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2015 News

A Golden Celebration: Commissioners’ Mtg. at Bucks County Community College Bristol Campus Honors Education

April 15, 2015

An April 15 Commissioners’ business agenda dominated by change orders related to the recent construction of the Bucks County Justice Center also had an anniversary flavor. Inside the ornate two-story lobby of the Bucks County Community College Bristol campus, Commissioner Robert G. Loughery, chairman, Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW proclaimed the College’s 50th anniversary and presented the framed document to BCCC President Dr. Stephanie Shanblatt.

BCCC President Dr. Stephanie Shanblatt thanked the commissioners for “being our sponsor for the last 50 years.”Dr. Shanblatt thanked the commissioners for “being our sponsor for the last 50 years.” She also expressed appreciation for Bucks County’s two Aaa bond ratings, which generate cost savings for College capital projects. The proclamation, which was read by Commissioner Martin, traced BCCC’s growth from Tyler Hall on the Newtown campus to its current county-wide education network that includes the Bristol campus, the Upper Bucks campus in Perkasie, online courses, the Lower Bucks Public Safety Training Center and other opportunities. “You have been invaluable in the College’s growth,” Dr. Shanblatt told the commissioners.

A lengthy slate of contract resolutions commenced with the addition of the 178th farm to the Bucks County Agricultural Land Preservation Program. The commissioners agreed to pay $62,850 plus settlement charges and adjustments for a 62.85-acre conservation easement on the Christopher L. Weaver farm located at 239 Upper Tinicum Church Rd. in Tinicum Township. The property has 45 acres of hay in production, and it is located within close proximity to 250 previously preserved farm acres. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will fund 90 percent of the easement. The Weaver farm lifts the total acreage in the County Agricultural Land Preservation Program to 14,764 since its 1989 inception.

In the Behavioral Health realm, the commissioners unanimously agreed to a one-year, $60,000 contract renewal with Langhorne’s The Peace Center to provide resource and call center guidance for bullying prevention through June 30, 2016.

Proclamation for 50th Anniversary of the Bucks County Children and Youth AgencyWork continued on the Emergency Communications Narrowbanding conversion with the approval of a $415,336.34 (plus utilities) lease agreement with Crown Atlantic Company, LLC of Canonsburg, PA for a tower site in Bridgeton Township to deploy and install emergency radio equipment. That agreement runs 10 years though May, 2025.

The County’s enterprise resource program agreement with Infor Inc. of New York earned a five-year, $1.419 million extension (through May, 2020) to provide maintenance and support. That system is used for County procurement, human resources, budgeting and other key business functions.

The General Services portion of the agenda featured 38 contract resolutions, a majority of them Justice Center construction change orders. Fifteen of those involved General Contractor Ernest Bock & Sons, Inc. of Philadelphia. Several of those items will be submitted on the architect’s errors and omissions list. The change orders ranged from $1,705 to add a stone base at one of the elevator foundations to $35,619 to complete the lower parking lot. The commissioners also approved 13 change orders for Justice Center electrical contractor The Farfield Company of Lititz, PA. They included $16,962 to complete the lower parking lot, 17,621 for additional network cabling and $42,324 for additional work needed to accommodate cameras and access controls in the Justice Center. The board subsequently approved a $71,493 contract increase with elevator contractor Schindler Elevator Corp., Inc. for the installation of sheet metal at the elevator shaft interiors.

Commissioners present a proclamation for National Crime Victims' Week to NOVA.The commissioners discussed the purchase of several vehicles for County departments, leading Commissioner Marseglia to cast a nay vote on the $25,098 purchase of a 2015 Ford Taurus AWD Sedan for Juvenile Probation. The commissioners approved other vehicles that will be added to the County fleet, replacing other vehicles that have been in use for up to 50 years.

Residents of Upper Bucks County received good news that County Bridge No. 240, on Schwenkmill Rd. in East Rockhill Township, will re-open to traffic this week. That $769,799 contract was completed by Professional Construction Contractors, Inc. of Bethlehem, PA. The bridge was originally constructed in 1883 and reconstructed in 1937 and is an 82 foot long by 15 foot, 9 inch wide single span steel pratt pony truss structure. The scope of the bridge rehabilitation consisted of replacement of the bridges steel stringer beams, replacement of wooden deck with an open grid steel grate, rehabilitation and painting of steel trusses, and installation of structure mounted railing across the bridge span. 

Also in the bridge rehabilitation realm, the board unanimously approved a $261,459.93 contract with Traffic Planning and Design, Inc. of Pottstown, PA for engineering design and construction consultation services for Bucks County Bridge No. 220 on Mill Creek Rd. in Falls Township.

In addition to the National Child Abuse Prevention Month proclamation, Chairman Loughery proclaimed 2015 the 50th Anniversary of the Bucks County Children & Youth Social Services Agency. The Agency will celebrate that milestone with employees, former employees, supporters and board members during a gala at Spring Mill Manor from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 30. Agency Director Lynne Rainey accepted the proclamation along with Board Member Joann Connelly (who recently poured through 50 years of BCCYSSA meeting minutes).

The Board of the Bucks County Community College accepts the proclamation for the college's 50th Anniversary.Commissioner Marseglia read a proclamation in support of National Crime Victims Week (April 19-25), noting that it “is an opportune time to commit to ensuring that all victims of crime-even those who are challenging to reach or serve-are offered culturally and linguistically accessible and appropriate services in the aftermath of crime.” Victims and families will gather with community leaders at Newtown Friends Meetinghouse on Thursday, April 23 at 6:30 p.m. for a candlelight service to honor all victims of violent crimes.

Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler reminded residents of two upcoming dates, the Monday, April 20 deadline to register to vote in the May 19 Municipal Primary election and Saturday, April 25 will be the County’s next Medication Disposal Event (10 a.m.-2 p.m. at dozens of locations). The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, at the Bensalem Senior Center, 1850 Byberry Rd., Bensalem, 19020. For a complete audio account of the April 15, 2015 business meeting, please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org, and click on the “Audio from Last Mtg” link on the home page.