Carbon scales down Thorpe project; no rock removal at church
Carbon County officials are changing direction with a proposed office building that has been at the center of controversy in recent months.
On Thursday, the county commissioners announced they are downsizing the plans for the proposed Susquehanna Street office building and parking garage. No rock removal will be conducted at the base of St. Mark’s, which has been one of the sources of concern by the church and residents.
Two weeks ago, the board canceled the contracts for the $12.6 million project.
Commissioners’ Chairman Wayne Nothstein said that they met with the architect and engineers about the changes on Wednesday and have “decided to revamp and re-evaluate the project.”
“We had canceled the contracts, and in the aftermath of that, we were looking at the court case (that St. Mark’s filed against Jim Thorpe over its approval for the project), and as we speak, there still hasn’t been a judge assigned by that Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts to handle the case,” Commissioner William O’Gurek added. “So realizing that that may take a real long time, the three of us said, ‘let’s take a look a this situation, and it’s not too late to try and get it right.”
Nothstein said that the plans that have yet to be determined will include using the existing archives/maintenance building, possibly removing the second floor of that building, and incorporating into a smaller two- to three-story office building for the court offices on the existing footprint of the parking lot. The plans for a two-story parking garage would be removed, ending the need to take the borough’s parking spaces along Susquehanna Street.
The commissioners also voted to take the approximately $10 million that it received through a new bond for the proposed building project and invest it for a year until the project is ready to move forward.
For the complete story on the action, see Friday’s Times News.