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2015 News

Commissioners Approve 23 Contract Resolutions during Feb. 4 Business Meeting

February 4, 2015

A Board of Commissioners business agenda dominated by 10 contract proposals for the Bucks County Children & Youth Social Services Agency unfolded in the Bucks County Administration Building Community Room on the morning of Wednesday, February 4. Ultimately, Commissioners Robert G. Loughery, chairman, Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW approved nine of those Children & Youth contracts, unanimously tabling a one-year, $589,376 agreement with Child & Family Focus of Valley Forge, PA involving children with complex needs and their families. That item will undergo additional consideration.

Highlighting the Children & Youth items that garnered approval were a one-year, $551,000 contract with Lutheran Children and Family Service for intensive in-home family services and aftercare, a one-year, $1.85 million agreement with Youth Services Agency of Jim Thorpe, PA to provide case management, counseling and residential treatment services for adolescents under Juvenile Court supervision, and a one-year, $754,000 contract with YMCA of Bucks County to provide Life Skills, Camps and Literacy programs.

The commissioners debated a pair of two-year Board of Elections contracts to provide election advertising with The Intelligencer (Doylestown, for a total of $44,818.10, or $1.85 per line) and The Philadelphia Inquirer ($23,983.74, or .99 per line). Director of Elections Deena Dean explained the requirements for the process, noting that the election information must be published in at least two newspapers of general circulation. Commissioner Marseglia ultimately cast a “no” vote on the proposed contracts, which passed by a 2-1 margin.

The board unanimously approved a $150,000 appropriation for Family Service Association of Bucks County for housing and emergency shelter services at the organization’s Levittown facility. The shelter is a safe haven for many county residents, particularly during the winter months.

In 2015, the Bucks County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) will celebrate its 10
th anniversary. The commissioners voted to approve a $3,500 Health Department grant from the National Association of County and City Health Officials for building, training and recruiting members of the MRC program. The MRC and Bucks County Health Department will host a public 10th anniversary celebration inside the Oxford Valley Mall from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, March 28. More information about that event will be forthcoming at future Commissioners’ Meetings.

After a lengthy discussion, the commissioners approved a one-year, $40,000 Housing and Community Development contract renewal with the Bucks County Housing Group for financial education and counseling services for first-time homebuyers and homeowners facing foreclosure. County Director of 
Housing and Community Development Roger Collins explained that the program features 150 eight-hour workshops annually. Pressed by Commissioner Martin for more detailed outcomes, Mr. Collins noted that workshop attendees general fall into three categories: 1) individuals who are not good homeowner candidates; 2) individuals who may be future homeowners; and 3) individuals who are good candidates at the time of attendance. Over the last 20 years, the program has helped 584 families (for a total of 1,752 residents), an average of about 29 per year. During recent years, that number has dwindled to about 15. Mr. Collins promised a detailed statistics for of this year’s efforts.

For the Information Technology department, the board unanimously approved a three-year, $491,128 contract with Pomeroy IT Solutions Sales Company, Inc. to provide an upgrade in capacity and capabilities to allow for current and future growth needs. The contract will allow for greater data storage, including increased use of video associated with the opening of the new Justice Center.

Chairman Loughery abstained from one item for the Planning Commission, a seven-month, $25,000 contract with Gilmore & Associates, Inc. of New Britain to perform a traffic analysis for the Cross Keys Transportation and Land Use Study. This initiative came out of the Commissioners’ ongoing Municipal Economic Development Initiative (MEDI).

During his bi-weekly report, Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler congratulated County Corrections, Adult Probation and Parole and Human Services officials for earning 10 spots in the very competitive federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Train the Trainer program. Bucks County was one of 10 counties nationwide to be invited.

Chief Clerk Lynn Bush shared with the commissioners news that the Planning Commission has joined with the County Recorder of Deeds to make Bucks the first county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to implement electronic record plans.

The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, February 18, 2015, in the Bucks County Administration Building Community Room (1
st Floor), 55 E. Court St., Doylestown, PA 18901. For a complete audio account of the February 4, 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.