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Carbon to purchase computers to help juvenile probation office

Published October 20. 2012 09:01AM

Carbon County will be purchasing computers to comply with changes to juvenile justice system laws.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, the board voted to approve the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency subgrant for federal Byrnes Justice Assistance grant program funds in the amount of $4,400.

The funds will be used for the Juvenile Justice System Enhancement Strategy project.

Commissioner Wayne Nothstein, chairman, said that the project will help juvenile probation with inputting information on its clients.

Commissioner William O'Gurek added that the county is going to purchase computers for the juvenile probation office that are linked to the state. Functions of the computers will help probation officers conduct information and obtain new strategies and help on conducting programs that are offered.

He pointed out that Carbon County has 200 referrals into the juvenile probation system annually.

"The more help you can get with helping with the strategy and care for these persons enrolled in the program, the better it would be," O'Gurek said.

Roberta Brewster, county court administrator, explained that the reason for the change in the law is due to mishandlings of the juvenile justice system in Luzerne County a few years back.

In other matters, the commissioners are committed to "enhancing tourism in Carbon County and Jim Thorpe."

During the meeting, the board voted to approve a proposal submitted by Alfred Benesch and Company of Pottsville, along with their subconsultant Watkins Architect LTD, for professional services regarding the design of the Jim Thorpe Train Station restrooms renovations. The cost for these services are $18,000.

Nothstein pointed out that the renovations were supposed to take place a few years back but due to costs, the grant for the project was not enough to cover restroom renovations.

Money from the county parking fund, which is made up of the fees vehicles must pay when parking in the county parking lot, will now be utilized for the renovations.

O'Gurek said that the action shows "a commitment on the part of this board to enhance the tourism amenities that are available."

"We're happy to be able to make a decision to make the place better," he said. "It's a need."

The county will now move forward quickly on securing a design, writing specifications and putting the project out to bid. They hope the work will be done in January or February, when tourism is slower.

The train station would likely be closed during the renovations.

The commissioners also announced that they will not have a meeting next Thursday, Oct. 25, due to a meeting with PennDOT regarding the replacement of the Route 903 bridge in Jim Thorpe.

Nothstein said that the board feels it's important that the county attend the meeting because the replacement plans deals with county property.

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