Carbon County officials want to start a council of governments to help work on big projects.
During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, Commissioner Wayne Nothstein, chairman, announced that the county, in cooperation with state Sen. John Yudichak's office, will host a meeting to form a council of governments for elected officials in the area. The meeting, which is open to elected officials in all municipalities in the county, will be held at 6:30 p.m., April 23, in courtroom 1, located in the Carbon County Courthouse, Jim Thorpe.
Nothstein said that goals for the group will be to work together to share costs, leverage grants, begin a line of open communication, share information and resources and work on legislative issues.
"We will have to work on issues that we know are obtainable," Nothstein said.
He thanked Yudichak and his office staff for helping make the meeting possible and urged all municipalities to try and attend.
Nothstein then provided an example of what the county and municipalities can do if they work together.
The narrowband project, which was a federal mandate requiring all emergency services, police, fire departments and counties to change over their radios to be able to pick up narrowband signals, was a nearly $1 million project that will now cost the county and all municipalities that participated pennies on the dollar, thanks to the group effort to secure a $907,000 grant.
"It shows what we can do when we work together," Nothstein said. "The partnership worked well and I hope it continues."
In other matters, the commissioners spoke about the recent news from Kovatch Mobile Equipment Corp., which announced that it will be adding 100 jobs to its business as it expands operations to manufacture water hauling tankers for the Marcellus Shale industry.
Commissioner William O'Gurek said that he was surprised to learn that the Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker visited Kovatch on Monday and the commissioners were not made aware of it.
He said what surprised him most was learning that the Carbon County Economic Development Corp., which is taking over as the private sector for economic development in the county, played an integral role in helping Kovatch leverage the money from the state for the project, and the commissioners knew nothing about it.
He then said he was very happy for Kovatch and for everything the company is doing to help the people in the county by supplying good jobs.
Nothstein and Commissioner Thomas J. Gerhard agreed with O'Gurek's thoughts.
Nothstein said that after speaking with a Kovatch employee, it was learned that the state was supposed to send out information about the visit.
Gerhard thanked Kovatch for what they are doing in the county, adding that right now, a number of county inmates are employed at the company and one will be hired full-time.
"They are helping us get our population down at the prison," he said.