Approximately 12 hours after the conclusion of the November 5 Municipal Election results tabluation, the Board of Bucks County Commissioners conducted a full slate of business in the Bucks County Courthouse Community Room. Before Commissioners Robert G. Loughery, chairman, Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW approved 41 contract resolutions involving 16 county departments, Chairman Loughery asked the packed room to remember late County Emergency Services Director John D. Dougherty, Jr. and his family. Mr. Dougherty, who served the County in that key capacity from 1992-2012, passed away last Saturday at his residence.
A highlight of the business agenda was the unanimous approval of the Bucks County Agricultural Land Preservation Program’s 161st farm, the 76.21-acre Robert Pope Farm in Haycock and Richland townships. A corn and hay farm, the Pope tract is adjacent to and/or within one mile of 500 previously preserved acres. The commissioners approved $480,123 plus settlement charges and adjustments to place a conservation easement on the property, lifting the total acreage preserved through the program to 13,744, according to County Agricultural Land Preservation Director Rich Harvey.
For Emergency Communications, the board approved a $200,000 upgrade of the Commonwealth Law Enforcement Assistance Network (CLEAN) and Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) interface with Northrup Grumman Systems Corporation.
The General Services portion of the agenda included approval of nine items and the tabling of a $39,195 resolution with Kiss Electric, LLC of Levittown to install a natural gas generator at the Lower Bucks Government Services Center in Levittown. The General Services items included the 2-1 approval of a $60,730 contract increase with new Justice Center general contractor Ernest Bock and Sons, Inc. for ongoing time and materials associated with the Armory and a $52,304 contract increase Bock and Sons for modifications to the fire rated chase connection detail. Commissioner Ellis-Marseglia voted against both Justice Center change orders.
The board approved three Human Resources contracts that extend through December, 2016, including a Memorandum of Understanding for wage increases and adoption of insurance plans for 19 Bucks County Correctional Facility lieutenants and captains, a renewal of Contract Agreement with the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA), Union 06, for 47 registered nurses working in public health service and at Neshaminy Manor, and a renewal of Contract Agreement with PSEA, Union 86, for 10 first level supervisors at the Bucks County Health Department and Neshaminy Manor.
Tabled items that will undergo further discussion included a pair of Board of Elections advertising contracts and a proposed Register of Wills agreement to provide litigation services for an ongoing federal lawsuit.
Commissioner Ellis-Marseglia also voted against a pair of Finance department insurance premiums, one for Emergency Communications narrowband equipment and one for annual Flood Insurance.
The commissioners issued four proclamations, including Commissioner Martin recognizing Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, Commissioner Ellis-Marseglia celebrating the 50th anniversary of Bucks county Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Chairman Loughery recognizing Tuesday, December 3 at “Giving Tuesday Bucks (a new philanthropic effort),” and Commissioner Martin proclaiming November as National Adoption Month throughout the County of Bucks.
Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler joined the commissioner to thank the Board of Elections for its work during the November 5 Municipal Election. During the 14 hours after the polls closed, nearly 20,000 “hits” were made on the official election results page on www.BucksCounty.org. According to Board of Elections Director Deena Dean, preliminary figures indicate an approximate 22 percent turnout of registered voters.
The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 in the Bucks County Courthouse Community Room, 1st Floor. For a complete audio account of the November 6 meeting, please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org, and click on the “Audio from Last Mtg” link on the home page.