News Archive


Township Association Stands Firm in its Opposition to State Police Fees for Municipalities

Tuesday June 11th, 2019

In response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s June 11 press conference, where he supported levying a fee on municipalities that rely on the Pennsylvania State Police for coverage, David M. Sanko, executive director of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, has released the following statement.

 

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      “All Pennsylvania residents pay state income tax to access State Police services. No one should be forced to pay twice. In fact, instead of looking for ways to collect more money, let’s look at some ways to control costs. Period.

      “Because the real crux of the issue is that local police services are prohibitively expensive. This is a direct result of collective bargaining and pension mandates from the state that inflate these costs beyond the reach of most communities, even those with a solid tax base. Rather than adding to the list of mandates – as HB 959 and SB 741 and their dear departed brethren have proposed – lawmakers should focus on making policing affordable for all communities, including those that have and need local police but are struggling under the financial burden to the point of becoming distressed.

 “The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors does not support charging municipalities a fee for State Police coverage.”

 



Grants Support Archival Record Preservation

Monday June 10th, 2019
Townships and other organizations that preserve historical records may want to apply for the new Historical & Archival Records Care (HARC) grant program from the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) and the Pennsylvania State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB). The application deadline is August 1, 2019.
 
Funding is available to historical records repositories, such as historical societies, libraries, universities, local governments, and school districts, for collections care, including surveying, inventorying, preserving, arranging, and describing historical records significant to Pennsylvania, as well as for records reformatting and equipment. Also, a portion of funding may be requested to support outreach and accessibility initiatives.
 
Applicants may apply for up to $15,000 with a 50 percent cash or in-kind match. Smaller grants up to $5,000 are available with no match required. Funding is provided by PHMC.
 
The HARC program is designed to improve the preservation and accessibility of historically valuable records.
 
Applicants must use the web-based electronic grant application process (eGrant). For grant program guidelines and eGrant application instructions, visit PHMC's Records Care Grants page.


Join in National Night Out on August 6 to Help Fight Crime

Monday June 10th, 2019
Townships are encouraged to plan community activities to observe the National Association of Town Watch’s 36th Annual National Night Out (NNO) on Tuesday, August 6.
 
Last year, citizens, law enforcement agencies, community groups, businesses, youth organizations, and local, state, and federal officials from 16,790 communities in all 50 states, U.S. territories, and military bases worldwide joined forces to celebrate the event.
 
“The energy, dedication and leadership of our NNO local coordinators never ceases to amaze me,” says Matt Peskin, NNO creator and national project coordinator. “When neighbors and local law enforcement get together under positive circumstances, great things happen. These are bonds that will last forever.”
 
In addition to the traditional vigil of turning on porch lights, many communities also sponsor block parties, cookouts, parades, police visits and demonstrations, neighborhood flashlight walks, safety fairs, contests, rallies, and youth programs and activities.
 
Lehigh Township in Northampton County, Spring Township in Berks County, and Upper Merion Township in Montgomery County won awards from the National Association of Town Watch for their 2018 events.
 
If your township is holding an NNO event this year, tell the News about it and be sure to include photos. Email the info to glinn@psats.org.
 
For more information, call toll-free (800) NITE-OUT (648-3688) or go to natw.org.


Funding Available for Alternative Energy Projects

Wednesday June 5th, 2019
Townships that want to begin using alternative energy may apply for grants or loans through the Commonwealth Finance Authority’s (CFA) Alternative and Clean Energy, Renewable Energy, and Solar Energy programs. The deadline for applications is July 17.
 
These programs are jointly administered by the CFA and state Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Community and Economic Development (DCED).
 
The Alternative and Clean Energy Program provides grants and loans for the use, development, and construction of alternative and clean energy projects, infrastructure associated with compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas fueling stations, and energy efficiency and conservation projects.
 
Grants for any alternative energy production or clean-energy project must not exceed $2 million or 30 percent of the total project cost, whichever is less. Loans for any alternative energy production or clean-energy project must not exceed $5 million or 50 percent of the total project cost, whichever is less.
 
There is a match requirement of at least $1 for every $1 of program funds awarded and a $100 non-refundable application fee due at the time of submission.
 
The Renewable Energy Program provides grants and loans to promote the use of geothermal and wind energy. Grants are available for wind energy generation and distribution up to $1 million or 30 percent of the project cost, whichever is less. Grants for planning and feasibility studies are available for up to $175,000 or 50 percent of the project cost, whichever is less.
 
Loans for geothermal systems or wind energy generation or distribution projects may not exceed $5 million or 50 percent of the project cost, whichever is less.
 
There is a match requirement of at least $1 for every $1 awarded and a $100 non-refundable application fee.
 
The Solar Energy Program provides grants and loans to promote the use of solar energy. Eligible projects include facilities to generate, distribute, or store solar photovoltaic energy.
 
Grants may not exceed $1 million or $1.50 per watt, whichever is less. There is a matching investment requirement of at least $1 for every $1 of program grant funds awarded.
 
In exchange for a grant, solar photovoltaic projects will contractually commit to transfer ownership of the solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) generated by the system to the CFA for the life of the project.
 
The maximum loan may not exceed $5 million or $3 per watt, whichever is less. There is a match requirement of $1 for every $3 awarded and a $100 non-refundable application fee.
 
For more information about these energy programs, call DCED’s Greg Welker at (717) 787-6245 or go to DCED's energy programs page.


Give Up Gas! Grants Available for Alternative-Fuel Vehicles

Wednesday June 5th, 2019
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 (AFIG) Program. The deadline for applications is July 12.
 
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, there is no gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) limit and no minimum number of vehicles required to apply for a vehicle purchase or retrofit reimbursement.
 
Grants are also available to fund the purchase and installation of refueling infrastructure for alternative-fuel fleet vehicles. This category includes two options:
 
• Fleet refueling projects must service an existing fleet of at least 10 alternative-fuel vehicles weighing up to 26,000 pounds GVWR, and
 
• Home-based refueling projects must be located at the base of operations for one or more alternative-fuel vehicles weighing up to 10,000 pounds GVWR.
 
For more information and application guidelines, go to DEP's AFIG page.


Paint Your Township Red...or Blue...or Yellow...

Wednesday June 5th, 2019
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful (KPB) is accepting applications for the 2019 Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania grants.
 
The application deadline is June 28, and grants will be awarded in mid-July. Projects must be completed during Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania September 1-30, 2019.
 
The month-long program provides eight awardees and their volunteers with up to 20 gallons of exterior paint provided by Behr and a $50 gift card from Home Depot for painting supplies to renew a structure in need. 
 
Townships and any other tax-exempt groups in Pennsylvania are eligible, and only one building per application is allowed. Applicants must provide two before photos of the intended project. Grant awardees must also provide proof of liability insurance, signed permission to paint from the building owner, and the chosen paint color from the Behr line.
 
Selected grantees must also provide a final report with photos of the work in progress and of the completed project. 
 
For more information or to download the application, go to KPB's  Fresh Paint Days page
 
Townships may also contact Michelle Dunn, KPB program coordinator, toll-free at (877) 772-3673, ext. 113, or mdunn@keeppabeautiful.org.


Gas Well Emergency Response Grants Available

Wednesday May 29th, 2019
Fire and rescue companies and emergency medical services in counties with unconventional gas wells or neighboring counties may apply for Unconventional Gas Well Local Emergency Response Grants from the Office of the State Fire Commissioner. The deadline for applications is July 24.
 
Eligible projects include:
 
• Obtaining professional national certification.
 
• Purchasing firefighting, emergency medical, rescue, or air-monitoring equipment to be used for incidents on, or related to, an unconventional gas well pad. All equipment purchased through the program will also include training on the equipment provided by the Pa.State Fire Academy at no additional costs to the grant recipient(s).
 
• Attending training classes and obtaining required educational materials to prepare for incidents at an unconventional gas well pad or related to the unconventional gas industry.
 
For more information and to apply, go to the State Fire Commissioner's grants page
 
For more information on programs, training and grant opportunities, visit the State Fire Commissioner website


Online Training Modules Available with PennDOT Connects

Tuesday May 28th, 2019

Select PennDOT Connects training topics are available as stand-alone, recorded online training modules. Each topic is presented as a 15-minute overview designed to refresh municipal understanding of PennDOT Connects, explain key principles and practices, offer examples and key resources, and provide steps for implementation.

The narrated presentations are highly interactive and carefully constructed to introduce the viewer to basic concepts, circumstances that might make it the right time to adopt a new tool or approach, associated advantages and disadvantages, special challenges, and case studies and resources. You can view each module at your own pace at your convenience. 

To learn more about these training opportunities, visit the PennDOT Connects page, or read the Spring 2019 edition of PennDOT Connects newsletter, TRANSFORM



Learn About Safe Excavation at Pennsylvania 811 Safety Days

Wednesday May 15th, 2019
Plan to attend Pennsylvania 811 Safety Days, which will be held at several locations across the state. These free events include safe digging demonstrations and exhibits by vendors and construction experts. This is a great training opportunity for township officials and road crews to learn safe excavation techniques and use of the PA One Call System.
 
Also, LTAP’s Stormwater Facilities Operations and Maintenance course will be offered at this year’s event. The following 2019 PA Safety Days are scheduled:
 
• June 25 -- Blair County Convention Center, Altoona
 
• June 27 -- York Expo Center, York
 
• September 19 -- Pittsburgh International Airport, Moon Township
 
To register for one of these sessions or for more information, go to www.pa1call.org


Help PSATS Recognize Youth Groups for Outstanding Community Service

Monday May 13th, 2019
Has a youth organization completed a community service project in your township or county? Has a Scout troop helped clean up a township park or a high school group developed an environmental program for residents? Has a local 4-H club held an event for children or adults or a church youth group volunteered to help elderly residents repair their homes?
 
Township supervisors and county association officers can help identify and recognize such outstanding examples of community service by encouraging groups to enter the annual PSATS Youth Awards Contest.
 
The awards program recognizes the contributions youth groups make to improve the quality of life in Pennsyl­vania’s townships. Entrants in this year’s contest will vie for cash prizes of $500 each.
 
To be eligible, projects must have been undertaken or continued between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, and must have benefited a township of the second class.
 
Promotional materials were mailed to townships, county associations, 4-H groups, FFA, and Scout councils in May. To download a PDF of the guidelines and entry form, a promotional flyer and poster, an article and ad suitable for township newsletters, websites, and social media, and a sample news release, go to the PSATS Youth Awards webpage.  
 
Townships are encouraged to help youth groups submit their entry forms to the county association by July 1. County associations must sign off on the projects and forward the entries to PSATS by July 15.
 
Four winners will each receive $500 and a framed certificate, along with coverage in the Pennsylvania Township News and their local newspapers.
 
For more information, contact Brenda Wilt at PSATS at (717) 763-0930, ext. 123, or bwilt@psats.org.


Funding Available for Rural Broadband Connections

Monday February 11th, 2019
Townships in rural areas that lack high-speed broadband can apply for funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural eConnectivity Pilot Program (ReConnect).
 
Telecommunications companies, rural electric cooperatives and utilities, internet service providers, and municipalities may apply for funding through the ReConnect Program to connect rural areas that currently have insufficient broadband service. USDA is making available about $200 million for grants, $200 million for low-interest loans, and $200 million for loan and grant combinations.
 
The application deadlines are:
 
• May 31, 2019, for grants;
 
• June 21, 2019, for loan/grant combinations; and
 
• July 12, 2019, for low-interest loans.
 
Applicants can request technical assistance from USDA by filling out the contact form on the ReConnect webpage.
 
Funds will be awarded to projects that have a financially-sustainable business model to bring high-speed broadband to rural homes, businesses, farms, ranches, and community facilities, such as first responders, healthcare sites, and schools.
 
For more information about the ReConnect program, visit the ReConnect webpage