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2018 News

Commissioners Meet at Ben Wilson Senior Center May 16 for Business and Bingo

May 21, 2018

It was a dreary day outside, yet inside the Ben Wilson Senior Activity Center, the mood was anything but, as the Commissioners met Wednesday for their bi-monthly meeting. While the members played Bingo in the background, the Commissioners approved agenda items from 15 departments as well as 30 personnel actions and presented three proclamations. The Ben Wilson Senior Center is one of 13 county senior community centers, all with very active memberships.

The meeting opened with three proclamations recognizing Emergency Health Services, Community Action and the Doylestown Civil War Monument. Commissioner Martin read a document designating May 20-26, 2018 as “Emergency Medical Services Week” throughout the county and thank all EMS staff and volunteers for “contributing to the public safety of our residents on a daily basis.” Evan Resnikoff, Chief of Newtown Ambulance, representing the EMS Chiefs Association, thanked the Commissioners on behalf of the 17 EMS services and 200 EMS providers in the county.

Commissioner Marseglia read a proclamation honoring the Doylestown Borough Civil War Monument’s 150th Anniversary. The monument is one of the oldest in the country, having been originally dedicated in 1868, and was recently restored by Saving Hallowed Ground, the same organization who restored the World War I fountain last year. The Civil War Monument was rededicated at a Civil War Roundtable Ceremony Saturday, May 19, 2018, a ceremony that included a Ulysses S. Grant re-enactor, the Quakertown Civil War Brass Band and a Roll Call/Dedication to the 104th Regiment.

The final proclamation was read by Chairman Loughery, who proclaimed May “Community Action Month” throughout the county. Community Action promotes community wide solutions, builds and promotes economic stability, connects millions of children with greater opportunity and implements innovative programs that create a greater chance of success for everyone. The Opportunity Council is the Community Action agency for the county and staff members were on hand to accept the proclamation. As one said, “we are an agency of 32 serving a community of 10,000” and those 32 will continue to work until everyone has a chance to succeed.

During the business portion of the meeting, the Commissioners approved 16 items from the Human Services realm, including six from the Area Agency on Aging and three from Housing Services. Most notable, the Human Services Block Grant Plan submission was approved, worth $30,445,729 in revenue, allowing for the continuation of our Human Services programs.

The commissioners spent $285,742, or 14 percent of the assessed price, for three parcels in Warrington Township as part of the Open Space allocation. The Mill Creek property, located at Pickertown and Lower State Roads, is one of the largest undeveloped properties in Warrington and includes farmed fields, wetlands and steep slopes. Warrington intends to make an internal trail system as well as linking to external trails already built or being built up in Warrington. Picnicking and education trips will also be available on the property, which brings the Open Space program to a total of 149 properties and 4,165 acres.

The Planning Commission contributed five items to the agenda. The Commissioners approved adoption of the 2018 Bucks County Municipal Waste Management Plan, a contract with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission for funding relating to transportation and regional planning programs and a contract with East Rockhill to prepare a Comprehensive Plan update. There were also two items with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Waste Minimization and Planning accepting two grants, one for Municipal Household Hazardous Waste Education and the second for preparation for a new Municipal Waste Management Plan. Both items are for three years.

The approval for the agenda items came in with a 3-0 vote, except in the General Services realm. An added item, number 8f, a contract with CRRT Associates for drainage, emergency access, and sidewalk connection easements on property adjacent to the Upper Bucks Government Services Center began a small debate about what came first: the chicken or the egg. In return for completion of the sidewalks around the back of the GSC and into the development beyond, the Commissioners are signing off on an easement for the development to connect into the drainage system. Commissioner Martin voted against the easement, saying everything should be in place as far as permits are concerned before making the deal, while Commissioner Loughery noted that the developers needed the easement to get the permits. In the end, Commissioner Marseglia sided with Commissioner Loughery adding that developments like this, with sidewalks and trails connecting to other developments, helps communities grow and become safer.

Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler provided an update on the May 15 General Primary turnout, noting it was slightly higher than anticipated. Unofficially, 19.3 percent of all registered voters participated, 22.98 percent of Democrats and 23.2 percent of Republicans.

The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, Commissioners’ Meeting Room of the Bucks County Administration Building. For a complete audio account of the May 16, 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.