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Carbon OKs sheriff’s union pact

Published March 15. 2019 12:15PM

Carbon County has finalized an agreement with its union in the sheriff’s department.

On Thursday, the county commissioners approved the collective bargaining agreement with the Carbon County Sheriffs Association for Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2021.

“We’re glad we could come to an agreement,” Commissioners’ Chairman Wayne Nothstein said.

He outlined some of the points in the new contract with the union, which covers 12 county employees.

They will receive a 3 percent increase in wages each year under the new contract. On-call wages will increase from $35 to $50 for primary and from $30 to $50 for backup.

“That basically falls in line with the other unions,” Nothstein said.

In addition, the contributions for health insurance will increase $5 for all categories. For example, an individual’s contribution will increase from $38.50 to $43.50 per pay.

Prescription copays will also increase slightly.

In other matters, the county approved two actions regarding the upcoming Susquehanna Street project.

The first action was to approve the land development improvement, maintenance and stormwater facilities and easement agreements with Jim Thorpe.

Commissioner William O’Gurek said that this action was just meeting some of the conditions that Jim Thorpe had when it gave the county conditional approval.

He added that one of the agreements also covers the elimination of the parking spaces on Susquehanna Street and the reimbursement to the borough for them, which is still in negotiations.

The second action was approving a proposal from Diefenderfer Electrical Contractors of Allentown for the relocation of existing fiber-optic and copper cables at the Susquehanna Street building in the amount of $8,925.

Several borough residents were in attendance at the meeting, some again speaking out against the project, which calls for constructing a two-story parking garage with a third-floor office space for court-related offices on the current parking lot next to 76 Susquehanna St. One of the reasons residents oppose the $12.6 million project is due to the need to remove 40 feet of rock from the mountainside, which is the foundation for St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. Concerns include damaging the historic church or items inside the structure.

The commissioners also approved a banner request by St. Mark’s and St. John’s for a Good Vibration Dance on March 23 at the Mauch Chunk Ballroom.

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