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Commissioners Celebrate Fire Prevention Month and Preserve an Additional 50 Acres of Farmland During Oct. 4 Meeting

October 5, 2017

The Board of Bucks County Commissioners maintains a deep commitment to public safety and the protection of property through its support of the first response community and the fire service. To that end, on Wednesday, October 4, Commissioners Charles H. Martin, Robert G. Loughery and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW joined County Fire Marshal Mark Kramer to proclaim October, 2017 as “Fire Prevention Month” throughout the county. The citation, which was read in the Doylestown Administration Building Meeting Room by Commissioner Loughery, touted this year’s National Fire Protection Association theme: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!,” which seeks to educate the public about the importance of developing a home fire escape plan with all members of the household while practicing it twice a year.

“I’d like to thank you, the commissioners, for your commitment to training and support,” Mr. Kramer told the board. “It’s is not matched anywhere else in this Commonwealth (of Pennsylvania). And while we recognize Fire Prevention this month, let’s practice it every day.”

Chairman Martin opened the meeting with a prolonged moment of silence, asking for those in attendance to keep the victims of the Oct. 1 Las Vegas massacre in their thoughts.

The resolution portion of the meeting featured the unanimous approval of 35 contracts impacting 11 County departments. Of those, 11 involved the Human Service Division. The commissioners also added to the stockpile of Agricultural Land Preservation with two farm approvals, the 12.5-acre Croce farm in Tinicum Township and the 38.2-acre Good farm in Milford Township. According to County Agricultural Land Preservation Director Rich Harvey, the Croce farm was a donation from the family. It is a property active in hay production. “We got a very good deal on this,” he told the commissioner. The Good farm, which ranked fourth on the 2017 round of preservation applications, is located within one mile of six previously preserved farms. “It will fit well within our scheme,” Mr. Harvey said. The two farm additions lifted the Bucks County Agricultural Land Preservation total to 205 farms encompassing 16,322 acres – with more to come under consideration.

For Corrections, the board approve a two-year, $150,000 application with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency for a Residential Substance Abuse and Treatment Program grant. For Courts, the board agreed to a $10,000 annual allocation with Bucks County Transport, Inc.

General Services featured eight items, the most novel of which was the decision to purchase a $215,760 mobile snowmelter through Ajax Tocco Magnethermic (doing business as Snowdragon) for use in the County’s tighter surface parking lots and public parking garage. According to Director of Operations Kevin Spencer, the snowmelter will also serve to reduce labor costs as less manpower will be needed to clear those areas.

A couple highlights of the Human Services approvals were a one-year, $96,872 contract renewal with the Bucks County Area Agency on Aging (AAA) to provide adult day and personal care services to residents and a one-year, $198,842 contract renewal with the Bucks County Opportunity Council, Inc. to provide rental assistance to financially needy individuals or families.

In the Information Technology realm, the commissioners signed off on a five-year contract with Pomeroy IT Solutions Sales Company, Inc. of Mechanicsburg, PA to provide a hardware and software upgrade for county computer infrastructure.

At Peace Valley Park, the largest of the Bucks County Parks & Recreation system, improvements to the multi-use trail are almost completed. As the project finishes up, contractor James D. Morrissey, Inc. requested two contract increases for scope of work in the amount of just under $35,000. The commissioners approved those requests.

Commissioners’ comments included an update from Commissioner Loughery about a recent meeting with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke in Valley Forge that included discussion of trails, the Delaware River Canal and the East Coast Greenway, among other topics. Chairman Martin praised the Recorder of Deeds office and organizers of the Oct. 2 Tour of Honor trip to Washington, D.C. The most recent event included a 103-year-old veteran of World War II, William Hufford.

Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler mentioned a pair of upcoming events in his remarks, the Tuesday, Oct. 10 final day to register to vote in the Nov. 7 Municipal Election and the bi-annual Medication Take Back collection that will take place from 10 a.m-2 p.m. on Saturday, October 28. Mr. Hessenthaler also praised Dr. Gerald Wydro of the Bucks County Health Council who has been recognized as an Emerging Leader by the Bucks County Courier Times newspaper.

The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room of the Bucks County Administration Building, 55 E. Court St. (1st Floor), Doylestown, PA 18901. For a complete audio account of the October 4, 2017 business meeting, please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org, and click on the “Audio from Last Mtg” link on the home page.