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Protecting prison against lightning strikes discussed

Published February 16. 2012 05:01PM

Carbon County's prison is still working on protecting itself against more lightning strikes.

During the monthly meeting of the county prison board on Wednesday, the board again discussed the need for a lightning suppression system at the prison.

Over the last few years, the Carbon County Correctional Facility, located on the top of the Broad Mountain in Nesquehoning, has fallen victim to numerous lightning strikes, causing electrical problems in various areas of the prison.

Warden Joseph Gross asked if the county was still working toward purchasing a system for the prison because it was brought to his attention recently that the project was not included in the 2012 budget.

Commissioner Wayne Nothstein said that because the project was not requested, it was overlooked.

Gross responded, asking if the county will pay for the system, even though it is not in the budget, because if the prison takes another lightning strike, the county is going to have to pay more for fixing the damages.

Nothstein said another hold up with the project is due to an issue with obtaining detailed specifications to bid the project.

Daniel Miscavige, county solicitor, explained that he has talked with the county purchasing department about the problems they are having with the specs. He said that Schade Engineering Inc., who the county hired in July 2011 to prepare the specs for the lightning suppression system design at a cost of $4,700, has become non-responsive and will not provide the remaining information that the county needs.

Nothstein told Gross that the county will continue to try to obtain the information and will hopefully have an answer by the next meeting.

Gross also reported that Simplex Grinell recently inspected the prison's fire protection system. Everything passed except a few areas. The reason for the failure in three areas of the prison was because of a past lightning strike.

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