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Carbon officials look to protect prison from lightning strikes

Published April 25. 2011 05:00PM

Carbon County officials are looking into finding a system that will protect the county prison from future lightning strikes.

During the monthly meeting of the county prison board recently, the members of the board again discussed their options on a lightning suppression system, which would include numerous high-voltage surge protectors on the prison's electrical system.

In recent years, the correctional facility, which is located on the Broad Mountain in Nesquehoning, has been the victim of numerous lightning strikes.

Most recently, in July 2009, a lightning strike damaged the prison's fire alarm system and shorted out a few control panels and door switches.

During the meeting, Charles Neff, maintenance supervisor at the correctional facility, reported that the county received one estimate for a lightning suppression system. That estimate from Turner Lightning Protection Company Inc., of Cincinatti, Ohio came in at $13,690.

Commissioner Wayne Nothstein pointed out that since the estimate for the project would be over $10,000, the county would be required to put the project out for bid.

The board then discussed what would be needed before the project could be bid on. This includes determining the proper scope of work that is needed and what equipment is necessary.

Commissioner Charles Getz voiced his concern about the location of the company that submitted the quote because if something breaks, no local repair service is available.

The board discussed whether they could purchase the equipment from an outside source and hire another company to install it.

Commissioner William O'Gurek, raised concerns about this because of warranty issues.

The board agreed that this may create problems in the future if two companies complete the work.

O'Gurek then made the motion to authorize the county's purchasing department to determine what is needed for the project and do what is necessary. The motion passed.

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