News Archive


Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants Available

Thursday February 15th, 2018
Rural or volunteer fire departments that serve communities with fewer than 10,000 people are eligible for funding from the U.S. Forest Service Volunteer Fire Assistance Program. Departments in townships with more than 10,000 people may apply as long as the department covers a rural area or community with a maximum population of 10,000. Deadlines were not available as of mid-December, but applications are generally accepted from early March through mid-May.
 
The grants, administered by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Bureau of Forestry, help rural fire departments organize, train, and equip firefighters to prevent and suppress fires that threaten human life, livestock, wildlife, crops, pastures, orchards, woodlands, farmsteads, or other improvements in rural areas. The key objectives of this program are to save lives and protect property.
 
This is a cost-share program. Financial assistance on any project during any fiscal year may not exceed 50 percent of the actual expenditures, including those of local, public, and private nonprofit organizations participating in the agreement. The maximum grant award is $7,500.
 
Grants may be used to purchase wildfire suppression equipment, protective gear, mobile or portable radios; install dry hydrants; prevent and mitigate wildfires; or attend wildfire training. Funds may also be used to convert and maintain federal excess vehicles received from the Bureau of Forestry and used for fire suppression.
 
Priority will be given to projects that include the purchase of wildfire suppression equipment and protective gear. Grants may not be used for structural fire equipment or protective gear, supply hose larger than 2½ inches in diameter, structures, routine maintenance of vehicles not received from the Bureau of Forestry, medical services, ambulance services, fire police equipment and gear, or search and rescue equipment and gear.
 
Applications must be submitted online. For updated grant program deadlines and to apply for a grant, go to www.grants.dcnr.state.pa.us or call toll-free (800) 326-7734.
 


Enter Your Joint Project in PSATS’ Intergovernmental Cooperation Awards

Thursday February 15th, 2018
Did your township partner with neighboring municipalities and/or the state and federal governments to complete a project in 2017? If so, submit a description for consideration in PSATS’ Excellence in Intergovernmental Cooperation Awards Program. Submissions are due by March 23.
 
Presented in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Association of Councils of Governments (PACOG), the contest recognizes townships that work with other government entities to complete projects more efficiently and cost-effectively.
 
Eligible activities include but are not limited to:
 
• joint road or bridge construction/replacement;
 
• intermunicipal parks and recreation projects;
 
• regional stormwater projects;
 
• equipment/manpower sharing programs;
 
• joint comprehensive plans;
 
• public safety cooperatives; and
 
• intermunicipal recycling and/or illegal dump remediation programs. 
 
Winners will receive their awards at PSATS’ Annual Educational Conference in April and will be the subject of a Township News article.
 
For more information or to sub­mit a project, call Melissa Morgan at PSATS at (717) 763-0930, ext. 178, or email mmorgan@psats.org.


Recognize Your Township Engineer During National Engineers Week

Thursday February 1st, 2018
Township supervisors who want to recognize the valuable contributions that engineers have made to their communities can honor them during National Engineers Week, February 18-24.
 
National Engineers Week, which is sponsored by more than 120 engineering societies and major corporations, was created to increase public awareness about engineering. The observance, designated by an act of Congress, recognizes how engineers make the lives of all Americans more livable, comfortable, and safe.
 
In townships, the engineer plays a vital role in providing much-needed services. From planning, designing, and overseeing the construction of public works facilities to reviewing proposals for capital projects to inspecting bridge superstructures and foundations, the engineer helps find the most cost-effective, long-term solutions to the problems that confront townships. 
 
In fact, the township engineer has taken on increasing responsibilities. Engineers are expected to advise township supervisors and other officials on such topics as road and traffic safety, watershed and storm­water runoff, alternative energy solutions, erosion and sedimentation control, and project financing.
 
To help make the engineer’s job easier, township officials should encourage their engineers to join the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Engineers. Members receive subscriptions to a variety of PSATS publications, including The Township Engineer newsletter; have access to Association resources; and may attend all Association workshops, including those geared toward engineers, at the lower member rate. 
 
These benefits, combined with the networking opportunities the Association provides, help members stay on top of municipal engineering issues. For more information about joining the Township Engineers Association, go to engineers.psats.org.
 
For more information about the observance, visit www.discovere.org or email info@DiscoverE.org.


Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Seeks Road Adoption Volunteers

Thursday February 1st, 2018
Townships should encourage residents, organizations, civic groups, and businesses to commit to a litter-free community by joining Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s (KPB) statewide road adoption program. Most local areas, including municipal roads, communities, parks, neighborhood blocks, greenways, waterways, and trails, may be adopted through the program.
 
There is no fee to participate. Groups must agree to make safety a top priority, schedule two cleanups per year, and report the results to KPB after each cleanup. KPB will seek support from the local property owner or maintainer before proceeding with an adoption.
 
KPB’s program mirrors PennDOT’s Adopt-a-Highway program, with the goal of reducing roadside litter on municipal roads. The benefits go beyond aesthetics, however. Volunteers have reported a sense of pride and community involvement.
 
“Many communities depend on volunteers to clean up litter,” KPB President Shannon Reiter says. “Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful works hand-in-hand with municipalities and counties to give residents the tools and resources they need to keep our communities clean and beautiful.
 
“Our adoption program helps mitigate the costs associated with cleaning up and encourages partnerships between residents and municipalities. It’s a win-win.”
 
According to Keep America Beautiful’s 2009 National Visible Litter Survey and Litter Cost Study, litter cleanup costs the nation more than $11.5 billion each year, with municipalities spending more than $790 million and counties spending $185 million each year.
 
For more information, go to www.keeppabeautiful.org/keep-it/adoption-program or call KPB Program Coordinator Stephanie Larson at (724) 836-4121, ext. 104, or email slarson@keeppabeautiful.org.


DCNR Accepting Applications for Recreation, Conservation Projects

Thursday February 1st, 2018
Townships may apply for help with recreation and conservation projects under the Community Conservation Partnership Program, or C2P2.
 
Funded through the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), these grants are awarded to such projects as the rehabilitation and development of parks and recreation facilities; land acquisition for parks and conservation; and technical assistance for feasibility and trail studies and site development planning. 
 
Successful applicants must adhere to DCNR’s guiding action plan and three basic tenets:
 
• promoting statewide conservation;
 
• building and maintaining sustainable communities; and
 
• creating outdoor connections for citizens and visitors.
 
Applications are due by April 11.
 
To apply online, go to www.grants.dcnr.state.pa.us. For more information, call grants customer service toll-free at (800) 326-7734.


Historic Preservation Awards Honor ‘Extraordinary’ Projects

Thursday February 1st, 2018
Townships that have completed any extraordinary historic preservation projects in the last year are eligible to enter the 2017 National Preservation Awards contest.
 
Sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the awards recognize local governments, civic organizations, corporations, and individuals whose skills and determination have given new meaning to their communities through preservation.
 
The deadline for nominations is March 1. Winners will be recognized at the National Preservation Conference November 13-16, 2018, in San Francisco.
 
For more information, call the National Trust for Historic Preservation at (202) 588-6084 or email awards@savingplaces.org. Find the most current deadlines and download a nomination form at www.preservationnation.org/awards.


Nominate Public Works Projects, Professionals for APWA Awards

Thursday February 1st, 2018
Townships that completed public works projects last year or have exceptional public works employees may want to nominate them for a 2017 American Public Works Association Award.
 
In addition to honoring its chapter leaders and members, the APWA sponsors competitions open to the entire public works industry, including:
 
• Top 10 Public Works Leaders of the Year, which recognizes the outstanding career achievements of professionals and officials in the public and private sectors. 
 
• Public Works Project of the Year, which honors excellence in project management and administration by recognizing the alliance among the managing agency, the engineers, and the contractor.
 
Awards are given in five categories: structures, transportation, environment, historic restoration/preservation, and disaster or emergency construction/repair. Each category is divided based on the cost of the project (less than $5 million, $5 million to $25 million, $25 million to $75 million, and more than $75 million).
 
• Public Works Project of the Year for Small Cities/Rural Communities, which recognizes creativity, ingenuity, and efficiency in projects that have a profound impact on the community. Projects are honored in the categories of structures, transportation, environment, historic restoration/preservation, and disaster or emergency construction/repair. Awards are based on the impact to the community, rather than the cost of the project.
 
• Technical Innovation Award and Management Innovation Award, which recognize an individual, team, or organization for the development and implementation of a creative idea, device, process, or system that enhances public works in serving the public and protecting the environment.
 
• Exceptional Performance Award, which recognizes individuals, teams, and organizations whose work in emergency response, journalism, or safety has increased public awareness of the public works profession. 
 
• Diversity Exemplary Practices Award, which recognizes individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to diversity. Awards are given in two categories: individuals and programs/organizations.
 
• Sustainability Practices Award, which recognizes individuals, teams, or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to promote sustainability in public works. Sustainability is accomplished by the efficient delivery of infrastructure in an environmentally and socially responsible way that ensures the best choice in the long term. 
 
Entries are accepted from federal, state, or local governments; educational and nonprofit institutions; and private-sector organizations.  
 
The deadline to apply is March 1. Winners of the Top 10 Public Works Leaders of the Year will receive a plaque during National Public Works Week, May 20-26. All other winners will be recognized at PWX (Public Works Expo) in Kansas City, Mo., August 26-29, 2018.
 
All nominations must be submitted electronically at www.apwa.net (choose the “About” tab and click on “Awards”). For more information, call Rhonda Wilhite toll-free at (800) 848-2792, ext. 5261, or email rwilhite@apwa.net.


PennDOT Wants to Hear from You!

Monday January 22nd, 2018

PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards invites township officials to attend a two-hour Municipal Outreach Session to discuss her priority PennDOT Connects initiative.

The PennDOT Connects policy makes changes to the project development process to enhance transportation planning. It requires communities to have meaningful opportunities for engagement in the initial stages of the planning process with PennDOT and the regional planning partners.

A more strategic approach to engagement will ensure that local priorities and issues are effectively considered as transportation needs and investments are planned and developed. The result is improved decision making, better investments, and greater local impacts.

Municipalities should encourage their municipal administrator, planners, engineers, public works directors, and anyone involved in their transportation projects to attend this informative two-hour session.

Click here for the list of locations and to register.



Grants Available to Create Inclusive Play Spaces

Thursday January 18th, 2018
Townships that want to construct an inclusive playground or play area can apply for a Meet Me at the Park grant through the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) in collaboration with The Walt Disney Company. Thanks to a grant from Disney, NRPA is excited to continue the Meet Me at the Park program in 2018 and provide additional communities with increased access to inclusive play spaces in local parks for children and families. The deadline is March 1, 2018.
 
As part of this program, park and recreation agencies are invited to share their best ideas on increasing access to inclusive play spaces for children and families in underserved communities. Agencies with the most innovative, scalable, and impactful project ideas will receive grants to build their projects.  
 
This investment supports NRPA and Disney’s combined goal of providing one million kids and families with greater access to play.
 
 
Eligibility
 
To be eligible for the grants, applicants must:
 
• Be a state or local government park and recreation agency (e.g., municipal park and recreation department, tribal recreation department, park district, etc.).
 
• Conduct surveys and collect data from at least 25 people at the project site once the project is completed. Surveys and training will be provided.
 
• Provide opportunities for community engagement and volunteerism in association with the project.
 
• Promote the project locally through its own communication channels and on social media.
 
• Eight of the selected grantees will be required to conduct a more in-depth evaluation. Tools and training will be provided to selected grantees.
 
 
Applications
 
Applications are due by 11:59PM ET on Thursday, March 1, 2018.
 
To learn more and apply, click here.
 
 
Webinar will explain more
 
NRPA will host a webinar on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, to give an overview of the goals of the grant and answer applicant questions. Register for this webinar here.
 
If you have any questions about this grant opportunity, please email playspacesRFA@nrpa.org.


Have Historic Resources? Apply for a Preservation Grant

Monday January 15th, 2018
​The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) is now accepting applications from local governments and nonprofit organizations for the Keystone Historic Preservation Grant Program. The application deadline is March 1, 2018.
 
The grants support projects that identify, preserve, promote and protect historic and archaeological resources in Pennsylvania for both the benefit of the public and community revitalization. The grants receive funding from the Keystone Recreation, Park, and Conservation Fund. A total of $1.5 million has been set aside for this program.
 
Two categories of grants – project and construction – are available for historic resources in Pennsylvania listed, or eligible for listing, in the National Register of Historic Places. Applicants may apply for only one type of grant.
 
Project grants are available for planning and development initiatives that enhance historic preservation in communities. Project grant applications may include municipal planning initiatives focusing on historic resources or may be used to meet building- or project-specific planning goals. Keystone Historic Preservation Project Grants are available between $5,000 and $25,000 and require a 50/50 cash match.
 
Construction grants are available for rehabilitation, preservation and restoration activities for historic resources that are publicly accessible and under nonprofit or local government ownership. Keystone Historic Preservation Construction Grants are available between $5,000 and $100,000 and require a 50/50 cash match.
 
The PHMC will host two webinars about the Keystone Grant program guidelines and application process. Dates and times are:
 
      • Thursday, January 19, 2 p.m., and
      • Tuesday, January 24, 10 a.m.
 
To register, email Karen Arnold at kaarnold@pa.gov or call (717) 783-9927.
 
Grants will be awarded through a competitive selection process and are contingent on availability of funds. Applicants are required to use the web-based electronic grant application process (eGrant).
 
For grant program guidelines and eGrant application instructions, visit PHMC online at www.phmc.pa.gov, choose the "Preservation" tab at the top, and click on “Grants and Funding.”


Nominate Your Road or Bridge Project in Annual Contest

Wednesday January 10th, 2018
Did your township complete an outstanding road or bridge project in 2017? If so, you have until March 2 to enter it in the 36th Annual Road and Bridge Safety Improvement Contest.
 
Sponsored by PSATS, the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association, and the state Department of Transportation, the contest recognizes townships for their extensive contributions of time and effort to making roads and bridges safer for motorists, pedestrians, and other travelers.
 
Eligible projects include safety improvements initiated and completed in 2017 or ongoing projects begun in 2017. Entries must involve visible improvements, such as guide rail or stop sign installation, road widening and resurfacing, bridge improvements, or clearing brush from a road curve where poor sight distance has resulted in accidents. 
 
Education programs, stricter speed limit enforcement, and drunk driver programs, while contributing to traffic safety, are not eligible for this contest.
 
Entry forms for the contest were mailed to townships and Township Engineers Association members in December. The completed form must be sent to PennDOT by March 2.
 
Winners will receive their awards at PSATS’ Annual Educational Conference in April and be the subject of a Township News article.
 
For more information or additional entry forms, call Brenda Wilt at PSATS at (717) 763-0930, ext. 123. You may also download a brochure here.


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.