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2017 News

Commissioners Unanimously Approve 26 Contract Resolutions, Offer Backing for Community Opiate Abuse Problem

February 16, 2017

The Board of Bucks County Commissioners convened in their Doylestown Administration Building Wednesday, February 15, ultimately passing 26 contract resolutions involving 14 different County departments. Commissioners Charles H. Martin chairman, Robert G. Loughery and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW unanimously agreed to the business at hand.

A highlight of the agenda was the approval of a three-year, $1.243 million Information Technology contract increase and extension with Herndon, VA-based Level 3 Communications to provide improved internet connectivity, security and speed. That contract will cover the span August 1, 2019 through July 31, 2022. County Chief Information Officer Don Jacobs described the agreement as a key means to protect the County and its computer-based applications from potential cybersecurity attacks.

For the Area Agency on Aging, the board approved a one-year, $62,117 contract renewal with the Bristol Borough Active Adult Center to provide senior center services. The board also agreed to three contracts for various services at the County Correctional facilities.

In the General Services realm, the commissioners discussed a $137,159 contract with JBC Associates, Inc. of King of Prussia to provide on-site construction inspection services for reconstruction of Bucks County Bridge #45 on Stone Bridge Rd. over Deep Run in Bedminster Township. Director of Operations explained that the project involved hiring a company that has been approved through the PennDOT request for quote system. The County will fund 20 percent of that agreement.

Also in General Services, the board allocated $357,810 from the capital projects budget to contract with Hatfield, PA’s Munn Roofing Corp. to replace the roof of the Thiokol building in Levittown.

For Housing and Community Development, the commissioners approved four items that included a one-year, $78,750 contract renewal with the Bucks County Housing Group to provide housing counseling services and a one-year, $103,023 grant renewal with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).

The County Print Shop in Warrington will be getting a new digital color copier rental with XSE Group of PA LLC after the commissioners’ approval of a five-year, $61,385 agreement.

Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler offered several items of significance during his bi-monthly report, including the Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc.'s free distribution of Narcan to residents. The program already has provided 57 doses of the opiate-reversal inhaler since early December, 2016, four of which have been used to revive those in a potential overdose. Mr. Hessenthaler also spoke of the Lower Bucks Addiction Symposium which is headed up by Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub. “We need to let people know there are resources out there,” Mr. Weintraub told the commissioners. “We gotta keep fighting – that’s the best I can say.”

Residents interested in obtaining Narcan and learning about how to use it as well as other drug treatment information can stop by the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission's offices between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. every Monday and Tuesday (600 Louis Drive, Suite 102-A, Warminster).

Commissioner Loughery posed a question to the DA, wondering, “What are the action items we can take (as elected officials) that will make a difference?”

Mr. Hessenthaler also noted that County Emergency Communications Director Audrey Kenny has been re-appointed to the Pennsylvania 9-1-1 Advisory Board. That is a key position because it makes policy for the state and also plays a role in emergency communication funding decisions.

Finally, Mr. Hessenthaler updated meeting attendees on the Pennsylvania state budget process. Gov. Tom Wolf recently announced a $32.3 billion state budget proposal for 2017-18 that basically holds funding flat from year to year. Mr. Hessenthaler described it as a “good news/bad news” scenario, adding that County officials will closely monitor the budget process in Harrisburg for its anticipated impact on Bucks.

During the commissioners’ comment portion of the agenda, Commissioner Marseglia thanked her commissioner and County employee colleagues for their support during her father John’s recent illness. John Van Ellis, Jr. passed away on January 27, 2017.  “Your father was a good man,” Chairman Martin told Commissioner Marseglia.

Chief Clerk Lynn Bush reported on the Bucks County Hazardous Mitigation Plan, which now includes participation from all 54 county municipalities. The plan addresses 21 different community hazards, both natural and man-made. An example of one way the plan benefits residents is the collaboration during a recent tanker spill in Warrington Township, Ms. Bush noted.

The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room (1st Floor), 55 E. Court St., Doylestown, PA 18901. For a complete audio account of the February 15, 2017 business meeting, please visit the official county website, www.buckscounty.org, and click on the “Audio from Last Mtg” link on the home page.