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Bedford looks at revenue, considers demographics

BEDFORD — Discussion of anticipated tax revenue for next year brought up concerns about Bedford County’s demographics at the commissioners meeting Tuesday.

The commissioners anticipate the county will bring in about $14 million in tax revenue, prompting a meeting attendee to comment on how he didn’t feel think was a lot for the area.

Commissioner Barry Dallara noted the county has demographic issues and that it is competing with the rest of the world to attract people to the area, commenting on how the population has slightly declined over the years.

He said after I-99 was built, he thought it would improve the county’s economy, something that has not happened, he said.

Commissioner Josh Lang said officials are trying to bring people to the county through various developmental projects including the creation of recreational opportunities and a new birthing center and expansion of broadband services.

Planning Commission Director Don Schwartz said the age has shifted dramatically in the county, with fewer people in the lower school grades.

But he added there is a “tremendous population pressure” moving out from northeastern Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C., and Maryland and said people are moving out this way to get away.

“There is a real opportunity for Bedford County to capture those people. What has to occur is to have the services for them,” Schwartz said. “The demographics are a tough thing to turn around, as Josh said.”

The commissioners also approved:

– Caitlin Flowers as caseworker for Bedford County Children and Youth Services with an annual salary of $26,664, Deputy Sheriff Steve Roudabush going part time and correctional officer Edward Fortman’s promotion to full-time lieutenant at the Bedford County Jail.

– Brandi Hershey’s appointment to Bedford County Library Board effective Jan. 1.

– Frank Otto, Sarah Garcia, Richard Mussel­man, Robert Detwiler, Anthony Wagner, Gary Cook and Wayne Koontz appointments to the Bedford County Agricul­tural Land Preservation Board.

– A total of $104,600 for the design and construction repairs for the Colvin Covered Bridge at Mill Road over Shawnee Branch in Napier Township.

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