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2015 News

Commissioners: State of the County is “Very Good” - Annual Presentation Made to Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce

March 30, 2015

Making their annual spring trek to McCoole’s (Red Lion Inn) in Quakertown Borough, the Board of Bucks County Commissioners updated members of the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce on a variety of County government topics on Friday, March 27. The audience for the breakfast included diverse members of the business community as well as former Pennsylvania State Rep. Paul Clymer.

Commissioners join members of the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce to offer the first of three State of the County presentations.Following opening remarks, Commissioner Chairman Robert G. Loughery addressed a variety of topics about County administration. He focused on budgeting and finance, noting that the County boasts Triple-A bond ratings from both Moody’s Investor Services and Standard & Poor’s for the first time ever. “We have been working collaboratively, and our success is due to the partnerships we have,” the chairman stated. He also noted that the County has held the line on taxes for eight of the last nine budget years and generated recent budget surpluses “in spite of (economic) challenges.” He also pinpointed the 2015 operating budget as a particular success, as it is 1 ½ percent smaller than the 2014 budget.

Chairman Loughery also spoke of the new Bucks County Justice Center and the multi-phase retrofit of the Administration Building, which will be completed over the next several years. The end product, he added, will be “adjacencies and efficiencies” for the residents and employees of Bucks County. He concluded by touting the re-use of Quakertown’s Best Made Center – which will host the 10 a.m. Commissioners’ Meeting on Wednesday, April 1.

Commissioner Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW began her presentation by addressing the added casework that new state regulations have created for the Bucks County Children & Youth Social Services Agency (C&Y). “They have had 300 additional cases in an already busy office, and it’s gotten very big and complicated,” Commissioner Marseglia stated. She also updated attendees on efforts to effect drug prevention – in particular heroin addiction – through the District Attorney office, law enforcement and community awareness. The DA office maintains an anonymous tip line (Call 215-345-3784 or text BUCKSDRUGTIPS to 847411), and the Bucks County Technical recently produced the public service announcement, “Heroin Kills.” It is available on YouTube. In addition, local law enforcement has begun using the opioid rescue inhaler Narcan this year. Commissioner Marseglia concluded by noting that SEPTA has installed signs for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline on all of its Bucks County train platforms.

Commissioner Martin concluded with an update on the Bucks County Agricultural Land Preservation Program, which currently includes 177 farms totaling almost 15,000 acres. He also drew applause for information about the Upper Bucks Rail Trail, which will be a 3.6-mile crushed stone path from the County line to the north through Richland Township. Drawing a laugh, he predicted that, upon its completion, Commissioner Marseglia will bike the path, Chairman Loughery will run it, and the 20-year Commissioner Martin will “walk” its length.