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2015 News

Commissioners Approve 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Borrowing during Nov. 4 Post-Election Business Meeting

November 5, 2015

Returning to the friendly confines of the Bucks County Administration Building Community Room less than 24 hours after the polls closed on the Nov. 3, 2015 Municipal Election, the Board of Bucks County Commissioners unanimously approved 36 contract resolutions involving 13 County departments. Pending the official count of the Nov. 3 election – which will take place later this week – the commissioners will remain unchanged: including Robert G. Loughery, who has served as chair from 2012-15, Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW.

Proclamation for Random Acts of Kindness Day, a tribute to Abby Schumer, who passed away in 2012 at 10 yrs old. Abby’s Light Foundation was created to honor her memory. “We all seek kindness, especially those of us have lost children,” said Mr. Schumer.A highlight of the one-hour, five-minute business session was the approval of County Ordinance No. 148 authorizing the issuance of the general obligation notes, 2015 series in the aggregate principal amount of $11 million and approving certain capital projects. That borrowing will be used to purchase 9-1-1 Emergency Communications equipment including a new telephone system, computer aided dispatch (CAD) equipment and generator equipment.

The meeting also featured a request from Commissioner Martin to draft a letter to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and the state legislators asking for a timely response about the ongoing state budget impasse – which stands at more than four months. The letter addresses funding gaps and potential repayment of interest lost during the stalemate. “We are getting closer and closer to needing to make a decision (about potential borrowing to cover costs),” Chairman Loughery added.

Taking up a business agenda that was halfway filled with 17 items for the Mental Health/Developmental Programs (MH/DP) department, the board opened by approving two items for senior services through the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and a $73,500 Behavioral Health contract with Zelenkofske Axelrod LLC of Jamison, PA to provide auditing services for the calendar year 2015. The AAA contracts included a six-month, $24,164 contract with the Morrisville Senior Servicenter to provide funding through Dec. 31, 2015 and a one-year, $17,000 increase and extension with Woodside Meals on Wheels of Newtown, PA to provide home-delivered meals.

For the General Services department, the board approved a six-month listing contract extension for the sale of 20 E. Court St. in Doylestown with Green Street Real Estate of Doylestown, PA. That listing is part of the County’s ongoing effort to move outlying departments to the Justice Center/Administration Building complex while putting properties back on the tax rolls. The commissioners also untabled a General Services item from their Oct. 7 meeting, a $98,184 contract with Winterspring LLC dba Archewild of Quakertown, PA to provide cleanup and riparian buffer restoration of six County owned sites along the Neshaminy Creek. Commissioner Martin originally asked to table the item in order to find out if work-release inmates could do some of the cleanup work. The cost of that inmate work will be refunded to the County.

Brian Hessenthaler, COO; Commissioners Charles Martin, Robert Loughery and Diane Ellis-Marseglia; and Solicitor Michael Klimpl at the November 4 Commissioners' MeetingThe Information Technology department generated a $31,836.66 credit from AVAYA of Oklahoma City, OK due to a contract decrease for on-site maintenance of telephone systems at 16 district court locations throughout the county. Additionally, the County Planning Commission will continue to be the epicenter of Geographic Information System (GIS) operations following the approval of a one-year, $43,005 contract renewal of software licenses and maintenance through Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. of Redlands, CA.

The meeting opened with Chairman Loughery proclaiming Nov. 19, 2015 as “Random Acts of Kindness Day” throughout the County of Bucks. The day is a tribute to the late Abby Schumer, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 10. Her parents, including father Mike, started Abby’s Light Foundation to honor her memory. “We all seek kindness, especially those of us have lost their children,” Mr. Schumer told the commissioners and those assembled in the Community Room.

During the commissioners’ remarks portion of the meeting, Chairman Loughery appointed 20 members of the business and education community to the federally mandated Workforce Development Board. That board will meet quarterly during upcoming months.Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler praised two prominent members of the County workforce for their appointment to boards, including Corrections Director Bill Planter who was named to the New Jersey Prison Complex Board by Gov. Chris Christie and 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Director Audrey Kenny who was named to the Pennsylvania 9-1-1 Board by Gov. Wolf. Mr. Hessenthaler noted that turnout for the Nov. 3 Municipal Election was just under 25 percent countywide, and he added that the state budget impasse reached its 127th day, adding: “The silence from Harrisburg speaks volumes.”

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