Following a brief welcome by President/CEO Chris Brockett, who discussed the history of Ivy Hill, Development Director Donna Carlson spoke about the center’s benefits. She noted the facility has 17 therapeutic horses and 170 riders, ranging in age from 3 to 82. All riders have some type of physical, psychological, mental and/ or other disability. “We utilize the horses as a therapy tool, to help them with communication, to help them with physical strength, to help them with how they relate to others, to people, to animals, and the results are amazing,” stated Ms. Carlson. She went on to stay that the riders all get a chance to participate in competition, announcing that one of the riders received two silver and a gold medal in last summer’s Special Olympics.The contract resolution portion of the meeting featured the unanimous approval of 19 agreements involving 12 County departments. Among them, Human Services departments made up a quarter, with two contracts for home delivered meals through the Area Agency on Aging, one through Children and Youth to renew the contract with Karen Kreller to facilitate the Truancy Reduction and Curfew for kids program, and two through Mental Health/Developmental Programs, one with Mary Garrett Itin for providing services for the Healthy Transitions Program and one with Voice and Vision to renew the contract for the consumer satisfaction team and peer support services.
Kicking off the business agenda were a pair of Agricultural Preservation agreements, both in upper Bucks County. The Landis Farm, with its fields of hay, is located in Haycock Township and was fifth on the wish list in the 2015 round of applications. The 183rd farm preserved is situated between and around five other preserved farms and consists of 38.06 acres. The Willauer Farm, which was third on the wish list in the 2015 round of applications, was the 184th farm preserved in Bucks County. Located by the John Fries Highway in Milford, the farm boasts hay and soybeans and has an apiary producing raw honey.
In the General Services realm, the board approved a one-year, $26,500 contract with Lafferty Chevrolet of Warminster to purchase repair parts for county vehicles. The agenda also included a contract increase to Home Depot for $10,000 to provide repair and maintenance supplies for county bridges and buildings. On the revenue side, $18,000 will be coming in from the rental of county property located at 510 Creek Road in Doylestown.
The Health Department reached an agreement with CFG Health Systems, LLC for $701,952.26 which will provide counseling and mental health services at the correctional facilities through September, 2016. On the revenue side, the Commissioners also approved the renewal of the grant for the WIC (Women, Infant, Children) program.
In other news, COO Brian Hessenthaler praised the Drug Take Back event that took place on October 18, noting that roughly 7,100 pounds of unused medications were taken, bringing the total to over 30 tons since the events began in the county four years ago. Chief Clerk Lynn Bush talked about another type of take-back event, electronic recycling. Ms. Bush informed the audience about an electronic recycling event taking place on November 7 at the Quakertown Pool.
Commissioner Martin commended those involved in the Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony that occurred Sunday, Oct. 18 in the Doylestown Memorial Courtyard. He added that even the small interruption of some companies leaving for a fire did not dampen the spirit of the day of remembrance.
Noting that the “arms” to stop traffic at the CSX rail crossing on Woodbourne Rd. always get stuck, Commissioner Marseglia asked if that is something that happens in other places. She added that between the DVRPC and SEPTA they should be able to get something done to fix it, eliminating the traffic congestion after the train passes.
Commissioner Loughery ended the meeting thanking all those involved in the Emergency Communications Radio project. The cutover to the new system, which occurred over the weekend of October 17-18, ensures emergency personnel throughout the county will have the highest level of public safety equipment.
The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, November 4 at the Bucks County Administration Building, 55 E. Court St., Doylestown, in the 1st Floor Community Room. For a complete audio account of the October 21, 2015 business meeting, please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org, and click on the “Audio from Last Mtg” link on the home page.