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2015 News

Commissioners Visit Historic Sellersville Theater for July 1 Business, Approve $27.69 Million Human Services Grant Submission

July 2, 2015

Situated in the heart of one of Bucks County’s scenic communities, the 320-seat Sellersville Theater is a gem on the county’s considerable cultural crown. On the morning of July 1, Commissioners Robert G. Loughery, chairman, Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW considered a slate of 28 contract resolutions involving 13 County departments beneath the dimmed lights of the 1894-era facility.

According to Sellersville Theater Technical Director Daniel Faga, the theater and its neighboring Washington House used to be a carriage stop on the route between Philadelphia and Bethlehem. The theater, once a 1950’s movie destination, was restored to its current glory during the early 2000’s. The Washington House is currently undergoing a restoration that will include 11 boutique rooms and suites.

Mary Smithson, Clerk of Courts accepting a proclamation for the 69th Annual Convention of the The commissioners, meeting at an elongated table just in front of the main stage, used the spotlight to approve (unanimously) 27 of the 28 proposed business items. One highlight of the agenda was the annual passage of the County’s Human Services Block Grant submission through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Human Services. The request for the July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016 cycle is $27.688 million. According to County Human Services Director Jon Rubin, the block grant is “part of the state funding that gives the County the flexibility to move funds to where the need is greatest.” He cited funding shifts to Drug & Alcohol Prevention programs as one previous use. He also stressed the need for providers to offer “demonstrated outcomes” of their Human Services programs. During 2015-16, two areas of projected greater need include human trafficking and suicide prevention initiatives.

For the County Agricultural Land Preservation Program, the board agreed to approve an intermediary escrow account to the 1031 Corp. for the 65.81-acre Caccavo Farm in Durham Township. That preservation previously was approved during November, 2014. The Caccavo family plans to use the $296,145 easement price to purchase an adjacent farm that could be preserved by the commissioners at a future date.

The commissioners extended a pair of Corrections maintenance and project support services deals with Aramark Facilities Services of Philadelphia, the first a one-year, $881,657 agreement for the Corrections facilities and the Youth Center and the other a one-year, $265,000 contract for reimbursement of materials and overtime.

Plaque depicting the history at the Sellersville TheaterChairman Loughery praised the Emergency Communication department for its work to secure a 30-year Memorandum of Understanding with the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, State Police, to share space on the Kingwood and Cherryville tower sites for the ongoing narrowbanding conversion. “This took quite some time,” the chairman noted.

The board also approved six contracts for Mental Health/Developmental Programs services, including a one-year, $194,000 increase with Penn Foundation, Inc. of Sellersville. The bulk of the contract resolution debate involved potential termination of a two-year, $522,101.50 Purchasing contract with Clean Rental Services, Inc. of Philadelphia for the provision and rental of uniforms for the Department of Corrections and Security. After an extended discussion about a Boston-based uniform manufacturer, Chairman Loughery motioned to table the contract until the July 22 evening meeting for further consideration with the County Solicitor and Purchasing department.

The meeting opened with Commissioner Martin issuing a proclamation in honor of Bucks County hosting the State Association of Prothonotaries and Clerks of Courts 69th Annual Convention, which will take place July 14-17. The convention will feature a trip to Pennsbury Manor and accommodations/meetings at the Bucks County Sheraton. Bucks County Clerk of Courts Mary Smithson accepted the proclamation, adding that the County-owned Moravian Pottery and Tile Works crafted a special commemorative tile just for the event.

During commissioners’ remarks, Chairman Loughery provided an update on the Newtown Rail Trail, which recently received funding to move forward through the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. He added that an engineering contract award for the Upper Bucks Rail Trail also will be on an upcoming agenda.

Chief Clerk Lynn Bush expressed her appreciation to retiring Board of Elections Coordinator Donald Hrabina, who is retiring from County Service. He has been a mainstay in the County election process for many years. “We will miss Donald,” Ms. Bush added.

The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22, 2015, at Core Creek Park, Pavilion #11, Middletown Township. For a complete audio account of the July 1, 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.