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News Archive


ALERT! W-4 Changes Coming in 2020

Sunday December 1st, 2019
Townships should be aware that the IRS is making changes to the W-4 form in 2020. This form, which allows employers to calculate federal withholdings from employees’ pay, will be called the Employee’s Withholding Certificate beginning in January. The new form will have a five-step process for entering a person’s information, which the IRS hopes will add accuracy and facilitate the process for employees.
 
The new W-4 will no longer have an exemption line. Instead, employees will have to itemize their deductions on a worksheet and then enter the results on the form.
 
Although townships do not file W-4s with the IRS, they should keep them on file for all current employees. Townships should consider offering employees yearly opportunities to review their with­holding allowances and change them if necessary.
 
The final version of the new W-4 is scheduled to be released by the end of the year.


Upgrade Traffic Signals with Green Light-Go Funding

Monday November 18th, 2019
The state Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is accepting applications for the next round of Green Light-Go traffic signal funding. The deadline for applications is January 10, 2020.
 
Up to $10 million is available for FY 2020-2021. This is a reimbursement grant program, and applicants must provide a minimum 20% match.
 
Eligible projects include:
 
• replacement of bulbs with LEDs;
 
• traffic signal retiming;
 
• study and removal of unwarranted traffic signals;
 
• traffic corridor monitoring;
 
• installation of innovative technologies;
 
• communications/connections to traffic management center;
 
• detection and/or controller upgrades;
 
• modernization upgrades; and
 
• intelligent transportation systems.
 
Funds may be used for planning, pre-construction, and construction activities, including engineering and design, utilities and permitting, right-of-way acquisition, and construction inspection.
 
All projects will be managed locally by the applicant unless otherwise specified by PennDOT. Projects must follow the procedures for liquid fuels projects as set forth in Publication 9.
 
Applications must be submitted electronically through the online dotGrants system. For more information, call Stephen Gault, statewide traffic signal operations engineer, at (717) 783-6988 or email GLG@pa.gov.
 
Townships may also go to “Green Light-Go Program” webpage.


Nominate Outstanding Supervisors, Secretaries, Managers for PSATS Leadership Award

Monday November 18th, 2019
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’ 31st Annual President’s Leadership Award.
 
Township supervisors, secretaries, and managers who held office or were employed in 2019 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. 
 
The deadline for submitting entries is January 31, 2020.
 
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 May 3-6, 2020, 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 online. For more information, call Brenda Wilt at PSATS at (717) 763-0930, ext. 123, or email bwilt@psats.org. 


Nominate your Stewardship Project for Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards

Saturday November 16th, 2019
Has your township completed an environmental stewardship project this year? Consider nominating it for the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) 2020 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence. The deadline to submit nominations is December 17, 2019.
 
The awards are open to all individuals, whether they led or participated in a project, and to all schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses, farms, and government agencies. People may also nominate an individual or organization by applying on their behalf. 
 
Projects must have been completed before October 15, 2019, to be eligible. Past winners may nominate new projects, but projects that have won previously are not eligible.
 
For more information and to apply, go to DEP's Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence webpage.


Grants Help with Water and Sewer Systems

Saturday November 16th, 2019
Townships that want to construct or revamp water or sewer systems can apply for grants through the Commonwealth Financing Authority. The deadline for applications is December 13, 2019.
 
The H2O PA Water and Sewer Program provides single- or multi-year grants to municipalities or municipal authorities to help with construction of drinking water, sanitary sewer, or storm sewer projects.
 
The PA Small Water and Sewer Program provides grants to help with construction improvement, expansion, or rehabilitation or repair of a water supply system, sanitary or sewer system, or flood control projects.
 
Applications must be submitted online at esa.dced.state.pa.us. For more information, call (717) 787-6245, email ra-dcedsitedvpt@pa.gov, or click on the program names above.


Growing Greener Plus Grants Aid in Watershed Restoration

Saturday November 16th, 2019
The state Department of Environmental Protection is accepting applications for the next round of Growing Greener Plus Grants for watershed restoration and protection, surface mining conservation and reclamation, and abandoned mine drainage (AMD) cleanup projects. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. December 20, 2019.
 
Eligible applicants include counties, authorities, and other municipalities; county conservation districts; watershed organizations; councils of governments; educational institutions; and other authorized organizations involved in environmental restoration and protection.
 
For this grant round, DEP is prioritizing activities that reduce non-point source pollution from agriculture and stormwater runoff, as well as AMD-related contaminants. The department is also interested in design and construction projects that use effective best management practices to reduce or eliminate pollutant loads and lead to local water quality improvements.
 
Applications must be submitted through the state’s single application for assistance. For more information about these grants, go to the Growing Greener Plus Grants webpage or call the Grants Center at (717) 705-5400.


Funding to Rehab, Expand Public Boating Facilities

Friday November 15th, 2019
Townships with public boating facilities can apply for funding through the Pa. Fish and Boat Commission's (PFBC) Boating Facility Program Grants. The deadline for applications is December 31.
 
Eligible applicants include townships, boroughs, municipal and county governments, as well as nonprofit groups, including land trusts, conservancies, and watershed associations that are interested in the planning, acquisition, development, expansion or rehabilitation of public boating access areas.
 
Local governments and eligible nonprofit groups may use funds to provide or improve public recreational boat access facilities in their communities that are open and available for general public use.
 
Grants are available for site acquisition, project design and engineering, development, expansion, and major rehabilitation of recreational boat access facilities. Activities must benefit and directly support public recreational boating.
 
Eligible projects must be constructed on lands owned in "fee simple" by the project sponsor; where ownership is less than fee simple interest, ownership rights must provide for permanent control of the property commensurate with the proposed development. 
 
Eligible construction projects include boat ramps, courtesy floats, restrooms, access roads, parking areas, landscaping in direct relation to access development, aquatic invasive species prevention, transient tie-up floats, and signs.
 
Grant funds are to be used only for major site improvements and not for any routine maintenance or operation activities.
 
Successful applicants must agree to provide a 50% grant match and be willing to enter into a long-term agreement to keep the facility open to free public use for its useful life.
 
The PFBC will give priority funding consideration to applicants that provide more than the required 50% match, thereby reducing the total amount of grant funds required to complete the project.
 
The Boating Facility Grant Program is a reimbursable program. Grant funds will be disbursed to the applicant/recipient only after completion of the project occurs and agency staff has verified that the work has been completed.
 
All work funded for this round of grants should be completed by December 31, 2022.
 
The PFBC gives highest priority to the rehabilitation of existing facilities, followed by expansion of existing facilities, and then acquisition and development of new boating facilities. 
 
The commission will rank projects based on local, regional, and statewide needs, such as boat use and number of boaters served, relationship to adjacent or nearby public and private boating facilities (ramps and/or marinas), and needs based on strategic statewide, regional, or local plans.
 
For more information, visit the Fish & Boat Commission’s Boating Facility Program Grants webpage. Questions should be directed to (717) 346-8196 or scbollinge@pa.gov.


Environmental Education Grants Available from DEP

Thursday October 31st, 2019
The Department of Environmental Protection is accepting applications for 2020 Environmental Education Grants. The deadline for applications is December 31.
 
Environmental justice, climate change, and water quality are priority topics. Large-scale projects may be awarded up to $85,000; local projects may receive up to $3,000.
 
Approximately $300,000 will be available for grants. DEP has awarded 1,965 environmental education grants, totaling $11.3 million, to date. Funding comes from the 1993 Environmental Education Act which requires 5 percent of all pollution fines and penalties collected annually by DEP to be set aside to support environmental education.
 
 
Webinar November 18
 
Bert Myers, DEP's Director of Environmental Education and Information Center, will lead a free 75-minute webinar November 18 on how to apply for the grants. This webinar is ideal for first-time applicants. Register for the webinar.online.
 
For more information, visit DEP's Environmental Education Grants webpage. Questions should be directed to Bert Myers, DEP's Director of Environmental Education and Information Center, by calling (717) 772-1828 or sending email to: gimyers@pa.gov.