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Commissioners discuss ‘State of Adams County’

Richard D. L. Fulton

(2/14) Adams County Board of Commissioner Randy Phiel, Jim Martin, and Marty Qually held a forum February 13 at the Fairfield Fire & EMS firehouse to present the "State of Adams County."

The three commissioners reviewed their accomplishment made last year, and stated their objectives for the current year.

About two dozen attendees, comprised primarily of local and county government officials, braved a sudden snow and rain event to hear what the commissioners had to say about the previous year’s accomplishments, and what lies ahead for the balance of this year.

Even before assuming office, the new board began establishing a basic set of goals they wanted to see accomplished beginning the day they were to be sworn-in.

Those goals they all agreed on included:

  • promoting fiscal responsibility;
  • improving communication with residents and government staff;
  • promoting economic development; and
  • upgrading the 911 radio system.

Regarding promoting fiscal responsibility in 2012, the commissioners passed a county budget without a tax increase, established a budgetary surplus, and enhanced a county contingency fund, raising the then-existing amount of $7,000 up to $250,000 to address emergency and other critical, unanticipated spending needs.

Improved communications have come in the form of establishing a county staff newsletter, holding local public forums, and meeting regularly with staff and county court representatives.

Promoting economic growth in the county during 2012 included getting county agencies to partner with each other on planning and related projects they may have in common, and, when it comes to tourism, "focus on the whole county…not just concentrating on Gettysburg."

Upgrading the 911 radio system continued to progress in 2012, after efforts appeared to have "stalled" before the new commissioners took office. Given the projected costs, Phiel said, "We are hopeful there will be some grant money out there that will come our way."

During the current year, the commissioners stated they were committed to improving upon all of the accomplishments of 2012, plus exploring other terrain, such as ending ceasing to rent property for county use and consider buying facilities instead, taking on the prevailing wage issue as it related to government projects, developing a different approach to agricultural land preservation, bringing-in broad band radio to attract business that rely on that system, and replacing the "antiquated" county computer system.

The new board was elected during the 2011 election, and 2012 represented their first year of office. Phiel, in describing the three-man "takeover," said, "We walked into office with a whole lot of issues we feel we have tackled or begun to have tackled."

The Adams County commissioners will continue to address the need to upgrade a county-wide 911 radio system, fiscal responsibility, and work on economic development during 2013.

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