Commissioners Visit Lower Bucks County Chamber Of Commerce (LBCCC) For November 21 Business Meeting
Continuing its 2012 theme of outreach to local business organizations, the Board of Bucks County Commissioners conducted its November 21, 2012 meeting in the Board Room of the Lower Bucks Chamber of Commerce (LBCCC). The Board Room, which features multiple flat screen televisions, provided a vibrant setting as Commissioners Robert G. Loughery, chairman, Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW approved 25 contract resolutions involving 13 county departments.
LBCCC President Dan Bates thanked the commissioners for choosing the Chamber's Fairless Hills headquarters as a meeting location. Following Commissioner Martin's reading of a document proclaiming November, 2012 as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, the board approved a pair of Agricultural Preservation items. Both the McIlwain and Zisko properties are located in Springfield Township, and both families were present at the meeting. The McIlwain farm is situated on Pleasant View Rd. and consists of 47.19 acres. It features 33 acres of hay, and is located next to previously preserved open space. The Zisko farm consists of 87.85 acres on Roundhouse Rd. It is a popular Christmas Tree farm that offers Norway Spruce and White Pine products. The county's portion of the two conservation easements was just over $300,000, and the preservations lifted the total number of farms in the county stockpile to 155 encompassing 13,260 acres. According to county Agricultural Preservation Director Rich Harvey, the program has preserved 22 farms in Springfield Township that total more than 1,500 acres.
The board approved three Community & Business resolutions, including a $12,970 federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) agreement to rehab the Bucks Villa, Inc. group home at 30 Old York Rd. in New Hope, a $53,446 contract amendment for Family Services Association to operate the Levittown homeless shelter, and a $100,000 CDBG agreement for Morrisville Borough to install concrete curbing and replace storm drain inlet grates.
Also receiving unanimous approval was a combined Municipal Open Space grant covering 10.325 acres in Middletown Township and Penndel Borough. The county will contribute $545,810 for the Middletown portion, and $224,497 for the Penndel Borough portion. The property will be utilized for passive recreation and possibly trails, according to county Open Space Coordinator Kris Kern. The board praised the two municipalities for working together on the preservation to "leverage more funding." Also in the Open Space realm, the board tabled a pair of resolution items involving a Delaware Riverfront Improvement grant for Bensalem Township.
In the public safety arena, the board approved a $119,228 agreement with VisionAIR to implement the second phase of a Law Enforcement Records Management System that was instituted in 2010. The voluntary program has been offered to local police departments.
Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler provided an update on the recent County Commissioners' Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) Fall Conference, which took place in Hershey. At that event, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Director Glenn Cannon noted that Bucks is one of seven Pennsylvania counties waiting for federal government public assistance funding in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. He also reminded attendees that a public budget hearing will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 4 in the Bucks County Courthouse Community Room.
Chief Clerk Lynn Bush also attended the CCAP Conference, during which she discussed issues about oil and gas drilling's impact on Pennsylvania's 67 counties. She also addressed a county venture with Delaware Valley College to address the future of farming in Bucks County by accommodating farmers' evolving needs.
Commissioner Martin capitalized on his comment portion to ask Director of Operations Jerry Anderson to prepare a change order involving the 5th Floor of the new Justice Center. He asked Mr. Anderson to analyze the cost of eliminating the "B" wing and its conference rooms in the proposed structure, citing a preference for "future expansion, not current use." Chairman Loughery asked for the change order proposal to be delivered at the December 5 business meeting.
The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, December 5, 2012, on the corporate complex of Dow Chemical, 3100 State Rd., Croydon. For a complete audio account of the November 21 meeting, please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org, and click on the "Audio from Last Mtg" link on the home page