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From the Desk of County Commissioner
Randy Phiel

(6/2017) Although it was a perfect weather day for voting, the recent primary turnout was very light on May 16 with only 18% of registered voters casting their ballots in this largely municipal election. We anticipated a light turnout; but hoped it would be at least in the high 20’s. A few precincts were above 30% while at least three were at 8%. What a difference six months and a hotly contested Presidential Election made.

I will continue to spread the word that municipal elections are very, very important. These elected officials are the boots on the ground that provide necessities like police protection, street maintenance, water, sewer, permitting, code enforcement and snow removal.

I am also happy to report that there were no significant issues at the two polls that were moved in Littlestown and Carroll Valley as they seemed to function well. The move also provided an opportunity for residents to visit the Littlestown Senior Center and the new Carroll Valley Municipal Building.

We have been extremely anxious for the public and all staff to visit the new Adams County Human Services Building. The time for that to happen has arrived. There will be a public Open House and Commissioners Forum on Tuesday, June 20. The building will be open to walk through from 4-7, followed by an Adams County Commissioners Community Forum on Economic Development from 7-8:30 in the new multi-purpose meeting room. Following the forum - the building will again re-open to the public until 9:30. Staff will be stationed around the building to provide direction and answer questions. Phase 1 that has been completed included Children & Youth Services, Probation, IT, Security & Maintenance. Phase 2 will be completed at the end of this month with MHIDD, Court Operations, Multi-purpose Meeting Room, Domestic Relations and two DJ Offices being added. Phase 3 includes the large courtroom and the Sheriff’s satellite office. Except for furniture - they will all mostly be done by the time of the Open House.

The County and the Courts have worked tirelessly and cooperatively to make this vison come to fruition both operationally and fiscally. We invite you to come see the pleasing result for yourself!

On Wednesday May 17, the Adams County Conservation District hosted a "State of the Waters" presentation at the Adams County Agricultural Center. A panel of experts, including our own conservation district staff, provided information regarding water quality, nutrients and phosphate’s in the water, droughts, aquifers, and Chesapeake Bay initiatives. It was also recognized that most Adams County farmers are trying to do the right thing with farming practices like no-till planting that reduce nitrates and phosphates from entering the water shed. According to Conservation Technician Brain Sneeringer periodic testing has evidenced a reduction in those pollutants.

Adams County held a Tire Recycling Event on Saturday May 13, 2017 at the Agricultural and Natural Resources Center, collecting over 1,400 tires from area residents. This year was the 12th such event that have been held in Adams County since 2004. As a result of these events, over 22,704 tires have been brought in for recycling – that means over 300 tons of waste tires have been removed from Adams County lands! This year’s event was sponsored by the Adams County Office of Planning & Development, in partnership with the Adams County Conservation District and the Adams County Probation Services Department. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has awarded Adams County a grant to cover half of the cost of this recycling program.

By removing these tires from the environment, Adams County has eliminated a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes which could possibly harbor the threat of the West Nile Virus.

For more information on West Nile Virus, please contact the Adams County Conservation District at 717-334-0636. For more information on recycling, waste management and future tire recycling events, please call the Planning Office at 717-337-9827. More news will be forthcoming on a County Electronic Recycling Event this fall.

Most Adams County residents are not aware that there is a memorial in the lawn outside the coroner’s office to commemorate accident victims and families. This memorial and the annual memorial service are the result of the efforts of Adams County Coroner Pat Felix. Each year the families of victims are invited to this very poignant event - which is held at the memorial when weather permits and at the DES Building when the weather does not cooperate. The program involves prayer, remarks, wonderful vocals and giving of flowers to each family.

This year’s program took place last Sunday. Since becoming commissioner, I have had the honor of being invited to provide remarks. Whether you have just recently suffered traumatic loss, or are one of the presenters, the program makes all of us reflect on past losses and the value of relationships we too frequently take for granted. There is no doubt it also helps to provide some further closure for the families. Thank you to Coroner Pat Felix and her staff for providing this service to our community!

It would be difficult to write this ENJ article without mentioning the Pennsylvania State Budget as the elephant in the room this spring. The proposed cuts to human services, probation and court programs are significant. County officials are very concerned about the ramifications. The end result could significantly affect county services and budgets. One example is an 18.3M cut in Intermediate Punishment alone will place more inmates in prison with significant increased costs. County officials feel that costs for required services may just be pushed down from the state to the county. Counties will then be faced with cutting important services, raising taxes, or both. Regardless of this final outcome, the Board anticipates this year’s budget process will be challenging.

It seems that both spring and summer have arrived at the same time. One day it is summer and the next spring. You have to time your mowing to make it happen before the next rain. It is hard to believe that Memorial Day has now come and gone. The Totem Pole Playhouse open their season on May 26 with actress Michael Learned in Driving Miss Daisy (Yes that is the way she spells her first name). The Majestic Theater is always a wonderful and unique venue to go to the movies. 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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