Candidate Academy Encourages People to Run for Local Office

An upcoming informational program aims to encourage people to run for local office. The Candidate Academy will outline the basic requirements, issues, expectations, and practices associated with public service. The no-cost program is being presented by the Joint Governmental Affairs Committee of the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce and Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau and sponsored by ArchCentral Architects of Bloomsburg.

The Candidate Academy will be held on Thursday, February 23rd from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. in the front meeting room of the Bloomsburg Fire Hall, 911 Market Street. Anyone considering running for a local office such as borough or town council, township board of supervisors, or school board, or who would simply like to better understand the election process is welcome to attend. Topics to be covered will include: timing and deadlines for circulating and filing petitions, campaign financing, reporting requirements, ethics, the Sunshine Act, and other issues. A panel of local elected officials will also share their insights about campaigning and public service.

The last day for candidates to circulate and file nomination petitions for the 2017 elections is March 7th.

As space is limited, anyone interested in attending should register online or by calling the Chamber of Commerce at 570-784-2522. For more information, contact Fred Gaffney, Chamber President, by phone or email at fgaffney@cmpartnership.org.

Outstanding Businesses and Individuals Recognized

Member businesses and individuals of the Chamber and Visitors Bureau were recognized during the organizations’ Annual Meeting Thursday, February 9th. The event was held at Rolling Pines Golf Course & Banquet Facility in Berwick, and sponsored by PPL Electric Utilities.

Five awards were presented to recognize businesses and individuals for their significant contributions to the community. To begin, The Travel & Tourism Buddy Award, sponsored by Knoebels Amusement Resort, was presented to Bob Stoudt, Executive Director of the Montour Area Recreation Commission. The Small Business of the Year Award, sponsored by First Columbia Bank & Trust, was presented to Freas Farm Winery. The Large Business of the Year Award, sponsored by The Columbia Alliance of Economic Growth, was presented to Central Columbia School District. The Community Progress Award, sponsored by Berwick Hospital Center, was presented to Geisinger Health System – Woodbine. The Outstanding Citizen Award, sponsored by Berwick Industrial Development Association, was presented to Daniel S. Jankowski. Daniel is an RN in the Emergency Department at Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital. Outside of his work at the hospital, he has been a dedicated community volunteer and advocate for the Benton area.    A special thank you to those who were able to attend this year’s meeting, and to all sponsors of the event who made the night possible.

Join Us For an Evening of Fellowship and Member Recognition

The Columbia Montour Partnership will recognize businesses and individuals that have worked to strengthen our region at the upcoming Annual Meeting. The event is sponsored by PPL Electric Utilities and will be held at Rolling Pines Golf Course on Thursday, February 9th starting at 5:00 p.m. Join us in celebrating our region and the accomplishments of our members.

Awards include: Outstanding Citizen sponsored by BIDA, Small Business of the Year sponsored by First Columbia Bank and Trust Co., Large Business of the Year sponsored by the Columbia Alliance for Economic Growth, Community Progress sponsored by Berwick Hospital Center and the Buddy Award sponsored by Knoebels Amusement Resort.

The cost to attend is $50 for members and $60 for non-members. Corporate tables of eight are also available for $350 per table. Please be sure to send your RSVP card back by this coming Tuesday, January 31st to ensure your spot at this year’s meeting.  If you have not received an invitation in the mail or want to pay via credit card, please call Eleanor at 570-784-2522.  Space is limited!

This year’s award nominees have been announced:

Outstanding Citizen Award
Ann Marie Hess
Daniel S. Jankowski
Harry Mathias

Small Business of the Year
Forever Green
Freas Farm Winery
Ken Pollock Ford-Lincoln, Inc
MePush
WHLM

Large Business of the Year
Central Columbia School District
Mahindra of Bloomsburg
MetroCast Communications
Sekisui

Community Progress Award
Columbia County Commissioners
Geisinger Health System-Woodbine
SUEZ

New Bloomsburg Water Plant Dedicated

Last Thursday, SUEZ dedicated its new advanced water treatment plant in Bloomsburg. The $32 million Irondale Water Treatment Plant utilizes modern technology to deliver high quality water. The location is out of the 100-year flood plain, in order to remain in service during high water events.

The membrane ultrafiltration is pictured beside high service pumps inside the new plant.  A SUEZ sister company based in the US designed the “SmartRack” technology on which the membranes are housed.  The new plant represents the first use of the new technology in North America.

The membranes filter the water after a process called superpulsation, which enhances sediment removal from the raw water.   Eric Gernath, Chief Executive Officer for SUEZ North America, noted that the new plant has been built at an elevation that will help avoid potential floodwaters that had previously interfered with operations at the now decommissioned, original treatment plant. Following the flooding in 2011, the Chamber encouraged SUEZ (then United Water) to take steps to avoid lengthy service interruptions and supported the investment in a new facility.