Tourism Grant discussed

HONESDALE - The regular meeting of the Wayne County Commissioners had a full agenda, with topics ranging from Veterans Day to discussion of an upcoming grant. Director of Veterans Affairs Tom McDonnell was present to receive a resolution designating November Record Your Veteran's Discharge Month throughout the county. The resolution covers many aspects of why recording discharge is necessary and beneficial to the veteran. The document states that "discharged veterans of the United States Armed Forces are entitled and encouraged to record their Discharge Certificates (DD214's)" or any other certificate of discharge or release from duty issued by the United States or state government. This documentation references any person who served with the military, reserve unit or National Guard forces and should be filed at the Wayne County Recorder of Deeds' office. McDonnell stressed there is no fee for these documents to be filed. "These records are not public in any way, and are completely confidential," he said. The records are not disclosed unless it is permitted by law. The reason recording these discharge papers is so important is because it helps determine what benefits a veteran is eligible for. "We use the DD214's for a variety of benefit purposes," McDonnell said. These benefits include employment, retirement, civil service, financial aid and property tax exemption programs. "This is a very important resolution," he said. Discharge papers are recorded at the Wayne County Recorder of Deeds office located in the Wayne County Courthouse, 925 Court Street in Honesdale. McDonnell stressed that discharge papers should be kept in a safe and confidential place, like a safety deposit box, vault, or fire proof safe. "If a veteran doesn't have a DD214, we can help them apply for one," McDonnell said. McDonnell also provided the commissioners with an update as to the bevy of services provided by the Office of Veterans Affairs. One of the services that has blossomed is the veterans discount card offered by the county. "We just added four new businesses this week," he said. The current list of participating businesses totals 45, with discounts ranging from a free item or a percentage off of a bill. The businesses span all of the county and all veterans are encouraged to apply. To apply for the discount card, visit the Office of Veterans Affairs located at 314 10th Street in Honesdale. The Honesdale location is open on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. - noon. On the first and third Wednesday of each month, McDonnell holds office hours at the Hamlin Senior Center from 9 a.m. - noon and at the Hawley Senior Center every second and fourth Wednesday from 9 a.m. - noon. The main office can be reached by calling 570-253-5432 ext. 3114. Tourism promotion The 2014 Tourism Grant Program offered by the Wayne County Tourism Promotion Advisory Board is currently accepting applications. In a release, the committee states that "it is concentrating efforts to create partnership marketing opportunities" that maximize grant dollars, or that may create an overnight stay in the county. Currently, $20,000 in grant funds are slotted to be distributed for the 2014 program. Commissioner Wendell Kay said that although the award amount is set at a maximum of $2,000, more could be awarded if businesses work together. "The committee will consider larger awards if businesses network together," Kay said. Businesses can network by working to advertise multiple events or by partnering with other businesses related to tourism. A kick-off event for past grant participants and interested applicants will be held Wednesday, Nov. 13 at Tick Tock's on Terrace Street in Honesdale. The event will be held from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. and includes a brief presentation and discussion between attendees. Reservations are requested, and can be made by calling 570-253-5970 ext. 4030 by Nov. 12 at noon. Grant applications are due by Friday, Dec. 20. The awards will be announced in February 2014. Election Bureau Director of the Wayne County Bureau of Elections Cindy Furman was present to discuss the recent municipal election, held this past Tuesday. "It was a rather enjoyable day," she said. "Our last ballot was scanned at 10:30 p.m." Furman said the Computing Board will convene today at 9 a.m. to go over the ballots and tally write-in votes. Other Business • Sealed bids were opened for prices on a new skid steer loader for the Wayne County Recycling Center. The bids were placed under review. • Funds in the amount of $115,037 were reclassified from Institutional Based placement to Community Based placement for the Department of Children and Youth Services for fiscal year 2012-13. • A contract amendment to include dental services for those housed at the Wayne County Correctional Facility was made. These services are required by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and are performed by Wayne Memorial Community Health Center. Kay abstained due to a close family member being employed at the hospital. The motion carried. • Rozalyn Burke was hired as a Children and Youth Services caseworker I, effective Nov. 12.