News Archive


Growing Greener Plus Grants Aimed at Watershed Restoration

Friday December 15th, 2017
The state Department of Environmental Protection will be accepting applications for the next round of Growing Greener Plus Grants for watershed restoration, mine reclamation set-aside, and EPA Section 319 water quality restoration projects. For up-to-date deadline information, go to www.dep.pa.gov/Citizens/GrantsLoansRebates/Growing-Greener.
 
Eligible applicants include counties, authorities, and other municipalities; county conservation districts; watershed organizations recognized by DEP that promote local watershed conservation; councils of governments; and other authorized organizations involved in environmental restoration and protection.
 
For this grant round, DEP is placing particular focus on reducing non-point source pollution in the 43 counties in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The department is also interested in projects that use effective best management practices (BMPs) that reduce or eliminate stream impairments, leading to local water quality improvements that contribute to the Chesapeake Bay restoration goals.
 
In addition, DEP has identified a number of other criteria, including projects in regional priority watersheds that reduce the impairment source; activities that lead to water quality restoration or protection; and projects that support installation of high-priority BMPs to address non-point source pollution.
 
Examples of eligible projects include riparian forest buffers, streambank fencing, erosion/sedimentation and nutrient control practices on cropland, and animal waste storage systems.
 
For more information, go to www.dep.pa.gov/Citizens/GrantsLoansRebates/Growing-Greener or call (717) 705-5400.


Energy Assistance Available for Rural Communities

Friday December 15th, 2017
Rural townships may apply for grants through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program. For last year's grant round, the deadline for applications was the end of January.
 
Grantees use the funds to help rural small businesses and agricultural producers with energy audits and renewable energy technical assistance and energy site assessments.
 
Eligible project costs may include:
 
• project-related salaries and travel expenses;
 
• office supplies; and
 
• administrative expenses up to 5 per­cent of the grant, including utilities, office space, and operation expenses for office and other project-related equipment.
 
For more information and applications, go to www.rd.usda.gov/pa or contact Amanda Hope in the Pennsylvania Rural Development Office at (717) 237-2289 or amanda.hope@pa.usda.gov.


IRS Issues 2018 Mileage Rate

Thursday December 14th, 2017
The Internal Revenue Service set the standard business mileage rate for 2018 at 54.5 cents per mile. This is an increase from the 53.5 cents per mile for 2017. The board of supervisors should implement the mileage rate at their 2018 organization meeting. 


Participate in Complete Streets Survey

Thursday December 14th, 2017

WalkWorks is  an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Health in partnership with Pitt Public Health that aims to increase opportunities for physical activity.  Township officials are asked to participate in a survey about opportunities and barriers to adopting and implementing Complete Streets policies for their communities.

Please click here to complete the survey by December 21, 2017. To learn more about the survey, click here.



Learn About Funding Opportunities to Benefit Disabled Citizens in Rural Communities

Wednesday December 13th, 2017
The Pennsylvania Development Disabilities Council has issued a new list of requests for proposals that includes funding opportunities targeted to rural communities.
 
The Rural Healthcare Access program will fund one project that ensures generic healthcare locations, equipment, and services accessibility.
 
The Housing and Services Demonstration program will fund one demonstration project to provide private housing for disabled persons.
 
To learn more, go to www.paddc.org.


Have an Inventor on Your Road Crew? Show Off Your Innovation Skills in Annual Better Mousetrap Competition

Wednesday December 13th, 2017
Has one of your township employees recently built an innovative gadget or come up with a better way to do a particular job? If so, now is the time to show it off by entering the 2018 Build a Better Mousetrap Competition.
 
PennDOT is looking for projects that municipal employees or road crews designed and built. It can be anything from the development of tools and equipment modifications to processes that increase safety, reduce costs, or improve efficiency or the quality of transportation.
 
If you have a project that qualifies, submit your entry by March 9, 2018. PennDOT will choose a state winner in March and announce it at the annual conference of the winner’s respective municipal association. Entries will be judged by a committee of municipal road employees on cost savings/benefits to the community, ingenuity, transferability to others, and effectiveness. 
 
LTAP will submit the winning entry into a regional and national competition for prizes and, of course, bragging rights. Winners of the national competition will be announced at the annual LTAP/TTAP national conference this summer. All entries at the national level will be posted on the LTAP/TTAP website and compiled into an electronic booklet.
 
 
 
Download an entry form for the 2018 Build a Better Mousetrap Competition at www.ltap.state.pa.us (click on “News Items”). Return it by March 9 to PennDOT-LTAP, c/o PSATS, 4855 Woodland Drive, Enola, PA 17025 or email it to katkinson@psats.org.
 
For more information, call Karen Atkinson at PSATS at (717) 763-0930, ext. 156.


Nominate an Outstanding Supervisor, Secretary, or Manager for a PSATS Leadership Award

Tuesday December 12th, 2017
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’ 29th Annual President’s Leadership Award.
 
Township supervisors, secretaries, and managers who held office or were employed in 2017 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, 2018
 
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 April 22-25, 2018, in Her­shey and coverage in the Pennsylvania Township News. PSATS will also notify their local newspapers. 
 
A brochure with a nomination form was sent to all townships in November and is available here. For more information, call Brenda Wilt at PSATS at (717) 763-0930, ext. 123.


Funding Available for Natural Gas Distribution Lines

Tuesday December 12th, 2017
Townships with natural gas pipelines are eligible for funding through the Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE) administered by the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).
 
PIPE provides grants to construct the last few miles of natural distribution lines to business parks, existing manufacturing, and industrial enterprises. Projects supported by PIPE grants serve to connect businesses, industrial sites, municipalities, and residents to the low-cost energy source.
 
Grants may be used for acquisition, construction, and site preparation costs involved with extending natural gas pipelines. Grants will be available until funds are exhausted.
 
For more information, call Brian Eckert, director of DCED’s Office of Business Financing Site Development Division, at (717) 720-1400 or go to dced.pa.gov/programs/pipeline-investment-program.


Funding Available for Solar Energy Generation Equipment

Tuesday December 12th, 2017
Townships that are considering installing solar energy generation equipment can apply for grants or loans through the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA). Applications are due January 22, 2018.
 
Eligible projects include facilities to generate, distribute, or store solar photovoltaic energy. Grants require a matching investment of at least $1 for every $1 of program funds awarded by the CFA. Loans require a match of at least $1 for every $3 of program funds.
 
For more information, go to http://dced.pa.gov/programs/solar-energy-program-sep or call (717) 787-6245 with questions.


Land Trust Association Soliciting Nominations for Conservation Leadership

Friday December 1st, 2017
Has your township exhibited leadership and success in conserving open space and natural resources? If so, nom­inate it for one of the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association’s 2018 Conservation Government Leadership Awards. The deadline is February 12, 2018.
 
The contest is open to any Pennsylvania municipal or county government that has demonstrated leadership and vision in permanently conserving open space and valuable and unique land and/or water resources.
 
Eligible programs or activities include land use planning and regulations, resource protection strategies, and land or easement acquisitions.
 
Recognition can be based on the work of a local government, multigovernment partnership, commission, or board but must be sanctioned by the governing body or bodies.
 
Awards will be presented April 14 during the 2018 Pennsylvania Land Conservation Conference in Malvern, Chester County.
 
To nominate your township, download a nomination form at conserveland.org/land-conservation-government-leadership-award-form. For more information, call Nicole Faraguna at (717) 909-1298 or email nfaraguna@conserveland.org.


Nominate Your Project for a Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence

Friday December 1st, 2017
Has your township developed or helped develop a project that promotes environmental stewardship in your community? Nominate it for a 2018 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence. The state Department of Environmental Excellence is accepting applications until 5 p.m. January 8, 2018.
 
For more information, including links to guidelines, an application form, and the application web page, go to DEP's Environmental Excellence Award web page.


Newly Elected Supervisors Need to Take the Oath of Office

Tuesday November 7th, 2017

Before assuming the duties of office, newly elected and re-elected township supervisors must take an oath of office to support the Constitution of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and to perform the duties of office with fidelity. This oath must be administered by a judge, district magistrate, or notary and filed with the township secretary.

Click here for a copy of the Oath of Office.

 



Riparian Buffers/ATV Grants Available Through DCNR

Monday October 9th, 2017
Townships that would like to improve stream buffers may apply for some of the $1 million in PENNVEST-funded grants that are being made available to assist landowners with planting trees along streams in Pennsylvania to improve water quality. The grant application period also includes $250,000 for trails and projects related to the use of snowmobiles and ATVs. The grants are available through the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Community Conservation Partnership Program, or C2P2, funding. The application period for these grants closes December 20.
 
Pennsylvania has a goal of planting 95,000 acres of streamside buffers by 2025.
 
To expand on the existing streamside buffer options for landowners, DCNR is piloting a multi-functional buffer option that is eligible for these grant dollars to provide greater flexibility in landowner eligibility, buffer designs, widths, plant species and offer the option of planting some income-producing crops in the buffer zone. For the PENNVEST-funded grants, multi-functional buffers are preferred but not required.
  
Individual landowners, businesses, non-profits, local government, and educational institutions are all eligible for the buffer grants, but must be prequalified. Information about how to prequalify is available online on the DCNR grant portal. 
 
Funding for snowmobile/ATV projects is through the ATV Management Restricted Account and the Snowmobile Management Restricted Account as authorized by Act 97 of 2016. The accounts are supported by registration fees.
 
Trail projects include acquisition, planning, development, rehabilitation, or maintenance of designated routes on land for motorized recreation activities. This includes the purchase of equipment for trail construction or maintenance.
 
DCNR Bureau of Forestry service foresters located in each of the 20 forest districts statewide can assist landowners with information about planting forest buffers.
 
Forest buffers along stream banks provide critical barriers between polluting landscapes and receiving waterways. Properly planted and maintained, streamside tree and shrub plantings filter the runoff of sediments and the fertilizers that are applied to lawns and crops; control erosion; improve water quality; reduce flooding; cool stream temperatures; and improve fish habitat.
 
Interested applicants should visit the DCNR grant portal.


Gaming Expansion Signed into Law: Townships May Prohibit Satellite Casinos

Tuesday July 11th, 2017

Governor Wolf recently signed Act 42 of 2017(formerly HB 271), comprehensive gaming expansion, to finish funding the 2017-18 state budget into law.

Provisions important to townships:

•           Restores the local share assessment paid by existing casinos which the courts struct down last session.

•           Legalizes i-gaming, authorizes the creation of 10 satellite casinos (Category 4), permits video gaming terminals at truck stops and airports, and authorizes fantasy sports betting.

•           Grants municipalities the authority to prohibit a Category 4 licensed facility from locating within their municipality. To do so, the governing body of a municipality must pass a resolution indicating its desire to a prohibit category 4 casinos within the municipality.

Note: This resolution must be passed and delivered to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board no later than December 31, 2017.

Sample Resolution Available from PSATS
As a member service, PSATS has created a sample resolution for townships to use to prohibit Category 4 casinos. A copy of this resolution as well as instructions were mailed to all PSATS member townships this past Friday, November 3, 2017. A copy of this resolution can also be found here.