News Archive


Congratulations to Winners of Governor's Awards for Local Government Excellence

Wednesday April 15th, 2015

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

Learn more about the winners here.



Give Feedback to Help Plan PA's Transportation Future

Monday April 6th, 2015

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.

Learn more here or at the STC website.

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Highlight Historic Places During Preservation Month: May 2015

Monday April 6th, 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.



Plan Now to Celebrate National Public Works Week: May 17-23

Monday April 6th, 2015

Heading into the busy road construction and repair season, there is no better time to recognize township public works crews for their hard work to make roads safe.

Instituted as a public education campaign by the American Public Works Association in 1960, National Public Works Week calls attention to the importance of public works in community life. The event promotes awareness of the often-unsung heroes of our society, the professionals who serve the public good every day.

The week-long observance, scheduled for May 17-23, is a perfect oppor­tunity to celebrate the men and women who literally keep townships running all year long, not just when the snow flies.

This year’s theme, “Community Begins Here,” speaks to the essential nature of public works services in support of everyday quality of life. After all, without public works, there would be no community to police and protect, no public to lead or represent. Public works allow the world as we know it to be.

During this special week, the American Public Works Association is asking townships to display their equipment, sponsor essay contests in local schools, host a parade, or hold programs for civic organizations and the local media.

For more information about National Public Works Week, call the APWA toll-free at (800) 848-2792. To download the APWA’s online National Public Works Week How-To Guide, go to www.apwa.net/discover/national-public-works-week.



Enter Sustainable Snowfighting Contest by June 1

Monday March 30th, 2015

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.   

For more information or an entry form, contact Laura Elliott at (703) 549-4648 or laura@saltinstitute.org. Townships may also download an entry form here or learn more at www.saltinstitute.org.



Clean Up Your Community During 'Pick It Up PA' Days

Thursday March 5th, 2015

Keeping a community trash-free is a good way to show local pride and make your township attractive. And while that task requires constant attention, “Pick It Up PA Days,” April 11-May 4, 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 this special event. Target areas can include roads, parks, forests, river or stream banks, neighborhoods, and open spaces.

This two-week statewide initiative is part of the Great American Cleanup, which runs March through May.

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.

Townships that decide to “Pick It Up PA” will have plenty of support. For example:

  • PennDOT’s district and county offices will provide free bags, gloves, and vests to registered cleanup groups.
  • Participating landfills will allow free disposal of trash collected during registered events.
  • County recycling coordinators, conservation districts, cooperative extension offices, and other environmental groups will 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.

Popular cleanup activities include:

  • planting trees or flower bulbs at a township building or intersection;
  • painting a graffiti-marked wall;
  • sponsoring a litter collection contest;
  • picking up litter along a local road;
  • cleaning up a stream, field, or other area that has become an illegal dump site and then posting signs warning against illegal dumping; or
  • placing garbage cans in litter-prone areas and arranging for them to be emptied regularly.

To learn more about how your township can mobilize residents to help clean up the community, go to www.gacofpa.org. Here, townships can register their activities, find other events in the area, and get tips on holding a successful cleanup.

Townships may also contact Michelle Dunn of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful toll-free at (877) 772-3673 or email mdunn@keeppabeautiful.org.