The commissioners, on Thursday, opened bids for five home rehabilitation program projects in the county. This program helps low-income residents fix problems at their home.

The recipients, who remain anonymous as part of the program's process, can receive up to $12,000 in funding through Act 137, which is generated through fees charged for the recording of documents in the Carbon County Recorder of Deeds office. Those funds are then used to repair necessary items in their homes such as heating systems, roofing, siding, or electrical and plumbing systems.

This year's bids ranged from $2,975 to $20,915. Contracts will either be awarded or rejected at next week's commissioners' meeting.

Commissioner William O'Gurek, chairman, explained that the county does this program as a way to help the residents in need.

"This is the county's way of trying to help those less fortunate, those who are needy, make repairs to their houses," O'Gurek said.

He then introduced Jim Martino, program coordinator, and asked that he explain the process to the students in attendance.

Martino went through the process of this project, from the time a family is chosen to the time the project is completed.

He noted that he does periodic checks during the project to make sure everything is going well.

Commissioner Wayne Nothstein then asked Martino how many people the county helps in a year and how many are on the waiting list.

Martino explained that the program typically funds about 15 home projects a year.

He added that currently there are about 260 home rehabilitation projects on the waiting list.

Nothstein said, "Some of those people have been on the list for quite some time. Unfortunately, we don't have the funds to help more."

The home rehabilitation program has helped rehabilitate over 300 home since its inception in 1994.

For more information on the program or to apply, contact the Carbon County Office of Planning and Development at (570) 325-3671.

In other matters, the county adopted a proclamation proclaiming April 28 as County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania Day in honor of CCAP's 125th anniversary.

CCAP is an organization that includes county commissioners from across the state and provides education, planning, and assistance on county and state levels.

Nothstein illustrated some of the things the group does by talking about the jury commissioner positions.

Since 2005, CCAP has been urging legislators to eliminate jury commissioners because the positions are no longer needed. Last year, the bill that would have eliminated the positions passed in the House and Senate, but was vetoed by former Gov. Ed Rendell for other reasons not associated with the topic.

The commissioners also approved an application for third year continuation funding through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The county is requesting federal funding in the amount of $7,448 for the Carbon County Criminal Justice Advisory Board. The funds, which represents 25 percent of the total cost of JNET, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Justice Network, would help continue to provide JNET access to police departments and court related offices. It would also cover costs associated with mobile access for the police departments and adult probation office. The county would contribute $5,994.