Dave Sanko Discusses Current Township Topics on 'Behind the Headlines'
In the latest edition of Behind the Headlines, a production of the Susquehanna Valley Center for Public Policy, PSATS Executive Director David Sanko gives a recap of the PSATS conference and the interaction it promotes between township and state officials.
He also discusses townships' concern about Gov. Wolf's proposed move from a natural gas drilling impact fee to a severance tax, municipal pensions, and the declining number of volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania — a crisis in the making, considering that a switch to paid firefighters would cost the commonwealth an estimated $6 billion.
Three PA Townships Named in Top 25 Safest Communities in America
SafeWise, a home security resource company, recently ranked the 100 safest communities in America with a population of 10,000 or more. (We’ll forgive them for calling their report the “100 Safest Cities in America.”)
Seventeen Pennsylvania communities made the list, including three townships of the second class in the top 25! Here’s a congratulatory shout out to Upper Providence Township in Delaware County (No. 2), South Park Township in Allegheny County (No. 5), and Lower Salford Township in Montgomery County (No. 24).
Other commonwealth communities in the top 25 were Whitehall in Lehigh County (No. 19) and Franklin Park in Westmoreland County (No. 21). Two more townships of the second class, Peters in Washington County and Willistown in Chester County, were ranked at No. 61 and No. 99 respectively.
You can view the entire list, with a description of each community, at www.safewise.com/safest-cities-america.
Congratulations to these and all other PA communities that made the list. Keep up the great work!
Note: SafeWise states that it calculates its safety rankings by analyzing and weighting the total number of crimes in a community in relation to its population and other factors. It then identifies relevant safety, health, and educational information and programs that help make each more secure.
Apply for Keep PA Beautiful Grants through May 22
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has announced its 25 in 25 Grant Program in recognition of the organization's 25th Year Anniversary. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, sponsored in part by The Richard King Mellon Foundation, will provide 25 grants in 25 days to celebrate 25 years of building clean and beautiful communities.
Twenty-five grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded in the organization's three focus areas of Prevent It, Clean It, or Keep It. Applications will be accepted through May 22. KPB plans to announce a new award every day for 25 days via social media from June 1-25.
A 50 percent match of funding or in-kind goods or services will be required.
Congratulations to Winners of Governor's Awards for Local Government Excellence
On Wednesday, April 15, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development presented the Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence to recognize innovative projects and initiatives in eight categories.
Congratulations to all of this year’s winners! The categories and winners of each are:
Building Community Partnerships — Borough of Dormont, Allegheny County
Responding to Adversity — Southern York County Emergency Medical Services with the townships of Peach Bottom, Fawn Grove, Lower Chanceford, and Chanceford and the boroughs of Delta and Fawn Grove
Promoting Community/Economic Revitalization — Borough of Heidelberg, Allegheny County, with Carnegie Borough and Scott Township
Innovative Community/Governmental Initiatives — Township of Collier, Allegheny County
Fiscal Accountability and Best Management Practices — Doylestown Township, Bucks County
Innovative Planning and Sound Land Use Practices — Philadelphia City Planning Commission
Intergovernmental Cooperation — Lancaster Inter-Municipal Committee
- Information Technology — Tarentum Borough, Allegheny County
These local government leaders were also recognized for their exemplary service and dedication to local government in Pennsylvania:
- A.J. Boni, Supervisor, Perry Township, Fayette County, and PSATS Executive Board Member
- Kathleen DePuy, Council Member, Whitehall Borough, Allegheny County
- Edward Black, Commissioner, Lower Allen Township, Cumberland County
- Rick Gray, Mayor, Lancaster City, Lancaster County
- Christian Leinbach, County Commissioner, Berks County
- John Palyo, Executive Director, Twin Rivers Council of Governments, Allegheny County
- Kirk Stoner, Director of Planning, Cumberland County
- Paul Vojtek, Chief Executive Officer, Erie Water Works, Erie County
Give Feedback to Help Plan PA's Transportation Future
PennDOT and the State Transportation Commission are beginning the biennial update of Pennsylvania's Twelve Year Transportation Program and need your input. Here's how you can participate in planning the commonwealth's transportation future:
Attend the Online Public Meeting on April 16, 2015, at 7 p.m. - Join STC Chair and PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards for an interactive online meeting where you can hear more about the STC and the recently released Transportation Performance Report and learn more about how to participate in the TYP update.
Registration is required. Click here for more info.
The presentation will be recorded and posted on the STC website.
- Take the TYP Survey April 16 - May 29 - By participating in the survey, you can share your priorities for transportation investment and pinpoint specific transportation needs in your community. The survey is available online and in writing. Printed copies of the survey are available upon request by calling Julie Harmantzis at 717-787-2913.
Highlight Historic Places During Preservation Month: May 2015
To spotlight the importance of historic preservation, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has designated May as Preservation Month 2015. Consider the following activities to focus on preservation in your community:
- Plan special tours of little-known historic sites.
- Engage volunteers interested in contributing to a local preservation project.
- Compile a photo archive of the hidden gems in your community.
- Plot out walking and driving tours of the finest historic places in your township.
- Encourage residents and visitors to go to your website and Facebook and Twitter feeds and share information about gems they have discovered in the township.
- Schedule lectures, films, and slide shows about places saved and threatened.
Watch for information, including an idea kit, at www.preservationnation.org or call the National Trust for Historic Preservation toll-free at (800) 944-6847.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a private, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to protecting irreplaceable local treasures.
Enter Sustainable Snowfighting Contest by June 1
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.