PSATS Resolution Accomplished: Salt Brine is Now Liquid Fuels Eligible!
Townships may now use liquid fuels funds to purchase equipment to make, store, and distribute salt brine as part of winter maintenance activities, under a new provision in PennDOT Publication 447. Approved road salt material must be mixed with potable water to a 23.3 percent salt solution to create the brine.
The new rule also allows municipalities that make salt brine to sell it to other municipalities.
For more information, contact your PennDOT district Municipal Services office or Tom Welker in PennDOT’s Central office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (717) 783-3721.
Grants Available for Environmental Education, Service-Learning Projects
Does your township have an environmental program that provides education for young people? If so, you might want to consider applying for a GreenWorks grant from Project Learning Tree (PLT).
Grants of up to $1,000 are available for service-learning projects that improve the environment or restore natural habitats. The deadline for applications is September 30, and funding will be distributed in December 2016.
Eligible projects include such activities as planting community gardens, starting composting and recycling programs, and restoring or improving native habitats.
To be eligible for a grant, projects must meet the following criteria:
• Projects receiving grants must be completed in one year.
• Applicants must have attended a Project Learning Tree workshop, either online or in person.
• The proposed project must involve service learning, exemplify student leadership and cooperation, and involve at least one community partner.
• The project must secure at least 50 percent in matching funds or in-kind support.
For more information or to apply, go to www.plt.org, choose the “GreenWorks!” tab at the top of the page, and click on “Apply for a Grant,” or contact James McGirt at (202) 765-3531 or email@example.com.
Townships may also contact the state PLT coordinator, Jean Devlin of the Bureau of Forestry, at (717) 787-0392 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The website for the Pennsylvania PLT chapter is www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/education/projectlearningtree.
Deadline Approaching for Recycling Performance Grants
Townships have until September 30 to apply for recycling performance grants from the state Department of Environmental Protection under Section 904 of the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling, and Waste Reduction Act. Reimbursement is available for eligible materials recycled and marketed in 2015.
Grants are awarded to municipalities based on the weight of source-separated recyclable materials they have collected, as well as their population. (Note: The grant award can increase as a municipality’s recycling rate grows each year.)
Eligible materials include clear and colored glass, steel and bimetallic cans, high-grade office paper, newsprint, corrugated cardboard, other marketable grades of paper, and plastics.
Applications must be postmarked by September 30 and mailed to DEP, Bureau of Waste Management, P.O. Box 8472, Harrisburg, PA 17105 or delivered by 4 p.m. on that date to the 14th floor of the Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg.
For more information, contact Mark Vottero of the Bureau of Waste Management at email@example.com or (717) 787-7382.
To download an application, go to www.dep.pa.gov and enter the keywords, “Recycling Grants.”
Grants Available for Fire, Ambulance, and Rescue Services
Applications for funding through Pennsylvania’s Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program are due by October 21. The grants are available for volunteer and career fire companies, as well as volunteer ambulance services and rescue squads.
Eligible organizations may apply for funding for up to two projects in the following four categories:
• Facilities — The construction and/or renovation of the fire company’s or ambulance service’s facility and purchase or repair of fixtures and furnishings necessary to maintain or improve service.
• Equipment — The purchase or repair of firefighting, ambulance, or rescue equipment.
• Debt reduction — Debt reduction associated with the facility or equipment categories above.
• Training — Training and certification of fire, ambulance, or rescue service members.
For more information, go to www.osfc.state.pa.us. Click on “Grants and Loans” and choose “Grants” and then “Fire Company, Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program.” Townships may also call the Office of the State Fire Commissioner toll-free at (800) 670-3473 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are Your Residents Ready for an Emergency?
September is National Preparedness Month, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency wants to make sure that every resident has an action plan in place when disaster strikes. Township supervisors, emergency management coordinators, and others can help spread the theme of National Preparedness Month: “Don’t wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan today.”
FEMA has an entire toolkit of information and outreach ideas at www.ready.gov/september. The agency will stress different themes throughout the month, including the need for multi-generational and individual preparedness and community service, as a lead up to National PrepareAthon! Day on September 30.
Townships can urge residents to get involved, or at least stay informed, by sharing information on their website and through social media and the township newsletter, and by holding special events.
Townships and their residents can also get preparedness information anytime at www.readypa.org.
Brush Up On RTKL and Sunshine Act at Upcoming Training Course
Earn PMGA credits for attending
Join PSATS staff and representatives of the Pa. Office of Open Records for an interactive workshop on the Right-to-Know Law and Sunshine Act. The class will be held at locations around the state in September and October.
Designed for municipal open records officers, elected and appointed officials, managers, secretaries, and solicitors, "Best Practices for Right-to-Know Law and Sunshine Act Compliance" will review municipal obligations under these laws, discuss recent case law and trends, and provide best practices to help municipal officials do their jobs more efficiently and cost-effectively.
Enrollees in the PSATS Municipal Government Academy are eligible to receive two secondary credits for attending the class.
Solicitors who attend are eligible to receive 2.5 continuing legal education credit hours for attending (subject to an additional fee).
Click here for more information or to register.
Townships and Residents Invited to Help Clean Up Waterways
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful (KPB) is inviting Pennsylvania residents and groups to sign up now to coordinate a cleanup as part of the 2016 International Coastal Cleanup being held September 1 through October 31.
“In 2015, nearly 14,000 volunteers from 44 counties canvassed their communities to remove over 1 million pounds of trash and debris from Pennsylvania’s waterways and coastal regions during the International Coastal Cleanup event,” KPB President Shannon Reiter says. “Our goal this year is to engage organizations, civic groups, families, and individuals from all 67 counties for this global effort.”
The Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup is the largest volunteer effort aimed at improving the health of the ocean, bringing out hundreds of thousands of volunteers from around the world to remove millions of pounds of plastics and debris from beaches, lakes and waterways. International Coastal Cleanup Day itself will be September 19.
This event has grown to include participation by all 50 states and U.S. territories and 90 countries, with the number growing each year.
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is proud to coordinate this effort in Pennsylvania. Any cleanup site in Pennsylvania is eligible to participate, since all state residents live in a watershed and all waterways flow into our coastal waters.
If you are interested in coordinating an ICC cleanup or volunteering at a cleanup, please contact Michelle Dunn toll-free at (877)772-3673, ext. 113, or email email@example.com.
Cleanup tools and resources to help organize a safe and successful cleanup can be found here. Gloves and bags are available for registered events while supplies last.
Help for Small Water, Sewer Systems Available
The Commonwealth Finance Authority will accept applications for the Pennsylvania Small Water and Sewer Program from August 1, 2016 through October 31, 2016. Eligible projects include those with a total cost between $30,000 and $500,000 that will construct, improve, expand, repair, or rehabilitate a water supply or sanitary sewer system owned and maintained by a municipality or municipal authority.
A 15 percent cash match of the total project cost is required. Click here for more information. Note: this website works best in Google Chrome.