During their work session Monday morning, the Warren County Commissioners grappled with the issue of the Probation Department's recent flooding.
Commissioner John Eggleston noted that the adult and juvenile probation departments were located in the oldest portion of the courthouse in the basement under the front of the building, and that area has always been subjected to moisture.
He indicated the probation offices would be moved, but not without careful thought as to locations and cost.
Commissioner John Bortz said, "This is not a ready-aim-fire situation. We are going to take our time and come up with the best solution, at the best price."
Eggleston said one possibility is to move the county archives from the county warehouse into a drier part of the basement. Courtroom B would also remain in the basement, as it is only used one day a week for central court.
He also said the commissioners were going to put some additional funds into the capital budget for some much needed, though delayed, repairs to the Warren County Jail.
Work will be done on the kitchen, doors and locks on the cells and the elevator. He added that the jail needs a million dollars worth of upgrades. The jail was built in 1975 to replace the former jail that had served the county since 1874.
Eggleston said the facility was fully compliant with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, but isn't efficient by today's standards.
He also said that a bill currently in the state legislature would double compensation to election officials.
"We spend about $110,000 a year on two elections," he said. "It's just so frustrating. We're responsible for local tax dollars. This is our purview, our business, not the state's."
John Mortenson of Mortenson's Recycling in Chandler's Valley suggested a central recycling building near the Warren Commons to replace some of the drop-off sites in the county.
He said that those sites all have a cost, and are not self-sustaining. If a facility were to be built, it could be staffed by township personnel on a rotating basis or by volunteers.
"There are simple ways to make it less expensive," he said, adding that some outlying areas would probably want to keep existing programs.
He also noted that not all items are recycled county-wide, like corrugated cardboard and plastics. "We (Mortenson's Recycling) do take all electronics," he said.
Eggleston noted that the commissioners are working on establishing a new solid waste plan for the county, and that they would welcome input and suggestions from Mortenson.
In other business, Bortz introduced Paul Pascuzzi, who began work as the new county fiscal director on Monday, and Lisa Thompson, the new fiscal assistant who started Monday, March 3. They are replacing Toby Rohlin and Carol Nicholson, respectively, who are retiring.
During the salary board portion of the workshop, part-time Corrections Officer Michael Rogers was advanced to a full-time position. In the Human Services department, Chelsea Deppas and Mia Garfield-Eggleston were advanced from caseworker 1 to caseworker 2 positions. Eggleston noted that Garfield-Eggleston is not related to him.
Bortz made a motion to approve Kylei Davison's caseworker advancement, contingent upon an evaluation, retroactive to Monday, March 10.