News Archive


PSATS wants YOU to be a part of the Association's 2019 Calendar

Wednesday June 20th, 2018

PSATS wants YOU to be a part of the Association’s 2019 calendar!

If you liked the township photos in this year’s calendar, get in on the act by sending us your photos to illustrate next year’s calendar pages.

PHOTO SUBJECTS
For 2019, we’d like you to send photos of a special place or prized possession that makes you especially proud of your community, including but not limited to:
• A new building or piece of equipment
• A park or trail
• A road or bridge
• A historical site or building
• A farm or piece of land “saved” through preservation
• A summer camp or program
• Whatever instills pride in your township

Note: Photos should include township officials/staff whenever possible (photos with people are always more interesting). Please be sure to identify your township and county and include the name(s) and title(s) of any persons from left to right in the photo(s).

REQUIREMENTS
• To reproduce well in print, photos must have a resolution of at least 300 dpi at a size of 4 inches x 6 inches.
• Please email photos as jpeg attachments to kkirk@psats.org by July 31, 2018.
• Make sure to provide your name and position, township and county, and a daytime phone number.

SNAP some pics,
SEND ’em to PSATS, and
SEE your township in the 2019 calendar!

 



Apply Now for Next Round of Growing Greener Plus Grants

Friday June 15th, 2018
The state Department of Environmental Protection is accepting applications for the next round of Growing Greener Plus Grants for watershed restoration, mine reclamation set-aside, and EPA Section 319 water quality restoration projects. The deadline for applications is July 13.
 
Eligible applicants include counties, authorities, and other municipalities; county conservation districts; watershed organizations recognized by DEP that promote local watershed conservation; councils of governments; and other authorized organizations involved in environmental restoration and protection.
 
DEP has identified a number of criteria, including projects in regional priority watersheds that reduce the impairment source; activities that lead to water quality restoration or protection; and projects that support installation of high-priority BMPs to address non-point source pollution.
 
Examples of eligible projects include riparian forest buffers, streambank fencing, erosion/sedimentation and nutrient control practices on cropland, and animal waste storage systems.
 
For more information, go to www.dep.pa.gov/Citizens/GrantsLoansRebates/Growing-Greener or call (717) 705-5400.


Funding Available for Alternative Fuels for Your Fleet

Friday June 15th, 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 July 13.
 
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, click here.


Spruce Up Your Spaces with a Fresh Coat of Paint

Friday June 15th, 2018
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is accepting applications for the 2018 Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania grants. 
 
The month-long program, which kicks off in September, 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. 
 
The application deadline is July 31, and grants will be awarded in mid-August. Projects must be completed during Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania September 1-30, 2018.
 
For more information or to download the application, go to www.keeppabeautiful.org and click on the “Grants and Awards” section. Additional information is also available by contacting Michelle Dunn, Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania program coordinator, toll-free at (877) 772-3673, ext. 113, or mdunn@keeppabeautiful.org.


Get Free Tech Assist for Parks & Rec Programs

Friday June 15th, 2018
Townships that want to improve their parks and recreation programs and facilities can apply for expert help through the Recreation and Parks Technical Assistance Program (RecTAP). The program is administered by the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society (PRPS) and funded by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program of the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
 
The technical assistance service provides up to $2,500 in grant funding to pay for peer consultants who work with the grantee to solve new or existing parks, recreation, and trail issues. Examples of funded projects include:
 
• assessing trail placement sites;
 
• developing board training;
 
• creating revenue management plans;
 
• evaluating summer camp programs;
 
• assessing swimming pools for industry standards;
 
• helping with staff hiring and training;
 
• developing a small community park plan;
 
• drafting a pool operations handbook; and
 
• creating a corporate sponsorship program.
 
RecTAP funding supports start-up or stepping-stone projects that lead to the finalization or expansion of more comprehensive work.
 
Townships that have a PRPS group membership or a staff member with a membership are not required to pay a fund match. Non-members must pay a $100 match upon grant approval.
 
For more information, call PRPS at (814) 234-4272 or go to https://prps.org/PRPSGrants.


PSATS Executive Director Discusses Recent Conference on Behind the Headlines

Monday June 11th, 2018

PSATS Executive Director David Sanko recently appeared on Behind the Headlines, produced by the Susquehanna Valley Center for Public Policy, to discuss the successful PSATS 96th Annual Educational Conference and Exhibit show, major issues facing townships such as the opioid epidemic, and the call for a special session in Harrisburg to discuss the statewide volunteer firefighter and EMS shortage. 

To watch the Behind the Headlines episode, click here



PHMC Announces Financing for Records Preservation

Sunday June 10th, 2018
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, 2018.
 
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.
 
Grants will be awarded based on a competitive review of the application by a subcommittee of SHRAB. A minimum of 70 percent of the available funds will be distributed to projects directly involved with the care and conservation of records.
 
Applicants must use the web-based electronic grant application process (eGrant). For grant program guidelines and eGrant application instructions, visit PHMC online at www.phmc.pa.gov, choose the “Preservation” tab at the top, and click on “Grants and Funding.” Click on the “Records Care Grants” button to learn more about the program.
 
 


Join in National Night Out on August 7 to Help Fight Crime

Friday June 1st, 2018
Townships are encouraged to plan community activities to observe the National Asso­ciation of Town Watch’s 35th Annual National Night Out on Tuesday, August 7
 
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.
 
Townships that are interested in sponsoring National Night Out events should register with the National Association of Town Watch to receive a free planning kit, including sample news releases, artwork, and a promotional guide.
 
To register, call the association toll-free at (800) NITE-OUT (648-3688) or go to www.nationalnightout.org and click on the link for registration.


Prepare Now for Winter Road Service Agreements

Friday June 1st, 2018
Townships that want to renew or establish winter road service agreements with the state Department of Transportation should notify their district maintenance office now. For agreement renewals, the cutoff date for a municipality to legally withdraw in writing is July 31 unless otherwise specified in an existing agreement.
 
Under these agreements, which can have terms of up to five years, Penn­DOT pays municipalities an upfront annual lump sum to remove snow and ice from state roads from October 15 to April 30. PennDOT pays a winter severity adjustment at the end of the season, depending on how the winter stacks up against PennDOT’s five-year average historic cost.
 
PennDOT must approve all contracts before winter maintenance begins.
 
To determine if PennDOT’s reimbursement rate will cover expenses, townships should look at the costs of purchasing salt, anti-skid materials, and other supplies and providing equipment maintenance, labor, and overhead.
 
Townships should also consider the legal ramifications of entering into such an agreement and review these contracts with their solicitor.
 
Ten percent of state roads are maintained through service agreements with townships and other municipalities. 
 
For more information, including other agreement mechanisms and options, call your PennDOT district maintenance office.


Grants Available to Help Rural Communities

Tuesday May 22nd, 2018
Townships in rural areas may apply for grants under the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI), a program from the USDA Rural Development’s Rural Housing Service. To be eligible, townships must act as intermediaries to the actual funding recipients and provide matching funds that at least equal the federal grant.
 
The grants are intended to help recipients such as private, nonprofit community-based housing and community development organizations, low-income rural communities, and Native American tribes undertake projects involving housing, community facilities, or community and economic development in rural areas. The program requires the intermediary, or grantee, to provide a program of financial and technical assistance to the recipient, which will, in turn, provide programs to their community.
 
For complete details, click here. Applications must be received by June 25, 2018. For information on electronic submissions, go to www.grants.gov.
 
Interested applicants are urged to contact Pennsylvania’s RCDI officer, Shaun Stehr, for assistance at (717) 237-2285.
 
 


Help PSATS Recognize Youth Groups for Outstanding Community Service

Tuesday May 22nd, 2018
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, 2017, and June 30, 2018, and must have benefited a township of the second class.
 
Promotional materials were mailed to townships, county associations, 4-H groups, school districts, and Scout councils in April and May. To download a PDF of the guidelines and entry form, plus an article, sample news release, and an "ad" suitable for township newsletters, websites, and social media, click here.  
 
Townships are encouraged to help youth groups submit their entry forms to the county association by July 2. County associations must sign off on the projects and forward the entries to PSATS by July 16. 
 
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.


Alternative Energy Grants Available

Tuesday May 22nd, 2018
Townships that want to begin using alternative energy may apply for grants or loans through the Commonwealth Finance Authority’s (CFA) Renewable Energy Program and Solar Energy Program. The deadline for applications is July 18.
 
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 Ryan Emerson at (717) 787-6245 or click here.