During 2015, the Bucks County Emergency Communications department fielded approximately 1,000,000 phone calls, dispatching police, fire and emergency medical personnel to more than 586,000 requests. In recognition of their role in protecting public safety, Commissioners Robert G. Loughery, chairman, Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia saluted Emergency Communications Director Audrey Kenny and her staff of 98 full-time dispatchers and supervisory staff with a well-deserved proclamation at their April 6, 2016 business meeting. Chairman Loughery declared April 10-16 “National Dispatchers Week” throughout Bucks County, noting: “Our dispatchers provide the vital link for police officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel by monitoring their activities by radio, gathering information and ultimately ensuring public safety.” Mrs. Kenny thanked the board for their ongoing support, which included approval of a $239,017 contract with NICE Systems, Inc. of Reston, VA for a system upgrade and hardware replacement of the 9-1-1 voice logger/recorder system.
The business session in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room also included a comprehensive explanation of the upcoming Core Creek Cat Collaboration effort to reduce the population of stray and feral cats that have conglomerated inside the park. Denise Bash of the organization Animal Lifeline discussed the collaboration, which includes organizations at the local, state and national levels. The makeshift cat colonies that have proliferated in Core Creek will be dismantled and some 200 traps will be placed to help move cats to temporary shelters. They will received veterinary treatment such as spay/neuter, vaccinations and other services as needed. Volunteers will seek to find permanent homes for many of the animals, and Chairman Loughery is slated to adopt three cats for his barn in Bedminster Township.
The business resolution portion of the 42-minute meeting included the unanimous approval of 22 contracts involving 13 County departments. One of the highlights was the General Services-related approval of the sale of 20 E. Court St. in Doylestown Borough to JBV Investments, LLC for $860,000 less settlement costs. The building will be presented to the Doylestown Borough Zoning Board for consideration as a residential project.
The commissioners approved just over $1.5 million for five Children & Youth Social Services Agency contracts, including a one-year, $530,000 renewal with Glen Mills of Concordville, PA for residential institutional care and aftercare services, a one-year, $490,000 renewal with the Cornell Abraxas Group, Inc. of Pittsburgh to provide long-term drug and alcohol treatment services, and a one-year, $420,000 renewal with KidsPeace National Centers, Inc. of Schnecksville, PA for shelter, foster care and residential treatment services.
Another significant expenditure came in the Health Department realm, as the board approved a one-year, $4.143 million contract increase and extension with PrimeCare Medical, Inc. of Harrisburg to provide inmate health services to the Bucks County Department of Corrections facilities. PrimeCare has handled County inmate health matters since July 1, 2013.
In addition to National Dispatchers Week, the commissioners proclaimed April as Month of the Young Child in support of a national recognition for early childhood teachers and caregivers, celebrating their efforts to make a difference in the lives of young children and their work helping children develop the skills they will need to succeed in school. Commissioner Marseglia read that proclamation. Commissioners Martin read a third proclamation, honoring Crime Victims’ Right Week and the good work that is being done in the community by the Network of Victims’ Assistance (NOVA) and other organizations.
During commissioners’ comments, Commissioner Martin thanked the Bucks Beautiful organization for planting a daffodil garden on the hill in front of the County’s Neshaminy Manor Long-Term Care facility in Warrington. Chairman Loughery provided a recap of the County’s first-ever Farm Summit, March 30 in Perkasie. He thanked attendees from the agricultural community, adding that the four-hour event could have been much longer due to the flow of ideas and information.
Chief Clerk Lynn Bush reported that the Board of Elections is preparing diligently for the April 26 General Primary, working to maintain its “excellent record of conducting elections.” Ms. Bush also reminded residents that the 2016 Household Hazardous Waste schedule is available on the County website. That program does not include electronics. The first event is scheduled for 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (rain or shine) at Harry S. Truman High School, 3001 Green Ln., Bristol Twp.
The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 6 at the Churchville Nature Center, 501 Churchville Ln., Churchville, PA 18966. For a complete audio account of the April 20, 2016 business meeting, please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org, and click on the “Audio from Last Mtg” link on the home page.