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Bucks County commissioner chair meets with Quakertown officials

By Emily Thiel, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 07 2012 10:25:53 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 08 2012 05:09:23 AM CST
QUAKERTOWN, Pa. -

Bucks County Commissioner Chair Robert Loughery spoke to Quakertown Borough Council during Wednesday night's meeting in order to "engage partnerships with the municipalities" of Bucks County.

"I wanted to get out this year and next year to have an opportunity to interface with the municipalities," said Loughery, as he is making a tour through all of the 54 municipalities in the county in order to keep an open dialogue.

Loughery updated the Borough Council on the budget, explaining they had to close a $24 million deficit for the 2012 fiscal year. Even with raising taxes, the county is only half way to fulling closing the gap.

"We've had to make some tough choices," Loughery said, balancing the budget through reducing the workforce, through attrition, a hiring freeze and around two dozen layoffs.

Loughery expressed that the county is in a better position for the 2013 budget.

Loughery acknowledged the hard work the Borough of Quakertown has done with their planning, and explained that the county is launching new programs through their economic development offices.

This year, the county launched the Bucks County Municipal Economic Development Initiative to work with municipalities when it comes to economic development, planning, zoning revue, and permits.

The commissioners' focus is on downtown reinvestment and the business districts of the municipalities throughout the county.

The construction of the new justice center in Doylestown is 25- 30% completed with an anticipation of a final construction around spring of 2014.

The new courthouse is one of the largest capital projects the county has undertaken, as they hope to reuse the existing courthouse in order "to reduce the footprint of county government."

"Thank you for coming and updating us on the agenda of the [Commissioners]," thanked Borough Council Chair L. James Roberts.