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News Archive


Apply for Environmental Grants Funded by Act 13 Impact Fees Beginning Feb. 1

Tuesday January 15th, 2019
Beginning February 1, the Commonwealth Financing Authority will accept applications for grants funded by Act 13 drilling impact fees for watershed restoration, abandoned mine drainage abatement, baseline water quality data, orphaned or abandoned well plugging, sewage facilities, flood mitigation programs, and recreation. The deadline for applications is May 31.
 
These grants are funded by the Act 13 drilling impact fees paid by natural gas drillers.
 
Here’s a quick summary of what’s available and the links for more details:
 
• Watershed Restoration: The overall goal of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Program is to restore and maintain restored stream reaches impaired by the uncontrolled discharge of nonpoint source polluted runoff, and ultimately to remove these streams from the Department of Environmental Protection’s Impaired Waters list.
 
• Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) Abatement and Treatment: Eligible projects include the reclamation of abandoned mine well(s); construction of a new AMD site; remediation and repair of existing AMD project sites; operation and maintenance of current AMD remediation sites; establishment of a trust fund to ensure ongoing maintenance; and monitoring of water quality to track or continue to trace nonpoint source load reductions resulting from AMD remediation projects.
 
Orphan or Abandoned Well Plugging Program: Eligible projects include the cleaning out and plugging of abandoned and orphaned oil and gas wells; stray gas mitigation systems; and well venting projects.
 
Baseline Water Quality Data: Eligible projects include practices for water sample collection and analysis to document existing groundwater quality conditions on private water supplies.
 
Sewage Facilities Program: Eligible costs are those associated with the planning work required under Act 537 Sewage Facilities Act.
 
•  Flood Mitigation: Eligible projects are those authorized by a flood protection authority, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) or the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) or identified by a local government for flood mitigation.
 
Greenways, Trails, And Recreation Program: Eligible projects  involve development, rehabilitation, and improvements to public parks, recreation areas, greenways, trails, and river conservation.
 
Applicants are strongly urged to contact their House and Senate member to make them aware that they intend to submit an application for funding under these programs and ask for their endorsement.
 
For more information and instructions on how to apply, visit the Commonwealth Financing Authority Act 13 Programs webpage. Questions should be directed to (717) 787-6245.


Enter Your Joint Project in PSATS’ Intergovernmental Cooperation Awards Program

Monday January 14th, 2019
Did your township partner with neighboring municipalities and/or the state and federal governments to complete a project in 2018? If so, submit a description for consideration in PSATS’ Excellence in Intergovernmental Cooperation Awards Program. Submissions are due by March 18.
 
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 Brenda Wilt at PSATS at (717) 763-0930, ext. 123, or email bwilt@psats.org.


Enter Your Road or Bridge Project in Annual Contest

Friday January 4th, 2019
Did your township complete an outstanding road or bridge project in 2018? If so, you have until March 1 to enter it in the 37th 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 2018 or ongoing projects begun in 2018. 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 January. The completed form must be sent to PennDOT by March 1.
 
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. Townships may also download a brochure.


Grants for Historic Preservation Available

Friday January 4th, 2019
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) is accepting applications from nonprofit organizations and local governments for the Keystone Historic Preservation Grant Program.
 
Grants support projects that identify, preserve, promote, and protect historical 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 $2.5 million has been set aside for this program, an increase of $1 million over the previous year due to continued popularity of the program.
 
Two categories of grants – project and construction – are available for historical resources in Pennsylvania that are 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 historical 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 historical resources that are publicly accessible and under non-profit or local government ownership. Keystone Historic Preservation Construction Grants are available between $5,000 and $100,000 and require a 50/50 cash match. 
 
PHMC will host two webinars about the Keystone Grant Program guidelines and application process. Webinars are scheduled Monday, January 14, at 11 a.m. and Wednesday, January 23, at 2 p.m. To register for either webinar, please visit the State Historic Preservation Office webinar signup page
 
Applications are due March 1, 2019. Grants will be awarded through a competitive selection process and are contingent on the availability of funds. Please note that all PHMC grant applications must be submitted on the commonwealth’s Single Application for Assistance system. For grant program guidelines and a program fact sheet, visit PHMC online at www.phmc.pa.gov and click on “Grants and Funding” under the "Preservation" tab in the top navigation bar. 
 


Free Webinar Explains Hazard Mitigation Grants

Friday January 4th, 2019
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced that all Pennsylvania municipalities are eligible to apply for FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds. These funds may be used for projects that will reduce or eliminate losses from future disasters. An upcoming webinar will explain how to apply for these grants.
 
Eligible projects must provide a long-term solution to a problem. For example, elevation of a home to reduce the risk of flood damage as opposed to buying sandbags and pumps to fight the flood. In addition, a project’s potential savings must be more than the cost of implementing the project. Funds may be used to protect either public or private property, or to purchase property that has been subjected to, or is in danger of, repetitive damage. 
 
Unlike FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) funds, which are directed only to municipalities in declared disaster areas, HMGP funds are open to all municipalities statewide. Furthermore, FEMA covers 75 percent and the commonwealth covers 25 percent of the costs of the HMGP projects that are selected. 
 
To help townships better understand the HMGP application process, the Pa. Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) is hosting a free webinar in January. To accommodate differing schedules, the webinar will be presented in the morning one day and repeated in the afternoon the following day. The dates and times are:
 
• Jan. 22 -- 10-11 a.m. (Participants should sign on before 10 a.m. To join the Webex meeting online, go to the sign-in page.)
 
Jan. 23 -- 1:30-2:30 p.m. (Participants should sign on before 1:30 p.m. To join the Webex meeting online, go to the sign-in page.)
 
To participate in either webinar by phone, call toll-free (855) 797-9485 
 
For more information, contact Jen Carle of PEMA at (717) 651-7072 or jcarle@pa.gov
 


Have You Built a Better Mousetrap? Show It Off in Annual PennDOT Contest

Tuesday January 1st, 2019
Has one of your township employees recently built an innovative gadget or come up with a better way to do a job? If so, now is the time to show it off by entering the 2019 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.
 
New this year, the contest will have four categories for submitting entries, with a potential winner in each. From among these winning entries, an overall winner of the contest will be chosen. The categories are: 
 
1) Inspection and data collection (automated/remote means, testing, time, etc.) 
 
2) Asset management techniques (GIS, mapping, decision support systems, etc.) 
 
3) Maintenance tools and methods (lifters, reachers, modifications, assembly, etc.) 
 
4) Transportation facilities improvements (storage, access, operations, services, etc.)
 
If you have a project that qualifies under one of these categories, submit your entry by March 8, 2019. PennDOT will choose winners in March and announce them at the annual conference of the winners’ respective municipal associations. Entries will be judged by a committee of municipal road employees on cost savings/benefits to the community, ingenuity, transferability to others, and effectiveness. 
 
The winning entries will be submitted into the national competition for prizes and, of course, bragging rights. Winners of the national competition will be announced at the annual LTAP/TTAP national conference next summer. All entries at the national level will be posted on the LTAP/TTAP website and compiled into an electronic booklet.
 
To download entry forms for the 2019 Build a Better Mousetrap Competition, go to www.ltap.state.pa.us and click on “News Items.” Complete the entry form and return it by March 8 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 (717) 763-0930, ext. 156.


Nominate Supervisors, Secretaries, and Managers for PSATS Leadership Award

Monday December 31st, 2018
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’ 30th Annual President’s Leadership Award.
 
Township supervisors, secretaries, and managers who held office or were employed in 2018 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, 2019. 
 
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 14-17, 2019, 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.


Funds Available for Rural Fire Departments

Monday December 31st, 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 when the News went to press, 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, and 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.


Energy Assistance Available for Rural Communities

Monday December 31st, 2018
Rural townships may apply for grants through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program.
 
Grantees use the funds to help rural small businesses and agricultural producers with renewable energy systems, energy efficiency improvements, energy audits, renewable energy technical assistance, and energy site assessments.
 
The deadlines for the various grant levels are as follows:
 
• Energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grant: January 31, 2019.
 
• Grant or guaranteed loan/grant combination of $20,000 or less: April 1, 2019.
 
• Unrestricted grant or guaranteed loan/unrestricted grant combination: April 1, 2019.
 
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.
 


Free Webinars Explain DCNR Grant Programs

Monday December 31st, 2018
The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will host two webinars to explain aspects of the department’s Community Conservation Partnerships Program (C2P2), which provides funding for recreation and conservation projects. Applications will be accepted January 22 through April 10, 2019.
 
The webinars and their topics are:
 
• Jan. 30: DCNR Grants for Recreation, Conservation, Trail, and Riparian Buffer Projects. Those who were unable to attend one of the in-person workshops in the fall are encouraged to register for this webinar, which will cover the same material.
 
• Feb. 27: DCNR’s Statewide and Regional Partnership Grant Program. This webinar will discuss grant funding for public recreation, conservation, or heritage-area initiatives undertaken across a statewide or regional landscape.
 
For more information on registering for the webinars, call Jim Young at (717) 783-2712 or email jwyoung@pa.gov. Online registration is required; 
go to events.dcnr.pa.gov.
 


Federal Funding Available for Brownfield Assessment, Cleanup

Thursday December 6th, 2018
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting applications for FY19 Brownfields Assessment, Cleanup, and Multipurpose Grants. The deadline for applications is January 31.
 
Assessment grants provide funding for inventorying brownfield sites; prioritizing sites; conducting community involvement activities, planning, and/or site assessments; developing site-specific cleanup plans; and developing reuse plans related to brownfield sites. Assessment grant funds may not be used for cleanup activities. To learn more about assessment grants, read the guidelines here.
 
Cleanup grants provide funding to carry out cleanup activities on brownfield sites owned by the applicant. To learn more about cleanup grants, read the guidelines here.
 
Multipurpose grants provide funding to carry out a range of eligible activities. Grant applicants should have the capacity to conduct a range of eligible activities, for example:
 
• Developing inventories of brownfield sites;
• Prioritizing sites;
• Conducting community involvement activities;
• Conducting environmental site assessments;
• Developing cleanup plans and reuse plans related to brownfield sites;
• Conducting cleanup activities on brownfield sites owned by the applicant; and
• Developing an overall plan for revitalization.
 
To learn more about multipurpose grants, read the guidelines here.