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From the Desk of County Commissioner
Randy Phiel

(12/2017) If you voted in General Election on Tuesday, November 7, you probably experienced the steady cold rain that fell most of the day. Unfortunately, non-presidential and non-gubernatorial elections like this one, normally range from a 20-30% turnout. The recent election held true to that form with a 23% turnout. Precincts with supervisor, council seats and mayoral races fared slightly better than those with uncontested seats. Thank you to all the candidates who placed their hats, commitment and energy into the ring. Congratulations to Adams County row office candidates Jim Muller (Sheriff), Kelly Lawver (Clerk of Courts) and Crissy Redding (Treasurer). We wish you continued and future success in serving the residents of Adams County.

At the Wednesday, November 15 Commissioners Meeting, County Manager Al Penksa presented the Adams County 2018 Budget Tentative Budget. Adams County is in healthy fiscal condition with an A+2 bond rating and responsible reserves. 2018 is a tough budget year with state budget issues and mandates, growth pressures for needed services, and flat revenue with little commercial development. In order to combat lack of revenue we have consolidated rents to a county owned building at the new human Services Building, we have merged functions of departments, we have refinanced variable debt at lower interest rates and reduced overtime at our 24/7 facilities. .

In the past four years our tax mileage rate has remained flat lined 3.9193 through good fiscal management. In visioning for the next three years, our finance department has recommended we increase mileage .027 to 4.1893. Adams County government is fiscally conservative and efficient. This small increase is necessary to meet capital needs and provide the vast array of significant human services that we are responsible for supplying. We anticipate strong fiscal management to continue, with marginal revenue beginning to increase in the next three years.

The commissioners held their most recent Adams County Commissioners Community Forum on Tuesday, November 14, at the Thomas-Harbaugh Library in Biglerville. The forums are held from 6:30-8:00 and the subject matter of this forum was Changing Tourism in Adams County. Panelists and presenters were Norris Flowers and Stacey Fox from Destination Gettysburg. The Adams County Commissioners forums move around the county and always include a relevant subject matter and the opportunity for discussion on other topics related to Adams County government. For those who are not able to attend the forums, they are taped and later broadcast by Adams County Community Television Comcast channel 12, and also can be viewed on the Community TV website.

On Tuesday, October 24, District Court 51-3-04, District Judge Beauchat, opened for business at Adams County Human Services Building. The office that was previously located on Fairfield Road and serves Arendtsville, Bendersville, Biglerville, Carroll Valley, Fairfield and Cumberland, Franklin, Freedom, Hamiltonban, Highland, Liberty and Menallen townships. We wish District Judge Beauchat and staff best wishes in their new digs! This is the first in three court related moves that will have District Judge Beauchat’s, District Judge Harvey’s and Central Court relocating to the Human Services Building. President Judge George reflected that the move will allow the county to redirect taxpayer dollars from a lease, into property that will be owned by the citizens of this county for generations to come, and not only makes good fiscal sense; but will help preserve the heritage of both the court and of the county government in Adams County.

Speaking of the Adams County Human Services Building, Conewago Contactors was awarded the construction bid to construct the parking lot addition. The parking lot addition will be to the east of the current parking lot toward the St. Francis complex, and will add approximately 80 new parking spaces. Several trees on the back middle edge of the current lot have been removed and approximately twenty-five new trees will be planted around the perimeter to enhance the landscape, security and sight lines from the building. It is anticipated that construction will not dramatically impact current parking, ingress and egress. The entire project is expected to be completed by late November. We are very happy to report that Health Choices York/Adams joinder has now moved into the building offering mental health & drug counseling services in Adams County.

Congratulations to Community Television on serving Adams County for 30 years. It is difficult to believe that the media outlet founded in 1998 as Adams Community Television (ACTV) is celebrating its 30TH Anniversary as Community Media. The station was founded by Ray Gouker, a teacher of visual communications at Gettysburg High School. Ray is still very active in the stations operation and broadcasts. The station first aired five nights a week for two hours each evening. Community Media is now on the air 24 hours a day, seven days a week and makes its programming available by online streaming. Community Media has expanded its broadcasting to over 40,000 households in York & Adams County’s.

Community Media broadcasts a variety of topics of local interest that includes several municipal meetings, including Carrol Valley, and all of the Adams County Commissioners Community Forums. Thus, thousands of viewers hear our forum message through Community Media. Community Media has announced they will be adding a new feature on the experience of our county veterans. They have requested the assistance of our Adams County Veterans Affairs Department which Stan and Vic are happy to provide. The CM Board members deserve special recognition for their commitment and dedication to making this community resource sustainable and available. They are Raymond Gouker (CEO), Carrol Valley Mayor Ron Harris (President), George Escalera (VP), Thomas Landis (Treasurer), Mark Lookenbill (Secretary), Lisa Bean (Director), Robert Witt (Director), and Mark Wherley (Station Manager). Thank you and best wishes for 30 more years informing our residents!

With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas on the horizon, The Adams County Board of Commissioners wishes you and your family best wishes for good health and happiness in 2018. There are a multitude of activities taking place during the holiday season. No matter what you do - get out there and experience all the historical, recreational, agricultural, natural and cultural opportunities that beautiful Adams County has to offer.

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