Clarion commissioners taking up extensive list of projects

Clarion County’s buildings may be closed to the public, but work is continuing inside those buildings.

Clarion County commissioners on Tuesday took up a long list of projects planned for this year.

“The virus is going to be here for a while and we need to start planning on what projects we want to begin at the end of April,” commissioner Ted Tharan said. “We have an opportunity to get some of these things done while the buildings are closed,” Tharan added.

Tharan said Judge Sara Seidle-Patton wants some improvements made to the main courtroom in the courthouse.

“The judge wants new benches for the courtroom and improvements to the sound system in the main courtroom,” said Tharan. He said improving the sound system could include wireless microphones and additional speakers.

The benches squeak loudly and often drown out the court proceedings. All three of the candidates in the last judicial election made the improvements to the courtroom a priority.

A quote is being obtained for enhancing the sound system in the main courtroom.

The commissioners agreed that the work on the planning office at the courthouse should be finished.

“The second floor bathrooms for the jurors could be worked on,” said Tharan.

Tharan said the county’s maintenance crew is waiting for material to arrive before workers can finish the front of the new district attorney’s office.

One project that won’t be completed in 2020 will be the new playground at the Clarion County Park near Shippenville. “We will probably not complete that until 2021,” said Tharan.

The commissioners also addressed efforts being made by the county to help stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The county has ordered new facemasks for employees.

“We just purchased cloth masks from Brookville Glove to replace the masks we had borrowed from CYS,” said Tharan. “The prison has received their order of 200 and our order will be ready in a few days.”

Tharan said the county has also ordered Plexiglas screens for all counters in county offices. Several of the shields have already been installed.

Commissioner Wayne Brosius said there are no additional furloughs of county employees planned at this time.

The county has furloughed 21 employees. It is not known when those employees will be recalled.