Agency given notice to end contract

Wyoming County Commissioners agreed on Thursday to provide the agency, Catholic Social Services, with a contract termination notice.

“We felt it needed to be done,” Commissioner Tony Litwin said.

He added that A Better Today of Scranton has expressed interest in providing service in the county.

An agreement with A Better Today, however, has not been signed, Litwin said.

Catholic Social Services’ contract costs about $8,000 for the county and it would have ended at the end of June for the fiscal year 2007-08, Luzerne/Wyoming counties drug and alcohol program administrator Mike Donahue said.

He noted that services to local residents will not be disrupted.

“There is a willingness on the part of A Better Today to provide the services and there is a willingness on their part to also be involved in the transition,” Donahue said.

A Better Today was founded in 1988 and has offices in Scranton, Hazleton and Stroudsburg.

The agency provides outpatient services.

Donahue said that Wyoming County officials felt that a new provider, “May bring an opportunity for improved service.”

Litwin said that one of the issues with Catholic Social Services is that the agency has been providing inadequate service to inmates at the county jail.

The counties’ drug/alcohol program is also currently soliciting proposals for drug and alcohol treatment for the fiscal year 2008-09.

Donahue said that Catholic Social Services can submit a proposal. He added that no proposals have been received.

Tom Cherry, executive director of Catholic Social Services, would not comment on Monday.

Although an agreement has not been signed, A Better Today has already begun to take steps to be in Wyoming County.

On Feb. 7, Tunkhannock Borough Council agreed to negotiate with the agency, which wants to rent space in the borough building.

Borough Manager Dawn Welch said that negotiations continue.

A Better Today executive director Eric Pozner said that the agency is looking forward to having an office in the borough’s municipal building.

“Right now, our intention is to provide service in Wyoming County,” Pozner said. “We’re hoping all this is going to happen.”