News Archive


No more ID worries for Pennsylvanians?

Friday January 20th, 2017

Harrisburg says it's committed to driver's license changes that would help travelers and those trying to enter federal facilities avoid hassles. Read here for more details: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/01/pa_agrees_to_fix_drivers_licen.html



PHMC Accepting Applications for Historic Preservation Grants

Wednesday January 11th, 2017

Local governments and nonprofits may apply for a Keystone Historic Preservation Grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). Applications are due March 1, 2017.

The grant program supports projects that identify, preserve, promote, and protect historic and archaeological resources in the commonwealth to benefit the public and revitalize communities. The grants receive funding from the Keystone Recreation, Park, and Conservation Fund. A total of $1.5 million is available.

Two categories of grants, project and construction, are available for historic resources that are listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Applicants may apply for only one category of grant.

Project grants are available for planning and development initiatives that enhance historic preservation in communities. Applications may include municipal planning initiatives focusing on historic resources or plans to meet building- or project-specific goals. Project grants range from $5,000 to $25,000 and require a 50 percent cash match.

Construction grants are available for rehabilitation, preservation, and restoration activities for publically accessible historic resources that are owned by a nonprofit or local government. Grants range from $5,000 to $100,000 and require a 50 percent cash match.

Grants are awarded through a competitive selection process and are contingent upon funding availability. Applicants must use the web-based grant application process (eGrant). For program guidelines and eGrant instructions, go to www.phmc.pa.gov, choose the "Preservation" tab at the top, and click on "Grants and Funding."

Webinars explain grant program

PHMC will host two free webinars about the Keystone Historic Preservation Grant Program's guidelines and application process. The webinar will help participants understand eligibility and funding requirements, become familiar with the eGrant system, and learn the difference between good and not-so-good projects. Participants will also be able to ask questions and learn from other participants.

Webinars are scheduled at the following times:

• January 19, 2-3 p.m.

• January 24, 10-11 a.m.

To register for one of the webinars, call PHMC's Karen Arnold at (717) 783-9927 or email kaarnold@pa.gov.



Funding Available to Extend Broadband to Rural Communities

Wednesday January 11th, 2017

Rural townships that need broadband internet access may apply for funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Community Connect Grants. The deadline for applications is March 13, 2017.

This program helps fund broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not yet economically feasible for private-sector providers to deliver service. Eligible rural areas are those that lack existing broadband speeds of at least 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream.

Funds may be used for:

• the construction, acquisition, or leasing of facilities, spectrum, land, or buildings used to provide broadband service  for a) all residential and business customers located in the proposed funded service area and b) all participaing critical community facilities, such as public schools, fire stations, and public libraries and/or

• the cost of providing broadband service free of charge to the critical community facilities for two years.

Less than 10 percent of the grant amount, or up to $150,000, may be used for the improvement, expansion, construction, or acquisition of a community center that provides online access to the public.

Grants require matching funds of at least 15 percent from non-federal sources, which may be used for operating costs.

Click here for more information and resources.



DEP Offers Funding for Stormwater Management Projects

Tuesday January 10th, 2017

Program promotes best management practices

Townships in Blair, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Lycoming, and York counties may be eligible for stormwater project grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). DEP is offering grants up to $200,000 to municipalities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed for projects that implement best management practices to reduce the amount of nutrients and sediment pollution in local waterways.

The program is available to townships, counties, cities, boroughs, incorporated towns, and municipal authorities.

Examples of eligible projects include raingardens, bioswales, urban nutrient management/tree planting, vegetated open channels/roofs, and wet ponds and wetland preservation. The projects can be located on public or private property.

Applicants can be eligible for grants of up to $200,000, and no local matching funds are required. Funding for the projects is competitive and the department will apply a scoring system when awarding the grant money. The application must include a description of the project and timetable for the work. Grant applications are due by March 3, 2017.

Click here for application instructions and eligibility. Other parties that wish to obtain funding for a stormwater project are encouraged to approach the eligible local entity where the project would be located and offer to assist with the project application and management.

The grant program is federally funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and administered by the department.

Grants will be awarded on September 1, 2017.



Nominate an Outstanding Supervisor, Secretary, or Manager for the President's Leadership Awards

Friday January 6th, 2017

Do you know a township supervisor, secretary, or manager who lives and breathes community service? Who brings the highest standards of dedication, creativity, and leadership to his or her role in local government? With your help, that person could be honored with PSATS’ 28th Annual President’s Leadership Award. The deadline for submitting entries is January 31, 2017.

Township supervisors, secretaries, and managers who held office or were employed in 2016 (and will still be in office or employed by the township in April 2017) may be nominated by any official of the same township or by an officer of their county association of township officials. They may be nominated for recent or lifetime achievements that have significantly improved their township.

Examples include cost-cutting, coordination of a major local effort, the advancement of township goals in the state or federal legislature, the establishment of new local services or programs, and the successful implementation of local development projects.  

Any supervisor, secretary, or manager who was nominated previously but did not win may be nominated again. PSATS Executive Board members and board-appointed trustees are not eligible.

Entries will be judged on the complexity of the problem(s) addressed; measurable improvements resulting from the accomplishment; use of original, innovative, or creative approaches and solutions; and long-term benefits of the accomplishments.

Two winners will be selected: a township supervisor and a township secretary or manager. Each winner will receive an engraved plaque at PSATS’ Annual Educational Conference April 23-26, 2017, in Her­shey and coverage in the Pennsylvania Township News. We will also notify their local newspapers.

A brochure with a nomination form was sent to all townships in November and is available here. For more information, call Brenda Wilt at PSATS at (717) 763-0930, ext. 123.



Rural Townships: Energy Grants Available

Friday January 6th, 2017

Rural townships may apply for grants through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The deadline for applications is January 31, 2017.

Grantees use the funds to help rural small businesses and agricultural producers with energy audits and renewable energy technical assistance and energy site assessments.

Eligible project costs may include:

• project-related salaries and travel expenses;

• office supplies; and

• administrative expenses up to 5 per­cent of the grant, including utilities, office space, and operation expenses for office and other project-related equipment.

For more information and applications, go to www.rd.usda.gov/pa or contact Amanda Hope in the Pennsylvania Rural Development Office at (717) 237-2289 or amanda.hope@pa.usda.gov.

 



Free Webinars Explain DCNR's Grant Programs

Friday January 6th, 2017

The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is offering free webinars to help explain the Community Conservation Partnerships Program (C2P2) and the Riparian Forest Buffer Grant Program.

The C2P2 program’s application period opens January 23, 2017, and closes April 12, 2017.

Following are the dates and titles of the webinars:

JAN 11    DCNR Grants for Locally Based Recreation, Conservation, Trail, and Riparian Buffer Projects

JAN 18    Making Community Parks Sustainable, Fun, and Functional Through Green Infrastructure

JAN 25    DCNR Grant Stewardship Responsibilities

FEB 8       Riparian Forest Buffer Grant Program

The webinars will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. For more information about the webinars, contact Jim Young at (717) 783-2713 or jwyoung@pa.gov.

To register, go to http://events.dcnr.pa.gov.

For more information about the C2P2 grants, go to www.grants.dcnr.state.pa.us or call toll-free (800) 326-7734.



Enter Your Innovative Creation in the Build a Better Mousetrap Competition

Friday January 6th, 2017

Has one of your township employees recently built an innovative gadget or come up with a better way to do a particular job? If so, now is the time to show it off by entering the 2017 Build a Better Mousetrap Competition.

PennDOT is looking for projects that municipal employees or road crews designed and built. It can be anything from the development of tools and equipment modifications to processes that increase safety, reduce costs, or improve efficiency or the quality of transportation.

If you have a project that qualifies, submit your entry by March 3, 2017. PennDOT will choose a state winner in March and announce it at the annual conference of the winner’s respective municipal association. Entries will be judged by a committee of municipal road employees on cost savings/benefits to the community, ingenuity, transferability to others, and effectiveness.

LTAP will submit the winning entry into a national competition for prizes and, of course, bragging rights. Winners of the national competition will be announced at the annual LTAP/TTAP national conference this summer. All entries at the national level will be posted on the LTAP/TTAP website and compiled into an electronic booklet.

Click here to download an entry form. Complete the form and return it by March 3 to PennDOT-LTAP, c/o PSATS, 4855 Woodland Drive, Enola, PA 17025 or email it to katkinson@psats.org. For more information, call Karen Atkinson at PSATS at (717) 763-0930, ext. 156.



Call for Entries: Applications Are Being Accepted for the Road and Bridge Safety Improvement Contest

Friday January 6th, 2017

Did your township complete an outstanding road or bridge project in 2016? If so, you have until March 3 to enter it in the 35th Annual Road and Bridge Safety Improvement Contest.

Sponsored by PSATS, the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association, and the state Department of Transportation, the contest recognizes townships for their extensive contributions of time and effort to making roads and bridges safer for motorists, pedestrians, and other travelers.

Eligible projects include safety improvements initiated and completed in 2016 or ongoing projects begun in 2016. Entries must involve visible improvements, such as guide rail or stop sign installation, road widening and resurfacing, bridge improvements, or clearing brush from a road curve where poor sight distance has resulted in accidents.

Education programs, stricter speed limit enforcement, and drunk driver programs, while contributing to traffic safety, are not eligible for this contest.



Winners will receive their awards at PSATS’ Annual Educational Conference in April and will be the subject of a Township News article.

Entry forms for the contest were mailed to townships and Engineers Association members in December. The completed form must be sent to PennDOT by March 3.

Click here to download an entry form. For more information, call Brenda Wilt at PSATS at (717) 763-0930, ext. 123.



Federal Grants Help Communities Prepare for Terrorist Attacks

Monday December 12th, 2016

Townships that need help to prepare for possible terrorist attacks can get some help from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Fiscal Year 2016 Program to Prepare Communities for Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks, or CCTA Program, provides funding to enhance preparedness and build capacity to prepare for, prevent, and respond to CCTAs in collaboration with the whole community.

Complex coordinated terrorist attacks are acts of terrorism that a) involve synchronized and independent teams at multiple locations sequentially or in close succession, b) are initiated with little or no warning, and c) employ one or more weapons systems, such as firearms, explosives, fire, and/or other non-traditional attack methods, intended to result in large numbers of casualties.

More than $35 million will be made available to help communities prepare for coordinated terrorist attacks by doing the following:

• Identifying capability gaps surrounding preparation for, prevention of, and response to a complex coordinated terrorist attack.

• Developing and/or updating plans, annexes, and processes to address these gaps.

• Training personnel and the whole community to implement the plans and processes and build needed capabilities.

• Conducting exercises to validate capabilities and identify opportunities for improvement.

The CCTA Program emphasize creative, innovative, and replicable approaches, as well as the development and sharing of lessons learned and best practices in preparing for complex coordinated terrorist attacks.

Applicants may apply for a maximum of $2.5 million, and are encouraged to partner with multiple jurisdictions.

To read the grant announcement, go to www.fema.gov/grants. Applications must be submitted by February 10, 2017, at www.grants.gov.



Loans Available for Solar Energy Equipment

Tuesday November 15th, 2016

Townships that are considering installing solar energy generation equipment can apply for loans through the Commonwealth Financing Authority. Applications are due January 23.

Eligible projects include facilities to generate, distribute, or store solar photovoltaic energy. The maximum loan amount may not exceed $5 million or $3 per watta, whichever is less. There is a match requirement of $1 for every $3 of program funding awarded.

For more information, click here. Call (717) 787-6245 with questions.