The Board of Bucks County Commissioners continued its tour of valued community partner organizations on Wednesday, October 16 by conducting its bi-monthly business in the spacious meeting room of the Penn Foundation Behavorial Health Services complex. The brisk 50-minute session featured the approval of 35 contract resolutions for 15 county departments and the presentation of the Bucks County Conservation District’s annual Fred Groshens Farmer of the Year to Andy Robinson of Second Chance Farm in Quakertown.
The Penn Foundation has been serving the region’s most vulnerable citizens since the early 1950’s. The organization employs more than 400, providing services to more than 10,000 individuals annually.
Commissioner Chairman Robert G. Loughery opened the meeting by reminding attendees that Saturday, October 19 is the county’s 21st annual Pumpkinfest on the grounds of the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works in Doylestown. The event draws thousands of area residents, who enjoy artist’s carvings of giant pumpkin squash. Chairman Loughery then issued a commendation to Mr. Robinson, lauding him for his excellent stewardship of the 137-acre active crop and livestock Second Chance Farm. In addition to the commendation, Conservation District Manager Gretchen Schatschneider presented Mr. Robinson with a framed aerial picture of his farm.
The contract resolution portion of the agenda opened with the unanimous tabling of a proposed 101.90 acre agricultural conservation easement with the Township of Lower Makefield on the Patterson Farm. Chairman Loughery joined Commissioners Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia in agreement that more conversation should take place about the $641,970 county portion of the proposed easement. A portion of the Patterson farm previously has been preserved by the county.
For the Emergency Communications department, the board approved a five-year, $151,986 contract with Northrop Grumman Systems, Corp., Information Systems Sector of Chantilly, VA to provide installation of the CAD System on new replacement servers for the 911 and backup centers. Chairman Loughery thanked the state government for facilitating the payment of this contract through wireless call surcharges – at no cost to the county general fund.
For Emergency Management, the commissioners unanimously approved a one-year, $56,270 contract with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey, for the continued operation and maintenance of six gauging stations in the Neshaminy Creek Basin. These gauges have been extremely valuable for monitoring creek conditions in the flood-prone residential areas of lower Bucks County.
The commissioners also approved an agreement of sale for $640,000 less settlement costs for the office building located at 108 N. Main St. in Doylestown Borough. Chairman Loughery noted that this contract only represents an agreement, not a final closing on the property.
General Services’ deliberation also included a $689,213.50 contract with Professional Construction Contractors, Inc. of Bethlehem, PA to provide repairs to Bucks County Bridge No. 198, on Bridge St. over Cooks Creek in Springfield Township. Asked by Commissioner Marseglia about the low-bid contract, Director of Operations Jerry Anderson noted that the recent economy has produced some “attractive bids.” Commissioner Marseglia abstained from voting for the contract, which passed by a 2-0-1 margin.
For the Purchasing Department, the board unanimously approved the county’s $106, 672 portion of the Southeastern PA Counties Cooperative Purchasing Board’s bid for photocopy paper from Oct. 1, 2013-Sept. 30, 2014. Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler indicated that this cost represents a seven (7) percent reduction over the previous year. Commissioner Martin praised county employees and the Bucks Employees Green Initiative (BEGIN) for their role in that reduction.
Chief Operating Officer Hessenthaler mentioned only one item during his bi-weekly report, reminding all registered voters that the polls will be open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 5 for the Municipal Election, adding, “Get out and vote.”
The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 in the Bucks County Courthouse Community Room, 1st Floor. For a complete audio account of the October 16 meeting, please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org, and click on the “Audio from Last Mtg” link on the home page.