News Archive

Show Off Your Sustainable Salt Storage and Snowfighting Solutions By Entering the Salt Institute's Annual Contest

Monday April 25th, 2016

Townships that responsibly store and use salt to de-ice their roads are encouraged to enter the Safe and Sustainable Snowfighting Award contest sponsored by the Salt Institute.

The award is presented to government agencies that have demonstrated best practices in sustainable salt storage and snowfighting. Entries must be received by June 1.

The contest encourages the construction of sound salt storage facilities, as well as practices that minimize environmental hazards and promote worker safety and snowfighting techniques.

Winning entrants will receive a certificate and be recognized in a Salt Institute news release.    

For more information or an entry form, contact Laura Elliott at (703) 549-4648 or email Townships may also download an entry form by going to and typing “award” in the search field. 

Funding Available for Volunteer Fire Companies in Smaller, Rural Communities

Friday April 22nd, 2016

Volunteer fire companies in rural areas or communities with fewer than 10,000 residents may apply for federal grants to help fight wildfires. The funds, provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service and administered by the state Bureau of Forestry, must be used for training and equipment purchases directly related to fighting brush and forest fires. The deadline for grant applications is May 19.

The bureau will prioritize requests for wildland fire suppression equipment and protective clothing. Grants may also be used for mobile or portable radios, dry hydrant installation, wildfire prevention and mitigation, or the conversion and maintenance of federal surplus vehicles.

The maximum grant request that will be considered from any fire company in 2016 is $7,500 and may not exceed 50 percent of the cost. All items approved must be purchased after the grant award and no later than December 31, 2016.

To apply, go to and click on the “Volunteer Fire Assistance” button. Applications must be submitted by 4 p.m. May 19.

For more information, call the Bureau of Forestry’s Division of Forest Fire Protection at (717) 787-2925 or email

Grants Available to Help Clean Up the Bay

Friday April 22nd, 2016

Townships in the Chesapeake Bay watershed may be eligible for grants from the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, which has $8 million to $10 million available. The deadline for proposals is May 10.

Grants will be awarded in two categories:

• Small watershed grants of $20,000 to $200,000 each will be awarded to nonprofit organizations and local governments working to protect and improve local waters that contribute to the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay while building citizen-based resource stewardship. These grants require minimum matching contributions of 25 percent of total project costs or
50 percent of the grant request. All 2016 grant projects must be completed within two years of the grant award.

• Innovative nutrient and sediment reduction grants of $200,000 to $500,000 each will be awarded to nonprofit organizations, local governments, universities, and state agencies that demonstrate innovative approaches to accelerate adoption of the most cost-effective and sustainable nutrient and sediment pollution load reductions to the Chesapeake Bay.

These grants encourage non-federal matching contributions of 50 percent of total project costs. Projects under these grants must be completed within three years of the grant award. 

All grant proposals must address at least one of the following conservation objectives:

    1) Restore and protect vital habitats.

    2) Improve conservation on private lands.

    3) Improve urban stormwater management.

For more information about this grant program, go to, choose “What We Do” at the top of the page, and click on “Grants” or call (202) 857-0166.


Commonwealth Financing Authority Accepting Applications for Business in Our Sites Program

Tuesday March 15th, 2016

The Commonwealth Financing Agency will be accepting applications for the Business in Our Sites Program until May 31, 2016.

The program provides loans to municipalities to acquire and develop key sites for future use by businesses, private developers, and others.

For more information, click here.

Empowers communities to attract growing and expanding businesses by helping them build an inventory of ready sites.

All development activities are required to make a site shovel-ready. For speculative projects only.

No maximum or minimum, except that the maximum amount of the funding for projects in a single city, borough, town, or township may not exceed 15 percent of the funds available for the program.

No repayment of the loan is required until the property is sold or leased or five years from the date of closing. The site must be previously used property or undeveloped property that is planned and zoned for development. Counties/municipalities must be notified. Substantial likelihood of site use following development, not for primary residential or recreational purposes. The interest rate for the loan will be set by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

Purpose of Funding:
•    Site Development and Business
•    Infrastructure
•    Land & Building

•    Municipalities
•    Municipal authorities
•    Redevelopment authorities
•    Industrial development agencies
•    Private developers