News Archive

Nominate Your Township for a Governor's Environmental Excellence Award

Monday October 22nd, 2018
Has your township completed an environmental stewardship project this year? Consider nominating it for the Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) 2019 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence.The deadline for nominations is December 17.
The Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence are open to all individuals, whether they led or participated in a project, and to all schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses, farms, and government agencies. People may also nominate an individual or organization by applying on their behalf. 
DEP oversees the application and award selection process, evaluating projects on seven criteria:
• degree of environmental protection,
• climate change,
• sustainability,
• partnership,
• economic impact,
• innovation, and
• environmental education and outreach.
Projects do not have to meet all criteria to merit an award and may be non-profit or for-profit.
Projects must have been completed before October 17, 2018, to be eligible. Past winners may nominate new projects, but projects that have won previously are not eligible.
For more information and to apply, visit DEP’s 2019 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence webpage

Does Your Township Have the 2019 Trail of the Year?

Monday October 22nd, 2018
Have a great trail in your township? Here's a chance to get some recognition and funding.
DCNR’s PA Trails Advisory Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2019 PA Trail Of The Year. The deadline for nominations is November 16.
Eligible trails must be at least one mile in length and open to the public. Nominations will be reviewed by a panel of judges composed of committee members.
The Trail of the Year will be announced in January 2019 and will be recognized by:
• A news release by DCNR and the Trails Advisory Committee.
• A commemorative poster for statewide distribution.
• A trailhead marker.
• Promotion on the Explore PA Trails website and the DCNR website.
A grant of up to $10,000 for educational materials to promote safety and environmental protection on the trail will also be available.
For the nomination form and more information, visit DCNR’s PA Trail Of The Year webpage.

FEMA Hazard, Flood Mitigation Funding Available

Monday October 22nd, 2018
The Pa. Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) has announced that applications are being accepted for a new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program to provide FY 2018 pre-disaster natural hazard mitigation and flood mitigation assistance to municipalities.
The deadline for applications is December 14.
The Non-Disaster Grant Program is available to fund projects that:
• reduce or eliminate claims under the National Flood Insurance Program ($145 million available nationally, with $70 million prioritized for community flood mitigation). Click here for a flood-mitigation assistance fact sheet; and
• reduce overall risk to population and structures from future hazard events and reliance on federal funding for future disasters ($235.2 million nationally). Click here for a pre-disaster mitigation assistance fact sheet.
To be eligible, a municipality or county must have adopted their county hazard mitigation plan.
The State Hazard Mitigation Application Review Team will meet between December 19 and 31 to rank and prioritize projects in line with the state's Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Grant applications are to be submitted through FEMA's eGrants system.
Click here for detailed application instructions from PEMA.
For more information on hazard mitigation planning and technical assistance, please contact Tom Hughes, State Hazard Mitigation Officer, at (717) 651-2726 or by using the hazard mitigation email:

Mini-Grants Available to Promote Walking and Biking in Townships

Wednesday October 17th, 2018

PA WalkWorks has mini-grants available to help townships develop active transportation plans and policies that promote walking, biking, and healthier habits in their community.

WalkWorks, a partnership between the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Center for Public Health Practice, is promoting healthier lifestyles for Pennsylvanians by creating community-based walking routes and groups statewide.  

The application deadline is Friday, October 26. Click here to learn more.



E-Permit Speeds Up Application, Response Time for Encroachment Projects

Friday October 12th, 2018
Townships and other landowners who need permits to remove obstructions from wetlands and waterways now have a faster, web-based way to apply. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has launched an electronic permit system to give landowners a more efficient way to request permit registrations for new projects and get a faster response from DEP. 
A variety of projects are covered by Chapter 105 Wetland and Waterway Obstruction and Encroachment General Permits, including stream crossings, small docks and boat ramps, streambank rehabilitation or protection, gravel bar removal, intake and outfall structures, agricultural crossings and ramps, minor road crossings, agricultural activities, and fish habitat enhancement structures. 
DEP processes at least 2,500 Chapter 105 registration requests for business, municipal, and individual landowners each year. The Chapter 105 e-permit, which is accessed through DEP GreenPort (registration is required for first-time users), will save time for applicants and department reviewers, include online permit payment, reduce the expense of printing complex design drawings, and make information available in real-time to the public for increased transparency. DEP will also continue to accept paper registrations to accommodate applicants whose only option is a paper form.
As DEP continues to seek ways to modernize and increase efficiency, the agency encourages applicants to use the Chapter 105 e-permit and provide feedback on it. 
“We value the community’s insights on using the e-permit. They’ll be very helpful as we work to perfect a tool that enables improved service, efficiency, response time, and transparency,” said McDonnell.
Applicants are encouraged to send comments and suggestions on the e-permit to All messages will be reviewed and considered for future improvements. Applicants will also be invited to participate in a web-based conference call to learn more about the functionality of the new tool and provide recommendations for potential enhancements.

Nominate Your Project for Governor's Awards for Local Government Excellence

Thursday October 11th, 2018
Deadline is December 14.
PSATS is asking its members to nominate projects for the 2019 Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence, administered by the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). The awards recognize townships and officials who have found creative ways to improve their communities.
Townships may nominate projects in the following categories:
• Building community partnerships
• Responding to adversity
• Promoting community/economic revitalization
• Innovative community/governmental initiatives
• Fiscal accountability and best management practices
• Innovative planning and sound land use practices
• Intergovernmental cooperation
• Information technology
• Health and wellness initiatives
Townships must submit a narrative about the project that includes:
• The name of the nominated township and county, any other participating municipalities and their counties, and a contact person’s name, street address, phone number, and email address. 
• The applicable category from the list above.
• A description of the project.
• An explanation of how the project  resolved a problem, addressed a need, or improved the community. Provide quantifiable results, if available.
• A list of everyone who participated in the project and how they helped.
To learn more about the judging criteria for each category, view past award winners, and submit a nomination, go to DCED's Governor's Awards web page.

PSATS’ Salary Survey Plus Is Open!

Thursday October 11th, 2018
Don’t forget to take a few minutes to enter your township's wage and salary data for the PSATS Salary Survey Plus! Simply log in to and choose the Salary Survey Plus link. Be sure to have all of your township’s data submitted by October 19 to ensure that you and your township supervisors have full access to the survey results! We would like to make the report features available soon and need your help to ensure we have enough data for helpful results!
Trouble logging into connect? Click here for directions. We recommend using Google Chrome as your browser.
The survey is easy to use and allows you to complete data entry over multiple sessions. Simply save each page as you go. No final submit action is necessary.
As soon as enough data has been entered to release the customized reports, townships supervisors, managers, and secretaries from townships that have completed the survey will be able to view and, with a few clicks, create customizable, personalized, reports to compare your township to others most like yours, by budget size, road miles, population, and region.
Your participation is needed to make this tool a success!
Questions on the survey can be directed to or (717) 763-0930.

Applications Being Accepted for Alternative-Fuel Vehicle Grants

Monday October 1st, 2018
Townships that want to purchase or convert vehicles to natural gas or other alternative fuels may apply for funding through DEP’s Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program. The deadline for applications is December 14, 2018.
Grants are available for the conversion or purchase of natural gas vehicles, as well as the conversion or purchase of electric, propane, or other alternative-fuel vehicles of any size.
This year, the program will give priority to projects that include the use of funded vehicles by emergency personnel in emergency responses, rescues, and evacuations.
Grants are available for:
• Vehicle retrofit or purchase, to offset the incremental cost of purchasing alternative fuel vehicles or retrofitting existing vehicles to operate on alternative fuels; and
• Alternative fuel refueling infrastructure, to offset the costs of purchasing and installing refueling equipment for fleet, workplace, or intermediary fueling.
For more information or to apply, go to the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant program page.

Grants Available for Coldwater Stream Conservation

Monday October 1st, 2018
Townships that have trout streams and other coldwater ecosystems may apply for grants from the Coldwater Heritage Partnership, which provides technical assistance and funding for the evaluation, conservation, and protection of Pennsylvania’s streams. Applications are due by December 15, 2018.
• Planning grants up to $5,000 provide funding to develop a conservation plan that identifies the value of and threats to coldwater ecosystems with naturally reproducing trout. The information collected can be used as a catalyst for more comprehensive planning or watershed improvement projects.
• Implementation grants up to $8,000 fund projects that have been recommended in a complete conservation plan or report. Potential projects must enhance, conserve, or protect the coldwater stream named in the original plan.
For more information, guidelines, and applications, go to the Grant Appications and Guidelines page. Potential applicants are urged to contact Program Director Ashley Wilmot before submitting an application. Call her at (814) 359-5233 or email

Free Fall Workshops Explain DCNR's C2P2 Grant Program

Thursday September 13th, 2018
The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society, will host workshops this fall to explain the department’s Community Conservation Partnerships Program (C2P2).
The C2P2 program’s application period will open January 22, 2019, and close April 10, 2019. These grants are funded through a variety of sources, including the Keystone Recreation, Park, and Conservation Fund; Environmental Stewardship Fund; Pennsylvania Recreational Trails Program; and Land and Water Conservation Fund.
The in-person workshops will give potential applicants technical assistance on grants available for recreation, conservation, riparian buffer, trail, and community park projects. Attendees will be able to interact with department staff and learn about grant program selection criteria, eligibility, and the documents required for various types of applications. Attendees will learn how to create a competitive grant application.
Dates and locations for the workshops are:
• Oct. 23: Montgomery Co. Fire Academy, Conshohocken
• Oct. 25: Luzerne Co. Community College, Nanticoke
• Nov. 1: Giant Food Store Community Room, Camp Hill, Cumberland Co.
• Nov. 7: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre Co., State College
• Nov. 13: Trinity Point Church of God, Clarion, Clarion Co.
• Nov. 14: Collier Twp. Community Center, Oakdale, Allegheny Co.
For more information on registering for the workshops, call Jim Young at (717) 783-2712 or email Online registration is required; go to

USDA Offers Help for Rural Water Infrastructure

Monday September 10th, 2018
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is inviting rural communities to apply for grants and loans to upgrade and rebuild rural water infrastructure.
The Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program accepts applications on a continuing basis for funding to finance drinking water, stormwater drainage (including green infrastructure), and waste disposal systems for communities with fewer than 10,000 residents. 
Applicants must be unable to obtain financing from other sources at rates and terms they can afford and/or from their own resources.
To learn more or apply for funding, go to the grant program page. Townships may also call Curt Coccodrille, state director, at (717) 237-2299 with questions.

Free Technical Help for Chesapeake Watershed Projects

Friday September 7th, 2018
Townships in the Chesapeake Bay watershed can turn to Trout Unlimited for free technical assistance with conservation projects. The new program provides support with project planning and prioritization guidance, best management practice design and layout, permitting, and construction oversight to address non-point source sediment and nutrient pollution.
The Non-Point Source Technical Assistance Program is designed to help eligible groups and individuals so they, in turn, can better plan and implement projects that reduce sediment and/or nutrient loadings caused by agricultural runoff and stream degradation in the Chesapeake watershed.
To request technical assistance, email Jake Tomlinson of Trout Unlimited at For more information about programs and initiatives, visit the PA Council of Trout Unlimited website.

Don't Forget to Enter the PSATS Citizen Communication Contest By Oct. 31

Wednesday September 5th, 2018
If your township has published a newsletter or other publication to communicate with residents in the past year, show your pride in a job well-done by entering it in PSATS’ 50th Annual Township Citizen Communication Contest. Eligible publications or other forms of communication must have been produced between November 1, 2017, and October 30, 2018. Entries must be received by October 31.
Thirty-one awards in eight categories will be up for grabs. Winners will receive a framed certificate and coverage in the Township News. All entrants will also compete for the 27th Annual Outstanding Citizen Communication Award, which will be presented at PSATS’ Annual Conference to the township that exhibits an exceptional commitment to informing its residents.
The contest honors townships for their citizen communication efforts in the following categories:
• Newsletters
• Most improved newsletter
• Electronic newsletters (This category is for electronic newsletters that are produced strictly for the web or email distribution. Printed newsletters that are posted on a township’s website as a PDF are not eligible.)
• Other publications, including annual reports, brochures, and calendars of events
• Cable TV channels/programs
• Websites
• Social media (Judges will evaluate townships’ overall use of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and other resources to communicate with their residents.)
• Audiovisual communication, such as video messages/alerts, pod- or webcasts, video blogs, township meeting highlights, and other recordings posted on the township website, YouTube, or social media (Audiotapes are not eligible.)
For more information, download the guidelines.

How Fast Is Your Internet? Center for Rural PA Wants to Know

Wednesday September 5th, 2018
The Center for Rural Pennsylvania is sponsoring research on broadband availability in the commonwealth and is asking Pennsylvanians to test their upload and download speeds at
Townships should encourage their residents to take the test to help Penn State researchers get a clear picture of Internet speeds and broadband access across the state. The test will be available through the end of 2018.
Invite your residents to visit and take the test today. It only takes a few minutes!

Fire Companies Can Win $500 By Promoting "Call Before You Dig"

Wednesday September 5th, 2018
Fire companies that help promote the “call before you dig” message could win $500 through a contest sponsored by Pennsylvania One Call and six utility companies. State law requires that anyone getting ready to dig with power equipment first call 811 so the location of underground utilities can be marked.
The Fire House 811 campaign encourages fire companies to post a creative 811 message on their firehouse marquee and email a photo (along with their address and contact information) to A winner will be drawn every second Friday of the month through December. 
To raise awareness about public safety and call before you dig, Pennsylvania 811, the state’s 811 call center, will post photos of all entries on its Facebook and Twitter pages. If your firehouse doesn’t have a marquee, it can order a complimentary 4-by-8-foot vinyl banner to hang and photograph (the station’s name must be in the picture) to submit for the drawing.
The contest began April 30, and remaining drawings will take place October 12, November 9, and December 14. Fire companies may only win once in the calendar year. 
For more information about the contest or to order a vinyl banner, go to the Fire House 811 campaign page.