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Some recycling options concern Carbon officials

Published November 16. 2012 05:02PM

Carbon County commissioners voiced their concern over some options suggested for its recycling program.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, Commissioner William O'Gurek pointed out an article that appeared in the TIMES NEWS earlier this week regarding the recent Solid Waste Advisory Committee.

At that meeting, Duane Dellecker, director of the county Department of Solid Waste, provided a number of options that may work for the county, including a waste management millage tax, user fees and integrated solid waste management facility in the Packerton Yards.

O'Gurek said that he had some concerns about those options because he is against creating a new tax or charging a user fee that is added to utility bills.

He added that he was especially not in favor of the option of creating a transfer station at the Packerton Yards site.

"The last thing I would want the public to think is that the commissioners are even entertaining an option of a transfer station of garbage in Packerton Yards," O'Gurek said. "I think it's ridiculous. It's adjacent to the Lehigh River and we're getting a hard enough time establishing a business park, let alone a transfer station at Packerton."

Commissioners Wayne Nothstein, chairman, and Thomas J. Gerhard agreed with O'Gurek, saying that those options also concerned them and that they would address the matter.

Nothstein said that the county is looking at possible avenues for the recycling program because "is it the best thing to close down solid waste or would it cost the taxpayers more money?"

Gerhard added that the board will be having further discussions before making a final decision at a later time.

Nothstein said nothing definite as to the future of the program has been decided up to date.

In other matters, the countywide narrowband radio project is moving along.

Nothstein reported that most of the radios and other necessary equipment has been installed.

The county is now looking at setting a turnover date in early December, where police, EMS and fire services will begin to make the switch to narrowband frequency.

Nothstein reported that there were a few glitches with equipment along the way but they were being straightened out.

The county is now hoping to begin looking at the costs that each municipality will be responsible for, for the equipment.

Carbon County has been working on the narrowbanding project with area municipalities since early last year when the county commissioners decided to help ease the burden of emergency personnel by applying for a countywide grant.

The county hired Delta Development Group Inc. of Mechanicsburg at a cost of $10,000 to handle the $1.4 million Local Share grant application.

In January, county officials received word that they would be receiving $907,453 of local share funds to complete the project.

The reason for the joint project is because a Federal Communications Commission mandate, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2013, reduces the radio frequency to 12.5 kHz bandwidth to allow for more radio channels for emergencies. All municipalities and counties in the country must comply with this mandate by Jan. 1, or they could face a $10,000 a day fine.

Nothstein also congratulated Palmerton on their veterans programs this past weekend.

He said he was amazed by the number of people who attended both the veterans memorial dedication ceremony and the parade.

"It was really heartwarming to all the veterans that attended," Nothstein said. "Hundreds of people turned out. It was really something to see."

He urged anyone who did not get a chance to visit the new memorial in Palmerton to do so when they are in the borough.

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