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Carbon Veterans Affairs office praised for bringing $2.25 M benefits to county

Published July 30. 2011 09:01AM

Carbon County's Veterans Affairs office proved that it is working to benefit its veterans.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, Commissioners Wayne Nothstein and William O'Gurek, chairman, recognized the outstanding work Henry Desrosiers, director of the Veterans Affairs office, and Bonnie Gawlik, credit service officer in the Veterans Affairs office, has been doing over the last year.

Nothstein reported on the Adjutant General's end of year report, which breaks down the monies brought into Carbon from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011.

The report states that over the last fiscal year, the county veterans affairs office has brought in nearly $2.25 million in benefits for its county veterans.

"I think we hit a new record high with nearly $2.25 million in benefits to our county veterans," Nothstein said, adding that over $100,000 of that total went to one veteran who learned that he was eligible for back payments from time served. "Two and a quarter million is a lot of money going back into the hands of our veterans and they are certainly well deserving of it."

He added that it's important that any veteran who served this country to contact the veterans affairs office to see if they are eligible for any benefits.

In June 2009's end of the year report, Carbon County only took in $843,000.

"This makes a big difference to our economy in Carbon County and to our veterans," Nothstein said. "Congratulations to Henry (Desrosiers) and Bonnie (Gawlik) for the excellent work they do."

O'Gurek echoed Nothstein's thoughts, adding that the county is proud of the way they work to benefit the veterans living in the area.

"We, I say proudly, outperform many, many counties and most of the big counties, in terms of bringing back compensation to our veterans," O'Gurek said. "The Veterans Affairs office is here for any veteran."

To contact the Veterans Affairs office, call (570) 325-3986 or stop by the office, located on the second floor of the courthouse annex in Jim Thorpe. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

In other matters, O'Gurek discussed an action that the board voted on involving the Packerton Business Park project.

He noted that the action approves a stipulation and settlement agreement between the county and Lehighton regarding approval of the county's subdivision/land development plans for the proposed business park that will be located on 59 acres that straddles Mahoning Township and Lehighton.

O'Gurek said that the county filed the plans with the borough in February. On July 12, the borough rejected the plans. The county then appealed to court.

"This is a result of a stipulation to the terms, which is conditional approval," he said, adding that the approval rests upon the county getting certain things in place, such as approval from Mahoning Township on the plans, install locking gates at auxiliary access points, obtain waivers and more.

Mahoning Township will act on the county's proposal next week during a special meeting, O'Gurek said.

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