(1/2011) As I write this article, the weather outside is ‘cold and wind is blowing’! I need to ask myself where did this year go? The Commissioners office has been busy this year. This board of Commissioners, George Weikert, Lisa Moreno and I
worked as a team to serve the residents of Adams County and have seen many accomplishments over the past three years. The commissioners have moved on projects that have been around for 15 years and longer that finally are going to be completed, such as the North
Gettysburg Trail and Belmont Bridge.
The North Gettysburg Trail Project between Gettysburg Borough and the Gettysburg High School has been ongoing since the mid 1990’s. That bid has been awarded and will be under construction in the spring of 2011. The Belmont Bridge project
started in the early 1990’s and is finally going to go out for bid hopefully in 2011.
The re-assessment started in 2009 and complete by the end of 2010. The last re-assessment was conducted in 1990. This re-assessment consumed a great deal of the commissioner’s time this past year, and was a major project involving a lot of
county employees and twenty (20) Adams County Residents who agreed to serve on the four (4) auxiliary Appeals Boards to hear the formal appeals. The new assessed values will be used as a base for setting the tax rate for the year 2011. Yes, the new assessments are
much higher than the old assessments but the millage rates will be less. (Example – The county millage will be reduced from 15.45 mills to 3.55 and by law - counties, municipalities and school distracts cannot use the re-assessment as a windfall to increase revenue.
The county owns and operates the Green Acres Nursing Home and after evaluating the operation the commissioners came to the conclusion that maybe it was time to privatize the home. The following criteria were used to make that decision. (1)
How could the residents at the home be best served? (2) What is best for the county tax payers? (3) How best to consider and treat the employees fairly?
After creating a Request for Purchase Proposed (RFP) and evaluating the six RFP’s received, the commissioners have been negotiating with Continuum Care to become the new owner and operator of Green Acres Nursing Home. The goal of the
commissioners will be to transfer Green Acres in the first quarter of 2011.
In the difficult economic times we are experiencing the county needs to become more efficient. The past two (2) years, the county has been evaluating a number of offices for efficiency starting with the Courts and Court-related Departments.
In fact, to date eight (8) departments have been evaluated. The county has and will continue to make structural changes to become more efficient. Well so much for all those good things that are or have occurred in Adams County Government.
Let me report on a program that the commissioners have offered to county residents since March of 2007. This is the "Prescription Discount Card Program". The National Association of Counties is in partnership with CVS Caremark to provide a
prescription discount card for NACo member counties, which Adams County is a member, to offer to their residents who are uninsured or underinsured. The NACo Prescription Discount Care Program Provides savings by passing along the Caremark negotiated discount rates
to individuals with little or no prescription benefit coverage. There is no cost to eligible Adams County residents to participate in the program. The facts are that since 2007, Adams County residents utilized between 130 to 165 prescriptions per month with price
saving between $4,200 to $6,544 per month. As you can see, a total of over $200,000 was saved by Adams County residents from the Prescription Discount Cards Program since 2007. The card is available at most pharmacies and the commissioner’s office.
Well, so much for what has been occurring in the county. Now let’s look at the year ahead 2011! This will be an election year for local and county offices, including the commissioners. I would encourage every one to get involved and serve
your local government. I have served in township government for 18 years as a Mt. Joy Township Supervisor; 8 years in Straban Township as a Code Enforcement & Zoning Officer and at the end of my term in 2011 will have served as an Adams County Commissioner for eight
(8) years. It has been an honor and pleasure to serve the residents of Adams County in the different positions but after 34 years of public service I have decided to not seek re-election in 2011. I would encourage the residents of Adams County to give the same
support to future local elected and county officials as you have given to me.
I wish you all a very prosperous New Year!
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