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2017 News

Commissioners Visit Newtown's Scenic Rose Bank Winery to Conduct November 1 Business Session

November 2, 2017

The Board of Bucks County Commissioners is committed to supporting the county economy and its business groups like the Bucks County Wine Trail. To that end, Commissioners Charles H. Martin, chairman, Robert G. Loughery and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW, traveled from Doylestown down Route 413 to Newtown Township’s Rose Bank Winery on the morning of November 1, 2017. It was the board’s first trip to the winery to conduct a meeting since May 1, 2013. “It’s always fun to come out and visit one of our fine wineries,” Chairman Martin said after opening the meeting in the facility’s spacious 96-by-43 foot event hall.

The meeting, which was the last one prior to the Nov. 7, 2017 Municipal Election, featured the unanimous approval of 32 contract resolutions involving 11 County departments. Of those, eight were items for the Department of Corrections and six were General Services’ contracts.

The board approved five contracts for the County Area Agency on Aging, including a pair of agreements totaling $175,000 with Epic Health Services of Springhouse, PA to provide In-Home services to residents through June 30, 2018. For the Children & Youth Social Services Agency, the commissioners agreed to a unique one-year, $18,000 pilot program with San Francisco-based ride service Lyft, Inc. to provide transportation for parents to court ordered visits with their children. Commissioners Loughery and Marseglia praised the idea, with Marseglia noting it is also a “job opportunity for retirees” and others.

The Corrections items met with some scrutiny, especially regarding a two-month, $30,000 increase and extension with Bob Barker to purchase inmate clothing. That item ultimately passed, along with a one-year, $68,858 renewal with Doylestown’s VITA Education Services to provide various workshops and programs at the County’s correctional facilities.

In General Services business, the commissioners approved a pair of construction easements totaling just over $17,000 for reconstruction of Bucks County Bridge No. 220 on Mill Creek Rd. over Martins Creek in Falls Township. The largest item of the morning was a $699,000 bridge contract awarded to J.P.S. Construction Company, Inc. of Glenside, PA for repairs to County Bridge No. 152 (Valley Park Rd. over the North Branch of the Neshaminy Creek in Plumstead Township and County Bridge No. 306 on Woodhill Rd. over the Jericho Creek in Upper Makefield Township. Those projects will be funded by the $5 registration fee that was enacted on Pennsylvania vehicles.

For the Housing and Human Services division, the commissioners agreed to a one-year, $250,000 deal with Bristol’s Interfaith Housing Visions for the management and operations of the organization’s properties. The board also accepted a one-year, $103,023 grant renewal for the County’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The County’s Geographic Information System (GIS) program software met 2018 approval with a $43,298 contract renewal for licenses and maintenance with Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. of Redlands, CA. That program is coordinated by the Bucks County Planning Commission.Commissioner Loughery updated his colleagues on recent visits to the seven libraries that comprise the Bucks County Free Library system. “They each have a little niche in serving the community,” he stated. He spoke of observing widely popular children’s activities and also of new technology that is in place at the Lower Makefield branch. “Each of those libraries are thriving, and that is something we should all be proud of,” Commissioner Loughery stated. He offered his gratitude to Library Executive Director Martina Kominiarek and the Library board members.

During his bi-monthly update to the commissioners, Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler reported that the County’s October 28 Medication Take Back event netted more than 10,100 pounds of medication that will be incinerated safely. Since 2010, the program has collected almost 50 tons of unused pills and other medications. Mr. Hessenthaler praised the County’s 360-bed Neshaminy Manor for its performance during a recent Pennsylvania Department of Health inspection, which produced “zero deficiencies.” Finally, he told meeting attendees the County’s 2018 Preliminary Budget will be released at the next Commissioners’ Meeting, Wednesday, November 15.

Chairman Martin congratulated Neshaminy Manor for its performance during last week’s inspection and reminded registered voters to head to the polls between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. next Tuesday, Nov. 7.

The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room of the Bucks County Administration Building, 55 E. Court St. (1st Floor), Doylestown, PA 18901. For a complete audio account of the November 1, 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.