Reconsider building purchase
At the recent meeting of the Carbon County Commissioners, a decision was made to purchase the old school building on Center Street in Jim Thorpe for office space for Carbon County.
I have several issues with this decision.
First is the $9 million cost of purchase and renovation since the building is neither ADA compliant nor mold free. The parking lot and retaining wall need a massive overhaul in order to accommodate an appropriate number of parking spaces. And the $9 million cost does not include the purchase of new furnishings.
The burden of these expenses will most likely mean another increase for the taxpayers of Carbon County.
And then there is the problem with the oversized caseloads of the staff at the Office of Children and Youth. Carbon County needs to hire more caseworkers or risk losing state funding. With the safety of our young people in danger, is it not prudent to invest more funds in Children and Youth rather than a dilapidated money pit?
A more fiscally sound proposal is Commissioner Rocky Ahner’s suggestion to buy a building in Lehighton presently belonging to St. Luke’s which already is configured with offices and adequate parking. The purchase price for this building is $500,000.
Buying this building is a win-win for the taxpayers and the young people of Carbon.