Commissioners Visit Scenic Lake Towhee Park for Annual Picnic & County Business Session
New Justice Center “Making Great Progress”
For the first time since July, 2008, the Board of Bucks County Commissioners visited Haycock Township and Lake Towhee County Park for its annual picnic meeting. With the placid waters of Lake Towhee – home to the clay used to make tiles at the famed Moravian Pottery and Tileworks – in the distance, Chairman Robert G. Loughery, Vice Chairman Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW approved 31 contract resolutions for 14 county departments.
Among those resolutions was a pair of general contracting change orders with Ernest Bock & Sons, Inc. for the new Bucks County Justice Center, which is about to take on a much different look with the erection of structural steel. The change orders involved an $84,022 contract amendment to provide lean concrete fill and a $53,522 amendment for unforeseen required work on the existing armory structure. Commissioner Marseglia voted against both change orders.
In keeping with a series of Justice Center updates, county General Services Director Jerry Anderson noted that the project is “making great progress,” and the construction process will shortly begin to come “out of the ground.” On or about July 23, a 176-foot tower crane will arrive on site. It will feature a 190-foot boom that will help place approximately 33,000 pieces of structural steel. Residents will be advised of the crane’s extensive reach in advance. The steel, which will be transported to the site from a manufacturing site in Bensalem Township, will travel the Pennsylvania Turnpike and up Rte. 611 to the bypass and up Broad St. Mr. Anderson also noted that significant structural progress will be evident by late December, 2012 at the Main St. location.
Commissioner Loughery thanked the General Services department for its work preparing Lake Towhee for the meeting, which was conducted beneath a 40-by-60-foot tent. The board unanimously approved a $60,000 Municipal Open Space Improvement Grant for Silverdale Borough to make outdoor recreation improvements to W. Albert Reese Park. Borough Mayor Lowell Musselman thanked the commissioners and county Open Space Coordinator Kris Kern for their action, which will allow ADA compliant equipment as well as other upgrades.
For Parks & Recreation, the board unanimously approved a 10-percent discount to veterans holding a Bucks County Veterans ID Card for select county-owned parks and recreation activities. Since November, 2011, county Recorder of Deeds Joseph Szafran and his staff have process nearly 5,000 of the Discount Cards, which are honored at several hundred Bucks County businesses. Chairman Loughery also thanked Commissioner Martin for bringing the Veterans ID Discount Card idea to Bucks County, after he learned of a similar program in Atlantic County, NJ.
The commissioners also approved the request of the Travis Manion Foundation to erect a “Memorial to America’s Resiliency” on the grounds of the new Bucks County Justice Center, in honor of those who died in the War on Terror. The memorial will involve a design competition to determine the most appropriate use of a 20-foot beam from the former World Trade Center that was donated to the Travis Manion Foundation during 2011. Chairman Loughery will be the commissioners’ representative in that endeavor.
While the board adopted all 31 resolutions on the agenda, Commissioner Marseglia voted against a $3,720 accident insurance premium for the Finance Department and a $55,500 contract amendment to fund expansion of the Supported Living program to provide additional residential services with CO-MANS, Inc. of Penndel.
Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler noted that county departments are currently analyzing the impact of the recently passed Pennsylvania state budget. He added that the county’s 2013 budget process will begin during August. It typically is finalized by the second December business meeting. Chief Clerk Lynn Bush touted the success of the county’s new electronic waste collection, which is earning the county money rather than the previous fees that went to dispose of the electronics. A recent event earned the county $12,000, which represents a $32,000 swing from past years when the county paid up to $20,000 for disposal. The next collection will take place on Saturday, July 14, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Almshouse complex (1260 Almshouse Rd., Doylestown, adjacent to Rte. 611).
Chairman Loughery also announced that Bucks County Government now has a Facebook page, and he encouraged all county residents to “like” the page in order to readily access information about emergencies, meetings, consumer protection matters and all forms of commissioners’ business. A link to the county Facebook page can be found on the home page of www.BucksCounty.org.
The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 25, 2012, at the Woods Services’ E. Sherman Chase Employee Training Center, 40 Martin Gross Drive, Langhorne. For a complete audio account of the July 11 meeting, please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org, and click on the “Audio from Last Mtg” link on the home page.