Susquehanna County residents hold reopen rally

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SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Dozens of Susquehanna County residents and business owners gathered on public square in Montrose Monday demanding the state to open the county.

County leaders have left the decision up to Governor Tom Wolf as he has the legislative authority. Like their constituents however, commissioners are getting restless. They held a press conference with state lawmakers asking the governor why they haven’t been able to reopen their county after reporting zero new cases in 14 days.

Meanwhile, residents gathered outside during the conference to voice their opinions. They say they only want one thing, to move the county into the ‘yellow phase’.

“We need to get opened up,” Susquehanna County resident Jeff Durante told Eyewitness News. “I mean some of these small businesses like myself, we’re struggling.”

Durante is the owner of Speakeasy Saloon and Resort in Uniondale. Next month, the resort’s liquor license is up for its annual renewal. 

“And we can’t be open to sell liquor. So we definitely need to open up,” Durante said.

Rallying residents held signs that read “We are essential!!”, ” Let us work”, and “Free Susquehanna County,” all trying to get Governor Wolf’s attention while the county remains in the red phase. However not all residents agree with following the governor’s order to remain under the extended stay at home order.

“Ask our leadership to defy the governor’s orders to open up our county safely and within CDC regulations,” Tim Madden of Forest City said.

All three commissioners spoke at the rally, letting protesters know county leaders agree with them but will continue to obey Wolf’s order in order to protect business owners that may be punished by those in harrisburg if they open. 

“Our family we still have our jobs. But I just feel bad for everybody else that can’t go to their jobs and be able to support their families,” Faith Bisner of Hallstead said.

County leaders in Susquehanna County are calling on the governor to be more transparent as to why they remain in the red phase with zero positive cases of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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