BELLEFONTE - More than three weeks after Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of sexually abusing 10 boys, in one of the most watched and scrutinized trials in the nation in recent years, Centre County officials are still tallying the costs.
"We're still looking at overtime costs and receiving no guidelines, yet, what the Attorney General's Office is going to reimburse us," said Commissioner Chairman Steve Dershem at Tuesday's commissioners' meeting. "It (reimbursement) won't be insignificant, but it's not going to be a huge number."
Sandusky's trial occurred simultaneously with a trial of three men accused with a burglary spree in the county.
"I want to make sure that we're thankful and grateful for the job they did with securing the facility during the Sandusky and the robbery trials. Thank you," Dershem said.
Bellefonte Borough officials reported earlier the borough spent just over $36,000 in overtime costs providing security for the trials, but Commissioner Chris Exarchos said Tuesday the cost to the county will be much more difficult to determine because over a dozen departments were involved.
"We did what we needed to do," Dershem said. "Did it cost money? Yes, it did. We wanted to make sure the court had everything it needed, with security and accommodations. I'm very proud we had the staff in place and professionals in place to weather the storm. There was a lot of scrutiny... not only locally and throughout the nation, but worldwide. I am pretty pleased with the outcome.
"It was a learning experience not only for Centre County, but for courts throughout the country."
Dershem also applauded Judge John Cleland for moving the trial along "efficiently," so county resources were not wasted.
Dershem noted while the county is still awaiting word from the state on how much it will be reimbursed from the state, the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts did provide a video link from the courtroom to the Courthouse Annex for those who could not fit in the main courtroom.
Local Foods Week
The commissioners Tuesday also proclaimed Aug. 3 to 11 as Local Foods Week in the County, recognizing the many upcoming events spotlighting locally-grown food in the county.
This year, the week will include the first Pennsylvania Organic Farm Fest, featuring free music, workshops and kids activities Aug. 4 in the Grange Fair Grounds in Centre Hall.
Throughout the week, area farmers markets will host special events like chef demonstrations and live music, and area restaurants will highlight local items on the menu. The State Theatre will also host a screening of "Fresh!' on Aug. 9, presented by the Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), which is based in Millheim and boasts over 6,000 members.
The week culminates on Aug. 11 with the Seventh Annual Farm Tour from 12:30 to 5 p.m., for tours, tastings and more from 21 farms.
"The rapid growth of the local foods movement is undeniable, continuing unabated in most places right through the recent recession," said PASA Executive Director Brian Snyder. "Centre County has played a significant role in building that movement from the ground up, both in Pennsylvania and across the country. This is our chance to celebrate not only the bounty of local farms, but also this legacy of national leadership, of which we can be very proud."
More information can be found at www.pasafarming.org/ccft12.