2013-04-18 / Local & State

County Hears Routine Updates

By Chanin Rotz-Mountz
NEWS EDITOR

The Fulton County commissioners heard a variety of updates Tuesday including one by planning director Mary K. Seville regarding the status of the Pike 2 Bike trail.

Situated in Fulton and Bedford counties, the 8.5-mile section of the abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike has been targeted in prior years by various groups wanting to restore and upgrade the trail and accompanying Sideling Hill and Rays Hill tunnels for increased use by bicycling and recreation enthusiasts. Situated between Breezewood and the Harrisonville area, the trail runs through Wells, Taylor and Brush Creek townships.

Seville noted plans are moving forward, and Bedford County Planning Director Don Schwartz is still awaiting confirmation on grant requests made through the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor. The monies through Lincoln Highway and other grant sources would allow for the completion of an updated Pike 2 Bike master plan and reuse study.

Talks are also under way, according to Seville, on establishing a Steering Committee as well as offering meetings locally in Bedford and Fulton counties to keep local residents and even township supervisors up to date and informed about the Pike 2 Bike.

Jeff Davidek of C.S. McKee Investment Managers sat down with the commissioners as well as Business Manager Tim Stanton and Treasurer Monica Seville to present a quarterly review of the county’s retirement fund through March 31. Davidek noted 2013 should be a positive year for the markets and that his firm continues to review all information available and buys growth stocks at the cheapest rate possible.

“We won’t buy a company that doesn’t have earnings or slowgrowth earnings,” said Davidek, who added they are focused on looking for strong-growth rates.

In response to questioning by Commissioner Rodney McCray about changing the company’s philosophy if account performance continues to be poor, Davidek said C.S. McKee is committed to a certain strategy that isn’t currently favored by the market. He said it would not be fair to say the company has made bad investments. Furthermore, they do not base their trades and purchases on technicals or psychology.

Davidek said based on the account’s performance he wouldn’t fault the commissioners for terminating C.S. McKee as investment manager. He said it is long overdue for the firm’s fundamental investment philosophy to meet the benchmarks. In addition, he couldn’t say exactly when reaching that benchmark will happen.

C.S. McKee currently oversees the retirement funds of 42 counties across the commonwealth. Davidek concluded that many of the questions posed by the Fulton County commissioners are being asked in other counties as well.

Liquid Fuel Funding requests from Thompson and Dublin townships were approved as presented in the respective amounts of $1,242 and $756.

The commissioners penned a purchase of service agreement with The Children’s Aid Society of Franklin County.

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