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News Archive


Funding Available for Community Compost & Food Waste Reduction Pilot Project

Tuesday May 26th, 2020
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced the availability of $900,000 for local governments to host a Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) pilot project for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The deadline for applications is June 26.
 
The cooperative agreements will support projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans. The agreements are offered through USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production.
 
Upcoming webinar
 
A webinar on June 4 from 2 to 4 p.m.  will provide an overview of the cooperative agreements’ purpose, project types, eligibility, and basic requirements for submitting an application.
 
Click here to register or for more information. 
 
Click here to read the entire USDA announcement. 


Deadline Extended for Environmental Project Grants

Tuesday May 26th, 2020
The Commonwealth Financing Authority has extended the deadline for a variety of environmental project grants funded by the Act 13 Marcellus Legacy Fund. The new application deadline is July 31.
 
The water- and recreation-related project grants fall under several categories:
 
Watershed restoration and protection program, for projects that restore streams impaired by uncontrolled discharge of non-point source pollution or maintain already restored streams. 
 
Abandoned mine drainage (AMD) abatement and treatment program, for projects to reclaim abandoned mine 
wells; construct abandoned mine drainage sites; operate and maintain or remediate and repair existing AMD sites; establish a trust fund for ongoing maintenance of a site; and monitor water quality to trace non-point source load reductions due to AMD remediation.
 
Orphaned or abandoned well-plugging program, for projects that clean out and plug abandoned and orphaned oil and gas wells, stray gas mitigation systems, and well-venting activities.
 
Sewage facilities program, to help cover the costs of sewage facilities planning under Act 537.
 
Flood mitigation program, for projects that are authorized by a flood protection author­ity, the state Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service or are identified by a local government for flood mitigation.
 
Greenways, trails, and recreation program, for projects that involve the development, rehabilitation, and/or improvement of public parks, recreation areas, greenways, and trails, as well as river conservation activities.
 
For more information about these grants, call the state Department of Community and Economic Development’s Center for Business Financing at (717) 787-6245 or go to the Act 13 Programs page
 
Applicants are urged to contact their state House and Senate members to inform them that they plan to submit an application for funding.


PSATS Alert: Governor Outlines Balance of State Reopening Schedule

Friday May 22nd, 2020

PSATS Wants to inform you that the governor will announce at 4 pm today that 8 additional counties across the Commonwealth will move to “yellow” status under the governor’s phased reopening plan effective May 29, with any remaining red counties moving to yellow on June 5. In addition, 17 counties will move from the yellow phase to the green phase, effective May 29. The Governor will also outline the metrics used for a county to move from yellow to green. To watch the press conference, click here

The following counties will move from red to yellow next Friday, May 29: 

  • Dauphin
  • Franklin
  • Huntingdon
  • Lebanon
  • Luzerne
  • Monroe
  • Pike
  • Schuylkill


The following counties will move from yellow to green next Friday, May 29: 

  • Bradford
  • Cameron
  • Clarion
  • Clearfield
  • Crawford
  • Elk
  • Forest
  • Jefferson
  • Lawrence
  • McKean
  • Montour
  • Potter
  • Snyder
  • Sullivan
  • Tioga
  • Venango
  • Warren

What does this mean? For more details on the yellow phase and what it means, click here. For more information on the governor’s reopening plan, which contains information on all of the phases, please click here

Counties in yellow phase as of today, May 22: Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Bradford, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Carbon, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Cumberland, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Potter, Snyder, Somerset, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Venango, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Westmoreland, Wyoming, and York.


Counties remaining in red until June 5: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia. 



DC, MD, and VA Intend to Sue EPA Over Chesapeake Bay

Tuesday May 19th, 2020

The District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia announced today that they intend to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to protect the Chesapeake Bay and local waters, including the Potomac River. In a notice of intent letter, the Attorneys General of DC, Maryland, and Virginia informed the EPA that they intend to file the suit over the agency’s failure to uphold the terms of a multi-state agreement to reduce pollution levels in the Chesapeake Bay. Click here for more information.  

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation also issued a notice of intentto sue the EPA for failure to enforce the Clean Water Act.



PUC Announces Overlay Number for 814 Area Code, Date to Start 10-Digit Dialing

Tuesday May 19th, 2020

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has announced that the number “582” will be the new overlay area code for the current 814 area code, which covers all or parts of 27 counties across central and northwestern Pennsylvania. This area code will be assigned to new telephone numbers once the available supply of 814 numbers is exhausted.  

To implement the change, consumers and residents in the 814 region are encouraged to begin voluntarily dialing 10 digits for calls within the 814 region beginning October 3, 2020. Mandatory 10-digit dialing will be required for all calls within the region on April 3, 2021.  



Sanko Named to National Advisory Team for Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award Program

Monday May 18th, 2020

David Sanko, executive director of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS), has been appointed to serve on a five-member national advisory team for the Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award program.

Sanko was selected to serve on the award program advisory team because of his long-standing support for strong grassroots local government. He is also past president and current member of the board of directors of the National Association of Towns and Townships (NATaT).

NATaT joins a representative from the National Association of Counties, the National Volunteer Fire Council, Points of Life (the nation’s largest volunteer service organization, which was founded by President George H.W. Bush), and the National Main Street Center on the board.

“In some places, democracy and self-government are being taken for granted,” Sanko says. “Apathy is on the rise. Some municipalities struggle to fill local government vacancies, whether it’s finding candidates for civic service on boards and commissions or recruiting volunteer firefighters to help ensure citizens’ safety. I am honored to join this advisory team and promote efforts to address a critical challenge facing the nation’s countryside communities.”

The award program is intended to spotlight a growing crisis facing thousands of smaller townships, cities, and rural counties: the decline in the availability of citizens to serve in critical public safety and community service roles, including volunteer firefighters, emergency medical personnel, and local government boards and commissions. The awards will recognize 100 hometown “heroes” from countryside communities nationwide for their extraordinary public service. Eligible municipalities include those of 5,000 people or less.

The civic volunteer award program is being underwritten by CivicPlus, the largest local government technology company in the country. Local governments represented by the top three winning honorees will receive cash grants of $10,000, $7,500, and $5,000, respectively. Municipalities and counties represented by these top 100 nominees will receive custom CivicPlus websites (and one year of website hosting at no charge) featuring a unique module offering civic volunteer retention and recruitment resources. The program has an estimated total value of more than $1 million in donated services and grants.

The Barton Russell Group (BRG) has been chosen to design and manage the Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award program. BRG has built and/or consulted on several national award and grant programs, including the Best Small Towns in America contest, the American Hometown Leaders Award, and the America’s Best Communities competition.

The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors represents Pennsylvania’s 1,454 townships of the second class and is committed to preserving and strengthening township government and securing greater visibility and involvement for townships in the state and federal political arenas. Townships of the second class cover 95 percent of Pennsylvania’s land mass and represent more residents — 5.5 million — than any other type of political subdivision in the commonwealth.

 

Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award program

The events of the past few months have revealed communities’ dependence on civic volunteers, especially firefighters and emergency medical services personnel. Townships also rely on residents to serve on their volunteer boards, commissions, and committees. If your township has a population under 5,000, you can nominate outstanding civic volunteers through a new national program: the Small Town America Civic Volunteer Awards (STACVA).

This new program honors extraordinary public service volunteers in small municipalities (population under 5,000) nationwide and helps shine a spotlight on a growing national problem: a decline in the availability of citizens to fill important public safety and service roles.

Civic volunteers are hometown heroes who serve in critical positions, including firefighting, emergency medical services, municipal and county councils and boards, and on advisory committees supporting library, recreation, planning, environmental, and other important local government services.

Public service volunteerism is the lifeblood of small communities and rural counties. Research has shown, however, that the percentage of people volunteering in small communities has dropped substantially for 12 consecutive years. The primary purposes of the awards are to focus national attention on this issue, highlight best practices to encourage a new group of citizens to fill these vital roles, and support innovative local volunteer retention and recruitment strategies.

The awards program, designed and managed by the Barton Russell Group, is underwritten by CivicPlus, the country’s largest local government technology company. Localities represented by the top three winning honorees will receive cash awards of $10,000, $7,500, and $5,000, respectively.

Municipalities and counties represented by the top 100 nominees will receive custom CivicPlus websites (and one year of website hosting at no charge) featuring a unique module offering civic volunteer retention and recruitment resources. The awards program has an estimated total value of more than $1 million in donated services and grants.

To nominate a volunteer in your community, fill out the online application on the STACVA website at civic-volunteer.com. The deadline for nominations is August 15.



NATaT Releases Rural Grant Guide

Friday May 15th, 2020

The National Association of Towns and Townships has released an updated Rural Grant Guide for local governments. The guide identifies potential funding opportunities to support community development, broadband, water and wastewater projects, and more in rural communities. The guide focuses on federal grant opportunities that typically reoccur.  

The guide is a valuable resource for townships in rural areas looking for grant and loan resources. Click here to access the guide.  



Grant Applications Being Accepted for Complete Streets, Active Transportation Plans

Tuesday May 5th, 2020

WalkWorks is accepting grant applications from municipalities to assist with the development of Active Transportation Plans, Complete Streets policies and/or Vision Zero policies. These plans and policies establish activity-friendly routes that connect people to everyday destinations and opportunities for physical activity. Active transportation includes walking, wheeling or biking, and public transit. Applications are due July 2, 2020.

Interested township officials may participate in a non-mandatory webinar on May 14. For more information, including program details and applications, click here. Look for “Announcement of Funding for Active Transportation Plans and Policies” on the righthand side. All questions/comments should be sent to pawalkworks@pitt.edu.  



PennVEST Schedules Four Virtual Meetings on Clean Water Funding Opportunities

Tuesday May 5th, 2020

 

The PA Infrastructure Investment Authority announced it has scheduled four virtual public meetings on how PennVEST funding can help improve water quality in your community. The meetings are for municipal officials, conservation districts, private landowners, authority board members and staff, regulators, engineers, and others interested in water quality improvement funding. Learn about funding levels, sources of funding, timelines and meeting cut off dates, regulation updates, and how to develop a PennVEST project. PennVEST staff will also go over new initiatives: small projects funding, and programmatic financing, the local sub-revolving loan program, and the Center for Water Quality Excellence in Lancaster and York counties. Special funding will be available for lead line replacement, and for testing lead in drinking water in schools and child care programs.

 

The meetings will be held--

-- May 13: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

-- May 19: 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

-- May 26: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

-- June 2: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

 

Click Here to preregister for these virtual meetings. Each session will be limited to 100 participants to facilitate managing questions and answers.

Please contact your regional Project Specialist with questions or concerns regarding the events:

-- Northwest Region: Ken Anderson 717-783-6799 or kenanderso@pa.gov: Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Venango, Warren

-- Southwest Region: Dan Mikesic 717-574-8452 or dmikesic@pa.gov: Allegheny, Beaver, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Somerset, Washington, Westmoreland

-- Northcentral Region: Leslie Cote 717-783-4489 or lecote@pa.gov: Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union

-- Southcentral Region: Tesra Schlupp 717-574- 8453 or tschlupp@pa.gov: Adams, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Perry, York

-- Northeast/Southeast Regions: Rebecca Kennedy 717-574-8454 or rebkennedy@pa.gov: Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming

-- Robert Boos: Deputy Executive Director for Project Management: 717-783- 4493 or rboos@pa.gov.



Got illegal dumping sites? Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Can Help

Tuesday May 5th, 2020

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, a statewide nonprofit, is asking Pennsylvania residents to use this link to report illegal dumping and/or graffiti as part of their Illegal Dump Free program. Dumpsite information will be logged and shared with local enforcement authorities, as well as local affiliates, state agency partners and other partners. Photos can be included in the report.

Contact information of those reporting a site will be kept confidential.

Camera Loan Program

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful also offers a security camera loan program to curb illegal dumping by exposing those who commit this crime. The program offers three concealable, lockable cameras and accessories that capture usable, conviction-worthy footage of license plates and illegal dumpers – even at night.

For more information visit KPB’s Surveillance Camera Program or contact Rob Dubas at rdubas@keeppabeautiful.org. The cameral loan program is available to municipalities, state agencies and nonprofit organizations.



Grants Available for Homeless Assistance

Monday April 27th, 2020

 

The federal CARES Act provides additional funding to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus among individuals and families who are homeless or receive homeless assistance.

The state Department of Community and Economic Development will provide $19.9 million in Emergency Solutions Grant funds for this program, and applications will be accepted until June 1, 2020 Local governments may apply directly or on behalf of a nonprofit organization. There is no match required under this program. For more information or to apply, click here



PSATS Looking for Photos of Township "Everyday Heroes"

Wednesday April 15th, 2020

 

Attention, township officials! PSATS wants photos of your "Everyday Heroes" for its 2021 calendar!

In no other time in recent history have townships experienced anything like the COVID pandemic, but as in many other crises, townships have those "Everyday Heroes" who step up to the plate to help their neighbors.

 

Do you have a township official, employee, or volunteer who has gone above and beyond to help others during the pandemic or for other reasons and causes? We want to see them "in action" on the annual PSATS Calendar! Maybe it's you!

 

With so much going on around us these days, we thought it might be a wonderful idea to spotlight these heroes who don't wear capes and don't often get the praise or recognition they deserve. Now is the chance to blow their horn and take photos of them doing what they do best: helping others in times of need, especially now. 

 

Here are some ideas for "heroic" acts. You may know of others....

  • Township officials, employees, volunteers, and others performing any act of kindness or community service for any reason. 
  • Your "hero" handing out food to people who are going through a rough time and don't have the means to feed their families.
  • Police officers/firefighters/staff going door to door to check on residents, particularly the elderly.
  • Volunteers helping out at a testing center or food distribution site.
  • Volunteers making face masks to help with social distancing and health guidelines. 
Be as creative as you want and show us how your "Everyday Heroes" are serving your community. 
 
 
PHOTO REQUIREMENTS
  • To reproduce well in print, photos must have a resolution of at least 300 dpi at a size of 4 inches x 6 inches. Photos taken with a smartphone are just fine. Be sure to send them to us as "actual size" to ensure full resolution.
  • Photos should be in color. 
  • Email photos as jpeg attachments to kacri@psats.org by August 21, 2020. 
  • Provide your name, position, township, county, and daytime telephone number.  
  • Identify everyone in the photo left to right, their titles or roles, and a brief description of what they're doing in the photo. 

 

 

SNAP some pics,

SEND ’em to PSATS, and

SEE your township's "Everyday Heroes" in the 2021 calendar!



PSATS Makes Announcement on Annual Conference

Friday March 27th, 2020

In the last several weeks since the COVID-19 pandemic began, PSATS has been very busy helping its member townships adjust to this new normal and stay on top of all the developments that affect their delivery of services to their constituents. With much of that planning and communication now under way, we are able to turn our attention to the 2020 PSATS Annual Conference and Exhibit Show.

After much deliberation by the PSATS Executive Board, in consultation with staff, we have decided to postpone the 2020 Annual Conference and Exhibit Show to a later date this year. As you can imagine, this was a very difficult decision, but the health and safety of everyone involved must take priority, and we believe it to be the best course of action.

Please take a moment to view this video for more information about our plans for rescheduling the conference this year.

Watch your inbox and the PSATS Conference page at conference.psats.org for updates as we finalize new dates and other details.

We ask for your patience during these extraordinary times and as we work to bring you the conference you expect. Thank you!



Electric Vehicle Charger Rebate Program

Friday March 20th, 2020

The PA Department of Environmental Protection is offering rebates of up to $4,500 per charging plug for Pennsylvania organizations to install level 2 electric vehicle chargers. Eligible projects include installation of chargers in public spaces, multi-unit residential buildings, and at workplaces for employee or fleet charging.Eligible organizations include businesses, non-profits, schools, universities, units of government, planning organizations, and parking authorities. For more information please visit the Driving PA Forward page or contact RA-EPVWMITIGATION@pa.gov.



KPB Moves ‘Pick Up Pennsylvania’ to Fall

Sunday March 1st, 2020
Statewide cleanup to be held September 1 to November 30.
 
Cleaning up trash and litter is a good way to show local pride and make your township attractive. And while that task requires constant attention, “Pick Up Pennsylvania” offers the perfect opportunity to put extra focus on keeping your township clean.
 
Local governments, individuals, civic groups, businesses, and other organizations are encouraged to remove litter and trash during the Pick Up Pennsylvania initiative. Target areas can include roads, parks, forests, river or stream banks, neighborhoods, and open spaces.
 
In Pennsylvania, the three-month cleanup is supported and sponsored by the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Alliance, a range of businesses, trade organizations, and local and state government entities, including the state departments of Environmental Protection and Transportation. 
 
County recycling coordinators, conservation districts, cooperative extension offices, and other environmental groups can answer questions and help organize cleanups.
 
Townships should consider asking local community organizations, such as Scout troops and church groups, to roll up their sleeves and lend a hand. Business owners might be willing to donate supplies, such as paint, T-shirts, or refreshments.
 
Further details about registering events and available supplies will be forthcoming. Townships may also email Michelle Dunn of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful at mdunn@keeppabeautiful.org.