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Issue 35— Thursday, March 26, 2020
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Resources Available For Workers
Hit By Virus Mitigation Measures

HARRISBURG — State Sen. Senator Lisa Baker is reminding community residents that resources are available to help employees and families who have been affected by the state's coronavirus mitigation efforts.
According to the Department of Labor and Industry, Pennsylvanians who are unable to work because of the COVID-19 coronavirus may be eligible for unemployment or workers' compensation benefits.
Unemployment compensation is available for employees whose employer temporarily closes, goes out of business due to COVID-19 or reduces hours due to COVID-19. Eligibility is also extended to employees who are told not to work, have been told to self-isolate or quarantine to prevent the spread of the virus.
UC call centers are experiencing extremely high call volumes, so claimants are encouraged to get help by email at uchelp@pa.gov, or via UC LiveChat.
Employees who have been exposed to COVID-19 in their workplace could also be eligible for workers' compensation. More details about benefits for affected employees are available at www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/covid19.aspx.

Pa. Extends Tax Filing Deadline

HARRISBURG — The Department of Revenue announced the deadline for taxpayers to file their 2019 Pennsylvania personal income tax returns is extended to July 15, 2020. This means taxpayers will have an additional 90 days to file from the original deadline of April 15. The Internal Revenue Service also extended the federal filing deadline to July 15, 2020.
The Department of Revenue will also waive penalties and interest on 2019 personal income tax payments through the new deadline of July 15, 2020. This extension applies to both final 2019 tax returns and payments, and estimated payments for the first and second quarters of 2020.
The filing deadline is being extended at a time when Governor Tom Wolf has ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses to close to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 . Under Pennsylvania law the filing deadline for personal income tax returns is tied to the federal income tax due date.
Although the filing deadline has been extended, the Department of Revenue is encouraging taxpayers who are able to file their returns electronically to do so. This will enable the department to continue to process returns as commonwealth offices are closed. Additionally, if you are expecting a refund from the commonwealth, filing electronically will help avoid a delay in the release of your refund.



Emergency Declaration Via Phone-In Meeting

MILFORD — Township supervisors met via public telephone conference call on Monday afternoon to pass a Declaration of Disaster Emergency resolution because of the COVID-19 virus public health danger. The resolution gives the township eligibility for disaster funding, said solicitor Tony Magnotta.
Magnotta noted that his law office is now closed because it is considered a non-essential business in Pennsylvania and that Federal courts in Harrisburg and Scranton are closed for 60 days. The Scranton courthouse was closed because a worker there contracted the virus and no non-emergency court actions are allowed before April 14; only criminal and PFA hearings continue.
"We need to encourage people to stay home, but not in a hard and fast way," said Supervisor Rachel Hendricks.
But some people are escaping their homes by coming to the area, Magnotta said.
"It's extremely unsettling to permanent residents to see people living at seasonal campsites without water and sewers to get away from New York City," he said. "Some people say they're just driving around to get out," said Bob DiLorenzo.
Meanwhile, permit application processing is a challenge. Magnotta said that Dingman Township closed their office to in-person visits, advising people to download applications while the township waives time limits for processing them.
"They required people to sign a waiver for permit processing time," Magnotta said. "It's probably not legal, but this is a public emergency."
Secretary/Treasurer Shahana Shamim said that zoning and building applications are available online and can be left in the mailbox in front of the town hall.
"It's not right to meet when public contact is discouraged," said Magnotta.
Hendricks suggested, and other supervisors concurred, that meetings take place only via conference call and that the next planning commission meeting be cancelled. Magnotta added that no unnecessary topics would be discussed.
The Declaration of Emergency is for 14 days, Hendricks said, but can be reaffirmed at the next meeting.



Excellence In Business Award Recipient Announced

MILFORD — Milford… Community, as defined, could simply be a group of people living in the same place, or it could be a sense of fellowship with others. There is no doubt that Key Foods owner Junior Dabashi perfectly fits the latter definition. Case in point: in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, he quickly offered to personally deliver groceries to Milford Borough residents who are ill and quarantined in their homes, and he set time aside exclusively for seniors to shop. But that's just two of many selfless gestures on his part. So it is fitting that Dabashi is this year's recipient of the Richard L. Snyder Excellence in Business Award from Greater Pike Community Foundation (GPCF). He will be honored at Greater Pike's annual dinner Tuesday evening, September 22nd. The award recognizes a local business that has demonstrated outstanding philanthropic leadership in our community. .......For more information pick up a copy at a local vendor or subscribe.



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