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2015 News

Commissioners Conduct Bi-Monthly Business Inside 165-Year Old Tinicum Barn, Approve 38 Contract Resolutions

September 3, 2015

The setting for the September 2, 2015 meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners featured wood beams, lower level horse stalls and a magnificent panorama view of the county’s bucolic character. Convening for business inside the 165-year-old Barn at Tinicum Park for the first time since June, 2008, Commissioners Robert G. Loughery, chairman, Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW completed a brisk agenda that included 38 contract resolution approvals involving 15 County departments.

Commissioners' Meeting at the Barn, in Tinicum Park.The Barn at Tinicum, which was built in 1850, is used for wedding receptions and other events such as the 33rd Annual Tinicum Park Antiques Show, an indoor show and sale that will take place Saturday, Sept. 12 (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) and Sunday, Sept. 13 (11 a.m.-4 p.m.). The park also features a nationally renowned disc golf course that hosted the 2005 National Championship.

Commissioner Martin commented on several General Services items that the board awarded to Bucks County companies for renovations to the office buildings at 30 and 55 E. Court St. He noted that $3.5 million of the G.S. contracts will be going to Bucks County companies, which is a boost to the local economy. The commissioners unanimously awarded a $258,000 plumbing contract to Chris Wolff Plumbing, Inc. of Perkasie, an $873,000 mechanical systems contract to Clipper Pipe & Service, LLC of Crum Lynne, PA, a $2.158 million general construction contract to TE Construction Services, LLC of Warminster, PA, and a $728,900 electrical contract to Westcott Electric Company of Glen Riddle, PA. The board also approved a $207,000 fire protection contract with Guy M. Cooper, Inc. of Willow Grove, PA.

Nine of the 38 approved contracts fell in the General Services realm. The commissioners also signed off on a $1.44 million agreement with Associated Paving Contractors, Inc. of Warminster for nine paving projects at various locations. The board also approved a $236,538 contract with Bi-State Construction Co., Inc. of Easton for repairs to County Bridge No. 36 – located on Stockton Ave. over Aquetong Creek in New Hope Borough. In addition, the former Justice Center/Parking Garage construction office located at 95 Union St. was approved for residential sale to Michael and Kali Smalley for $366,000 less settlement costs.

For the Emergency Management department, the board accepted a three-year, $14.8 million Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) grant agreement for the Regional County Terrorism Task Force, which will be utilized by Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. It also accepted a $960,605 Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) agreement for the Task Force, as well as a one-year, $150,082 revenue grant item from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) to reimburse salaries and benefits for approved Bucks County staff.

Commissioners' Proclaim September 7-13 as Suicide Awareness Week. Accepting the Proclamation was Pat Lufkin of the organization Survivors of Suicide, Inc., who lost her son a quarter century ago.For the Health Department, the board approved a $277,669 revenue item from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Communicable Diseases for 18-month operation of the Health HIV Prevention Program through June 30, 2017 and $460,644 from the PA Dept. of Health for the 2016 federal immunization grant. The commissioners also expended $72,792.63 for the purchase of influenza vaccine for 2015-16 from Sanofi Pasteur of Swiftwater, PA. That will secure 9,500 free flu shots for residents, including those to be administered during the Pandemic Flu Drill on Saturday, Oct. 10 at three locations from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Neshaminy High School, Central Bucks High School South and Pennridge North Middle School). “All Bucks County residents three-years old and over please come get a free flu shot,” County Health Director Dr. David Damsker said.

For the Human Services division, the commissioners accepted a one-year, $2.517 million Participation Grant Agreement with the Pennsylvania Dept. of Public Welfare, Division of Medical Assistance Transportation, to provide transportation services.

The commissioners continued to add to the nearly 200 acres of Springfield Township’s Buckwampum Mountain that the County already owns by spending $107,136 (plus settlement charges and adjustments) to acquire 12.114 acres from James and Diana Resek of Riegelsville, PA. “We should own the mountain,” Chairman Loughery stated.

One offbeat item on the agenda was the $1 Parks and Recreation approval for a temporary construction easement for the Red-Bellied Turtle mitigation project through the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. That easement is part of the construction of the I-95/Pennsylvania Turnpike Connector project.

For the Police Training department, the board accepted a one-year, $87,264 grant from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation, Bureau of Highway Safety, to provide a comprehensive plan for Driving Under the Influence enforcement.

The meeting commenced with one proclamation, as Commissioner Marseglia proclaimed Sept. 7-13 Suicide Awareness Week throughout the County of Bucks. Accepting the proclamation was Pat Lufkin of the organization Survivors of Suicide, Inc., who lost her son a quarter century ago. “I have been able to see the changes over the years,” Mrs. Lufkin said, also thanking SEPTA for its help in posting suicide hotline telephone numbers on its station platforms. That number is 1-800-273-TALK.

Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler offered three items in his bi-weekly report. He congratulated Audrey Kenny upon her appointment as director of emergency communications. Mrs. Kenny will head a department that recently launched text to 9-1-1 service in Bucks County and has been the main coordinator of the County’s conversion to narrowbanding, which is tentatively slated to take place on October 18, 2015. Mrs. Kenny previously served as acting and deputy director of the department. Mr. Hessenthaler also reminded residents that there will be a free electronic recycling collection event at New Hope-Solebury High School on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Finally, Mr. Hessenthaler noted that County officials are monitoring the state budget impasse, which stands at 64 days and counting.

The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 6:30 p.m. (note time) at the Langhorne Public Library, 301 S. Pine St., Langhorne, PA 19047. For a complete audio account of the September 2, 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.