The June 15 Board of Bucks County Commissioners business session, which was dominated by Human Services resolutions, also included a somber tone of mourning in remembrance of last weekend’s nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL. Chairman Robert G. Loughery opened the proceedings in the Morrisville Borough Council Chamber with a moment of silence, and Commissioners Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW also registered their disgust with the loss of life in Florida and the circumstances surrounding it.
The resolution portion of the meeting included the approval of 56 contracts and agreements involving 13 County departments. Of those, 20 included the Mental Health/Developmental Programs (MH/DP) department. The most significant MH/DP contract was a one-year, $4.722 million renewal with Doylestown’s Lenape Valley Foundation to provide mental health services through June 30, 2017. The board also approved a one-year, $328,211 contract increase with Penndel Mental Health Center of Langhorne to provide housing and mental health services.
In the Behavioral Health realm, the commissioners agreed to a one-year, $450,000 contract with Philadelphia’s Resources for Human Development, Inc. to fund start-up of a drug and alcohol halfway house and rehabilitation services in Penndel. After considerable discussion, they also signed off on an 18-month, $95,500 contract with Treatment Implementation Collaborative, LLC of Seattle to provide Dialectical Behavioral Therapy training and support. This training is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy, according to MH/DP Director Donna Duffy Bell.
The commissioners approved six contracts for the Children & Youth Social Services Agency, including a one-year, $105,000 renewal for emergency shelter services with St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne and a one-month, $60,000 agreement with Youth Services Agency of Jim Thorpe, PA to provide after school programming for underserved youth.
The County’s aggressive bridge maintenance program continued to make progress with the approval of a pair of contracts, one a $480,541 agreement with Professional Construction Contractors, Inc. of Bethlehem to repair County Bridge No. 252, which carries Milford Square Pike over Unami Creek in Milford Township, and the other a $487,551 increase with Taylor, Wiseman & Taylor of Blue Bell, PA for additional engineering services as required by PennDOT for the replacement of County Bridge No. 21 on Rickert Rd. in Hilltown Township. The Bridge No. 21 agreement drew sharp criticism from Commissioners Loughery and Martin, who noted that the cost of the engineerinThe board also approved a General Services contract with Pro Com Roofing Corporation of Warrington to replace the roof at 30 East Court St. in Doylestown.
For Housing and Community Development, the commissioners approved an 18-month, $162,500 contract for Dublin Borough to improve sidewalks, curb ramps and other facilities at seven locations along State Route 313 (Main St.). That agreement was federally funded from the 2015 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The board also accepted a two-year, $100,000 Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).
In the Planning Commission realm, the commissioners approved a pair of one-year Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) contracts to provide transportation planning services ($84,000) and public transit planning services ($61,734). Residents of Morrisville Borough attending the meeting also thanked Planning Commission Executive Director Lynn T. Bush for the County’s assistance with planning issues in the historic borough.
The meeting opened with a pair of proclamations, the first recognizing Bucks for Kids (B4K) and the excellent work that organization does in providing scholarships for children in foster care. This year, 15 scholarship recipients will benefit from the non-profit’s work. The commissioners also proclaimed June 15 as “Elder Abuse Awareness Day” throughout the county. National experts estimate that for every case of elder abuse, neglect, exploitation, or abandonment that is reported, as many as 23.5 cases go unreported. To that end, Bucks County maintains a Crimes against Older Adults Task Force.Commissioner Marseglia thanked the approximately 1,000 participants in the county’s first “Out of the Dark” Suicide Awareness Walk at the Bucks County Technical High School on Sunday, June 5. The event raised $42,000 and was a huge success.
Chairman Loughery pledged the board’s support for the 23 boroughs that dot Bucks County, noting that one goal is to keep them viable by remaining “flexible and mobile.” The chairman also reported that the County’s soon-to-be-released financial audit promises to be a positive one.
Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler announced that Bucks County will be receiving partial reimbursement from DCED for costs incurred during the Pope’s visit last September. The commissioners approved a resolution to accept approximately $226,000 that will be distributed to municipalities and others who were involved in that historic effort.
The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 6 at the Van Sant Airport, 516 Cafferty Rd., Erwinna, PA 18920. For a complete audio account of the June 15, 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.