HONESDALE, PA — On the morning of Thursday, March 26, the Wayne County Board of Commissioners held its usual meeting inside the unusually quiet courthouse.
The commissioners authorized chief financial officer Vicky Botjer to submit grant applications for financial assistance due to COVID-19 from the state and federal emergency management agencies (PEMA and FEMA). After the meeting, chairman Brian Smith said that it was too early to give an estimate on how much the pandemic has cost the county.
“There are additional costs, I can tell you,” Smith said. “There will continue to be additional costs, but we’re doing the best we can.” Commissioner Joe Adams added that the county is doing all it can do to keep its employees safe as well as residents who are doing essential business at county facilities.
Smith also had a message for people who have second homes in Wayne County.
“We very seriously ask the population who moves into this county now and into the summertime, to please do what President Trump has asked you to do; please do the things that our governor is asking you to do, make sure you self-quarantine so we do not pass this COVID-19 around to the population that lives here year-round.”
Commissioners Jocelyn Cramer and Adams also issued updates on the Pennsylvania primary elections, which are very likely to be delayed until June 2, instead of April 28. After last year’s sweeping changes to PA’s election code, the county had been scrambling to get ready for the primary in April. Deadlines for registration and mail-in votes are likely to change as the new primary date is set this week.
Commissioner Jocelyn Cramer shared a message to the public that the county’s human services department is continuing to operate despite the COVID-19 crisis.
“Folks who are in need of assistance should call for help,” she said.
Cramer also noted that COVID-19-affected, small businesses in the county can apply for loans through the state’s COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program. Loan applications must be submitted a Certified Economic Development Organization like Wayne Economic Development Corporation (WEDCO). Business owners can find more information about assistance programs on WEDCO’s website.