News Archive

Roundtable Participants Oppose Clean Water Act Rule Change

Friday October 17th, 2014

On Oct. 14, PSATS Executive Director David Sanko, township supervisors Ed Brensinger and Sam Cressler, and members of the farming community joined federal legislators and state agency officials in a roundtable discussion and press conference on concerns over proposed changes to the federal Clean Water Act rule.

If adopted, this rule would tighten federal control over the nation’s waters and land, including private property, by redefining what constitutes “waters of the U.S.”

Sen. Pat Toomey, Congressman Scott Perry, and Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture George Greig led the discussion about the potential negative impacts such a change could have nationwide and within the commonwealth.

PSATS will continue to work with lawmakers to oppose this proposed rule.

See more information about the proposal here, along with a call to action for townships.

Got Sinkholes? Register for the Harrisburg Sinkhole Summit 2014

Wednesday October 15th, 2014

Register for the City of Harrisburg's 2014 Sinkhole Conference and receive the latest information on how to best handle sinkhole issues.

The conference will be held Friday, November 7, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza on South Second Street in Harrisburg.

National speakers will share their expertise on the best practices in sinkhole management, including:

  • Sinkholes 101 (the basics — how they form);
  • federal funding programs for sinkhole identification and repair;
  • Pennsylvania state government funding programs;
  • land use development ordinances;
  • insurance products; and
  • more

Space ​is ​limited ​to ​the ​first ​200 ​registrants. The registration ​fee of $40 ​per ​person ​includes a continental ​breakfast ​and ​lunch.

Click here to register or call 202-331-8500 with questions.

Boost Recycling Numbers (or Start a New Program) with Free Technical Assistance

Monday October 13th, 2014

Starting or upgrading a recycling program can be a tall order for any township, but you don't have to go it alone. The Pennsylvania Recycling Technical Assistance program, offered through the state Department of Environmental Protection, provides local governments in the commonwealth with guidance and recommendations for upgrading recycling programs to boost material recovery and ensure sustainability.

The technical assistance program provides approved applicants with $7,500 in consulting services at no charge to the municipality to address recycling and composting-related topics. These can include curbside and drop-off recycling, material recovery facilities, composting, leaf recycling, commercial recycling, and pay-as-you-throw options.

DEP, the Governor's Center for Local Government Services, and PSATS formed this training partnership for Pennsylvania local governments interested in achieving higher recycling rates.

To apply or for more information, email or call 717-787-7382.

Learn About Traffic Signal Funding Program with October Webinars

Thursday October 9th, 2014

PennDOT is accepting applications for funding through its "Green Light—Go Program" for existing traffic signal maintenance and operations. Applications are due by November 14, and the competitive funding requires a 50 percent municipal or private cash match. Three webinars will be held throughout October to describe the program and application process.

To participate in any of the webinars, follow the steps below:

  1. At the appropriate time, click on the link below for the presentation you want to access.
  2. Type in the Meeting Number if requested.
  3. If requested, enter your name and email address.
  4. If a password is required, enter the meeting password: Traffic01
  5. Click Join.
  6. Follow the instructions that appear on your screen.
  7. Call toll-free 877-668-4493 and use the Meeting Number provided.

During Fiscal Year 2014-2015, up to $10 million will be allocated to municipalities for upgrading traffic signals to light-emitting diode technology and for performing regional operations such as retiming, developing special event plans, and monitoring traffic signals.

Click here for an application and email the application and attachments to by November 14.

Click here for additional information on the Green Light—Go Program requirements, guidelines, application evaluation criteria, corridor designations, and PennDOT's corridor prioritization.

Successful applicants will have to submit invoices and status updates through PennDOT's dotGrants system. Municipalities not currently using the dotGrants system for liquid fuels payments should start the process to get access once the application has been submitted.

Questions? Please contact Daniel Farley, manager of the PennDOT Traffic Signals and Operational Analysis Unit, Bureau of Maintenance and Operations, 400 North St., 6th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17120, (717) 783-0333,

Nominate Projects for Local Government Excellence Awards by Nov. 28

Wednesday October 8th, 2014

Has your township found a creative way to improve the community? If so, consider nominating a project for the 2015 Gover­nor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence by Friday, November 28.

Presented each April during Local Government Week, the awards recognize townships and officials 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

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 category from the list above that the project falls into.
  • A description of the project.
  • An explanation of how the project  resolved a problem, addressed a need, or improved the community-at-large. Provide quantifiable results, if available.
  • A list of everyone who participated in the project and how they helped.

Submit nominations here. The awards will be presented in Harrisburg during Local Government Week in April. 

Free LTAP Webinar to Review FHWA Sign Requirements

Monday September 15th, 2014

Is your municipality compliant with the Federal Highway Administration's traffic sign retroreflectivity requirements?

The deadline for compliance was June 14, but you can still sign up for a free LTAP webinar on Monday, Oct. 20, at 1 p.m. to learn more about:

  • the retroreflectivity requirements
  • development of a compliance plan
  • different methods for evaluating sign retroreflectivity
  • sign inventory and management options
  • free Pennsylvania LTAP sign inventory and management program

Click here to register for the session.

If you have questions, please contact Karen Atkinson or Jill Wawrzonek at or or at (717) 763-0930.

FEMA Firefighter/EMS Grants Application Period to Open in October

Tuesday September 9th, 2014

Fire departments and emergency services organizations may apply for funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grants beginning in October.

Eligible applicants include fire departments, nonaffiliated emergency medical services organizations, and state fire training academies.

Three types of grants are offered through the program. Applicants may file under multiple categories, which include:

    • Operations and safety, including training, equipment, personal protective gear, wellness and fitness programs, and facility modification to enhance safety;
    • Vehicle acquisition, with high priority given to nontransport, nonaffiliated EMS vehicles for community paramedic services; and
    • Joint/regional projects, which are large-scale projects for any number of AFG-eligible organizations.

All AFG grantees are subject to cost share requirements based on population, and matching funds must be cash. Population categories and the required match are as follows:
    • Populations under 20,000: 5 percent of the grant total;
    • Populations between 20,000 and 1 million: 10 percent of the grant total; and
    • Populations greater than 1 million: 15 percent of the grant total.

For more information, go to or call the AFG help desk toll-free at (866) 274-0960.

Upcoming Workshops Help Townships Apply for Conservation, Recreation Funding

Tuesday September 9th, 2014

Is your township planning a recreation, conservation, or community enhancement project? Plan to attend an upcoming workshop that will help potential applicants of Community Conservation Partnership Program (C2P2) grants from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. In partnership with the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society, DCNR is offering free grant workshops across the state in November. The grant program’s application period opens January 14, 2015, and closes April 16.

Participants of the grant workshops will receive guidance and updates on using the online application process and creating competitive applications. Attendees will also learn about eligible projects and the necessary documents for various project types and be able to interact with staff from the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation. Township officials, park and recreation board members, and others who are involved with recreation and conservation projects are encouraged to attend one of the sessions.

The workshop dates and locations are:
    • Nov. 5 — Camp Hill Borough Building, Cumberland County
    • Nov. 6 — Montgomery County Public Safety Training Campus (Fire Academy), Conshohocken
    • Nov. 18 — Pine Township Recreation Center, Wexford, Allegheny County
    • Nov. 19 — Quality Inn, Franklin, Venango County
    • Nov. 20 — Luzerne County Community College (Educational Conference Center), Nanticoke
    • Nov. 21 — Penn State Hotel and Conference Center, State College, Centre County

The workshops require preregistration. To register, go to For more information, townships may call Linda Manning at (717) 783-4736 or email