June 4, 2009
100 Years of Community Excellence
Commissioners Visit Southampton Fire Company No. 1 to Celebrate a Century of Service during Bi-Monthly Meeting
Inside the spacious fire-apparatus bays of the Southampton Fire Company No. 1, the Bucks County Commissioners, Chairman Charles H. Martin, Jim Cawley and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW today joined members of the volunteer first-response community and dignitaries to recognize a significant milestone. To that end, the board proclaimed 2009 as the “Southampton Fire Company No. 1 - 100th Anniversary Celebration” throughout the County of Bucks.
On Dec. 10, 1909, a group of concerned citizens met to form the volunteer fire company which evolved in the Southampton Fire Company No. 1. Four years later, it was incorporated with 88 charter members, including president and later Chief Oscar Meyer. Today, under the direction of Chief Glenn McKenney and President Joseph Reaney, the volunteers respond to nearly 500 calls annually. The company’s Street Rd. headquarters was renovated in 2000, to include many of the latest advances in fire preparation and response equipment.
“The members of this company are professionals through and through,” praised Upper Southampton Township Supervisor Walter Stevens. “This is their day to shine.”
Chairman Martin, a former Upper Southampton Twp. supervisor and longtime township resident, savored his homecoming as an opportunity to vote “yes” on the approval of two more agricultural land preservation items – including the 73-acre Wicen farm on Mozart Dr. in Buckingham Twp. and the 36-acre Lichty farm on Ridge Rd. in West Rockhill Twp. According to county Agricultural Preservation Program Director Rich Harvey, the Lichty farm is the first preserved in West Rockhill Twp., which represents “a significant acquisition for us,” in Harvey’s words.
Since Martin joined the board in 1995, the commissioners have preserved 111 farms totaling almost 10,000 acres. Overall, since 1990 the county has protected 129 farms, totaling 11,188 acres, from future development through the conservation easement process. The Wicen farm, which consists of 50 acres dedicated to soybeans and 21 to corn, is part of an estate settlement.
In addition to the agricultural preservation items, the board approved 47 contracts for 14 county departments, also tabling a cooperation agreement for a 350-acre redevelopment project related to the Rohm & Haas property in Bristol Twp. Following a lengthy explanation of the proposed agreement from Redevelopment Authority Solicitor Joseph Pizzo, the commissioners unanimously voted to table the resolution until additional financial clarifications can be presented.
Commissioner Ellis-Marseglia cast the lone dissenting vote on a low-bid, three-year window cleaning contract for county buildings located in Doylestown Borough and Doylestown Twp. “I have absolute faith that our staff can determine when windows are washed,” Commissioner Cawley stated.
In addition to the Southampton Fire Company No. 1 anniversary proclamation, the board recognized June, 2009 as “Graduate Month” throughout the county. Prior to issuing a $3,000 other civics award to Bucks for Kids (B4K), the commissioners acknowledged B4K founder and Corporate Secretary Nancy Larkin Taylor and one of the organization’s 2009 scholarship winners, Nefetari Sloan of Central Bucks West High School. Ms. Sloan thanked the board and B4K officials, adding that she plans to continue her education while studying English Literature at Temple University. Commissioner Cawley, a Temple graduate, applauded Ms. Sloan’s good taste. “She has quite a fabulous transcript,” observed B4K Board of Directors Chair Frank Burstein.
The board also proclaimed June 7-14 as “Weights & Measures Week” in Bucks County. Upon accepting, county Consumer Protection Director Michael Bannon explained that his office performs some 10,000 inspections each year, involving gas pumps, scales and other quantifiable commodities. For a full array of Consumer Protection information, Bucks County residents may call 215-348-7442, or visit the office of Bucks County Weights and Measures at 50 N. Main St., Doylestown Borough.
During his Chief Operating Officer’s report, David Sanko addressed the $3.2 billion projected Pennsylvania budget deficit and some $30 million in earmarks that Congressman Patrick Murphy has secured for Bucks County businesses. He also reiterated the county’s commitment to maximizing federal stimulus dollars. For a full audio account of the meeting, please visit www.BucksCounty.org.
The next meeting of the Bucks County Commissioners will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 17 at the Bucks County Public Safety Training Center, 1760 S. Easton Rd., Room 106, Doylestown, PA.