Lt. Gov. Cawley Presents Awards for Local Government Excellence
On April 15, Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley and the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services recognized municipalities and local government officials throughout the commonwealth for their dedication and commitment to strengthening their communities and better serving their residents.
“As former local government officials, Governor Corbett and I understand the immense responsibility you all have to provide solutions that make your community a vibrant place to live, work and raise a family,” Cawley said. “Today recognizes your dedication to public service and celebrates the leadership and innovation that has resulted in vibrant communities for the citizens you serve. Thank you for helping Gov. Corbett and I to build a stronger Pennsylvania.”
The recognitions were part of the 18th Annual Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence. In total, eight local government leaders and eight communities throughout the commonwealth received awards that were presented at the state Capitol in Harrisburg.
The Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence are presented annually to communities and individuals by the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services, an office within the Department of Community and Economic Development that works to assist Pennsylvania’s local governments.
A panel of judges from the Governor's Center reviewed applications submitted by municipal organizations and officials from across the state and selected the award recipients.
The following local government officials were recognized for outstanding service to their communities and local government associations:
- Michael Dennehy, Jr., Chairman of Board of Supervisors, Pine Township, Allegheny County; and Executive Committee Member, Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors
- Ronald Evanko, Mayor, Blairsville Borough, Indiana County; Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs
- Robert Callen, Executive Director, Beaver County Regional Council of Governments; Pennsylvania Association of Councils of Governments
- Gary Jastrzab, Executive Director, Philadelphia City Planning Commission; Pennsylvania Chapter of American Planning Association
- David Barie, President, Reserve Township Board of Commissioners, Allegheny County; and President, Pennsylvania State Association of Township Commissioners
- Thomas Keiper, Executive Director, Mountaintop Area Joint Sanitary Authority; Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association
- Michael Nutter, Mayor, Philadelphia City; Pennsylvania Municipal League
- George Hartwick, III, County Commissioner, Dauphin County Commissioners; County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania
The community awards cover eight categories: Building Community Partnerships, Fiscal Accountability& Best Management Practices, Information Technology, Promoting Community/Economic Revitalization, Intergovernmental Cooperation, Innovative Community/Governmental Initiatives, Responding to Adversity and Innovative Planning and Sounds Land Use Practices.
DEP Offers Free Brownfields Seminar May 14 in Pittsburgh
The Pa. Department of Environmental Protection invites municipal leaders, county and city planners, redevelopment authorities, community leaders, and economic and industrial development agencies to a seminar, What All Local Governments Need to Know about Brownfields, on Wednesday, May 14, in Pittsburgh.
The seminar is offered free of charge and will be from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at DEP Southwest Regional Office, 400 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Lunch will be provided.
The half-day seminar will focus on how to breathe life into abandoned and vacant properties. Participants will learn about successful brownfield redevelopment projects in their area, learn the basics of brownfields, find out where public funding is available and how to apply for it, and network with other municipal organizations.
Brownfields are properties that are in need of expansion, redevelopment, or reuse but because of actual or anticipated hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants, that work is made more challenging. Pennsylvania’s approach to brownfields redevelopment has proven to be a national model for transforming abandoned, idle properties into places of environmental protection and economic opportunity.
This workshop is produced in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. It is funded by a brownfield grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Space is limited, so registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Please register in advance at this link.
For more information, contact Kim Hoover at 717-783-1566 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PSATS and Local Government Groups Testify on Changes to Act 47 Law
On Wednesday, April 9, PSATS joined with other municipal associations to testify before the Pennsylvania Senate Local Government Committee on proposed amendments to the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act (Act 47 of 1987).
PSATS Assistant Executive Director Elam M. Herr and representatives from the Pennsylvania Municipal League, the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Commissioners, and the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs provided joint testimony on Senate Bill 1157 and House Bill 1773.
The groups commented that the legislation attempts to change the outcome of fiscally challenged communities without wading into the tough causes of Act 47 distress. They highlighted the need to offer more support to and flexibility for municipalities before they enter Act 47 status and opposed the concept and process outlined in the legislation for disincorporation of municipalities.
PennDOT Accepting Applications for Transportation Improvement Projects
PennDOT is accepting applications for funding for transportation improvement projects under the Multimodal Transportation Fund created by Act 89 of 2013, the transportation funding package.
The agency will make available $20 million in Fiscal Year 2014-15 to distribute to successful applicants. Eligible projects can cost between $100,000 and $3 million and require a 30 percent match from local sources.
Natural Gas Impact Fee Having a Positive Impact on Townships
On Friday, April 4, Gov. Tom Corbett and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission announced the latest collection numbers for the commonwealth’s natural gas impact fee. In the latest round, collections are expected to increase from $195 million in 2013 to $224.5 million in 2014.
Revenues from the impact fee, made possible through Act 13 of 2012, are benefiting local governments throughout the commonwealth, particularly those in the Marcellus Shale region, which are investing in a variety of things — from purchasing playground equipment to hiring new police officers — to benefit residents.
The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors supports the local impact fee and welcomes the positive impact it’s having throughout the state.
In response to Gov. Corbett’s announcement, PSATS Executive Director David M. Sanko issued the following statement:
"Townships across Pennsylvania got great news on Friday when the commonwealth announced that it expects to collect $224.5 million in 2014 through the state’s natural gas impact fee.
“The funding is doing exactly what Gov. Corbett and lawmakers intended: It’s helping townships in every corner of the state, especially those in the Marcellus Shale region. Today, these communities are able to invest in services and projects that, until the impact fee came along, were financially out of their reach.
“Our members tell us they’re now able to buy new playground equipment, hire new police officers, help their volunteer fire companies stay afloat, and update their infrastructure with new storm pipes and repaved roads.
“The funding, coupled with the $2.3 billion in new transportation money, is providing unprecedented revenues to improve Pennsylvania and its municipalities. Ultimately, though, the biggest winners are Pennsylvanians.”
PSATS represents the 1,454 townships of the second class across Pennsylvania. Townships, in turn, represent 5.5 million Pennsylvanians, more than any other type of political subdivision in the commonwealth, and they cover 95 percent of the commonwealth’s land mass.
Local Govs Invited to Participate in Weather Exercise to Test Emergency Readiness
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is encouraging all municipalities to take part in the 2014 Spring Hazardous Weather Emergency Preparedness Exercise May 12 and 13.
This exercise is designed to test the readiness of all participating counties, municipalities, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, day care centers, and other community organizations.
This year’s event will coincide with the National Guard’s “Vigilant Guard” exercise, which will test the Guard’s ability to support a civilian response to major emergencies.
The focus will be on emergency operations center management, communications, emergency public information and warning, military support to civilian authorities, and critical resource logistics and distribution.
Townships should also contact their county emergency management coordinator to coordinate their participation in the exercise.
Local emergency management agencies can be found here or in the telephone book under the “Local Government” section.
For more information, contact your county emergency management agency or Aaron Rhone, PEMA, at (717) 651-2714, email email@example.com.