To the editor: I commend the Coal Township commissioners for proposing an excellent solution to resolve the Northumberland County Commissioners’ lawsuit regarding the county prison building permit fee payments.

Their offer to sit down with Rick Shoch and Sam Schiccatano to negotiate a building permit fee payment that is fair to both Coal Township and Northumberland County was a big step by Coal Township. Coal Township proposed that the negotiated payment would not be paid to Coal Township government but donated by the county toward construction of a recreation facility for area residents.

Shoch and Schiccatano should accept this offer because everyone would benefit. Their adversary, Coal Township government, would not receive the permit fees, which should please Shoch and Schiccatano. Coal Township and the county would save thousands of dollars in legal fees paid with taxpayers’ dollars. Northumberland County would pay much less in building permit fees than if they ultimately lost their court case.

The best part of this proposal is that the Northumberland County commissioners would be donating their permit fee payment to the construction of a recreation facility that will benefit our children, senior citizens and handicapped residents.

Even Coal Township Commissioner Matt Schiccatano, who is county Commissioner Sam Schiccatano’s nephew, showed his support of this proposal by joining in a unanimous vote at the last Coal Township meeting.

Most area residents probably are unaware that, for many years, Northumberland County has helped to maintain a county sports field and park in Turbotville. The county commissioners should also support the establishment a recreation facility in this end of the county.

If a negotiation is to be successful, both parties must be prepared to concede a little. This is a great solution because whatever Coal Township and Northumberland County give up goes directly to a project that directly benefits our residents. Shoch and Schiccatano should enter into this negotiation in good faith, work out a fair payment amount, and help make a recreation facility in our area a reality. It is the right thing to do.

Vinny Clausi

Coal Township

(Clausi has announced his intention to run for county commissioner in 2019.)

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