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LOCK HAVEN – The Clinton County Commissioners cleared a firm’s review of operations at the Clinton County Correctional Facility for $ 43,770.

The board of directors unanimously approved a proposal from the national company CGL Companies to review the operation of the facility.

Commissioner Angela Harding noted during the board’s voting session on Thursday that the cost will be paid for by the American Rescue Plan Act, which the county received.

The review falls under ARPA’s requirements as the facility’s staffing issues stem from the COVID-19 pandemic, Harding said.

Commissioner Jeff Snyder briefly addressed the facility’s staffing issues and corrected a statement he made during the board’s working session on Monday.

“I stated the number of COs (proofreaders) in the facility was 21 when I should have said it was down by 21.” said Snyder. “I want to make it clear that the population has decreased by 21 correctional officers.”

CCCF overseer Angela Hoover said the facility had 32 full-time and 3 part-time officers as of Thursday. That number can change on a daily basis, she noted.

“The staff is increasing and everyone is on deck. We also made some operational changes to help. “ She said.

Snyder said the study was necessary to understand what actions might need to be taken to address problems with finding and holding COs.

“Clinton County is not an isolated incident” he added. “Many counties are struggling to retain and recruit law enforcement officers.”

Snyder said CGL will go through the facility and make recommendations to improve officer recruitment and retention.

“This company comes in, looks at your facility … everything that’s going on in your facility and makes recommendations on how things can be improved or suggestions for areas for improvement that will help us.” said Snyder. “And we believe we have reached a point where we need outside help.”

CEO Miles Kessinger agreed with Snyder’s statements.

“Every other correctional facility in our region and in the whole country has problems employing and keeping prison officers”, he said. “It’s not a career for everyone. It’s very exhausting, it’s very stressful. “

Kessinger noted that other entities he spoke to tried sign-up bonuses and other means to empower their employees that weren’t working.

“We are taking this step in the hope that an external agency that does not look at the same thing every day … he said.

In other business the commissioners are:

– Proposed October 2021 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

– Issued a proclamation to mark the 100th anniversary of the Clinton County Historical Society.

– Adopted Clinton County’s District-Wide Clean Water Action Plan to Reduce Pollution and Improve the Quality of the County’s Waterways as part of a larger effort to reduce pollution entering Chesapeake Bay. Clinton County’s Conservation District manager Wade Jodun told commissioners that the plan would keep local control of the waterways. “This plan has three priorities – municipal, conservation and agriculture. What we have presented remains in control on site, in the hands of the district and the local communities. “ he said. “Nothing that is stipulated should increase our tax base.”

– Approved Clinton County’s EMS System Response Plan.

Approved the purchase of seven acres of road easement in Renovo and Chapman Township from Harbison Walker International, Inc. for $ 10,000. Snyder said the purchase is intended to help bridge the missing link between the Bloody Skillet and Whiskey Spring Trails in western Clinton County. With that in mind, the commissioners approved a donated road easement from Thomas F. Charles, Dennis L. Charles, and Darla K. Zimmerman for one morning. “This is an essential part of growing tourism in Clinton County, particularly Western Clinton County, and gives people the opportunity to come into our community, enjoy the trails, and get from point A to point B without stopping.” “ Harding notices.

– Authorized transportation of microfilm recordings for Iron Mountain Storage’s prothonotary and registry and recorder offices to the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg.

Approved three items related to Clinton County’s Child and Youth Welfare Services including: Purchase of Liability and Abuse and Harassment Insurance from John L. Kirby and Associates effective September 12, 2021 through September 12, 2022 for $ 3,329; an agreement with the Dunnstown Fire Company for free use of the fire hall for up to 10 CSY ROMP program events; and a purchase agreement with Neuropsychological Services at Clear Vision, LLC to provide evaluation services for CYS at a cost of $ 180 per hour.

The commissioners will hold their next meeting on Thursday, October 4th at 10 a.m. in the Piper building.

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