May 16, 2012
Commissioners Visit Archbishop Wood Catholic High School for Bi-Monthly Business Meeting
“PIAA Girls’ Basketball and Football Champions Honored”
The banners ringing the campus of Archbishop Wood Catholic High School in Warminster Township support the secondary school’s mission to “Strive for Excellence.” Last December, the Vikings captured an elusive PIAA football championship in dominant fashion. During March, the Lady Vikings earned their third consecutive PIAA girls’ basketball crown. On Wednesday, May 16, inside the school’s spacious auditorium, Bucks County Commissioners Robert G. Loughery, chairman, Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia proclaimed the occasion “Archbishop Wood Pennsylvania State Champions Day” throughout the County of Bucks.
“We are very excited that the Commissioners wanted to bring local government to Archbishop Wood,” Principal Mary Harkins told the assemblage. “Our school has brought great honor to Bucks County,” she added, noting the aforementioned state titles, an award-winning band and multiple National Merit scholars. Principal Harkins described the school’s dynamic student body as “education in action.”
The business agenda featured the approval of 22 contract resolutions involving 12 county departments. Among those was an untabled item with Green Lane Properties, LLC of Levittown to approve the establishment of a Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone in Bristol Township, as well as the approval of a PILOT agreement by and between the Bristol Township School District, the Township of Bristol, the County of Bucks and Green Lane Properties, LLC. The approval, which sparked lengthy discussion during the May 2 and 16 Commissioners’ Meetings, came ahead of a June 1 deadline in a competitive process. The Commissioners asked that some language be added to the 10-year agreement to give future boards a say in the matter.
The Commissioners also approved the request of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 175 (Doylestown) to erect a memorial on the grounds of the Bucks County Courthouse. The memorial, which will become part of the Memorial Courtyard, will honor those who died in the War on Terror.
For Community & Business Development, the board unanimously approved an $85,000 loan from the Coastal Zone Revolving Loan Fund for expansion of the Bristol Riverside Theater, Inc., in Bristol Borough. Some of that five-year loan will be used for a scene shop that will create job and allow the theater to extend its performance list.
The county’s Open Space rolls added 52 acres in Buckingham Township following the unanimous approval of a $401,730 grant for the Comly Farm. The property, which has been operated by the Comly family since the 1950’s, has considerable road frontage within the township. Buckingham Township Supervisor Maggie Rash thanked the Commissioners and encouraged them to “keep up the good work to keep Bucks County green.”
Although all 22 contracts passed, Commissioner Marseglia voted against two of them – a $10,842 audit premium for Excess Workers Compensation Insurance and a $28,063 contract amendment with the Farfield Company to pay costs associated with relocating the existing Verizon Duct Bank for the new Justice Center.
The meeting began with Commissioner Martin proclaiming May 2012 as ALS Awareness Month in Bucks County. Accepting on behalf of the ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter was Tony Heyl. Commissioner Marseglia read a commendation to C.B. East High senior Stina Stannik, who is the 2012 Bucks County High School Poet of the Year. Ms. Stannik was chosen over 200 entrants from 16 local high schools. She thanked the Commissioners and recited one of her works entitled “Stage Fright.”
During his chief operating officer’s report, Brian Hessenthaler provided an update on state budget negotiations, noting that revenue projections are running ahead of schedule. The county is closely monitoring budget discussions in the state House and Senate. Commissioner Loughery told attendees that the Board of Commissioners plans to write a letter to local legislators asking for the “full restoration of cuts” to Human Services programs.
Chairman Loughery also laid out the composition of an 11-member Voter ID Education Steering Committee, which was approved by a 3-0 margin. It will include one representative of the Bucks County Democratic and Republican Committees, the county Area Agency on Aging, the county Board of Elections, the League of Women Voters, a Democratic state representative, a Republican state senator, the county Public Information office, the county Mental Health/Developmental Programs office, the Human Relations Council and Dr. Richard Coe of Kids Voting. Commissioner Loughery asked that the Steering Committee conduct a series of meetings over the next 45 days to deliver recommendations to the Commissioners at their July 11 meeting. “There will be room for public input,” Chairman Loughery added, noting that the meetings will be open.
The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, at the Bucks County Community College, Upper Bucks Campus, One Hillendale Rd., Perkasie, PA 18944. For a complete audio account of the May 16 meeting, please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org, and click on the “Audio from Last Mtg” link on the home page.