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2018 News

Commissioners Move Ahead With Sweeping Renovations To Four Floors Of Bucks County Administration Building

February 8, 2018

Approve Three General Services Demolition Contracts During February 7 Business Meeting

At the outset of the first meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners since the Philadelphia Eagles won the franchise’s first Super Bowl trophy on February 4, 2018, Chairman Robert G. Loughery had this observation about the Pledge of Allegiance that spearheads each business session. “I’m tempted to substitute ‘Fly, Eagles, Fly,’ which we heard about 150 times (last Friday, Feb. 2, during Eagles Spirit Day at County offices),” the chairman quipped at the outset of the February 7 meeting.

Commissioner Loughery with the "Lombardi Trophy" during the Commissioners' MeetingRevelry and parade planning aside, Commissioners Loughery, Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia approved a large agenda of 58 contract resolutions involving 20 County departments. Among them was a contingency fee agreement with Scott & Scott, Attorneys at Law, LLP of New York City to represent Bucks County in connection with Bucks County’s claim against various manufacturers and distributors of opioid products. Commissioner Marseglia voted against that agreement, which passed by a 2-1 margin.

Of the 58 approved contracts, eight involved General Services’ items, of which three totaled just over $2.836 million for the interior demolition project of the Bucks County Administration Building. That work will take place on the first, fourth, sixth and seventh floors of the seven-floor facility, which is the former County Courthouse. The first awarded contract was a $166,420 agreement with Albarell Electric, Inc. of Bethlehem, PA for electrical work. Also approved was a $139,000 mechanical contract with Clipper Pipe & Service, LLC of Crum Lynne, PA. The third, and largest, contract was a $2.531 general construction contract with Plymouth Environmental Co., Inc. of Norristown, PA.

Noting that those three agreements represent “the meat of the (Administration Building renovation) project,” Chairman Loughery thanked General Services’ staff for their efforts to reach this point of progress. “This project, knock on wood, should take 18-24 months, or the middle of 2019 on.”

As a result of analysis of various drug screen and supply contracts for multiple County departments, the Purchasing department recommended the approval of five different 35-month agreements with Redwood Toxicology Laboratory, Inc. of Santa Rosa, CA to bring those screenings under one umbrella. One of those was a $264,000 contract for the Adult Probation department, while another involved a $198,000 contract for Courts. Together, the five agreements with Redwood totaled almost $700,000.

For Bristol Borough, the board unanimously approved an 18-month, $121,000 contract for 2017 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to install ADA curb ramps at seven intersections within the Borough.

The commissioners also approved six items for the new Housing Services department, to be headed by Housing Director Jeff Fields, who was in attendance. Those contracts included a 22-month, $70,000 agreement with Langhorne’s Family Service Association of Bucks County for 2017 Emergency Solutions Grant funding for personnel costs associated with homeless shelter services. For Doylestown’s Bucks County Opportunity Council, the board approved an 18-month, $80,000 contract for 2017 Emergency Solutions Grant funding for Rapid Re-Housing services.

Human Services funding for Mental Health/Developmental Programs services continued with the approval of two large contracts (of five overall for the department), including a one-year, $1.640 million renewal with NHS of Bucks County to provide intensive case management, residential and family based services and a one-year, $2.257 million renewal with Lancaster-based Salisbury Behavioral Health to provide supported living and residential services.

During his Chief Operating Officer report, Brian Hessenthaler discussed the results of the County’s January 24 Point in Time (PIT) Homeless Count. This year’s one-day event identified 397 individuals in emergency shelters, transitional housing or outdoors, a decrease of 22.3 percent from the 511 who were counted during January, 2017. Mr. Hessenthaler also announced that Bucks County again will conduct five Household Hazardous Waste Collection events during 2018, the first of which will take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (rain or shine) at Bristol Township’s Harry S. Truman High School, 3001 Green Ln., in Levittown. Mr. Hessenthaler also reported that County officials are closely monitoring Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed $33 billion 2018-19 operating budget. He added that it is “flat funded,” which isn’t necessarily a good thing in light of previous years’ cuts to funding.

During Commissioners’ comments, Chairman Loughery charged County Director of Housing and Human Services Jon Rubin to assemble a “coordination committee” to evaluate the effectiveness of current programs that address opioid use, addiction and fatalities, as well as other impacts on people’s lives. “We have a lot of work to do in that area,” the chairman added.

The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 2:30 p.m. (Note time change) on Wednesday, February 21, 2018, in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room of the Bucks County Administration Building (1st Floor), 55 E. Court St., Doylestown, PA 18901. For a complete audio account of the February 7, 2018 business meeting, please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org, and click on the “Audio from Last Mtg” link on the home page.