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One dead in crash near Waverly

The Tioga County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal motor vehicle accident on Route 17 near Waverly on Sunday night.

According to the sheriff’s office, the crash was reported around 6:43 p.m. approximately 2.5 miles east of exit 61 involving a passenger vehicle and a tractor-trailer.

Initial investigation revealed that the passenger vehicle was traveling eastbound and struck a deer. While slowed from the impact, a tractor-trailer struck the passenger vehicle from the rear. The vehicle had multiple occupants, according to the report. One person in the passenger vehicle is deceased as a result of the collision while the other occupants were taken to the Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital for treatment. The number of occupants was not specified in the report from the sheriff’s office.

The Tioga County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the New York State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit, New York State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit, Waverly-Barton Fire Department, Nichols Fire Department, Greater Valley EMS, and the New York State Department of Transportation.

Anyone with information about the incident or who may have witnessed the crash is asked to contact the Tioga County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at (607) 687-1010.

Towanda talks development with HUD's DeFelice

TOWANDA — A workforce shortage, designation of Towanda Borough as a Federal Opportunity Zone and of course funding were hot topics as local legislators met with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Joseph DeFelice last week.

During a visit to Bradford County, DeFelice gathered with Towanda Borough Manager Kyle Lane, County Commissioner Daryl Miller and other area representatives for a tour of Towanda and discussion regarding current projects being completed with Community Development Block Grant funding and issues that could be addressed with more resources, the importance of the Disaster Mitigation Funding, and the implication of Towanda’s new Federal Opportunity Zone status.

Miller stated that Bradford County officials were unaware that Towanda had been designated an opportunity zone until very recently and that DeFelice’s visit highlighted areas of potential growth in Towanda Borough.

DeFelice stated that Towanda Borough is the only current Federal Opportunity Zone near Bradford County and explained the benefits, including options for grant funding, that can be awarded to the area.

Miller told that being deemed an opportunity zone lends focus to creating private investment within Towanda as it offers tax breaks to investors, especially regarding housing and commercial assets.

“It is basically a capital gains tax incentive for investors that invest in businesses and real-estate in the borough,” Lane said. “In addition to the tax incentive for investors, the borough could also receive prioritization on federal grant applications and opportunities.”

Lane stated that local representatives also took the opportunity to discuss the importance of the Disaster Mitigation Funding the county is currently seeking through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s competitive mitigation program.

Officials informed DeFelice of issues Bradford County is currently facing that could be rectified with more funding including public water and sewer systems and access to broadband internet.

DeFelice assisted local representatives with brainstorming ways to remedy a workforce problem that has left hundreds of jobs open in the county through “connect(ing) potential workers and graduating students with local employers” and encouraging technical training through programs like the Northern Tier Career Center.

“The county can’t sustain growth if we do not have the ability to fill open job positions,” Lane said.

Lane and Miller both shared positive feelings about the productivity of the meeting, as Miller noted that it is always beneficial to meet face to face with representatives at the federal level and share what the community is attempting to accomplish.

“I really feel he heard us when discussing infrastructure and workforce. There seems to be some really positive momentum to address these issues here within the county,” said Lane. “It’s always good to be heard and have the opportunity to explain how cookie cutter type programs that may work in larger areas don’t always work the same in rural areas like ours. Hopefully Mr. DeFelice will take our comments with him as he travels back to Washington.”