portion of property taxes at their weekly meeting Tuesday.

The original deadline is June 30, but in light of current events, the deadline has been extended to Oct. 1.

“We’ve communicated with tax collectors discussing this possible move,” said commissioner Jeff Thomas. “We encourage municipalities to join us on this, because this vote only pertains to the county’s portion.”

Commissioner Scott Walls said there could be impacts for county residents who have the homestead/farmstead exemption on their taxes.

“They’re typically reimbursed through monies from the gambling funds, but since casinos have been closed, whether the revenue comes in remains to be seen,” he said, adding that voting to extend the base amount is something the county can choose to do to help residents.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, held via teleconference, Shannon Walborn, Children and Youth Services director, got approval for the official contract with AVANCO, the state’s child accounting and profile system.

“This is the same contract we’ve had since 2014,” she said. “Two weeks ago, we presented the contracts for web hosting, consultation and HIPAA, but this is the official one that needs to be approved.”

The system costs $2,231.49, which has been the same since 2014, noted Thomas.

Commissioners also approved recognizing June 1-6 as Child Welfare Professionals Appreciation Week.

“Our staff has been working extremely hard under unknown conditions, but we work in unknown conditions all of the time,” said Walborn. “But, it’s more heightened in the last few months. Our staff has done a fabulous job in maintaining precautions and our families and staff have remained safe.”

A sub-recipient agreement was approved between the county and Mapleton Borough for 2016 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for $57,466 for sidewalk restoration in the borough.

Stacia-Fe Gillen, the county’s community development administrator, said this contract ensures that both parties know the duties of their contract.

The sidewalk restoration will be for Church, Reservoir and Hill streets in the borough.

“They’re hopeful to move forward with this, but because of (restrictions due to COVID-19), it took awhile,” she said. “We’re hopeful to get it out this year and get it going.”

Gillen also offered an update on potential monies that could come to the county as a result of the federal CARES Act. She recognized that Huntingdon County EMA director Joe Thompson noted last week the county would likely not be able to use them.

The county did receive $166,152, while Huntingdon Borough received $69,001 and Smithfield Township received $61,760.

She said that while they received them, they’re not exactly sure how they can be used, but they’re looking into possibilities.

“He was right at the time; however, we’re trying to see what’s eligible, how do we get it eligible and how do we get it ready,” she said. “We’re very much in the process of whether we can make it work. Joe wasn’t wrong when he said that, but we’re also waiting on specific guidance of these funds.”

Gillen said she’ll keep the county informed of any developments.

Commissioners also approved Act 13 funds for $10,000 for Mapleton Borough for the construction of an ADA accessible playground at Riverside Park.

“The total project is $64,000,” said county planning director Jim Lettiere. “There will be $10,000 from the county, $14,000 will be from Mapleton Borough Council and the Allegheny Ridge Corp. has submitted a small grant for this.”

Additionally, Act 13 funds were reduced from $10,000 to $8,600 for food truck supplemental food parking improvements at Riverside Park in Mount Union Borough.

“They wanted to install a dump station when the project initially was proposed, but it was determined that’s not a feasible component,” said Lettiere. “This will reduce the allocation to $8,600, and the borough is providing an in-kind match for sewer line and water line connections.”

The commissioners also approved letters of support for the Cambria County Highway Safety Network and the comprehensive development strategy letter of support for the Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission.

There will be no commissioners’ meeting Tuesday, June 2, due to the primary election. As of press time, no details were available regarding the Tuesday, June 9, meeting.

Kylie can be reached at khawn@huntingdondailynews.com.

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