In a spacious community room just a few feet from the Byers’ Choice holiday figurine production area, Commissioners Robert G. Loughery, chairman, and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW, approved a limited business agenda on the evening of September 18. Lauding the New Britain Township-based business as “a good corporate and community citizen,” Chairman Loughery noted that the site represented another attempt to take county business to significant local companies and cultural attractions. Back in 2003, Commissioners Charley Martin, Mike Fitzpatrick and Sandy Miller honored Joyce and Bob Byers with the Bucks County “Distinguished Citizen” award. This year marks the company’s 35th anniversary.
Chairman Loughery opened the 58-minute meeting by asking those in attendance to “remember the victims and families of (this week’s) tragedy in Washington.” The business portion of the agenda featured the approval of 28 contract resolutions involving 10 county departments. Prominent among them were three grant applications for gaming money totaling $950,000 for the Bucks County Health Improvement Project (BCHIP), the Bucks County Police Association and the Lower Bucks Public Safety Training Facility; a $416,700 (plus utilities) lease agreement for 15 years to add county emergency radio equipment for the new radio system to a tower site in Bensalem Township; and a Commissioners’ resolution in compliance with Act 106 of 2011 to protect against losses that will save the county thousands of dollars over the term of an elected official’s tenure.
Another highlight of the meeting was a brief PowerPoint presentation on the progress of the Bucks County Justice Center construction by Director of Operations Jerry Anderson. The project is approximately 58 percent complete, with a target date of “substantial completion” by August, 2014. Mr. Anderson noted that 110-115 workers are on the job site daily, with that number expected to increase when interior work accelerates. The glass curtain walls that will distinguish the entryway are currently in production, and masonry work to incorporate the 1909 Armory on Shewell Ave. into the building’s design is progressing well. Mr. Anderson also detailed the current accounting of project costs, calculating that the job is running approximately 1.69 percent over the initial contract total due to various change orders.
The meeting commenced with a pair of proclamations. Commissioner Marseglia issued one on behalf of National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. She explained, “For more than 20 years, National Recovery Month has worked to improve the lives of those suffering from addiction and mental health disorders by raising awareness, combating stigma, shaping public policy and educating communities about prevention, treatment and recovery support.” The annual PRO-ACT Recovery Walks! 2013 will take place on Saturday, September 21. During this event, almost 20,000 people will walk for recovery through historic Philadelphia.
Chairman Loughery issued a proclamation honoring the upcoming FACT Aids Walk. Fighting AIDS Continually Together (FACT) Bucks County is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization established in 1992 that serves Bucks County in Pennsylvania as well as Hunterdon and Mercer counties in New Jersey. FACT will hold its 14th annual AIDS Walk on Sunday, October 6, 2013, rain or shine. The scenic 10-kilometer walk will begin at 10 a.m. at New Hope-Solebury High School, 180 W. Bridge St., New Hope.
Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler reminded residents that the county’s 8th Annual Pandemic Flu Drill will take place on Saturday, September 28 at four walk-in locations around the county (please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org, for those addresses). To simulate emergency preparedness, county officials will ask that no bags be brought into any of the four sites. Mr. Hessenthaler also noted that the commissioners will host the annual Fallen Firefighters ceremony at 10 a.m. on Sunday, September 29 in the Courthouse Memorial Courtyard (two names will be added this year).
Chief Clerk Lynn Bush offered a reminder that the county will host an electronics collection event from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Lower Makefield Corporate Center, 770 Township Line Rd. This will be the final opportunity this year for residents to dispose of old computers, television sets, etc.
The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at the new Warwick Township Fire Company, 2390 York Rd. in Jamison. For a complete audio account of the September 18 meeting, please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org, and click on the “Audio from Last Mtg” link on the home page.