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2015 News

Robert G. Loughery to Serve Fourth Consecutive Term as Commissioner Chairman

January 7, 2015

During their January 7 business meeting in the Bucks County Courthouse Community Room, the Board of Bucks County Commissioners maintained status quo by nominating and unanimously appointing Robert G. Loughery the chair for 2015. Chairman Loughery joined the Board of Commissioners during February, 2011, subsequently serving as chair in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

“I appreciate the confidence of my colleagues,” Chairman Loughery stated, praising fellow board members Charles H. Martin, vice chairman, and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW, for their spirit of collaboration on behalf of more than 630,000 Bucks County residents. “I mean it when I say we know how to tackle things together.”

The year 2015 promises change and challenge with the opening of the new, 285,000-square foot Bucks County Justice Center later this month. During their miscellaneous remarks, Chairman Loughery and Commissioner Martin reminded the public that the County will host an open house in the new building from noon-3 p.m. on Sunday, January 11. “We are looking forward to that this weekend,” Chairman Loughery added.

The business of the morning included the unanimous approval of 28 contract resolutions involving 17 County departments. “We are starting a new year 3-0 (vote on items),” Chairman Loughery noted.

The board also tabled two items for further consideration: a one-year, $54,694 contract renewal with Eleanor Fanning, Esq., of Trevose, PA to act as hearing officer for petitions filed in Bucks County under the Mental Health and Retardation Act; and a $34,345 contract increase for the resizing of attorney tables in the new Justice Center with Ernest Bock & Sons, Inc. (that item was tabled by a 2-1 margin, with Chairman Loughery dissenting).

For the Area Agency on Aging (AAA), the commissioners approved a one-year, $180,000 contract with Bucks County Transport to provide subsidized transportation services for seniors. For Behavioral Health, the board signed off on a one-year, $70,014 contract renewal with Bucks County Housing Group, Inc. to provide start-up housing assistance to eligible adults.

Discussion about a proposed Consumer Protection/Weights & Measures fee schedule increase prompted a minor change intended to assist small business with devices that are inspected. According to County Consumer Protection Director Mike Bannon, the agency had not increased fees since 2011.

The federally mandated Emergency Communications “Narrowbanding” continued moving toward a scheduled 2015 cutover of 9-1-1 operations with the approval of a contract settlement agreement through radio provider Motorola Solutions, Inc. of Schaumburg, IL.

The commissioners approved a pair of one-year Health Department state grants totaling more than $330,000 for West Nile Virus mosquito-control activities ($144,900) and Health HIV Prevention ($185,113).

In the General Services realm, the board authorized a $248,859.50 low-bid contract with Professional Construction Contractors, Inc. of Bethlehem, PA to provide repairs to Bucks County Bridge No. 293, on Gravel Hill Rd. over Mill Creek in Upper Southampton Twp.

For the Planning Commission, the board accepted $800,000 in revenue through the Bucks County Redevelopment Authority to fund the Lower Bucks Public Safety Training Center and the Bucks County Health Improvement Partnership (BCHIP). These funds are provided through a gaming fund grant resolution.

The meeting opened with one proclamation. Commissioner Martin recognized January, 2015 as “Impact Thrift Stores Month” throughout the County of Bucks. According to Impact Thrift Stores President and CEO Gray Wirth, the organization has donated over $2 million to local charities since 2001. It also provides an abundance of court-appointed community service opportunities. Impact Thrift Stores operates four locations: Feasterville (91 E. Street Rd.), Montgomeryville, Hatboro and Norristown. Its website is: www.impactthrift.org.

Following the contract portion of the agenda, Commissioner Marseglia asked the Health Department and Emergency Management Agency to examine the County’s “Code Blue” requirements, which currently mandate consecutive nights of ambient temperature of 20 degrees Farenheit or less. The County is currently in the midst of a five-night Code Blue activation, with shelters located in Bristol Township, Buckingham Township and Quakertown.

During brief remarks, Chief Clerk Lynn Bush thanked retiring Planning Commission Senior Environmental Planner Dennis Livrone for 35 years and six months of service to the County. According to Ms. Bush, he is the second-longest tenured employee in the Planning Commission’s 64 years of operation. Mr. Livrone also co-chaired the County’s Bucks Employees’ Green Initiative (BEGIN) Committee for the last seven years, addressing issues such as recycling and energy savings.

The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, in the Bucks County Courthouse Community Room (1
st Floor), 55 E. Court St., Doylestown, PA 18901. For a complete audio account of the January 7, 2015 business meeting, please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org, and click on the “Audio from Last Mtg” link on the home page.