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Jim Thorpe to receive financial help cover police patrols for major event weekends

Published March 25. 2011 05:01PM

Jim Thorpe will receive help through the Carbon County hotel tax fund for police patrols during the four major event weekends in the borough.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, Commissioner William O'Gurek, said that the county has received approval from the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau to use some of the money the county receives through the hotel tax, for the Jim Thorpe police monitoring.

"We asked the visitors bureau to use money for traffic control," O'Gurek said, referring to Jim Thorpe Borough Council President John McGuire's request for financial assistance during the four-weekend Fall Foliage Festival in October. "We received a favorable response."

Two weeks ago, McGuire approached the board, asking for the county's help to cover the $2,000 that it costs the borough each weekend to provide police monitoring during those events.

O'Gurek said that the county is now working on requesting information on the hotel tax fund that is used for county tourism grants. Carbon County receives 50 percent of the money collected through the 3 percent hotel tax and distributes 28 percent of it throughout the year. The remaining 22 percent is designated for administrative fees and helping cover the costs for operating and improving Mauch Chunk Lake Park.

"There is no question that those four weekends in October bring in a lot of tourists," O'Gurek said. "I think we need to recognize it puts a strain on Jim Thorpe borough."

Commissioner Charles Getz said the bureau realizes that extra protection is needed on those weekends when tourism is higher than normal.

Commissioner Wayne Nothstein said he is afraid that this action will "open a can of worms," because now all municipalities who host events will be asking for money to cover police protection during the event. He noted that Lehighton has its annual Bike Night, which requires more police monitoring on that day.

Getz responded that he would be in favor of supporting other municipalities if they asked the county for help with an event because the event is typically held only one day.

In other matters, Carbon County's Citizen Corps Program will receive $15,000 from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency for its Community Emergency Response Team.

During the county commissioners' meeting, the board announced that the grant will help the county CERT program, which is made up of community volunteers. It will be used to help cover the costs of training, educational programs, coordination during emergencies and more.

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