2015 Oath of Office
Newly elected supervisors need to take the oath of office — Before assuming the duties of office, newly elected and re-elected township supervisors must take an oath of office to support the Constitution of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and to perform the duties of office with fidelity. This oath must be administered by a judge, district magistrate, or notary and filed with the township secretary. Click here for the oath of office form.
Committee Supports Common-Sense Municipal Pension Reforms
On Wednesday, November 18, the Senate Finance Committee supported House Bill 414, which embraces many of the common-sense recommendations developed earlier this year by the Governor’s Task Force on Municipal Pension Reform.
In response, PSATS Executive Director Dave Sanko has issued the following statement:
“State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale has said that when it comes to pension reform continued inaction is not an option.
“Today, the Senate Finance Committee took an important step toward change when it supported House Bill 414. This legislation embraces many of the common-sense recommendations developed earlier this year by the Governor’s Task Force on Municipal Pension Reform, which the auditor general chaired.
“Namely, HB 414 would exclude municipal pension benefits from the collective bargaining process. It also includes tools to ensure that pension benefits for police and other public safety employees are adequately funded while giving municipalities sustainable and affordable options for providing these benefits in the future.
“PSATS commends the Senate Finance Committee for moving legislation forward that would strengthen and stabilize the financial future of Pennsylvania’s municipalities. We also want to thank Sen. John Eichelberger, who chairs the committee, for his leadership and steadfast commitment to meaningful municipal pension reform.”
PennDOT Schedules Everyday County Exchange
Please join PennDOT from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, December 9, for an FHWA Every Day Counts Exchange. The topic will be "Locally Administered Federal-Aid Projects: Stakeholder Partnering." Township supervisors, managers, and roadmasters are encouraged to participate in the exchange, which will be presented as a webinar at eight locations throughout the commonwealth.
Click here for more information and to find a location near you.
Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force
Pipeline Task Force
Governor Wolf appointed 48 individuals, including PSATS Executive Board member Marvin Meteer, Wyalusing Township, Bradford County, to the Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force (PITF) to recommend policies and best practices to guide development of the thousands of miles of proposed natural gas pipelines that will transport natural gas and related by products across the Commonwealth. The PITF will provide a final report detailing its findings to Governor Tom Wolf by February 2016.
The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) is now accepting comments on the Draft Task Force Report through December 14, 2015.
Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted. Comments, including comments submitted by e-mail, must include the originator's name and address. Commentators are encouraged to submit comments using the Department's online eComment tool at www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eComment. Written comments should be submitted to the Department of Environmental Protection, Policy Office, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P. O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have You Built a Better Mousetrap? Enter Now
Have you or one of your co-workers recently built an innovative gadget or developed an improved way to do a job? If so, why not enter it in the PennDOT/LTAP Build a Better Mousetrap Competition?
Eligible projects include new tools, equipment modifications, and/or processes that increase safety, reduce cost, improve efficiency, and improve the quality of transportation.
If you have something you think would qualify for this competition, click here for the entry form and submit it by Friday, March 4, 2016. Entries will be judged by a committee of municipal road employees on cost savings/benefits to the community, ingenuity, transferability to others, and effectiveness.
The winning entry will also be entered in a regional and national contest to compete for recognition and, of course, bragging rights. Winners of the national competition will be announced at the annual LTAP/TTAP National Conference this summer. All entries at the national level will be posted on the LTAP/TTAP program website and compiled in an electronic booklet.
For more information, contact Karen Atkinson at email@example.com or (717) 763-0930, ext. 156.
Funding Available for Alternative Transportation Projects
Townships are encouraged to apply for assistance from the Transportation Alternatives Program, administered by PennDOT. The federally funded program supports projects defined as transportation alternatives, including on- and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, infrastructure projects for improving nondriver access to public transportation and enhanced mobility, community improvement activities, environmental mitigation, recreational trail program projects, and safe routes to school projects.
Projects must have a construction cost of at least $50,000 but may not exceed $1 million, unless the project is of exceptional regional or statewide significance. Applications will be reviewed based on such criteria as safety benefits, reasonableness of cost, readiness for implementation, statewide or regional significance, integration of land use and transportation decision making, collaboration with stakeholders, and leverage of other projects or funding.
There is currently $9 million available to be administered statewide through PennDOT, and up to $11 million to be administered through six large Metropolitan Planning Organizations. These amounts are subject to change if a new federal long-term transportation bill is enacted.
The deadline for applications is January 8.
PennDOT will hold a webinar for potential applicants on November 16 at 1 p.m. To access the webinar or apply for funding, go to PennDOT's competitive transportation funding website. Townships may also contact Chris Metka, Transportation Alternatives/Safe Routes To School Coordinator, at (717) 787-8065.
Local Government Commission Launches New Website with Township Code, Laws, More
Townships that are looking for the text of a municipal or state law can turn to the Pennsylvania Local Government Commission’s new and improved website.
In addition to laws, the site, www.lgc.state.pa.us, offers information about such topics as local government; citizens’ rights; protection of the public health, safety, and welfare; land use law; private property issues; and municipal taxation and finance.
The updated design also provides easy access to:
- municipal codes;
- nearly 90 frequently cited Pennsylvania municipal laws;
- five dozen informative articles from the commission’s Pennsylvania Legislator’s Municipal Deskbook; and
- brief summaries of all acts signed into law since 1993, including those that were vetoed.
The site also features current and recently enacted commission legislation, including bill summaries; current and recent commission projects, such as municipal code recodifications; and the Act 47 and Municipal Mandate Study task force reports.
Nominate Your Sustainable Park for a Green Park Award
The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the PA Recreation and Parks Society (www.prps.org) are now accepting nominations for the Green Park Award. The deadline for nominations is January 15.
The awards recognize excellence in public parks for the integration of green and sustainable park practices based on the following criteria:
• site location and design;
• water management;
• natural landscaping;
• materials selection and construction;
• connecting people to nature;
• operations and maintenance; and
• environmental stewardship messaging.
For more information and to download an application, click here.
Up to $3 Million Available for Multimodal Transportation Projects
The state Department of Transportation has money available for townships through its Multimodal Transportation Fund. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 18.
Four types of projects are eligible:
• those that coordinate local land use with transportation assets to enhance existing communities;
• those related to streetscapes, lighting, sidewalk enhancement, and pedestrian safety;
• those that improve connectivity or use of existing transportation assets; and,
• those related to transit-oriented development.
A 30 percent local match is required. In addition to municipalities, the program is open to economic development and public transit agencies.
Grants are available for projects that cost between $100,000 and $3 million. However, some larger projects may be considered if they contribute to private investment and job creation.
Examples of previous recipients include $3 million to Norfolk Southern Corp.to boost capacity by adding trailer parking spots at the railroad's Harrisburg Intermodal Facility; $424,000 for paving streets in Camp Hill Borough; and $1.4 million for road and traffic signal construction in York Township.
The application is available at the PennDot competitive transportation funding website.
Nominate Township Projects for Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence
Has your township found a creative way to improve your community? If so, consider nominating a project for the 2016 Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence.
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
- NEW! Health and wellness initiatives
Each entry must include a narrative about the project that contains:
- 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.
The deadline for nominations is December 1. Click here to learn more about the judging criteria for each category, view past award winners, and submit a nomination.