Commissioners Deliver Annual “State of the County” Remarks to Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce
Continuing an annual breakfast tradition that takes place on the final Friday of September, the Board of Bucks County Commissioners updated members of the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce (CBCC) on county business and operations September 28. The event, which took place at the Waterwheel Restaurant in Doylestown, featured topics such as economic development, human services and county Corrections, and an update on construction of the new Justice Center and the adaptive reuse of the current Courthouse/Administration Building.
Commissioner Chairman Robert G. Loughery kicked off the agenda by enumerating the county’s 2012 priorities, which include the operating budget, economic development and the reduction of the government footprint, among others. He also highlighted the county’s new Municipal Economic Development Initiative. Introduced at the August 15 Commissioners’ Meeting, the program will focus Bucks County government resources on ensuring the continued and expanded economic prosperity of the county’s 54 municipalities. This goal will be accomplished through services, access to grant information and future incentives such as loan programs. Chairman Loughery noted that is open to all municipalities, and that information is available through the Bucks County Planning Commission and its staff (215-345-3400 or firstname.lastname@example.org). He also made an analogy regarding economic development in a challenging climate, comparing it to “taking all of the pieces and reshuffling them.”
Commissioner Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW spoke of the county reduction in the number of children placed in county Children & Youth care. She also provided an update on Bucks County’s homeless shelter in Levittown, which is currently under the direction of Family Services Association. Commissioner Marseglia asked the Central Bucks business community to consider hiring work release inmates from the Bucks County Community Corrections Center, or at least thinking of them as an option for community service projects.
Commissioner Charles H. Martin wrapped up the presentation by updating the Chamber on the progress of the new Justice Center, which is almost 30 percent complete. Construction officials expect the building to be completed during the spring of 2014, with occupation taking place later that year. Commissioner Martin shared recent photos of the site taken from the crane bucket 170 feet over Doylestown Borough. He also offered updated statistics on the Veterans ID Discount Card Program (more than 5,000 cards issued since November, 2011 with more than 225 local businesses participating) and Agricultural Land Preservation (153 farms preserved since 1989 totaling 13,132 acres with a goal of 17,000 acres preserved by 2017). To view the Commissioners’ PowerPoint presentation, please visit www.BucksCounty.org.