By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item
SUNBURY — A commissioner said Wednesday that Northumberland County can save up to $200,000 a year by moving administrative offices out of Sunbury and into Shamokin.
Vinny Clausi and fellow commissioner Steve Bridy said they are going to research savings and determine whether other parties are interested in the two-story building near Shikellamy High School.
Commissioner Rick Shoch said Wednesday he was in the dark over the idea.
“I have been evaluating selling the administration building because it is a waste of money to the taxpayers,” said Clausi, who said he has researched the move for three years. “Maybe it’s time to send a letter to the school district to see if they are interested in buying the administration building and we can start to negotiate with commissioners.”
Clausi said the county owns the former Career Link building on Eighth Street in Shamokin.
“I believe there is enough room to move the administrative offices there,” Clausi said. “We can save more than $200,000 a year in expenses.”
The administration building is too extravagant for politicians, Clausi said.
“People live in poverty and we have our office in the Taj Mahal,” Clausi said. “As county commissioners, we should be able to operate out of the courthouse basement if need be or we could be working out of (District Attorney) Tony Rosini’s office, but I promise before I leave office I will make sure this county gets rid of all the wasteful spending that takes place.”
Nearly 80 employees would be affected by the move, Clausi said.
Bridy said it’s not a done deal, but he thinks the move could save money.
“I don’t think every commissioner should have their own private bathroom,” Bridy said. “If this is feasible, we need to save the taxpayers money.”
There are several other possible uses for the administration building, Bridy said.
“It could used by the school district or a possible pre-release center to decrease the number of inmates in prison,” Bridy said. “We have a lot of legwork in front us, but it’s an option on the table.”
Clausi and Bridy said they are looking at the move only to save money, and that savings would have to be worthwhile to move ahead.
Shoch, who said he had not heard of Clausi and Bridy’s plan, was unsure whether a move would make sense.
“I don’t know,” Shoch said. “I have no idea on whether or not there is enough facilities in (the Shamokin site) to house everyone. No one has discussed this with me and I know parking is at a premium there and that would need to be addressed.”
Shoch said he is not against the possibility.
“I would certainly be willing to look at all ideas if it was to save the county money,” he said. “But right now I couldn’t tell you if it was a good idea or a feasible one because this is the first I heard of it, but quite a few of the county facilities are in Sunbury and there is a lot of other factors and I hope this isn’t something that isn’t thought through.”