The Board of Bucks County Commissioners paid a timely visit to the new Warwick Fire Company and its new meeting room on York Rd. in Jamison the morning of October 2. The bi-monthly business session featured the approval of 27 contract resolutions for 11 county departments. It also included three proclamations issued by Commissioners Robert G. Loughery, chairman, Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW – two of which involved fire safety in this annual October recognition of “Fire Prevention Month.”
The 75 volunteer members of the Warwick Fire Company serve and protect more than 20,000 Bucks County residents by responding to more than 300 calls annually. The company took occupancy of the new station during February, 2013, and dedicated the building on September 21. Chief Bob Weber welcomed the commissioners to the new facility and provided a tour of the building after the meeting. Northampton Township Fire Marshal also presented information about ongoing efforts to publicize the importance of having operational smoke detectors in a home. “Ask yourself: ‘Can you hear your smoke detectors if they activate?’ “ he reminded meeting attendees. He also stressed new technology involved with wireless smoke detectors, which can offer the same level of protection to a 100-year-old home as a new one. The county fire service has set up a website dedicated to fire prevention, www.BucksCountyFireSafeHomes.com.
Services for the new Justice Center were front and center on the business agenda, as Commissioners Loughery and Martin approved four contracts related to the Information Technology, Audio Visual and telephone systems. Those agreements include a $17,440.54 contract with CPAC, Inc. of Anaheim, CA to purchase IT network cabling; a $155,833 change order to AV equipment and additional IT data drops with The Farfield Company of Lititz, PA; a $304,842.39 contract with Optivor Technologies, LLC of Annapolis, MD to purchase and install the new telephone system; and a $737,403.57 contract with Pomeroy IT Solutions Sales Company, Inc. of Mechanicsburg, PA to purchase IT network equipment hardware. Director of Operations Jerry Anderson told the Board that initial cost estimates for IT and telephone work for the new Justice Center were approximately $1 million. The Farfield change order will lead to cost saving on the back end of the AV and It contracts. Commissioner Marseglia voted against all four Justice Center contracts.
For the county Children & Youth Social Services Agency, Commissioners Loughery and Martin approved nearly $97,000 (with Commissioner Marseglia dissenting) of computer purchases – laptop and tablet PC’s – from PCMG, Inc. of Chantilly, VA. The board unanimously agreed on a one-year, $1.925 million contract renewal with Youth Services Agency of Jim Thorpe, PA to provide case management, counseling and resident treatment services for adolescents under Juvenile Court supervision. Commissioner Marseglia also cast a third vote for a $353,000 contract renewal with VisionQuest National, Ltd. of Tucson, AZ to provide residential treatment programs (including a group home in Bensalem).
The commissioners unanimously approved a pair of grant revenue items - $65,711 with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) from the Hazardous Material Response Fund and $486,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Communicable Diseases for the federal immunization grant.
The board also agreed to three Human Resources items, including renewal of contract agreement with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), District Council 88, for 16 sergeants at the Bucks County Correctional Facility (BCCF) and an agreement with the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) on behalf of employees affected by the privatization of the dispensary at the BCCF.
Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler asked county Health Director Dr. David Damsker to recap last Saturday’s 8th Annual Pandemic Flu Drill, which provided more than 4,500 free seasonal flu vaccinations at four walk-in sites around the county. Dr. Damsker reminded residents that they can still schedule a free flu shot with the Health Department by calling 215-345-3318.
The third proclamation of the morning was issued in recognition of Disability Employment Awareness Month. As Commissioner Marseglia noted in presenting the document to members of the county Mental Health/Development Programs staff: “The Bucks County Department of Mental Health/Developmental Programs has focused on and engaged with community partners to embrace efforts which promote employment for all Bucks County citizens. Through the Moving Employment Forward initiative, College Plus, and Peer Support Certification we have seen an increase in the number of individuals engaged in employment and career opportunities.”
The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at Penn Foundation, 807 Lawn Ave., Sellersville. For a complete audio account of the October 2 meeting, please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org, and click on the “Audio from Last Mtg” link on the home page.