During its final business session before heading out on the road for spring and summer bi-weekly meetings, the Board of Bucks County Commissioners approved 24 contract resolutions involving 12 County departments on the morning of Wednesday, March 19. The three-member board of Robert G. Loughery, chairman, Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW also issued a pair of proclamations in recognition of Social Work Month and Weights and Measures Week (March 24-28, 2014).
The County’s ongoing efforts to protect open space continued with the unanimous approval of a Municipal Open Space Program grant for $185,570 (or 75 percent of average appraised value) on a 27.34-acre portion of the Weinman Property in New Britain Township. According to County Open Space Coordinator Dave Johnson, the property is a working farm located at Chapman and King roads – near the County owned Peace Valley Park. It is also situated close to previously preserved open space.
The majority of the agenda items involved the Children & Youth Social Services Agency, as 10 contracts gained acceptance. Among them was a one-year, $1.715 million contract renewal with Christ’s Home for Children of Warminster for group home services, transitional living services, and a mother/baby program; a $162,924 contract with CSG Global of Conshohocken for delivery and installation of telephone voice system equipment and maintenance for the new Children & Youth offices in Furlong (through January 14, 2017); and a one-year $215,595 contract with K/S Consultants, Inc. of Warrington to provide truancy prevention/diversion to youth. The K/S contract was questioned by Commissioner Martin and former Commissioner Andrew Warren, and Children & Youth Executive Director Lynne Rainey explained that the program impacted 73 truant youngsters. After that discussion, Commissioner Martin voted against the contract, which passed by a 2-1 margin.
The board unanimously approved a pair of one-year contracts for Tabor Children’s Services in Doylestown, an $896,180 renewal to provide life skills and transitional support to facilitate the transition our of the foster care system, and a $450,000 agreement to provide intensive family services. The next Commissioners’ Meeting (April 2 and 4:30 p.m. – note time) will be conducted at the Tabor Children’s Services headquarters.
For the Family Service Association of Bucks County, the board approved a $150,000 resolution to appropriate funds for housing and emergency shelter services. Following some questions about a one-year $16,734 contract with Capacity for Change, LLC (Jason Alexander) to prepare a housing plan for the County as required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the board approved the resolution by a 3-0 margin.
The Department of Corrections will be updating its Windows operating systems at the Youth Center and all other Department facilities following approval of a $295,475 contract with Honeywell International, Inc. In addition, the County Health Department will receive a $380,769 grant renewal from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Family Health for the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) program.
Commissioner Marseglia voted against a one-year, $123,041 Finance department renewal of Public Officials & Employment Practices liability policy with Western World Ins. Co. of Franklin Lakes, NJ.
The board also unanimously approved a pair of significant “other civics” contributions, including $15,000 for the Bristol Riverside Theater (from the County Tourism Fund) and $14,000 for the Network of Victims Assistance (NOVA).
During his bi-weekly report, Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler told attendees that the Bucks County Department of Corrections will host the Pennsylvania County Corrections Conference in Trevose from April 6-9, congratulating the department on that honor. He also reminded residents that the next Medication Take Back Day will be Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at several dozen locations around the county (please visit the official website, www.BucksCounty.org).
Chief Clerk Lynn Bush reported that Bucks County recently was one of 10 Pennsylvania counties to receive a state transportation grant intended to address driving congestion. The $1.75 million allocation will be used to install more traffic responsive signals along Street Rd. (Rte. 132) in Bensalem Township and along the Newtown Bypass (Rte. 332) in Newtown Township.
The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 in the . For a complete audio account of the March 19 business meeting, please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org, and click on the “Audio from Last Mtg” link on the home page.