While paying a visit to the Bensalem Township Council Chambers on Wednesday, September 7, 2016, the Board of Bucks County Commissioners conducted a full slate of business and issued three proclamations focusing on the themes of suicide awareness and recovery from the ravages of addiction. Commissioners Robert G. Loughery, chairman, Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW also approved a pair of Bucks County Industrial Development Authority resolutions to approve the issuances of more than $36 million in bonds for the benefit of the Livengrin Foundation, Inc. and the School Lane Charter School (both of which are located in Bensalem Township).
Bensalem Mayor Joseph DiGirolamo and members of council welcomed the commissioners to their municipality, which is the county’s most populous. The meeting opened with Chairman Loughery proclaiming September, 2016 as Recovery Month. The annual showcase event “Recovery Walks 2016!” will take place on Saturday, September 17, when 25,000 people will walk for recovery through historic Philadelphia. Statistics show that an estimated 23.1 million Americans are in need of treatment for substance dependence (including approximately 38,000 in Bucks County, but only 1.7 million are receiving treatment and recovery support. “We all know there is an (widespread opioid) epidemic in our communities and what a challenge it is, and we would like to thank those who are involved in the recovery process,” Chairman Loughery said.
The tri-chairs of the Bucks County Suicide Task Force, Wendy Flanigan, Sharon Curran and Maria Picciotti, joined Pat Lufkin of the organization Survivors of Suicide to accept a pair of proclamations on behalf of Suicide Awareness Month. Deputy Administrator Dawn Seader of the County Mental Health/Developmental Programs department thanked the Task Force for its two years of work on prevention and awareness initiatives, highlighted upcoming “QPR” training for County employees (Question, Persuade, Refer) and reminded residents of two upcoming public events – a Candlelight Vigil at the Administration Building on Tuesday, Sept. 13 (5:30 p.m.) and a full-day Suicide Prevention Conference on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at Delaware Valley University.
Moving on to the resolution portion of the meeting, for the Children & Youth Social Services Agency, the commissioners approved a one-year, $470,000 contract renewal with Bristol’s Neighborhood First, Inc. to provide mentoring and monitoring for youth and juvenile offenders. For Courts, the board agreed to approve and authorize acceptance of a $557,392 grant through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency for the Intermediate Punishment Program.
The potential sale of the current County Controllers office at 89 E. Court St. moved ahead with the approval of a listing agreement with J. Carroll Molloy Realtor, LLC of Doylestown to market the property. Commissioner Martin abstained from that vote. The Controller staff will be moving into the Administration Building in the near future.
The commissioners approved a $447,453 annual federal grant for the Pennsylvania Health Department’s Public Health Preparedness Program that will run through June 30, 2017. The board also agreed to several Housing & Community and Human Services contracts for housing, homeless assistance and rental assistance, including a trio of contract with the Bucks County Opportunity Council, Inc. that totaled just over $300,000. Another Human Services contract involved the one-year, $2.532 million Participation Grant Agreement with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to provide transportation services.
As part of the Open Space II referendum of 2007, Falls Township stands to gain $256,592 worth of County Municipal Open Space funding for multiple projects including a pedestrian bridge in Levittown’s Vermillion Hills section and a fishing pier that will benefit residents through a series of improvements.
In the capital improvement arena, the board voted to approve the $62,389 purchase and installation of carpet tiles at the Youth Center through Barb-Lin, Inc. of Doylestown.
Commissioner Marseglia cast one nay vote, a one-year, $263,750 contract renewal for Children & Youth involving resident treatment programs through VisionQuest National, Ltd. of Tucson, AZ.
Following the commissioners’ approval of a $70,395 purchase of 6,000 doses of seasonal flu vaccine from Sanofi Pasteur of Swiftwater, PA, Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler reminded residents of three dates on which the County Health department will offer free flus shots this fall: Saturday, Sept. 24 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in Quakertown; Saturday Oct. 1 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. in Levittown and Saturday, Oct. 15 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. in Doylestown.
Chief Clerk Lynn Bush told attendees that County planning officials are working in collaboration with the County Commissioners’ Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) to address the hardships that have been created for residents in disposing of old televisions and computer monitors.
The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, in the Bucks County Administration Building Commissioners’ Meeting Room, 55 E. Court St., 1st, Floor, Doylestown, PA 18901. For a complete audio account of the September 7, 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.