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Carbon starts litter patrol

Published April 21. 2017 02:45PM

Carbon County is hoping for a little help from its juvenile probation office to clean up the roads around the county.

On Thursday, Commissioner Thomas J. Gerhard said he had been fielding a number of calls regarding litter along the roads in Carbon.

He said that he spoke with Jim Dodson, chief juvenile probation officer, regarding starting up a litter crew of juvenile offenders who need community service hours.

Dodson said that the new initiative will work in one of two ways, picking up litter will either qualify for the juveniles' community service hours; or if they already met their required community service hours, then it could be through the restitution program, which is where juveniles do community service and the program pays the victims restitution owed at the hourly minimum wage rate based on how much the juvenile works.

"It helps everybody," he said. "It makes the community cleaner and gets the kids to complete their hours."

Dodson said that the new program will start up after school is over.

In addition, Gerhard said that he spoke with PennDOT regarding the litter and the agency will provide gloves, garbage bags, vests and safety glasses for the litter crews and will pick up the trash and tires collected along the roadways.

"It's going to be a win-win," Gerhard said.

Dodson said the final details are still being worked out, including how many juveniles will be involved.

Carbon County used to have the Litter Brigade years ago, which was a juvenile litter crew that was paid $14 per mile cleaned, but state funding cuts ended the program.

In related matters, the county recently had a handful of inmates working at Mauch Chunk Lake Park through the community service program.

The inmates were cleaning up trees that were cut down.

Gerhard also announced that the Carbon County Animal Shelter received a $1,000 check from Trinity Lutheran Church in Lehighton from its special gift fund in memory of a parishioner.

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