Central Pa. APWA Symposium scheduled for September
Public works employees in central Pennsylvania are invited to the annual symposium of the local chapter of the American Public Works Association. The event will be held September 17 at the Windsor Township Public Works Building in York County.
The symposium will include educational sessions by PennDOT LTAP on signage for bridges and winter maintenance, as well as Public Works Association short classes on gas line safety and the monitoring system used by York Water.
Vendors will also be on hand, and activities include the ever-popular lawn mower rodeo and cone toss contest, with cash prizes.
The event is free for public works employees and includes lunch. For more information and a registration form, call Vance Spicer at (717) 875-2612 or email email@example.com.
Meteer to Chair Local Government Workgroup on PA's Pipeline Infrastructure Taskforce
Gov. Tom Wolf has appointed 48 individuals, including PSATS Executive Board member Marvin Meteer (a supervisor for Wyalusing Township in Bradford County), to participate on the Pennsylvania Pipeline Infrastructure Taskforce.
The group of experts and stakeholders, chaired by state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley, will recommend policies, guidelines, and best practices to guide the anticipated build-out of pipeline infrastructure expected to take place across Pennsylvania during the next decade.
“Pipeline expansion is important to our economy and growing energy sector,” Wolf said. “We will work together to make sure that this important infrastructure can be developed effectively and responsibly with consideration for the environment, residents, and local communities.”
The task force is made up of representatives from state agencies, the legislature, federal and local governments, the pipeline and natural gas industries, and environmental groups. Experts were drawn from across the state and country.
The governor also created related 11 workgroups. Meteer will chair the local government workgroup, which will include nine township supervisors. An emergency preparedness workgroup will also include five township supervisors. Click here to view the list of task force members and click here to view the workgroups.
Submit Your Citizen Communication Contest Entries by Aug. 31!
If your township has published a newsletter or other publication to communicate with residents in the past year, show your pride in a job well-done by entering it in PSATS’ 48th Annual Township Citizen Communication Contest. Eligible publications or other forms of communication must have been produced between August 1, 2014, and July 31, 2015.
Entries must be received by August 31.
Thirty-one awards in eight categories will be up for grabs. Winners will receive a framed certificate and coverage in the Township News. All entrants will also compete for the 25th Annual Outstanding Citizen Communication Award, which will be presented at PSATS’ Annual Conference to the township that exhibits an exceptional commitment to informing its residents.
The contest honors townships for their citizen communication efforts in the following categories:
- Most improved newsletter
- Electronic newsletters (This category is for electronic newsletters that are produced strictly for the Web. Printed newsletters that are posted on a township’s website as a PDF are not eligible.)
- Annual reports (Year-end budget or financial reports that include figures but no text or graphics are not eligible.)
- Other publications, including brochures and calendars of events
- Cable TV channels and programs (Audiotapes are not eligible.)
- Social media (Judges will evaluate townships’ overall use of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and other resources to communicate with their residents.)
Entries in the printed newsletter category will be judged according to the following population ranges:
- 2,000 and under
- 10,001 and over
Entries in the remaining categories will compete against one another regardless of township population.
Each entry will be judged on the usefulness of information presented, how well the information is communicated, and the entry’s attractiveness, readability, or technical quality, depending on the media being judged. First-, second-, and third-place awards will be given in all categories unless the entries fail to meet the minimum standards of the judges.
Awards will be mailed to winners in November, and the Association will publish an article in the Township News about the winning entries and send news releases to the winners’ local news media.
To enter, provide the following:
- For newsletters and other printed publications, send three copies of each entry.
- For websites and social media, send three printouts of the home page and the Internet address for judges to access the sites.
- For cable TV channels and programs, send three DVDs of each entry. Please note: Each township is limited to three entries in this category.
Each entry must be accompanied by a cover letter noting the category being entered and, for printed newsletters, the township’s population.
If submitting multiple publications in one category, such as Newsletters or Other Publications, please indicate whether they should be judged as one entry or separate entries. Multiple issues of the same newsletter, such as the spring and summer issues, will be judged as a single entry.
Townships entering the Most Improved Newsletter category should state in their cover letter who was responsible for the redesign, such as staff or outside agencies, and include three copies each of “before” and “after” newsletters.
Note: Once-a-year tabloid-type newsletters that contain a map of the township and business advertisements and are produced by outside firms are not eligible.
Mail all entries to: PSATS, 4855 Woodland Drive, Enola, PA 17025, Attn.: Brenda Wilt.
PSATS Applauds Auditor General’s Municipal Pension Task Force
On Tuesday, June 30, state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released a report, “Pennsylvania’s Municipal Pension Challenges,” which included a number of recommendations for reforms.
PSATS Executive Director David M. Sanko released the following statement to the media in response.
“State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and his colleagues on the commonwealth’s Task Force on Municipal Pensions have developed fair, insightful, action-oriented recommendations that, if carried out, will help to strengthen the future of Pennsylvania’s municipalities.
“In particular, PSATS commends the task force for asking the General Assembly to exclude municipal pension benefits from the collective bargaining process. The practice, prevalent throughout Pennsylvania, has allowed third-party arbitrators to drive up the costs of pension and other post-retirement benefits in uniformed plans without taking into consideration the impact on the community and its taxpayers. Meanwhile, these generous post-retirement arbitration awards – the cherries on top of benefits already mandated by law – are driving up costs for municipalities, crippling local budgets, and increasing fears of layoffs and local government bankruptcies.
“We think the auditor general said it best about these pension reforms: ‘Continued inaction is simply not an option.’ The issues swirling around state and local pensions have been studied, and the time to act is now. Therefore, PSATS encourages Gov. Wolf and the General Assembly to embrace the task force’s recommendations as a starting point and solve our pension challenges sooner rather than later.”
Apply by Aug. 7 for FY 2015 FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is accepting grant applications for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Flood Mitigation Assistance and Pre-Disaster Mitigation programs through Friday, August 7.
These grant programs provide states, tribes, territories, and local governments with funding for eligible mitigation activities to reduce disaster losses and protect life and property from future disaster damages.
Applicants are encouraged to review the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Unified Guidance for detailed eligibility information and to contact their FEMA Regional Office for additional information.
Grant applications must be submitted to PEMA by 3 p.m. on August 7, 2015.
Apply for 'Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania' Grants by July 31
Could someplace in your community use a fresh coat of paint? If so, apply for a Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania grant from Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful for up to 20 gallons of paint.
Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania is designed to provide community groups with paint and painting supplies to turn a community structure in need into something beautiful through the application of fresh paint and a lot of elbow grease.
This event is held in partnership with support from Glidden Professional and The Home Depot. The 2015 Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania will take place in September. During this month-long period, eight grant awardees, along with their volunteers, will be eligible for up to 20 gallons of exterior paint and a gift card for painting supplies courtesy of The Home Depot.
The Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania grant is available to any tax-exempt group within Pennsylvania. Private property owners or individual applicants cannot apply. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful will select the eight winning projects from among applications submitted.
Applications must meet the following requirements to be considered: only one building per application, proof of liability insurance, signed permission to paint from the building owner, and two "before" photos of the intended project. Selected awardees must also agree to provide a final report with "during" and "after" photos.