RIDGWAY — Elk County has officially created a county court reporter position.
The board unanimously voted in favor of creating the position during a special salary board meeting Tuesday. Elk and Cameron counties have not had an official court reporter since the early 1980s.
“We’re one of the very few jurisdictions in the Commonwealth that does not have a full-time court reporter,” said President Judge Richard Masson, who added that Jefferson and Clarion counties are on that list as well.
The salary, benefits, and other costs associated with the position will be shared with Cameron County, where Masson also presides.
Cameron County will pay 30 percent of the costs, as it has historically with services shared between the two counties.
Masson said he is looking to appoint Elizabeth “Betsy” Schreiber Nissel of Schreiber Reporting Services to the position, effective Jan. 1, 2018.
Nissel has been providing court reporting services to the county on a contractual basis for more than 30 years.
The court reporter would be paid $44,211.45 total, of which Elk County would be responsible for $34,008.81. Benefits would be approximately $8,000, a cost that would also be split with Cameron County.
The salary and benefits are on par with what the county is currently paying to contract for the service.
In 2016, it paid Schreiber Reporting Services $48,719.51, and thus far this year it has paid $42,120.36.
“Court reporters are really an indispensable component to court proceedings. We cannot conduct business without them. And they are becoming very rare in our area. They are unique in terms of their skill sets,” Masson said.