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Democrats express interest in vacant county council seat

A pair of Democrats announced today that they have applied for the vacant county council seat created by Chairman Tom McGarrigle’s departure for the state Senate.

Former Lansdowne Mayor Jayne Young and Media tax collector Bob Dimond submitted their information to the county clerk earlier this week, according to the Delaware County Democratic Party.

McGarrigle, a Republican, is leaving council with one year remaining on his second term. The all-Republican board is charged with appointing a replacement within 30 days of McGarrigle’s Dec. 31 resignation.

No Democrat has held a seat on the board since the county’s Home Rule Charter went into effect in 1976.

Young, who previously served as three terms as mayor of Lansdowne, is a project manager at the Pennsylvania Resources Council. She unsuccessfully ran for county council in 2011.

Dimond, a Korean War veteran, has served as Media’s tax collector since 1999. He previously was the mayor of East Lansdowne for eight years and a council member there for eight years beforehand.

Young and Dimond joined Rev. Keith Collins in publicly announcing their interest. Collins has twice run unsuccessfully for council as a Democrat, though he indicated that he is switching his registration to independent.

The county is accepting resumes from candidates until Friday.

McGarrigle, who beat Democrat John Kane to win the open seat in the 26th Senatorial District, presided over his final county council meeting today. Council unanimously passed a $338 million budget that holds the line on real estate taxes in 2015.



County Council awards contracts

Delaware County Council awarded a series of contracts Wednesday, including a three-year deal with First Choice Medical Supply to furnish and deliver new linens for Fair Acres Geriatric Center at a cost of $239,000 per year.

The nursing facility, located in Middletown, accommodates more than 900 residents living in five residential buildings on the 210-acre property.

Council also awarded a one-year contract to Petroleum Traders Company, of Indiana, to furnish and deliver gasoline and diesel fuel for an estimated $428,471. Council also approved contracts totaling $37,507 to various janitorial suppliers — T. Frank McCall’s, Inc., Calico Industries, Office Basics and Paragon.



Delco controller O’Lone accepts financial acheivement award

Delaware County Controller Edward E. O’Lone accepted a Certificate of Achievement in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association during the Delaware County Council meeting this morning.

The award recognized the county’s comprehensive annual financial report for the 2012 fiscal year. It is the highest form of recognition for governmental accounting and financial reporting for state and local governments.

O’Lone thanked council and Executive Director Marianne Grace for their commitment to the transparency necessary to win the award. The county has received the honor 19 consecutive years.

“It doesn’t come easy, so savor it for one more year,” O’Lone said.

County council also approved a series of items at the meeting, including:

  • A $44,161 contract to Philip Rosenau Company to furnish and deliver hand soap and sanitizer to Fair Acres Geriatric Center for one year.
  • The appointments of Marc Manfire, of Upper Darby, and John Gillespie, of Concord, to the advisory council for the county’s Office of Services for the Aging.
  • A $150,000 grant to the Tyler Arboretum to restore the last remaining serpentine barren in the county. The funding comes from the Marcellus Legacy Fund.
  • The Child Welfare Implementation plan and Needs-Based plan and budget for the county’s Department of Public Welfare.

Here’s what happened at Delaware County Council:

Delaware County Council approved the county’s Department of Human Services 2014-15 plan for the Block Grant Pilot Program, which allocated $43.28 million to various mental health, intellectual disabilities, homeless assistance and children and youth services. The plan was presented for public comment twice earlier this month and detailed on the county’s web site.

Other resolutions approved by County Council included:

  • The issuance by the Delaware County Authority of up to $70 million of its revenue bonds to Villanova University. The university has requested to refinance its 2005 and 2006 bonds.
  • An amendment to an agreement with Gillan and Hartman Consulting Engineers for construction period services required for HVAC renovations at the Juvenile Detention Center at a price not to exceed $32,700.
  • A supplemental allocation of $29,200 to Mother’s Home for shelter improvements, which was granted Community Development Block Grant funding in the county’s Consolidated Housing and Community Development Action plan. Bids for the project came in higher than anticipated, according to Linda Hill, director of the county’s Office of Housing and Community Development.
  • A 2015 Transist Support Program Grant agreement with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission for $114,849. The funding is split between the county, which is paying $27,345 of in-kind donations, and the DVRPC and United States Dept. of Transportation, which is providing $87,504.
  • A 2015 Regional GIS Implementation Grant agreement with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission for $25,000. The funding comes from DVRPC.
  • A 2015 Supportive Regional Highway Planning Program Grant agreement with the DVRPC for $76,000. The funding is split between the county, which is paying $15,200 of in-kind donations, and DVRPC and the USDOT, which is providing $60,800.
  • Appointments of Kate Schramm, of Springfield; Emily Harris, of Edgmont; Caitlin Ganley, of Upper Darby; and Anne Marie Murphy, of Chadds Ford, to the Delaware County Women’s Commission. Schramm was appointed to a term expiring in June 2015. The others were appointed to terms ending in June 2017.
  • Appointments of Kevin O’Donoghue, of Concord; Stephanie Kosta, of Upper Darby; and Mary Sandone, of Darby Township, to the Brandywine Conference and Visitor’s Bureau.
  • Appointment of Robert Kelly Jr., of Thornbury, to the Delaware County Hero Scholarship Fund board for a term ending October 2015.
  • An agreement with HVS for appraisal services at $58,000.

Delaware County updating its 911 system

PROSPECT PARK — Delaware County Council approved a pair of agreements Wednesday that will update the county’s 911 system.

The county is replacing the network interface hardware and upgrading the software used by the county’s computer-aided dispatch system. Council approved a $71,124 contract with Infranet Technologies Group to provide and a $8884,329 contract with Intergraph Corporation to provide the upgrades.

Chad Brooks, chief of operations, said the current hardware was installed in the 1990s. The current software program was put in place in 2003.

The new equipment and software will improve the efficiency of the county’s emergency response, Brooks said. The county’s 911 system handled about 1.1 million calls last year.

The new software will run faster, archive up to five years of data and make it easier for dispatchers to handle multiple calls at once, Brooks said. The system also will be compatible to the new one used by the Pennsylvania State Police.

“The main thing was getting the PCs up to current standards and getting the server updated,” Brooks said.

Council also:

  • Approved an agreement with Joseph Barbato Associates for structural engineering services needed for the Orange Street Parking Garage in Media. The services are not to exceed a cost of $65,000.
  • Renewed the DuProcess Court Financial Maintenance agreement with CDS Inc. for $41,895.
  • Honored Hanna Maier for her efforts to implement anti-bullying programs in the Interboro School District.
  • Presented a resolution celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the Prospect Park Free Library.

Missed County Council? Here’s what happened this morning

Delaware County Council appointed Tedman O’Hara, of Media, to the Delaware County Parks and Recreation Board at its meeting today. He was appointed to a term expiring in March 2018.

O’Hara, an information technology consultant, unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Media last year.

Council also reappointed Francis J. Catania, of Upper Darby, Dominic A. Pileggi, of Concord , and Patrick V. Larkin Jr., of Marple , to the Delaware County Economic Development Oversight Board. They each will serve a three-year term expiring March 31, 2017.

Catania is an associate professor at the Widener University School of Law and the son of the late Francis J. Catania Sr., a former Delaware County president judge.

Pileggi is the chairman of the Concord Township Board of Supervisors and the cousin of state Sen. Dominic F. Pileggi, R-9, of Chester.

Larkin is the area president for Arthur J. Gallagher and Co. He also is on the board of trustees at Temple University.

Council also approved:

  • The allocation of $250,032 to municipalities as part of the Pothole Assistance for Taxpayers program. The money is part of the county’s supplemental liquid fuels tax fund.
  • Revisions to an agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to establish a maximum reimbursement of $4.461 million for the construction and inspection required for the Grant Avenue Bridge replacement over Muckinipattis Creek in Folcroft and Glenolden.
  • An agreement with Haverford to assume the responsibility of a Bearcat Emergency Response Vehicle. The Bearcat is an armored vehicle used by SWAT teams.
  • A resolution supporting passage of state legislation to enable police officers to administer Naloxone to people experiencing a potentially fatal overdose of heroin.

County Council allocates liquid fuels tax funding to municipalities

Delaware County Council approved the allocation of $717,658 in liquid fuels tax funding to the county’s 49 municipalities at today’s meeting.

Upper Darby Township received the largest allocation, gaining $89,168. Haverford ($66,960), Ridley ($41,243), Radnor  ($36,720), Springfield ($34,898) and Marple (34,628) townships each received sizeable allocations. Chester city received a $54,135 allocation and a $25,000 supplement.

The funding, funneled from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, is to be used to repair street and road repairs.

Council also:

  • Approved a proposal from CM3 Building Solutions to provide roofing and energy improvements at the Juvenile Detention Center for a cost not to exceed $4.14 million.
  • Amended the 2013 Housing and Community Development action plan to allocate funding for the following projects: $50,000 to Mercy Health System to demolish Edmond Hall, $30,000 to Nether Providence to historically preserve the Leiper House, $130,000 to Upper Chichester for streetscape improvements, $37,500 to Darby Borough to demolish blighted residential structures, $96,000 to the Center for Resolutions to preserve the Carriage House and an additional $100,000 to Collingdale for improvements to its community center.
  • Accepted $113,345 from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to fund the county’s 15-year-old West Nile Virus Program.
  • Appointed Robert J. Prince, of Springfield, and Darlene Luther, of Ridley Township, to the Delaware County Mental Health/Intellectual Disabilities Advisory board to terms expiring in May 2016.
  • Submitted and accepted its 2013 County Recycling Coordinator grant application to DEP to partially reimburse the salary and expenses of the county’s recycling coordinator. The grant of $28,604 cover about half of the coordinator’s salary and expenses, according to Executive Director Marianne Grace.
  • Approved a pair of grant applications to be submitted to the state Insurance Fraud Prevention and Auto Theft Prevention authorities. The grants, totaling $1.51 million, would fund three county detectives, an analyst and a secretary.
  • Honored Crozer-Keystone Health System for being chosen as one of four finalists to receive the 2013 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service, provided to healthcare organizations providing innovative programs that improve the well-being of its community. Crozer-Keystone received $100,000 for being named a finalist.

Delaware County Council reappoints pair to Conservation District

Delaware County Council re-appointed Frank McKee, of Springfield, and Elaine Schaefer, of Radnor, to the Delaware County Conservation District board of directors at its weekly meeting this morning.

McKee and Schaefer will each serve another four-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2017.

The Conservation District is a subdivision of the state government that runs programs, hears problems and searches for solutions relating to national resource protection and conservation.

County Council also:

  • Amended the Housing and Community Development 2013 Action Plan to allocate another $50,000 in HOME funding and $25,000 in Affordable Housing Funds. The funding will cover down payment and closing costs and counseling assistance for the county’s Homeownership First program.
  • Ratified the county’s 2014/2015 Wireless E-911 funding application request, transmitted to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, for $8.93 million.
  • Approved a $150,000 agreement with Community Action Agency of Delaware County to provide minor home repairs, weatherization and health/safety modifications to Delco residents who are at least 60 years old.
  • Honored Tyria Bean, an Upper Darby graduate seeking to transfer to Misericordia University; Alexandra Adams, a senior at Marple Newtown High School; and Christopher Garrett, of Chester Youth Council, for receiving a Student Achievement Recognition Award. The STAR awards are presented by the Youth Council of the Delaware County Workforce Investment Board.

Missed Delaware County Council? Here’s what happened

Delaware County council approved a series of agenda items Wednesday, including the award of a contract to Metro Flag Company to furnish 57,600 flags for Veterans Affairs at a cost of $30,528.09. The flags will be placed alongside the gravestones and markers of military veterans buried in the county.

Council also:

  • Accepted a $125,000 STOP Violence Against Women Grant for 2014. The STOP (Services, Training, Officers and Prosecutors) program seeks to improve the criminal justice system’s response to violent crimes against women. It also promotes the development of law enforcement and prosecution strategies to address such crimes. Delaware County government has received more than $5 million in STOP grants since 1997.
  • Approved two contract amendments to add the capability to move email and Microsoft Office to Microsoft Office 365 Cloud Technology. The three-year contracts cost a combined $189,360.13, but will bring a net savings of more than $63,000.
  • Approved the purchase of patron access to Westlaw for the Francis J. Catania Law Library for 36 months and various Thompson/West printed publications. The purchases will cost $174,552 in 2014; $178,032 in 2015 and $181,596 in 2016.
  • Reappointed Carmen P. Belefonte, of Haverford; James R. Flandreau, of Middletown; and Gerald Lawrence, of Radnor, to the Delaware County Board of Election for two-year terms ending Jan. 25, 2016. Belefonte and Lawrence also were reappointed to serve on the Delaware County Registration Commission for two-year terms expiring Jan. 25, 2016. Flandreau was appointed to the registration commission for the same two-year term.
  • Approved a $175,000 Community Development Block Grant and HOME partnership program loan settlement between Cliff House Housing Partnership, Cliff House Assisted Living and the county for the Cliff House Assisted and Independent Living facility.
  • Honored Ice Works of Aston for its economic contributions to Delaware County.