DUBOIS — Habitat for Humanity of Clearfield County will be doubling the blessings for Clearfield County residents as it was able to choose a second winner in its Ugly Roof Contest.
The contest ended before Christmas when the Habitat team surprised the Hull Family of Grampian to tell them they would be receiving a new roof through the contest.
Using funds from grants made possible by the Palumbo Foundation and Dominion Energy, Habitat was able to give away a second free roof, which was awarded to Kathryn Taylor who resides in Clearfield.
Habitat for Humanity representative Harley Steiner said, “(Taylor) was overjoyed when she opened her door to the Habitat team who announced she won the Ugly Roof Contest.”
In November, Habitat launched the contest inspired by numerous requests it receives for new roofs and roof repairs. It hoped to lend an air of joviality to a serious problem by comparing the appearance of crumbling and unattractive roofs to ugly Christmas sweaters, calling it an Ugly Roof Contest.
Steiner also reported the contractor has nearly completed the Grampian roof.
COALPORT — A former council president told members of Coalport Borough Council he believes the borough’s financial situations are improving but there is still more to be done.
Paul Zupich addressed council at Friday’s rescheduled meeting. Zupich provided a written list of issues with bookkeeping he thinks need to be corrected to allow council to have a clearer idea of the funds it is taking in and spending.
The individual objections noted in Zupich’s letter included line items for the borough’s budget revenue, which he said should be addressed either because the amounts are currently not available to the borough, or an incorrect figure was used.
“In summary, the borough’s operating revenue (in its 2021 budget) is only $89,000 and not the $118,000 council budgeted. (The borough’s) expenditures, however, are $118,000, creating a $29,000 deficit,” Zupich said.
He told council he believes it needs to make changes immediately to correct the problems.
“Council needs to know what is coming in and what it has spent,” Zupich said.
He said he believes the borough would be better served by outsourcing its bookkeeping and the cost would be more effective in the long run.
“The state Department of Community and Economic Development requires municipalities to use Quickbooks. Council however receives its monthly finance report done on a spreadsheet,” Zupich said. “The report council approves is to be audited to determine if it accurately reflects what happens at the borough. Auditing a second set of books done on Quickbooks that council did not review would likely cause even more problems.
“The solution is to outsource bookkeeping to an accounting firm — if one can be found that is willing to work for Coalport. Also council should post the budget and finance reports to its Facebook page,” Zupich said.
Council President Barby Trent told Zupich the borough is making progress in clearing up issues with missing reports and payments to the Internal Revenue Service and the state Department of Revenue, sending out its final report to the IRS this week.
“All federal tax forms were mailed out this week,” Trent said.
When asked whether the borough would owe additional fines because its reports were filed late, Trent said, “I am not sure whether there will be additional fines. The borough hasn’t been sent any more bills by the IRS. We were told to send a letter with forms stating why the reports weren’t taken care of. We have been working at getting in what we need to get in.”
Finance Committee Chairwoman LaDawn Yingling told Zupich she has seen progress in the borough’s financial matters.
“I have seen improvement since I started on council,” she told Zupich.
When asked by Trent, Zupich said he would be willing to meet with council’s finance committee to go over ways to correct its budget and bookkeeping.
In a related matter, council approved a three-month trial run of the Quickbook’s payroll system. Secretary Noelle Morrissey said the cost would be approximately $23 per month for the software.
Clearfield County Commissioners are hoping the computer virus that has crippled its computer system will be repaired shortly.
Late last week, a computer virus infiltrated the county’s computer servers, crippling the county’s computer network.
Servers are computers that perform tasks and provide data to other computers in a network.
The commissioners do not believe any important data was breached.
At yesterday’s commissioners meeting, Commissioner John Sobel read a statement regarding the situation.
“At this time we do not believe any sensitive information has been compromised,” Sobel said in the statement. “We continue to actively monitor the situation.”
The statement said all of the county’s essential services remain open including 911.
“The safety and security of the public and county employees remain our top priority and we are working around the clock to work through this cyber incident and ask for the public’s patience as we implement business continuity measures,” according to the statement.
Commissioners will provide updates as they become available, Sobel said.
Clearfield County Director of Technology Adam Curry said the virus entered the county’s computer servers and encrypted all of the data on them, making it impossible to retrieve. But he said he doesn’t believe anyone else was able to retrieve the data either.
Commissioner Dave Glass said although only approximately 15 percent of the county’s computers were infected with the virus, the virus did infect all of the county’s servers, which has shut down the county’s network.
He said all of the infected computers had their hard drives wiped clean and their software reinstalled.
Sobel thanked Curry for his efforts in working through these issues.
“Adam has been working literally around the clock to get us back up and running,” Sobel said.
He also thanked Commissioner Dave Glass whose field is IT and has been working with Curry to correct the problems, as well as Assistant Director of IT Justin Jarrett.
Glass agreed and said Curry took quick action as soon as the virus appeared and got a contractor to come over to rebuild the servers using backup data.
“It could have been a lot worse,” Glass said.
When asked if it was a deliberate or a random attack, Glass said it is still under investigation. Law enforcement has been informed of the cyber attack.
The Progress asked if this was a ransomware attack where someone infects a computer system and demands payment from the victim to restore the system. Glass and Curry both said no party has yet made any demands of the county.
Glass said they are hoping that much of the county’s system would be repaired by the end of Tuesday.
Clearfield County Career and Technology Center continues to struggle with a leaky roof.
Executive Director Fred Redden told the Joint Operating Committee on Monday that a practical nursing classroom was due to roof leaks.
“There were (ceiling) tiles on the floor, and stains and that sort of thing” Redden said. “And we have six buckets sitting up in the HVAC facility.”
Fortunately no equipment or classroom materials were damaged, and the classroom will be operational when the students return from break, Redden said.
Redden said the roof leaks require significant attention from CCCTC staff, time which could be better spent elsewhere.
He also said the CCCTC has spent significant resources to provide cutting edge equipment to its students and just wants the facility to match.
“It’s just a shame the mess we have with this roof, Redden said. “Unfortunately we are at the place now where I think something big needs to happen.”
CCCTC has been having problems with the roof since it was installed in 2007 and it still has 13 years remaining on its warranty.
Redden said the roof manufacturer, Garland Company, has asked to perform its own roof study and Redden said he gave them permission.
“I’m hoping they get in here very soon to do their assessment,” Redden said.
He said they are supposed to get some warm days soon and hopes the company can come in and do the assessment then.
In October the CCCTC Joint Operating Committee also hired a consultant architect Mark Sobeck Roof Consulting of Wilkes-Barre, to perform a study on the roof.
Redden said the consultant found significant issues with the roof that need to be addressed.