The Wyoming County Courthouse may soon be hooked up to the marcellus gas long beneath its surface.
Commissioner Tom Henry acknowledged there would be a meeting Thursday afternoon with UGI representatives to explore how the building’s utility needs are presently being served and how and when a connection could be made to the gas.
Linde Corp. had laid piping apparatus from Harrison Street to the courthouse location earlier this year as part of its Phase 2, and last week was digging a trench and laying pipe on Warren Street south to its intersection with Tioga Street.
On Tuesday, commissioners had a slim agenda approving a Fair Housing Resolution, which solicitor Paul Litwin said he thought was required every year to meet eligibility for housing authority funding.
County Clerk Bill Gaylord also addressed a new lighting spotlight that was being used to bring attention outside the courthouse proper to various causes including green for the veterans, pink for breast cancer awareness and purple for domestic violence.
Commissioner Judy Mead said she liked the new option which is a far cry better than some of the manual efforts tried in the past.
In the public comment period, Henry congratulated Rick Wilbur and Ernie King who were in the audience about their election last Tuesday as commissioners to take office in January. Both acknowledged their thanks.
The commissioners heard from Brent Ransom, who raised a question about talk he’d heard about a possible new jail in the county.
“That’s not happening,” Henry said, noting he probably had a role in its being discussed in this election cycle.
He noted that at no cost to the county, he and the other two commissioners started to explore options with the previous contractor.
“The next step in the process would have cost money,” Henry said, “so we stopped. Do we have an interest in making the jail better? Yes.”
Ransom asked if there was any truth that the county was taking any other county’s prisoners, to which Mead said, “absolutely not.”
Ransom also asked about whether there were too many people in jail who might better be monitored with ankle bracelets.
“We think so,” Henry said, “but that’s a matter for the judge.”
Rachael Kiwak, director of the Wyoming County Active Adult Center in Eaton Township, also shared some information with the commissioners about things going on at the center that they might be interested in.
She said there was a homebound project in which socks were being collected for the homeless as well as an annual toy drive asking for unwrapped toys which might be given to Children and Youth Services during the holidays
Kiwak also share some examples of crocheted items that members of the center were also involved in as small gifts that might be given out during Tunkhannock’s ‘Christmas in Our Hometown.’ She also noted they would be doing giftwrapping Dec. 10-12, “mostly to help seniors.”
Henry thanked her for reaching out, and said the commissioners would be happy to help disseminate information about the center, and noted he had been at the center when a program on identity theft had been given by someone in the attorney general’s office. He had found that quite informative.
Henry also spoke about a meeting on Oct. 30 about Community Development Block Grants with priorities expressed for Nicholson, Factoryville and Northmoreland. He also noted some extra funds that might be available for other projects.
Litwin said a final determination would likely be made on Nov. 14 or Nov. 20.
Henry said he and other commissioners attended the 70th anniversary annual meeting of the Wyoming County Conservation District, in which Bob Robinson was recognized and the speaker for the night addressed a program about pollination.
Upcoming, Henry also noted a Hope Coalition meeting on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at the Dietrich as well as a Trehab ribbon cutting for its new facility on Warren Street at 11:30, also on Thursday.
The commissioners went into executive session to discuss a collective bargaining agreement as well as whether the county wished to consider its involvement with litigation over an opioid class action suit against some pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Solicitor Litwin said no action was taken following the executive session.