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From the Desk of County Commissioner
Randy Phiel

(8/2015) On Wednesday evening July 15 all three commissioners had the honor to help lead the Littlestown 250TH Anniversary Parade. The parade was just part of a week-long celebration in Littlestown with a series of events and activities. When I saw the size of the parade at the staging area, I wondered how there could be anyone left in Littlestown to watch it. The parade was almost 40 minutes long and included many community groups. One participant of note was former Adams County Commissioner Glenn Snyder with three generations of tractors and three generations of his family. It was an absolutely beautiful evening for a wonderful community event. It made you proud to be from Adams County!

If you have noticed an abundance of mosquitoes this summer you are not alone. According to Adams County West Nile Technician Matt Stough we have had a very wet year so far here in Adams County – as most of us can attest. This high volume of rain has lead to high numbers of mosquitoes. Matt says the County's West Nile Virus program has been running in high gear and has found 12 mosquito samples positive for West Nile virus. This is currently the most in Pennsylvania. Most of the positive samples have been from the Bonneauville area. The other samples were in Conewago Twp around McSherrystown and areas north of Abbottstown. Surveillance has increased in these areas.

Due to the high mosquito populations and level of Virus found in the Bonneauville area, Matt has conducted an adult mosquito control operation. He hopes this control will reduce the risk of residents contracting West Nile virus. Matt’s crew will be trapping the area to evaluate the control. While they have increased their focus on these areas that have tested positive, they are still monitoring the rest of the more populated areas in the county.

Having passed the mid-point of 2015, our Emergency Services Department reports that the County is still on schedule to complete and cut over to the new 800 MHz digital, trunked public safety radio system by year’s end.

The tower sites are mostly complete with the exception of miscellaneous landscaping and storm water management details. The network equipment installation is nearing completion and once installed, technicians and engineers will begin testing the equipment. However, County-wide system testing won’t begin until early or mid-September.

During that same time frame, law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical personnel and various County personnel will receive hands-on training with the radios in preparation for expected cut-over to the new system from mid-October through November.

Over the past two weeks, end-users (first responders and municipal personnel) were invited to participate in special presentations to introduce them to the new radio system features and talk about the training and cut-over. These sessions, four in all, also allowed these personnel an opportunity to ask questions and become more familiar with the mobile and portable radios, as well as paging equipment.

As the founder and author, I am very proud to report that Adams County has received word from the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania that our twice-monthly Adams County TGIF Newsletter has won their award for the best electronic newsletter in CCAP’s Electronic Newsletter Competition. It is worth noting that only two counties in the state won awards this year. The newsletter goes out to all county staff and various community leaders and organizations. It has proven to be an excellent communications tool.

I would like to express my thanks to Loretta Weaver and Chip Guise from the IT Department for taking my TGIF thoughts, information and ramblings - and putting a great visual touch to them. Many folks just see and read the Friday version - before the visuals are added. If you have not done so take the time to look on the Adams County Home Page the following week to see the magic that IT performs with my bland version. It is impressive! The award will be presented at the CCAP Summer Conference in Pittsburgh on August 4.

I conclude by taking the time to commend my colleagues Jim Martin & Marty Qually for the positive results of this Board for the past 3 ½ years. Those results were possible because of civility, discussion and a non-partisan spirit of cooperation. That seems to be a rare commodity these days. That is the way government is supposed to work contrary to the view of some pundits. I believe it is the view of most Adams County residents that Adams County Government is not supposed to be run like Washington D.C. and Harrisburg with discord, polarization and inaction.

Take advantage of all the bounty that this time of year offers in Adams County and support local agriculture. Farmers markets and produce stands are prominent around the county with farmers markets moving to a different location each day such as The Outlets, Heritage Center, Gettysburg Recreation Park and on the Gettysburg Square. 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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