Archive

SCI Greensburg: A dubious deal | TribLIVE.com
Editorials

SCI Greensburg: A dubious deal

A $7.6 million “payout” brings into serious question the pending sale of the shuttered SCI Greensburg property, if not the credibility of the state’s Corrections Department.

Turns out Carlisle businessman David Goldsmith had a decade-old contract with the state for a steam energy plant, which he built at the prison to provide electricity. This month Mr. Goldsmith submitted the presumptive winning $950,000 bid for the property.

Talk about a return on investment.

In 2013, when the state announced plans to close prisons in Hempfield and Cresson, Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said, “I don’t know that we have to buy (the thermal plant) out.” Fast-forward to October 2014. In a letter to Goldsmith, Corrections wrote that the state would end the thermal plant contract on Feb. 28 and pay him $7.6 million.

Now the Department of General Services, which ran the bidding, hasn’t decided whether to accept the bid and Corrections hasn’t “decided anything regarding the thermal plant buyout,” according to a Corrections spokeswoman.

What a fiasco. Combined with the $2.5 million spent to maintain the mothballed prison, the buyout pushes the state’s tab above $10 million.

In the long term, closing older prisons for the newly built one in Centre County made sense. But all considerations should have been clear two years ago — not after the fact amid the state’s fumbling to close this deal.


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.