The Board of Bucks County Commissioners conducted its quarterly night meeting on Wednesday, October 5 in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room of the Bucks County Administration Building. The agenda featured the approval of 39 contract resolutions – many of them related to Human Services – and a pair of proclamations. Commissioner Robert G. Loughery, chairman, Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW proclaimed October, 2016 as “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” and presented the document to representatives of A Woman’s Place and also celebrated Bucks County’s Healthy Families, Healthy Community week with guests from the Network of Victims’ Assistance (NOVA) organization. While reading the Domestic Violence proclamation, Commissioner Marseglia noted that her first volunteer service was at A Woman’s Place.
A total of 13 of the 39 approved resolutions involved the County’s Children & Youth Social Services Agency (C&Y). The board signed off on more than $620,000 of support for Langhorne’s Family Service Association of Bucks County for shelter operations, various programs and the Nurturing Parent program through June 30, 2017. The C&Y discussion also included a lengthy analysis of a one-year, $300,000 contract renewal with K/S Consultants, Inc. to provide the Truancy Prevention/Diversion program. Representatives of the Bensalem and Council Rock school districts discussed the logistics of the program, while all three commissioners questioned its efficacy. Ultimately, Commissioner Martin voted against the contract, which was approved by a 2-1 vote.
For the Department of Corrections, the board approved a three-year, $3.946 million contract with Trinity Services, LLC of Chicago to provide food services for County correctional facilities. The commissioners also noted that the Corrections vegetable/herb garden continues to be a superb complement to those contracted food services.
General Services’ items included a $137,014 agreement with Black Box Networks of Blue Bell, PA for the purchase and installation of phone systems for 30 and 55 E. Court St. buildings. Commissioner Martin inquired about the warranty terms for that contract going forward. The board also approved a two-year $1.054 million increase and extension of the Children & Youth Social Services lease for office space with Heritage Business Center, L.P. Chairman Loughery expounded on that contract, adding that C&Y employees will be moving into the Administration Building in the near future as part of the County’s efforts to streamline services into a central location.
The current Controller’s office at 89 E. Court St. will be sold to Kevin B. Fitzgerald, M.D. for $800,005 less settlement costs through J. Carroll Molloy, Realtor. The Controller’s office also will be moving into the Administration Building during 2017.
The commissioners unanimously approved a $249,434 Juvenile Probation grant application and subsequent award documents for a two-year Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency Victims of Juvenile Offenders grant.
In the Mental Health/Developmental Programs realm, the board approved seven resolutions, including a one-year, $419,190 contract renewal with Access Services, Inc. of Fort Washington, PA to provide home and community habilitation, supported living and intensive case management services.
The board also made an extensive number of appointments to County boards and authorities, in addition to approving a $20,000 “other civics” to the Michener Museum.
Commissioners Loughery and Martin offered praise for the County’s “Tour of Honor” program, a one-day event that takes World War II and Korean War to Washington, D.C. for a tour of historic sites. Both commissioners participated in the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by transporting a pair of veterans in wheelchairs to the ceremony. At the end of the day, Commissioner Martin overheard one veteran exclaim: “That was the greatest day I’ve had in the last 66 years.”
Commissioner Marseglia congratulated Dr. Gerald Wydro upon his recent receipt of a state medical award.
Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler reported on the first two Health Department free flu shot clinics, which provided 350 doses to the public in Quakertown Sept. 24 and 950 last Saturday in Levittown. One clinic remains, Oct. 15 in Doylestown from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Health Department office (1282 Almshouse Rd.). Mr. Hessenthaler also reminded residents that Tuesday, Oct. 11 is the last day to register for the Nov. 8 General Election, and that the next county-wide Medication Take Back Day is Saturday, Oct. 22.
Chief Clerk Lynn T. Bush recently attended the Landmark Towns Achievement Awards, noting that the “strength of arts and culture” was on display during the ceremony for those who have contributed their talents to Yardley, New Hope, Morrisville and other communities.
The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, at Silver Lake Nature Center, 1306 Bath Rd., Bristol, PA 19007. For a complete audio account of the October 5, 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.