This article was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, June 8, 2017:

By Robin Fitzpatrick

I have an invitation for all Adams County residents! Whether you use a traditional paper calendar or have evolved to an electronic calendar, be sure to mark, type, text, or otherwise save the date of June 20.

The new Adams County Human Services Building is ready to be unveiled! This is a fantastic example of economic development, adaptive reuse, within our own county government. The former Herff-Jones facility has been revamped to house a multitude of county services under one roof.

“We have been extremely anxious for the public and all staff to visit the new Adams County Human Services Building,” says Randy Phiel, Chairman, Adams County Commissioners. “Phase 1 that has been completely included Children & Youth Services, Probation, IT, Security, and Maintenance. Phase 2 is being completed by the end of May with MHIDD, Court Operations, Multi-Purpose Meeting Room, Domestic Relations, and two DJ Offices being added. Phase 3 will include the large courtroom and the Sheriff’s satellite office.”

Commissioner Marty Qually says the new facility makes sense, financially and organizationally. “The new facility relieves the county of paying leases,” he says. “It combines the services previously housed in two buildings we were renting, plus a third building we owned. This will allow for better coordination of services and communication between offices.”

“Additionally, when it comes to mental health services, we’ve never had case services located in Adams County, “ says Qually. “The new facility creates 10-13 new jobs in Adams County.”

The building will be open to tours from 4-7 pm and again from 8:30-9:30 pm. So, you may ask, what is happening between 7-8:30? That’s where we, Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) comes into the mix.

The Commissioners’ Forum is your chance to learn about economic development efforts in the county, coordinated between our office and the Adams County Office of Planning and Development (ACOPD). We are especially excited to share in this presentation, as your united team of economic development professionals in Adams County! In addition to myself and colleague Kaycee Kemper of the ACEDC, we will be joined by Sherri Clayton-Williams, Harlan Lawson, and Andy Merkel of the ACOPD.

I believe our presentation will be a fascinating look at Adams County. The county’s new software allows us to prepare visuals—maps—created from various sets of data. What an amazing tool! Visualizing data on a map provides a fresh, informed perspective. We are aiming to answer questions such as:

  • Where does current development exist in the county?
  • Where is preservation focused?
  • Where are the county’s residential developments located?

But the word “forum” indicates discussion—and that’s where YOU come in. We invite the public to come with questions regarding economic development, its role in Adams County, and your input.

“One of the most important things is residents being active in government,” Qually says. “If you have any questions about economic prosperity in the county, bring them on June 20. You’ll have access to two economic development offices, and our county commissioners, and we can address your questions and concerns directly.”

Robin Fitzpatrick serves as President of ACEDC. For additional information, see, call 717-334-0042, and follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.