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Commissioners Return to Doylestown For June 21 Meeting, Approve 33 Contract Resolutions For 16 County Departments

June 22, 2017

After back-to-back visits to Bristol Borough and Tinicum Township, the Board of Bucks County Commissioners returned to the familiar confines of their Administration Building Meeting Room on the morning of Wednesday, June 21, 2017. A 45-minute business session featured 33 contract resolutions, all of which met approval by Commissioners Charles H. Martin (who cast one nay vote), chairman, Robert G. Loughery and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW. They included a significant bridge reconstruction project and an Open Space addition for Bristol Township.

The meeting also was the first conducted since the retirement of former Chief Clerk/Executive Planning Commission Directory Lynn T. Bush. Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler has filled the Chief Clerk role on an acting basis.

The board approved eight Human Services items at the top of the agenda, including three for the Area Agency on Aging, two for Behavioral Health and three for the Children & Youth Social Services Agency. Chairman Martin voted no on a one-year, $60,000 contract increase with K/S. Consultants, Inc. of Warrington to provide the Truancy Prevention/Diversion program for Children & Youth. A lengthy discussion about the merits of the program preceded that vote.

A clear highlight of the agenda was a $5.088 million General Services contract with H&K Group, Inc. of Schwenksville, PA for reconstruction of Bucks County Bridge No. 13 on Walnut St. over the East Perkiomen Creek in Perkasie Borough. According to County Director of Operations Kevin Spencer, the pre-construction meetings on this long-anticipated project will take place next month with construction to begin shortly thereafter. The project is expected to take approximately 14 months, with a completion goal of late summer 2018. The County anticipates approximately 80 percent of the project cost will be reimbursed by the federal government.

Also in the General Services realm, the board approved an $87,030 contract for pre-maintenance repairs on the Justice Center elevators with Schindler Elevator Corporation of Moorestown, NJ.

The commissioners agreed to a pair of contracts with Pomeroy IT Solutions Sales Company, Inc. of Mechanicsburg, PA, the first a $51,597 deal to purchase laptop computers for the District Attorney office, and the other a one-year, $201,345 Information Technology contract to purchase computer hardware for various departments.

For the Health Department, the commissioners accepted a one-year $185,113 revenue grant renewal for the Pennsylvania Department of Health HIV Prevention Program.

Chairman Martin had some questions about a one-year, $388,156 Mental Health/Developmental Programs contract renewal with Warminster’s Voice & Vision, Inc. for consumer satisfaction team and peer support services. County MH/DP Director Donna Duffy Bell fielded those questions and noted that her department is “highly satisfied” with that local service provider.

Another Open Space project met approval as well, this time a $231,000 Municipal Open Space Program grant for the acquisition of four parcels to expand the existing Bristol Township municipal complex. The property has four buildings that the township has pledged to demolish within the next year. County Open Space Coordinator Dave Johnson said the township plans to use the grant parcels to create additional athletic facilities. Chairman Martin nodded his head in approval of that possibility.

During the next Commissioners’ Meeting, Wednesday, July 12, at 6 p.m., the board plans to preserve the 200th farm of its Agricultural Land Preservation program. In advance of that milestone, the commissioners approved a one-year, $32,871 contract increase and extension for the purchase of signs and plaques for properties preserved in the Agricultural Land Preservation program. The contract is with Innovative Signs, Inc. of Longwood, FL, prompting discussion about the possibility of finding a Bucks County vendor who could do the same quality work at a competitive price.

Commissioner Loughery reported on his recent trip to the White House for a federal Infrastructure Summit, noting that he was a part of two work groups in an event that included eight governors, 11 mayors and select officials from around the country. While in Washington, D.C., he told transportation officials of the importance of expediting federal projects at the local level, as well as the significance of the I-95/Pennsylvania Turnpike connector to the mid-Atlantic region.

Earlier this week, Commissioner Marseglia had an opportunity to ride along with Consumer Protection/Weights & Measures Director Mike Bannon on gas pump/retail inspections. She encouraged her fellow commissioners to do the same at some point to learn about that process.

During his COO/Acting Chief Clerk report, Mr. Hessenthaler praised Bucks County Haz-mat officials for their work during a pair of June 20 incidents – one a freight train derailment in Sellersville and the other a weapons/explosives call to a residence in Ottsville. Mr. Hessenthaler also cited the success of the first two 2017 Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) events, which helped almost 1,200 residents dispose of hazardous materials. The next HHW event will be Saturday, July 22, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Central Bucks South H.S.

The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 6 p.m. (night meeting) on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, at the Litzenberger Farm, 2031 Berger Rd., Kintnersville, PA 18930. That meeting will feature the 200th farm preserved by the Bucks County Agricultural Land Preservation Program. For a complete audio account of the June 21, 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.