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Carbon County rejects women’s shelter bids

It’s back to the drawing board for a women’s shelter project in Carbon County.

Last week, during a special meeting of the board of commissioners, the board voted to reject the two bids that were opened on Nov. 9 for general and electrical contracts; as well as reject the plumbing bid it had received in August due to hitting the 90-day deadline on holding the contract.

Commissioner Rocky Ahner said that he has concerns because this has been bid out several times without success. The first time it was bid out, only a plumbing bid was received. No bids were received the second time around.

On the third and fourth tries, two bids were received for general and electrical work, but the bids came in higher than the grant the county has for the Peaceful Knights project.

“I don’t know if there is something we can do to help this out,” Ahner said, questioning if there is something the contractors are seeing that is not in the scope of work that needs to be addressed moving forward. “I think we need to do a little more research on this and try to make it doable. We can’t keep pushing it off because there is a need for this.”

The commissioners agreed and said that the project will now go back to the county engineer to again review the scope of work.

Carbon County has $163,000 in Community Development Block Grant COVID funds that is being used toward the project. The money was initially awarded to Family Promise of Carbon County, but delays in their plans caused the county to shift the funds to Peaceful Knights.

The deadline for the project, which was originally Sept. 29, was pushed back by the state until next year to allow for time for the work to be completed.

The location of the new women’s shelter will be at 131-133 N. First St., Lehighton, a building Peaceful Knights purchased several years ago with the hopes of helping more people.