Home   |   About Bucks   |   Site Map     Twitter Facebook

2015 News

Commissioners Visit Refurbished Bucks County Playhouse for Meeting That Features $38 Million Bond Refinancing

June 4, 2015

Perched on stage atop a restored 1938 theater turntable, Bucks County Commissioners Robert G. Loughery, chairman, Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW conducted a brisk, 35-minute business meeting at the Bucks County Playhouse Wednesday, June 3. The theater, which has been returned to prominence during recent years and currently features Justin Guarini in the production “Company,” is a unique part of Bucks County’s cultural landscape. According to Playhouse Producing Director Alex Fraser, one of this week’s shows was the highest grossing in facility annals.

The Commissioners, with the COO, Chief Clerk and Solicitor on the dias, atop the stage of the Bucks County Playhouse.The business portion of the agenda was brief, with 13 contract resolutions involving eight County departments up for consideration. Ultimately, all of them passed, but Commissioner Martin cast a “no” vote on a $178,180 General Services item for engineering, design and construction consultation services for Bucks County Bridge No. 15 on Frosty Hollow Rd. over Mill Creek in Middletown Township and Bridge No. 280 on Brownsburg Rd. over Jericho Creek in Upper Makefield Township.

Officials from Jamison-based Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Bucks County were on hand to thank the board for approving a one-year, $462,704 contract renewal to provide counseling and options case management services.

The County will net $461,761.34 from T-Mobile Northeast LLC over the next 15 years following the approval of a contract increase and extension for lease of space on a cell tower in Lower Southampton Township. Another sizeable revenue item that met approval was a one-year, $483,205 federal grant for the Pennsylvania Health Department’s Public Health Preparedness Program, which is administered by the Bucks County Department of Health.

Kathy Salisbury, director of horticultural education at the Penn State Cooperative Extension, Bucks County, gives the Commissioners strawberries while discussing the Fresh From Bucks County Farms booklet.For Emergency Communications, the board approved an 18-month, $509,434.90 contract with Carousel Industries of North America for maintenance support services.

In the Planning Commission realm, the commissioners agreed to provide $166,106 annual funding for the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s annual program of transportation and regional planning. They also approved a $10,000 revenue contract with New Britain Borough to complete the Butler Avenue Study.

Without question, the highlight of the meeting was the unanimous approval of County Ordinance No. 147, authorizing and directing the incurrence of nonelectoral and electoral debt of the County of Bucks, by the issuance of its General Obligation Bonds, Series of 2015, in the approximate aggregate principal amount not to exceed $42,850,000.00. According to County financial advisor Gordon Walker, the County’s recent “Triple-A” bond rating confirmations by Moody’s Investors Services and Standard & Poor’s last week stand to save the County between $2.1 and $2.3 million on this seven-year issuance. “That is very significant,” Mr. Walker told the commissioners. “The savings will be quite healthy.” Chairman Loughery thanked the team that put the bond package together, adding, “That’s fantastic.” He also expressed gratitude to Director of Finance and Administration David Boscola and Deputy Director Russell Rice.

Nancy Larkin Taylor from Bucks4Kids talks about the scholarship program with one of the receipients, Krishna PatelThe meeting opened with recognition of June, 2015 as Bucks4Kids “Graduate Month.” Each year, B4K provides scholarships to foster children in the Bucks County Children & Youth Social Services care. This year, 19 students will receive assistance, according to Nancy Larkin Taylor.

Kathy Salisbury from the Penn State Cooperative Extension presented the commissioners with the annual “Fresh from Bucks County Farms” booklet that highlights county produce and other farm products. “From apples to zucchini,” Ms. Salisbury said of Bucks County’s “rich and varied” agriculture. She also mentioned the “agri-tainment” options available at county farms, including features such as corn mazes and hayrides. The book is available through the Extension and at the Commissioners’ Office of Public Information.

Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler reminded residents that there will be a brief dedication ceremony of the Bucks County POW-MIA chair at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 12 in the new Justice Center lobby. He also congratulated the General Services department and Joseph Jingoli and Son, Inc. for winning the Construction Management Association of America, Mid-Atlantic Chapter “2015 Public Building Projects Over $20 Million Award.” The award is given “in recognition of the Construction Management Association of America’s role in providing construction management services that promoted professionalism in the construction process and resulted in a successful project.”

Alex Fraser, Production Director of the Bucks County Playhouse, welcomes everyone at the start of the meeting.Chief Clerk Lynn Bush provided an update on the Interstate 95/Pennsylvania Turnpike Connector project, noting that next January a unique “all electronic tolling system” will be set up on the Turnpike. It will be one of the first of its kind in the northeast United States.

The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 10 a.m. (please note time) on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, at the Lower Bucks County Chamber of Commerce, 409 Hood Blvd., Fairless Hills, PA 19030. For a complete audio account of the June 3, 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.