ST MARYS — Moving Elk County safely from yellow to green in Pennsylvania’s reopening phase was a topic at this week’s St. Marys City Council meeting.

Mayor Lou Radkowski, who is on the North Central Task Force, said there have been several meetings and discussions about COVID-19 testing in the area, and “politely pushing” the governor toward green status.

Another topic, he says, is maintaining the personal protective equipment (PPE) supply chain locally.

Elk County’s three commissioners and representatives from Ridgway and Johnsonburg also all signed the letter that was sent to Harrisburg last Thursday, Radkowski notes. There has been no response.

Radkowski said he sent a second letter, too, vocalizing his frustration with how local representatives’ concerns are being received by the state.

“The responsible thing to do is to try and craft a solution that makes sense across the state,” he said.

Community and Development Economic Coordinator Tina Gradizzi said she has been in attempts to communicate with U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson about Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding.

Gradizzi also inquired about the governor’s office opening up the waiver process for Elk County businesses, if COVID-19 cases are low, so they can begin to reopen.

“Please know we are doing our best to have our voices heard at the federal and state level,” she said.

Councilman and St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce President Andrew Mohney asked that people be understanding of nonprofit organizations and the cancellation of events during this time.

“Because of the guidelines, it’s very hard to solicit funding to put on events for the community,” he said.

Mohney said he anticipates a “rough” couple of months coming out of the pandemic.

“I’d like to ask everybody to put on their ‘understanding hat’ and be aware of what’s going on,” he said. “It’s not that we want to cancel things, but we may have to for certain reasons.”

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