April 11th, 2017 Membership Notice: Identifying Questionable Emails Membership Notice: Identifying "Fake" Emails

The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB) recently received inquiries from a few members about an email they received alerting them about "new guidelines" that were available.

The email was NOT sent from PSAB.

PSAB takes steps to safeguard your information, and does not sell your contact information to any third-parties. PSAB business partners, upon request, may receive an email list so they can contact you about their products and services.You can check PSAB's website to verify if a company is a PSAB business partner, or call 800-232-7722.

Click here to download tips for identifying questionable emails.

Never forward a suspected spam email to other people. Report the email to your IT or designated staff person. If you receive an email from PSAB and you aren't sure if the email is legitimate, contact PSAB at 800-232-7722.
 
February 27th, 2017 Municipalities to Receive $466 Million for Local Roads Municipalities to Receive Nearly $466.2 Million to Invest in Local Roads, 5 Percent Increase from Previous Year
 
Pennsylvania’s far-reaching transportation plan, Act 89, will allow the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to distribute nearly $466.2 million in liquid fuels payments to certified municipalities on March 1 to help them maintain their roads and bridges.
 
This distribution marks a $20.9 million, or 5 percent, increase over the $445.3 million distributed in 2016. In 2013, before Act 89 was enacted, municipalities received $320.8 million in liquid fuels payments.
 
“The funds received through liquid fuels payments are critical to the preservation and improvement of our vast network of locally maintained roads,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “They are essential to communities for the upkeep of these vital connections to the state highway and bridge network.”
 
Liquid fuels allocations are annual payments to municipalities to help pay for expenses such as snow removal and road repaving. There are 120,091 miles of public roads in Pennsylvania, with 72,856 of those miles owned by municipalities and eligible for liquid fuels. The formula for payments is based on a municipality’s population and miles of locally-owned roads.
 
To be counted as eligible for liquid fuels, a roadway must be formally adopted as a public street by the municipality, meet certain dimension requirements, and can safely accommodate vehicles driving at least 15 mph.
 
For the complete list of local payments, visit the “Municipal Liquid Fuels Program” page at www.penndot.gov under the “Doing Business” Local Government page.
February 13th, 2017 PMPEI Train the Trainer Class PMPEI 2017 Train-the-Trainer Class
 
A “Train-the-Trainer” class is scheduled for new instructors who want to teach the PMPEI Course in Zoning. Train-the-Trainer is PMPEI’s way of preparing instructors to teach PMPEI courses by equipping them with an in-depth knowledge of the course content to ensure it will be taught consistently throughout the Commonwealth. Principles of adult education, program procedures, and presentation delivery are also part of the training.
 
The dates for the three-day intensive training program are Friday and Saturday, May 19 and 20, 2017, and Saturday, June 3, 2017. Classes will be held at the Centre Region Council of Governments Building in State College, PA. The registration fee is $150 and covers instruction, materials, all breaks, lunches, and a Friday night meal. Trainees are responsible for their transportation and lodging.
 
PMPEI instructors receive compensation for teaching, travel, plus meal expenses. Teaching assignments are made so instructors will be teaching close to where they live.
 
Citizen and professional planners, and allied professionals, with a minimum of five years’ experience in planning and zoning in Pennsylvania are eligible to become PMPEI Certified Instructors. If you are committed to planning education and would like to become a Certified Instructor the deadline for applying for The Course in Zoning training is May 5, 2017.
 
For an application, or more information about PMPEI and the training, contact Stanford Lembeck, AICP, at 814-237-2382, or email slembeck34@gmail.com.
 
Certification Maintenance (CM) credit may be available for AICP members attending the training.
January 26th, 2017 Are You Registered? Writing Effective Grant Proposals

Whether you’re new to grant writing, or have some experience, grant writing can be an overwhelming process. Additionally, you want your proposal to stand out from the rest. This workshop will break down the process into workable strategies to ensure a more successful outcome.

PSAB Members: $100 • Non-Members: $150
Ask about group discounts.

Schedule:
10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – lunch and breaks included
April 13 - Montgomery County
May 17 - Chester County

Agenda:
• Effective search strategies for finding grants
• Working effectively with foundations
• Responding to RFPs
• Components of an effective proposal
• Evaluation strategies and considerations
• How is your proposal reviewed?

To register for this class, click here or contact Terri Dickow at 800-232-7722, Ext. 1042 or tdickow@boroughs.org.

Inclement weather alert: In the event of inclement weather, attendees will be notified of postponements. The information will also be posted on our website.
January 20th, 2017 Gov. Wolf Declares Disaster Emergency; Tools for Officials Resources to help you deal with a snow emergency in your community.

Gov. Wolf - Proclamation of Disaster Emergency (March 13, 2017)

Travel Restrictions and PennDOT Resources (March 13, 2017)

Local Government Power for Emergency Powers And The Effects Of Declaring Disasters

PEMA EOC Damage Reporting Webinar (2014)

Form Force Account Activity Worksheet (Labor, Equipment, Materials) (PEMA)

Form for Outside Contractor and Vendor (PEMA)

FEMA Severe Storm Policy

PEMA Planning and Preparedness


Fringe Benefits Rate Components

Local Damage Assessment Form

Public Assistance Applicant Handbook







January 19th, 2017 PA Granted Extension on REAL ID Requirements PA Granted Extension on REAL ID Requirements

Pennsylvania now has until June 5 to fix state law to allow for federal REAL ID compliance. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) granted the extension in January.

The extension will allow for the PA Department of Transportation to work with the General Assembly to resolve Pennsylvania’s non-compliance during the current legislative session. DHS told state leaders that additional
extensions may be granted, as necessary, once the Commonwealth can commit to meeting all REAL ID requirements.

This extension means that on Jan. 30, Pennsylvanians will no longer face immediate access issues when entering federal facilities including military bases and nuclear power plants.

Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration and legislative leaders have been communicating about how to resolve Pennsylvania’s non-compliance due to Act 38 of 2012 and have looked at ways in which Pennsylvania can become compliant in the most cost-effective and straightforward way possible.
December 21st, 2016 2017 Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance Trainings Set The Penn State Center for Dirt and Gravel Studies has announced the dates for the 2017 Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance (ESM) Courses. To be eligible for the Dirt, Gravel and Low Volume Roads Grant Program,  the person in charge of work plan development and project implementation from the road-owning entity must have attended environmentally sensitive maintenance (ESM) training within the past five (5) calendar years. This training, and all past 2-day ESM trainings, counts as eligibility to apply for both Dirt and Gravel and (paved) Low Volume Road funds for a period of five (5) calendar years.

Click here for a list of dates in 2017.

The ESM is an intense two-day classroom session focused on providing the knowledge and tools necessary for road owners to maintain roads in a more cost-efficient and environmentally sensitive manner. The Center's holds approximately 10 ESM courses at locations around Pennsylvania every year.

The course runs form 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for two days and includes lunch. The course is free to municipal, county, and state agencies involved with PA's Dirt and Gravel Road Program.
December 13th, 2016 2017 Mileage Rate & Payroll Tax Rate Released The IRS has set the 2017 mileage reimbursement rate at 53.5 cents per mile, a decrease from the 2016 rate.

You can also access the Payroll Tax Information Worksheet for 2017. Click here.
December 12th, 2016 2017 Bidding Thresholds Released The PA Department of Labor and Industry has announced an increase in the Borough Code bidding thresholds under Act 92 of 2011. The increase of the Consumer Price Index-Urban for the past 12 months was 1.5 percent. Therefore, the bidding thresholds effective Jan. 1, 2017 are as follows:

Any contract or purchase under $10,700 requires no formal bidding or telephonic quotations. 
 
Contracts or purchases in the amount of or greater than $10,700  and less than $19,700 require three telephonic or written/e-mail quotations. 
 
Any contract or purchase of or greater than $19,700 require the formal public bidding process as prescribed in Section 1402 of the Borough Code. 
 
More information can be found in the PA Bulletin. Click here.
 
December 2nd, 2016 Federal Disaster Funding Announced for October Flooding Governor Tom Wolf today announced that the federal government has granted his request for federal disaster assistance to reimburse state agencies, county, and municipal governments and other eligible private non-profits for costs associated with significant flash flooding in Bradford, Centre, Lycoming, and Sullivan counties on Oct. 21, 2016.
 
“This flooding caused considerable damage to state and local infrastructure, and the financial impact would have caused significant strain on the communities and their economies,” Wolf said. “This assistance will make a big difference in these communities that simply cannot absorb the cost of repairs.”
 
The overall estimated total costs associated with this major disaster declaration are $33.2 million, which exceeds the commonwealth’s federally-established threshold of $18.1 million. Federal reimbursement will cover up to 75 percent of county costs incurred on eligible expenses, such as costs associated with paying overtime, repairs to damaged public infrastructure, equipment rentals, materials, search and rescue operations, and opening and operating shelters. It is important to note that total costs may fluctuate as applications for assistance are reviewed at both the state and federal levels.
 
Over the coming weeks, staff from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency will hold meetings with applicants to thoroughly review all application documentation before forwarding it to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The process is expected to take several weeks, and all reimbursements are handled electronically.
November 23rd, 2016 New Law Allows for Tax Credits for Volunteer Firefighter, EMS Local Tax Credits for Volunteer Firefighters and EMS Volunteers Approved by Gov. Wolf
 
Gov. Tom Wolf recently signed into law House Bill 1683 (Act 172 of 2016), sponsored by state Rep. Ryan Warner (R-Fayette), that will allow local governments to grant fire and emergency medical services (EMS) volunteers tax credits for local taxes. 
 
The new law provides an optional tax credit program for the local earned income tax (EIT) and a 20 percent property tax credit. 
 
This tax credit program is not mandatory. Each borough can decide whether to implement the program in their community. A local government would need to enact an ordinance to implement the tax credit program. 
 
Further guidance on the tax credit program will be forthcoming from the state and PSAB, including a sample ordinance. 
 
The law takes effect Jan. 20.
November 23rd, 2016 Judge Blocks Implementation of DOL Overtime Regulations Federal Judge Blocks Implementation of DOL’s New Overtime Regulations

By Adam R. Long on November 23, 2016

In a surprising 11th-hour move, late Tuesday, November 22, 2016, a Texas federal court issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Labor’s new Fair Labor Standards Act “white-collar” overtime exemption regulations from taking effect on December 1, 2016.

U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant, who was appointed to the federal bench in 2014 by President Obama, issued the injunction stopping the DOL from implementing the new regulations.  In a case brought by 21 states against the DOL, Judge Mazzant found that the DOL acted without statutory authority when it issued regulations more than doubling the current minimum salary requirement and providing for automatic updates of the minimum salary amount every three years.

At the very least, the injunction will put on hold the effective date of the new regulations, which had been December 1.  This means that the existing FLSA regulations, with the minimum weekly salary requirement of $455, will remain the law of the land come December 1.

Employers now face considerable uncertainty.  Many employers already have made changes to employees’ salaries and overtime exempt statuses in anticipation of the new regulations taking effect next week.  Other employers have sent communications to employees announcing changes that will take effect next week, all in response to the new regulations.

However, the fate of the new regulations is now in serious doubt.  The Trump Administration is set to assume control of the White House in January.  While yesterday’s decision likely will be appealed by the DOL, it is not clear whether and to what extent the Trump DOL will pursue the appeal and continue to defend the regulations’ validity in court.

As a result of yesterday’s injunction, it now appears that the new regulations will not take effect on December 1.  What lies ahead for the regulations is less clear, creating frustrating uncertainty for employers and employees alike.

Adam Long is an attorney with McNees Wallace and Nurick, LLC. This article is posted with permission.
November 21st, 2016 DEP Unveils Interactive Map to Assist Boroughs with MS4 Permits The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has developed a new geospatial information system (GIS) mapping website to help local governments and other entities pursuing permits for municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) to obtain information for their permit applications more easily.

Municipalities in an urbanized area (as determined by the latest Decennial Census by the U.S. Census Bureau) must obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit coverage or a waiver for stormwater discharges from their MS4.

Small MS4s are required to develop and implement DEP-specified pollution reduction plans for most discharges to streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds that have been identified as impaired by the DEP Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report.

The new MS4 requirements GIS website gives municipalities with regulated small MS4s an interactive, georeferenced map that visually integrates urbanized areas, waterways flowing through and near those areas, and pollutant reduction responsibilities that municipalities may need to address for waterways that are impaired and receive stormwater discharges from their MS4s.

The new MS4 GIS website is a great supplement to the MS4 Requirements Table of the specific requirements for the MS4 application.


October 31st, 2016 Borough News Magazine Honored at National Folio Awards Borough News Magazine Honored at National Folio Awards
 
The Borough News Magazine, a publication of the PA State Association of Boroughs, was recognized with an honorable mention at the annual Folio: Magazine Eddie and Ozzie Awards held Oct. 31 in New York City. This is the largest and most inclusive awards program of its kind in the magazine publishing industry.
 
The Eddies recognize excellence in magazine editorial and the Ozzies recognize excellence in magazine design. The Folio: team, along with a prestigious panel of 300 judges, recognized the redesign of the Borough News Magazine in the Association/Non-Profit category. Almost 3,000 entries were received.
 
Graphtech is the Borough News' publication partner.

This is the first nomination for the Borough News Magazine at the Folio Awards. Other honorees included Baltimore Magazine, AARP, Better Homes and Gardens, and National Geographic Kids.
October 20th, 2016 Member Notice: Cellular Tower Placements in Public Rights-of-Way Member Notice: Cellular Tower Placements in Public Rights-of-Way
 
Members in various counties have contacted the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB) about visits or other communication from representatives of cellular tower companies informing them that they intend to place cellular towers in the borough’s right-of-way access.
 
Reports to PSAB have also indicated that these companies tell officials that the borough cannot regulate the industry’s placement of cellular towers, and are ignoring municipal zoning regulations.
 
Furthermore, company representatives argue that they have an ordinance which was endorsed by PSAB. Please note that PSAB has not endorsed any ordinances.  Any pronouncement by outside industry representatives claiming that PSAB has endorsed any ordinance regarding the placement of cellular towers is inaccurate.
 
These matters should be addressed to your borough solicitor. PSAB cannot dispense legal advice.
 
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 states that local governments cannot “prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting wireless facilities,” but also preserves local zoning authority over the “placement, construction, and modification of wireless facilities.”
 
Read the November Borough News for more information on zoning regulations your municipality should consider when addressing wireless facilities in the public right-of-ways.
October 7th, 2016 New Regulations of Shale Drilling Take Effect
New Regulations of Shale Drilling Take Effect
Chapter 78A regulations strengthen water protections and improve public data access

New Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulations on unconventional gas drilling will be published in the October 8, 2016 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin and become effective upon publication. The new rules regulate unconventional drilling practices and hydraulic fracturing, as well as related activities. DEP has worked extensively with the natural gas industry to prepare for smooth adoption of the new requirements, which will help protect Pennsylvania’s air, water, natural resources as well as the health of residents.
 “These regulations are a long time in coming and have undergone one of the most transparent and participatory processes ever overseen by DEP,” said Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “The final result is a set of regulations that increase protection for public resources and water supplies, improve data transparency, enhance access to relevant information for the public, and help provide business certainty to the industry.”

 The new rules, which have been under development since 2011, are the first modernization of the Commonwealth’s oil and gas surface regulations since the implementation of new horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques to capture natural gas from Pennsylvania's shale deposits.

Many of the changes to the regulations were made to comply with the 2012 Oil and Gas Act (known as Act 13). Among the changes to the current regulations:
  • Improved protections of public resources: DEP can require additional protective measures if drilling would be near school property and playgrounds, parks, forests, and other public resources.
  • Strengthened water supply restoration standards: If oil and gas development degrades a water supply, the operator must restore or replace the supply with one that meets Safe Drinking Water Act standards or is as good as pre-drilling conditions if the water supply was better than the Drinking Water Act standards.
  • Electronic filing: In order to more efficiently track well development and operations, and to provide better public access to drilling data, operators will be required to submit electronic forms rather than paper.
“DEP heard from thousands of citizens across multiple comment periods and a dozen public hearings, as well numerous meetings with industry representatives, and the regulations have been improved as a result. We are very proud of the regulations we are putting into effect,” said McDonnell. “These regulations codify many of the common industry practices to create some of the most protective regulations in the nation and ensure safe development of this important resource.”

The final regulations can be found in the Pennsylvania Bulletin here: http://www.pabulletin.com/index.asp 

Training sessions and information for oil and gas operators on complying with the new regulations has already begun – for more information and to view previous webinars, please click here: http://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/Energy/OilandGasPrograms/OilandGasMgmt/Public-Resources/Pages/Oil-and-Gas-Surface-Regulations.aspx
October 5th, 2016 $336 Million Released for Pensions, Volunteer Firefighters Auditor General DePasquale Announces Release of $336.5 Million in Aid for Municipal Pensions, Volunteer Firefighters Statewide 

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said he has released $336.5 million in municipal pension and volunteer firefighter relief association funds, which will help support emergency services and retirement plans for those who dedicated their careers to public service.

“These funds help volunteer firefighters be prepared to save lives and to protect property in communities across the state,” DePasquale said. “The money will be used to purchase life-saving equipment, fund critical training and provide insurance for thousands of volunteer firefighters and emergency service providers.

“The pension aid is critical to help municipalities maintain retirement funds for our dedicated police officers, firefighters and other public servants.”

As part of the 2016 allocation, 2,506 volunteer firefighter relief associations in 66 counties received $65.5 million in fire relief association funding.

Another $271 million in state pension aid went to 1,482 local government pension plans, including police, paid firefighters and municipal workers.

“Many communities rely on this pension funding to meet their retirement obligations. This money helps the tens of thousands of people who dedicated their lives to serving their communities,” DePasquale said, noting that the funding was distributed before the Oct. 1 deadline as the department finalized absorbing the work of the now-defunct Public Employee Retirement Commission (PERC).

The former commission’s duties for municipal pension reporting and analysis were fully transitioned to the newly created Municipal Pension Reporting Program (MPRP) within the Department of the Auditor General’s Office of Budget and Financial Management, effective Aug. 1.

“Without the state aid some municipalities would not be able to meet their pension obligations and could incur additional interest expenses,” DePasquale said. “The smooth transition of PERC duties ensured the funding went out to municipalities on time. We are already working to modernize and streamline the former commission’s work to maximize its effectiveness.”

The state municipal pension and volunteer firefighter relief association aid comes from a 2 percent tax on out-of-state casualty and fire insurance premiums. The Department of the Auditor General distributes the funds to municipalities for police, paid firefighter and municipal employee pension plans. The volunteer firefighter relief association funds are allocated from municipalities to various volunteer firefighter relief associations designated to serve their communities. 

The Department of the Auditor General audits volunteer firefighter relief associations and local government pension plans. A report detailing the amount of state pension aid distributed to each municipality and funding for VFRAs is available online at www.PaAuditor.gov.

Reports, data, and documents for municipalities formerly located on the PERC website are now available online at: www.PaAuditor.gov, under the “News and Resources” tab.
September 20th, 2016 Act 205 Reporting Forms Officially Transitioned

The Public Employee Retirement Commission (PERC) was abolished by Act 100 of 2016, and the former commission’s duties relating to municipal pension reporting and analysis under Act 205 of 1984 and Act 293 of 1972 were transferred to the Department of the Auditor General.

Effective August 1, 2016, the duties were fully transitioned to the newly created Municipal Pension Reporting Program (MPRP) within the Department of the Auditor General’s Office of Budget and Financial Management.

All reports, data and documents available online for municipalities will be moved to www.PaAuditor.gov. Additionally, moving forward, all submissions to the program will be sent to the Department of the Auditor General, Municipal Pension Reporting Program, 321 Finance Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120.

The Department is in the process of creating an online portal for the electronic submission of materials, as well as a policy statement for guidance and will provide appropriate notice when these two initiatives are complete.

Persons with questions should contact the Program at 717-787-3636.

The PERC website is no longer being maintained.

September 20th, 2016 Act 10: Expansion of Permitted Investments Overview

PLGIT has compiled an overview of Act 10 of 2016 which expands permitted investments for local governments.

Click here to learn more.
August 19th, 2016 PSAB Testimony Before PUC on First Energy Rate Increase PSAB Executive Director Chris Cap testified before the Public Utility Commission opposing First Energy's request for a rate increase that would cumulatively carry a $439 million rate increase across a wide service area of PA.

Click here to read the entire testimony.

August 17th, 2016 Auditor General Says Municipal Pension Aid on Schedule Auditor General DePasquale Says Municipal Pension Aid on Schedule
Transition of duties from now defunct Public Employee Retirement Commission nearly complete

HARRISBURG –Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today said that state pension aid to municipalities will be distributed before the Oct. 1 deadline because the transition of duties from the now defunct Public Employee Retirement Commission (PERC) is nearly complete.

“Municipalities across the state rely on the annual state aid to support the pension plans for their police, firefighter and nonuniformed employees,” DePasquale said. “Without the state aid some municipalities would not be able to meet their pension obligations and could incur additional interest expenses.”

State pension aid for police, firefighters and nonuniformed municipal employee pensions is provided from a 2 percent tax on out-of-state casualty insurance premiums, a portion of the out-of-state fire insurance tax designated for paid firefighters, and any investment income earned on the collection of these taxes.

“Last year, my office dispersed more than $250 million in state pension aid to 2,600 municipalities,” he said. “Municipal leaders can count on my office to deliver the aid before Oct. 1 even as we implement changes to make the municipal pension aid process more efficient.”

Act 100 of 2016 dissolves the PERC and transfers the powers and duties related to municipal pension aid to the Department of the Auditor General. Early next month the duties will be fully transitioned to the newly created Municipal Pension Reporting Program. Reports, data and documents available online for municipalities will be moved to: www.PaAuditor.gov.
August 8th, 2016 PSAB Member Alert: Act 39 in Effect PSAB Member Alert:

Please be aware that Act 39 of 2016 which overhauls the state’s liquor system for the first time in 80 years takes effect today, Aug. 8, 2016.  This means that you may begin to see restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, or other outlets that were previously not permitted to do so to begin selling six packs of beer and wine for the first time.

Below is a summary of provisions to the new law which were passed when Gov. Tom Wolf signed HB 1690 into law in June. 

This new law – which passed with bipartisan support in June – includes the following changes to PA’s liquor laws:

• Removes Sunday restrictions and state-mandated holidays
 
• Provides options for flexible pricing to allow state stores to offer special discounts and sales
 
• Allows about 14,000 holders of takeout beer licenses to be able to sell up to four bottles of wine to a customer. The sales would be by licensed restaurants, bars, hotels, supermarkets, and delis
 
• Allows restaurants and hotels to sell up to four bottles of wine for take-out
 
• Allows grocery stores that currently sell beer to sell up to four bottles of wine
 
• Allows for direct shipments of wine to people’s homes
 
• And makes permanent gas stations’ ability to sell six packs
 
• Allows casinos to sell alcohol 24 hours a day
 
• Allows state stores more flexibility in choosing what inventory to carry
 
For a summary of all changes, visit the PA Liquor Control Board’s website, or click here.
July 20th, 2016 Office of Open Records Updates Website Office of Open Records Reorganizes Website       

The state Office of Open Records (OOR) has updated its website, www.openrecords.pa.gov.  Users can continue to find all of the same information that’s always been available, but nothing has been removed.

A couple of updates include a new online form to fill out when you file an appeal with the OOR. Executive Director Erik Arneson said the goal of this new form is to save everyone time and to help ensure that you submit all of the required information. When you click “submit,” your appeal is instantly transmitted to the OOR. If you enter a valid email address, you’ll also receive a copy by email for your own records.

If you prefer using a .PDF or Word version of the appeal form, those are still available. Just scroll to the bottom of the page. Appeals can also be submitted without using the OOR’s form, though that is not recommended.

You can now sign up for email notifications from the OOR. A daily digest of every Final Determination is issued by the OOR, or a more general newsletter, which will be sent about once a month, with updates from the OOR.

Searching prior Final Determinations for Court decisionscan be extremely helpful for many reasons. The new search has been updated to make updated easier. You can search by Docket Number, Date, Description, Status, Legal Issyes, etc.

Arneson said if users have ideas to make it better, send an email to earneson@pa.gov.
July 18th, 2016 Governor's Center Releases Guide for Local Officials Governor's Center Releases One-Stop Shop Guide for Services for Local Government Officials

Click here to download the guide.
July 6th, 2016 100 Member Municipalities Enrolled in Energy Procurement Program          logo                                                              

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Contact:
Jennifer Steward, Communication Manager
800-520-6685

The Number of Member Municipalities Enrolled in the Energy Procurement Program Tops 100
 
Salisbury, MD, July 5, 2016—The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB) announced today that there are more than 100 municipalities enrolled in the Energy Procurement Program with APPI Energy.

“PSAB is committed to providing relevant member benefit tools and this successful program continues to grow, month after month. Some of the newest member enrollments into the program include, but are not limited to, the Boroughs of Carlisle and Steelton, and Ridgway Borough,” said Jeff Heishman, PSAB Deputy Executive Director.

“Every day, APPI Energy identifies the wide range of energy supplier prices across the Commonwealth, and the lowest prices available among reliable, competing suppliers,” said Walter Moore, President and CEO of APPI Energy. APPI Energy reviews thousands of electricity and natural gas prices every day to deliver data-driven solutions, and true apples-to-apples comparisons.

“Recommendations to PSAB members regarding when to buy energy, and which contract length is best, are based on extensive data analytics and 20 years of transaction experience,” said Moore.

This includes evaluation of current supply contracts, proprietary price analytics, energy tariff analysis, regulatory tracking, and complete customer service.

To learn more about the Energy Procurement Program, click here.

###
July 5th, 2016 PSAB Members: 2016 Directory Available The 2016 Membership Directory is now available here.

The 2016 Membership Directory is available to:
  • PSAB Members
  • PSAB Business Partners
  • PSAB Municipal Associates
The directory is password protected. All borough managers, administrators, municipal associates, and the primary contact for business partners were emailed the password to access the directory. Borough officials should contact your administrator or click here to request a login.
June 27th, 2016 FAA Releases Drone Guidelines for Business Use On June 21, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued regulations for work or business use for unmanned aircraft vehicle (UAV) or drones weighing up to 55 pounds. The regulations take effect on Aug. 1, 2016.

Click here to learn more.
June 22nd, 2016 PUC Announces $188 Million Distribution of Gas Drilling Impact Fees

PUC Details $188 Million Distribution of Gas Drilling Impact Fees; Total Fee Distribution Now Tops $1 Billion

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) posted detailed information about this year’s distribution of Impact Fees on natural gas producers, totaling $187,711,700, on the PUC’s interactive Act 13 website.

Over the past five years, the PUC has collected and distributed more than $1 billion in Impact Fees to communities across Pennsylvania.

County and municipal governments directly affected by drilling will receive a total of $101,800,020 for the 2015 disbursement year. Additionally, $67,866,680 will be placed into the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which provides financial support for environmental, highway, water and sewer projects, rehabilitation of greenways and other projects throughout the state. Also, $18 million will be distributed to state agencies specified by the Act.

The PUC has forwarded the information for payment and expects checks to be mailed prior to July 1, 2016.

This year’s distribution is approximately $35.8 million lower than last year, driven by a reduction in the price of natural gas – which resulted in a $5,000 per well reduction in the fee paid this year, along with the increasing age of many wells, which also reduces the per-well fee. This decline has resulted in funding changes for many individual municipalities, as detailed on the PUC’s Act 13 site.

Extensive details regarding the Impact Fee distribution are available online, including specifics on funds collected and distributed for each year since 2011. Visitors can search and download statistics such as distributions to individual municipalities or counties; allocation and usage of those funds, based on reports submitted by various municipalities; eligible wells per county/municipality; and payments by producers.

The PUC’s responsibility is responsible for implementing the imposition, collection and distribution of an unconventional gas well fee (also called a drilling impact fee) was established by the Unconventional Gas Well Impact Fee Act, signed into law as Act 13 of 2012.

 

 

 

June 7th, 2016 PSAB Honors More than 150 Individuals and Boroughs
PSAB Honors More than 150 Individuals and Boroughs
Services Awards, Council Member of the Year, Borough News Awards Presented

Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB) announced the recipients of the Association’s prestigious service awards at PSAB’s 105th Annual Conference at the Hershey Lodge on Tues., June 7. Awards were presented by PSAB President Jack Lawver and Awards Committee Chairman Tom Oliverio, who is also a Past President of the Association. In total, more than 150 individuals and boroughs were honored.

Click Here for More Details
April 26th, 2016 2016 Dirt Gravel and Low Volume Road Fact Sheet Available Click here to access the Municipal Fact Sheet about the Dirt, Gravel and Low Volume Road Program.

Click here for a list of county conservation districts and contact information.

Click here for ESM Training Dates for 2016.
March 28th, 2016 PennDOT Brochure Outlines Funding Sources for Boroughs Click here to view PennDOT's new funding brochure. February 29th, 2016 PennDOT Announces Liquid Fuels Payments to Local Governments Municipalities to Receive Nearly $445.3 Million in Liquid Fuels Payments, 16 Percent Increase from Previous Year
 
Pennsylvania's transportation plan, Act 89, will allow the  Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to distribute nearly $445.3 million in liquid fuels payments to certified municipalities on March 1 to help them maintain their roads and bridges.
 
This distribution marks a $64 million, or 16 percent, increase over the $381 million distributed in 2015. In 2013, before Act 89 was enacted, municipalities received $320.8 million in liquid fuels payments.
 
"While Pennsylvania has the fifth-largest state-maintained road system in the country, we also have a vast network of locally maintained roads," PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. "These funds are essential to communities across the state as they preserve and improve these vital connections to the state highway and bridge network."
 
Liquid fuels allocations are annual payments to municipalities to help pay for highway and bridge-related expenses such as snow removal and road repaving.
 
There are 120,039 miles of public roads in Pennsylvania, with 72,759 of those miles owned by municipalities and eligible for liquid fuels. The formula for payments is based on a municipality's population and miles of locally-owned  roads.
 
To be counted as eligible for liquid fuels, a roadway must be formally adopted as a public street by the municipality, meet certain dimension requirements, and be able to safely accommodate vehicles driving at least 15 miles per hour.
 
For the complete list of local payments, click here.
 
February 25th, 2016 PLCB Returns Licensing Fees to 412 Boroughs The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) announced the return of almost $2 million in licensing fees to 1,103 municipalities in which licensees are located.

Twice a year, as required by law, the PLCB returns liquor license fees paid by PLCB-approved licensees to the municipalities that are home to those liquor licenses. Municipalities have flexibility in allocating and spending the returned license fees to meet local needs.

The PLCB oversees the regulation of more than 15,000 liquor licenses statewide, including restaurants, clubs and hotels. Licensees pay liquor license fees ranging from $125 to $700, depending on the type of license and the population of the municipality in which the license is located, as part of the annual license renewal or validation process, as well as in conjunction with approval of certain new applications.

The current dispersal period represents fees paid from Aug. 1, 2015, to Jan. 31, 2016. In all, 43 cities, 412 boroughs and 648 townships received funds ranging from $25 to $906,250.

Click here for the list of license fee distributions by municipality.

Over the last five years, the PLCB has returned more than $22.4 million in licensing fees to local municipalities.

The PLCB regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol in Pennsylvania, operates more than 600 wine and spirits stores statewide and licenses more than 20,000 beverage alcohol producers and retailers. The PLCB also works to reduce and prevent dangerous and underage drinking through partnerships with schools, community groups and licensees. Taxes and store profits – totaling more than $14.5 billion since the agency's inception – are returned to Pennsylvania's General Fund, and the PLCB also provides financial support for the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, other state agencies and local municipalities across the state. For more information about the PLCB, visit www.lcb.state.pa.us.

February 25th, 2016 PUC Highlights Recommendations from Pipeline Task Force The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) highlighted numerous key safety recommendations included in the Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force (PITF or Task Force) report which was presented to Governor Tom Wolf.

“Ensuring the reliability and soundness of our statewide energy infrastructure is a major concern for the PUC, and we are pleased that the Task Force took the time to closely examine these unique issues,” said PUC Chairman Gladys M. Brown, who led the Pipeline Safety and Integrity Workgroup.

Key safety recommendations advanced by the PITF include:

  • Designating the PUC to enforce the Pennsylvania One Call system and Pennsylvania’s Underground Utility Line Protection Law, with a goal of reducing the number of “hits” on underground pipelines;
  • Annual leak surveys on all existing or new pipelines, including the expansion of the leak-detection surveys to include Class 1 gathering lines and production lines outside the well pad;
  • Accelerated leak repairs, including the scheduling of repairs on all classes of leaks;
  • Establishment of a centralized mapping system for use by emergency responders, along with a public portal for accessing mapping information; and
  • Creation of a website providing access to all publicly available pipeline inspection information. 

“We are encouraged by increased public discussion of these important safety issues,” said Chairman Brown. “We look forward to working with the Governor’s Office, the General Assembly and other stakeholders to begin putting these measures into action to further safeguard our vital infrastructure.”

Chairman Brown noted that the full PITF report includes more than 180 recommendations, touching on a range of issues including agriculture, conservation & natural resources, county government, emergency preparedness, environmental protection, historical/cultural/tribal, local government, natural gas end use, public participation, siting and routing and workforce/economic development.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

For recent news releases and video of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit www.puc.pa.gov.

January 15th, 2016 Ordering Copies of the Borough Code If you wish to order copies of the new Title 8 Borough Code in the PA Consolidated Statutes, you have two options to choose from.

1) You may purchase copies from the PA State Bookstore.  The copies are $12 per book. Please visit this website to order from the State Bookstore. 
 
2) You may choose to purchase your Borough Codes from the Legislative Reference Bureau which comes with a “subscription” to future updates.  These updates must be purchased when updates are available, but they will notify and send you the updates whereas the purchase from the State Bookstore will not. 
 
To become a subscriber to Title 8 from the LRB, send a letter to:
 
Carole Hammaker
Legislative Reference Bureau
PA Consolidated Statutes
642 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: 717-783-1960
 
or fax 717-787-3341
 
Requests should be on letterhead, indicate the number of copies/subscriptions, contact name and phone number, and address to which the copies should be sent. In addition, when supplements are prepared as a result of amendatory acts to Title 8, boroughs will also need to purchase the supplements. The cost for Title 8 with a subscription will be $11 per copy.
 
November 5th, 2015 Update on Property Tax Collector Training
Act 48-2015 has changed the Act 164-2014 training requirements. 
 
 
Effective immediately, incumbent tax collectors will not have to take six (6) credits of training. Instead, beginning on January 1, 2017, incumbent tax collectors will have to take two (2) credits of training before the end of their four-year term of office. Any training credits earned during 2015 will be credited to your account beginning January 1, 2017. Read more detail about Act 48 at newPA.com.
 
 
Here is a summary of how Act 48 affects incumbent tax collectors:
  • Eliminates the mandatory continuing education requirement for tax collectors effective December 31, 2016. In the interim, the basic training and continuing education programs for tax collectors are voluntary.
  • Requires a basic training program and examination for newly elected tax collectors beginning January 1, 2017. Upon successful completion of the basic training program and exam, a newly elected tax collector will be issued a "qualified tax collector" certification by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), and will be eligible to take office.
  • Establishes that individuals holding the office of tax collector after the effective date of January 1, 2017, shall be known as "qualified tax collectors."
  • Clarifies that an individual who is elected as a tax collector for the term of office beginning January 1, 2016, is required to submit a criminal history report to the municipality for which the tax collector was elected before taking the oath of office.
  • Establishes that an individual running for a second or subsequent term of tax collector is not required to file a criminal history record check with his nominating petitions or papers.
  • With exceptions for county treasurers and neighboring tax collectors, within thirty days of being appointed to fill a vacancy in the office of tax collector, the appointee shall provide a criminal history check to each taxing district serviced by that tax collector. If the appointee has not been a resident of the commonwealth for the two years immediately preceding the appointment, then the individual shall provide a federal criminal history check to each taxing district served by that tax collector.
  • Requires a tax collector's surety bond to cover all taxes collected by a deputy tax collector.
  • Specifies that a deputy tax collector shall collect taxes through the duration of an incapacitation of the tax collector, unless the taxing district determines that collection by the county treasurer or a neighboring tax collector is necessary.
  • Requires an appointed deputy tax collector be approved by the municipality for which a tax collector was elected.
  • Requires renewal of qualification be completed prior to the tax collector's final year in office. If the tax collector fails to complete the continuing education requirements, the tax collector shall be deemed ineligible to be placed on the ballot at the end of the tax collector's current term of office.
September 29th, 2015 Right to Know Handbook Available for Open Records Officers The Office of Open Records recently released a new guidebook for open records officers (ORO). The new publication provides a general overview of the Right to Know Law requirements for an ORO, and it includes information about receiving a request, processing a request, and handling responses and appeals. It also contains sample forms and templates. To download a copy, click here. August 21st, 2015 APPI Cautions Customers Against Electricity Scams APPI Cautions Customers Against Electricity Scams
APPI Energy, the endorsed energy provider of the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs, is warning consumers about an increasing number of scams involving electricity supply contract negotiations. Customers that engage with assertive salespeople risk exposure to early termination without their consent. “Slamming” occurs when a misleading salesperson obtains a customer’s account information without consent. For tips to prevent early electricity supply termination, click here.
August 19th, 2015 Public Can Use Phones to Photograph Public Records for Free Public Can Use Phones to Photograph Public Records for Free

The state’s Office of Open Records ruled on Fri., Aug. 14 that government agencies cannot charge fees if people requesting public records want to use a smartphone to photograph the records they are reviewing. The ruling applies to any agency subject to the Right to Know law. For more information, call the Office of Open Records at 717-346-9903. To read the ruling, click here.
June 26th, 2015 PA Court Rejects Law on Municipal Gun Ordinances PA Court Rejects Law on Municipal Gun Ordinances
 
A law (Act 192 of 2014) that permitted membership organizations to sue municipalities over local gun ordinances that are stricter than state law is unconstitutional, Commonwealth Court ruled on Thurs., June 25.
 
The 2014 law granted legal standing to membership organizations to sue over local gun laws and collect legal fees and other costs if they won. Under the law, gun owners no longer had to show they were harmed by an ordinance in order to challenge it, and it let membership organizations sue on behalf of any PA resident.
 
The decision may be appealed before the PA Supreme Court.
 
April 16th, 2015 Boroughs Honored with Local Government Excellence Awards

Department of Community and Economic Development Acting Secretary Dennis Davin recognized municipalities and local government officials for their dedication and commitment to strengthen their communities and better serve their residents.

"Today's events are a celebration of successful local government initiatives that have produced positive impacts within Pennsylvania's local communities," Davin said. "Governor Wolf's budget has proposed significant investments to support community revitalization and growth initiatives. With his support I have no doubt that our communities will continue to thrive and remain shining examples of the government that works initiative."

Eight communities and eight government officials from across the commonwealth received awards honoring their service today as part of the 19th Annual Governor's Awards for Local Government Excellence.

In partnership with the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs, Pennsylvania Association of Councils of Governments, PA Chapter of American Planning Association, Pennsylvania State Association of Township Commissioners, Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association, Pennsylvania Municipal League, and the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, DCED's Center for Local Government Services sponsors Local Government Day annually to honor local governments and officials who serve their communities and improve quality of life.

The Honorable Kathleen DePuy, Councilmember, Whitehall Borough, Allegheny County, and PSAB's immediate past president, was recognized for her dedication to local government service.

The following boroughs and organizations were also recognized:

Building Community Partnership: The Borough of Dormont, Allegheny County developed a collaborative partnership between residents and borough council to communicate, demonstrate and address stormwater management issues. The partnership supported community education efforts and increased support of their stormwater management plan.  

Responding to Adversity: Southern York County Emergency Medical Services was created to address public safety needs after advanced life support services were discontinued in a region of York County. Faced with a series of logistical, practical and financial challenges, six municipalities and their local fire and ambulance companies worked together to develop the new emergency medical service.

Promoting Community/Economic Revitalization: Borough of Heidelberg, Allegheny County in partnership with Carnegie Borough and Scott Township, developed a strategic redevelopment initiative to construct a 1.5 mile streetscape project to rebuild their core business districts, some of which were destroyed by Hurricane Ivan.

Intergovernmental Cooperation: Lancaster Inter-Municipal Committee has demonstrated its commitment to building working partnerships by collaborating with a local educational agency to facilitate multi-municipal endeavors including the regional Stormwater Outfall Mapping project.

Information Technology: Borough of Tarentum, Allegheny County developed a sustainable information system to comprehensively manage and monitor the Borough's electric and water utility systems. Through the technological upgrades, the Borough has been able to achieve significant reductions in energy consumption and maintenance costs while increasing capabilities of the utility management and information systems.

 

March 9th, 2015 Local Government Guide to Pipelines Available This guide, published by the Pipeline Safety Trust, is written for those involved with local government to provide basic information about the pipeline system.

Click here to download the publication.
January 13th, 2015 E-Filing Required for DCED Forms in 2015 In continuing efforts to make filing documents and forms with the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) more efficient and convenient, DCED is now in the final phase of a four-phase plan to convert to an e-filing system. Starting in 2015, all municipalities and counties are required to submit forms electronically to DCED. These forms include:
  • 2015 Tax Information Form (TIF)
  • 2015 Report of Elected and Appointed Officials (EAO)
  • 2014 Survey of Financial Condition Form (SOFC)
  • 2014 Annual Financial Report (AFR)
Independent auditors/CPAs, and accountants charged with filing the 2014 Annual Financial Report (AFR) due April 1, 2015, are also required to e-file.

Registered E-filers
If you have already registered to e-file with the DCED, please go to newPA.com/links/efiling and enter your existing username and password, and click "Log In."

New E-filers
You may register online by going to newPA.com/links/efiling and clicking “Register” in the lower left corner of the login page and completing a brief registration form. Upon completion of the online registration process, please print the authorization form and have it signed by the appropriate municipal official and fax the completed form to DCED at 717.783.1402. Once DCED receives your faxed authorization form, your e-filing privileges will be activated.

An existing PA Powerport user with username and password

If you have a PA Powerport username and password from other online state systems, you will use it for DCED filing. To register with Municipal Statistics, visit newPA.com/links/efiling and click “Log In” in the lower right corner of the login page after entering your PA Powerport username and password. You will automatically be directed to the registration page. Please follow the directions for “New E-filers” outlined above.

Please Note - In order to function correctly, the Municipal Statistics website requires the following:
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later (not compatible with other web browsers)
  • Pop-ups, JavaScript and cookies must be enabled.
  • You may e-file from any computer with Internet Explorer.
Please feel free to call the Governor's Center for Local Government Services toll-free at 888.223.6837 if you have any questions.
October 31st, 2014 Boroughs Receive Grants to Improve Safety Boroughs Receive Funding to Improve Mobility, Safety with Act 89 Multimodal, Transit Funds

Boroughs across Pennsylvania received $84 million in grants to improve safety and mobility. The grants come from the Multimodal Transportation Fund investments from Act 89, the state’s transportation plan that was enacted in November 2013.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is also investing $7.2 million in Act 89 transit funding for five transit projects that applied for multimodal funding. These grants were made possible by Act 89, which increased transit funding and established dedicated multimodal funding for aviation, passenger rail, rail freight, port and bicycle-pedestrian projects. The project funding comes from three state fiscal years of Act 89 investments.

PennDOT evaluated the applications and made selections based on such criteria as safety benefits, regional economic conditions, the technical and financial feasibility, job creation, energy efficiency and operational sustainability. The projects require a 30-percent match from local sources.

For more information about the program, visit www.dot.state.pa.us and click on Multimodal Transportation.

Adams County
Gettysburg Borough – $495,192 to relocate utility poles, install light fixtures, street furniture and a bus shelter, and complete landscaping on the Steinwehr Avenue Corridor.

Allegheny County
Aspinwall Riverfront Park, Aspinwall Borough – $921,453 to realign the entry of the park to the Brilliant Avenue intersection, replace existing traffic signals, configure a four-way intersection, and construct a westbound left turn lane and pedestrian lane.

CSX Transportation, Inc., McKees Rocks Borough – $1.1 million to improve the intersection of Route 51 (Island Avenue) and Michael Alley/Cutler Street, including the construction of additional roadway, installation of a traffic signal, and the addition of a center turn lane.

Three Rivers Marine & Rail Terminals, LP, Glassport Borough – $243,750 for the design and construction of five quad tie cells for barge mooring at the Glassport Terminal located on the Monongahela River and the CSX Railroad.

Armstrong County
Kittanning Borough – $3 million for traffic signal upgrades, curb extensions, improved pedestrian crossings, new pedestrian signal equipment, and coordinating all traffic signals along Market Street.

Beaver County
Monaca Borough – $261,000 to make improvements to accommodate vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles on a 10-block segment of Monaca’s main downtown corridor, Pennsylvania Avenue, and to construct a 2.4-mile segment of the Ohio River Greenway Trail along Pennsylvania Avenue.

Colona Transfer, LP, Monaca Borough – $1.9 million for upgrades to river cells, dock, and rail turnouts and rehabilitation of track for the Colona Transfer facility originally built in the early 1930s.

Georgetown Sand & Gravel, Inc., Georgetown Borough – $994,555 to add 18 quad ties to the riverside to enhance barge fleeting, clear a portion of the 75-acre property to trans-load additional products, and develop a barge repair and cleaning facility.

Berks County
Sinking Spring Borough – $783,805 to reconstruct and realign the intersection of Penn Avenue, Columbia Avenue, and Cacoosing Avenue.

Bucks County
New Hope Borough  – $126,700 to design and construct pedestrian improvements along Route 32 (Main Street) at W. Parry Street, Ferry Street, Mechanic Street and a midblock crossing between Coryell/Waterloo Street and Mechanic Street.

Centre County
State College Borough – $160,000 to construct a multi-use trail and install associated signage from the West End neighborhood (West College Avenue), linking the existing bike routes to a multi-use path that connects to The Pennsylvania State University.

Chester County
Malvern Borough – $160,000 to provide transit pedestrian access routes for riders of the SEPTA Regional Rail Station located in the center of the Borough, including upgrading the traffic signals at the King Street/Warren Avenue intersection to Accessible Pedestrian Signals, completing the sidewalk network on North Warren Avenue from King Street to Pennsylvania Avenue, and installing LED signal heads and overhead street name signs.

Cumberland County
Carlisle Borough  – $1.5 million to replace the five-way intersection at Fairgrounds Avenue, Penn Street and North Hanover Street with a modernized roundabout or install a traffic signal to improve traffic flow and support the mixed-use redevelopment of three brownfield properties in the borough.

Camp Hill Borough – $424,000 to pave 38,657 square yards of municipal streets.

Franklin County
Chambersburg Health Services, Chambersburg Borough - $2.4 million to extend St. Paul Drive to connect with Parkwood Drive, extend Parkwood Drive to connect with the Kohler Road and Grand Point Road intersection in Greene Township, in addition to improvements to Norland and Fifth Avenues in Chambersburg Borough.

Waynesboro Borough – $500,000 to resurface a one-quarter-mile segment of Welty Road, which serves as a southern bypass route, and the reconstruction of Fairview Avenue, a heavily utilized access road for truck drivers, residents, and buses in the borough.

Indiana County
Homer City Borough – $497,656 to install new ADA-compliant sidewalks and curb ramps, stamped concrete crosswalks, and decorative lighting and replace overgrown trees with dwarf trees on Main Street and Oakland Avenue.

Lancaster County
Denver Borough – $227,405 to replace 344 existing streetlights with LED streetlights to provide a brighter, environmentally friendly system which will be more energy efficient, cost less to operate, have minimal maintenance costs, and improve pedestrian safety.

Lebanon County
Lebanon County Commissioners/Lebanon County Planning Department, Cornwall Borough – $90,652 to construct a 19-space trailhead/park-and-ride lot at Alden Place along PA Route 117.

Lehigh County
Emmaus Borough – $238,777 to replace the 10th Street culvert, associated sidewalks and street with the addition of a pedestrian/bicycle lane.

Luzerne County
Forty Fort Borough – $825,306 for traffic signal upgrades at Wyoming Avenue, Slocum Street, and Welles Street, improvements to sidewalks and lighting at the borough building, and the paving of 20 alleyways throughout the borough.

Northampton County
Hellertown Borough – $200,158 to complete surface and subsurface repairs on six bridges to maintain and improve multimodal interconnectivity within the borough.

Somerset County
Jennerstown Borough – $261,067 to install sidewalks to provide safe passage for school students, tourists, and other pedestrians and provide handicap access long the Route 30 (Historic Lincoln Highway).

Wayne County
Honesdale Borough - $107,000 to replace the pedestrian bridge at 6th Street that connects residential and commercial districts.

Wyoming County
Keystone College, Factoryville Borough – $1.2 million to complete pedestrian safety improvements, traffic calming, and streetscape enhancements on College Avenue to support realignment of the campus entrance.

York County
Spring Grove Borough – $500,000 for improvements along Route 116 (Main Street) and connecting streets to enhance public safety and walkability of the community, address ADA accessibility, support recreational opportunities, and revitalize the downtown area.

In addition, the following borough applied for multimodal funding and will receive Act 89 transit funding:

Montgomery County
Landsdale Borough - $2.7 million for streetscape improvements along East Main Street between Broad Street and Greenwood Road and enhancements at SEPTA’s track crossing of Main Street.
September 26th, 2014 "From Blight to Bright" Toolkit Available for Municipalities Today, communities throughout Pennsylvania are fighting to reclaim their blighted, abandoned lands. The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania recently released a comprehensive toolkit on how to fight blight through code enforcement, demolition, rehabilitation, land banks and other tools. The manual presents the most effective tools for available to Pennsylvania’s local governments to return vacant properties to productive use. The book, and other supplemental documents and samples are available at www.housingalliancepa.org.
July 18th, 2014 PSAB Applauds Act 13 Ruling that Upholds Local Control The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB) applauded a ruling announced Thursday by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court that affirmed that municipalities may regulate the placement of oil and gas wells through zoning ordinances.
 
The newest decision eliminates the state Public Utility Commission's (PUC) enforcement powers against municipalities’ local zoning ordinances.  Enforcement measures such as gas company zoning ordinance challenges, withholding impact fee revenue from municipalities not in compliance with Act 13 and awarding of attorney and court fees were all struck down. Click here to read more on the latest decision.
 
"This ruling reaffirms that Pennsylvania’s local governments can retain local control of gas drilling land use decisions and determine what zoning ordinances are best for their individual boroughs,” said Chris Cap, PSAB Executive Director.
 
The decision clarifies a ruling made by the Supreme Court in December that struck down portions of Act 13 of 2012. The court ruled the zoning provisions of Act 13 were unconstitutional. One section of the law that was struck down called for statewide rules on oil and gas to preempt local zoning rules. Another section required local governments to allow oil and gas development in all zoning areas.
Although the Supreme Court rejected portions of Act 13, it remanded the case to Commonwealth Court to review provisions it had previously declined to consider.
 
For more information on the December ruling, click here.
June 18th, 2014 New Borough Code Effective June 18

**The NEW Borough Code is effective June 18, 2014.
Act 37 of 2014/Title 8 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes
Click here to read a summary of changes.

The “new Borough Code” is the result of many years of input from borough officials, committee members reviewing each section, assistance from the Local Government Commission, and assessment by the General Assembly.

PSAB is currently working with the Local Government Commission on providing printed copies to boroughs. More information will be available in the fall.

In the meantime, the new Borough Code (Act 37 of 2014) is available below. You can search these documents by hitting "Control" and "F" on your keyboard and entering a search word.

Click here to download the entire Borough Code in a Word Document.

Click here to download the entire Borough Code in a PDF format.

Click here to access the Borough Code via HTML.

Click here to read the Executive Summary of HB 1719.

For more information you can also visit the PA Local Government Commission website.

For more information, contact Shelley Houk, PSAB Director of Research, at 800-232-7722, Ext. 1018 or by email at shouk@boroughs.org.

May 13th, 2014 Important Notice on UC Legislative Change IMPORTANT NOTICE ON UC LEGISLATIVE CHANGE

Recently, you should have received notification on an Unemployment Compensation (UC) legislative change. (Click here to read the notice.) The information would have been mailed to you by the PA Department of Labor and Industry and  would have included the form UC-1609P – Employer information. The legislation was signed into law (Act 75 of 2013) by Governor Corbett on October 23, 2013, which states it prohibits the crediting of an employer’s unemployment account due to an overpayment of benefit because the employer, or its agent, failed to respond timely and/or adequately to a request for information. 
 
The Department of Labor and Industry will now strictly enforce the four (4) business day deadline on the form UC-44/45 and 15 calendar day deadline on form UC-44FR.
 
To assist employers in mitigating these occurrences, the Department of Labor and Industry strongly encourages the use of the form 1609P. Please see below which form you should use.

FORM FOR PSAB UC PLAN MEMBERS

FORM FOR EMPLOYERS NOT ENROLLED IN PSAB's UC PLAN

Not sure which form to use? We can help. Contact Deb Janney, PSAB Director of Risk Management and Membership Services at djanney@boroughs.org or at 800-232-7722, Ext. 1025.
 
May 12th, 2014 Supreme Court Approves Prayer at Public Meetings Read here about the recent court decision regarding prayer in public meetings. April 10th, 2014 PSAB Testimony on Financially Distressed Communities The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB) joined the Pennsylvania Municipal League, the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Commissioners and the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors
in providing testimony before the state Senate Local Government Committee on the impacts of Senate Bill 1157 and House Bill 1773, municipal financial recovery bills.

The testimony outlines the positives of the bill, including the Early Intervention Program, the obligations of the state Department of Community and Economic Development and the Act 47 program. The group also spoke about its reservations including the five year limitation, taxing and designation statuses.

Click here to see a copy of the testimony.
April 4th, 2014 Important Info Concerning Unemployment Compensation You should have received a card in the mail from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry notifying you of a change in the definition of a credit week for unemployment compensation (UC).

Effective April 1, 2014 (second quarter 2014), a credit week is any calendar week in which an employee earns $116 or more.

Previously, a credit week was defined as any week in which an employee earned at least $100 or more.

Click here for a copy of what your borough should receive in the mail.
 
March 5th, 2014 House Approves Bill To Ease Flood Insurance Rates A bill that passed the House on Tuesday would limit premiums increases through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to no more than 18% per property annually. The bill is known as the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act.

The measure would allow sellers to pass along their subsidized, below-market insurance rates to new buyers and lower the cap on how much flood insurance premiums can rise each year.

The bill would change a 2012 law aimed at removing homeowners off subsidized flood insurance rates. The federal flood insurance program is now some $24 billion in debt. The 2012 law required extensive updating of the flood maps used to set premiums.

The bill now goes before the Senate for approval.

Read more in the USA Today.
February 14th, 2014 Information For Municipalities Regarding Salt Supply Information for Municipalities Regarding Salt Supply
 
February 13, 2014
The following was sent Thursday as a joint memo from the Department of General Services, The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA).
 
The continuing bad weather has put unprecedented demands on sodium chloride (road salt) leading to a national shortage. Many deliveries have been unable to arrive timely due to frozen waterways, limiting salt from Canada. In the United States, suppliers are not able to mine, ship to stockpiles, and deliver to end users fast enough to meet the sheer volume of demand.
 
Please be assured the Commonwealth, under Governor Corbett’s direction, is doing everything it can to help supply your local municipalities with much needed salt in order to keep Pennsylvanians safe. Earlier this week, Governor Corbett granted a temporary waiver on certain restrictions for commercial delivery drivers. To view the press release, click here.
 
Due to the ongoing demand, three of the Department of General Services’ contracted suppliers (American Rock Salt, International Salt Company, and North American Salt) have put the Commonwealth on an allocation system. COSTARS members have received 611,000 tons of salt to date out of a total of 871,000 tons. PennDOT has received 760,000 tons of the maximum 986,000 tons. An additional 250,000 tons of salt is on the way for PennDOT and COSTARS members. Inquiries into the availability of salt from other suppliers on contract to assist in covering these needs have not been fruitful.
 
PennDOT is working to help local municipalities, townships, and boroughs that are in dire need of salt. In order to keep interstate highways and other state roads safe, PennDOT must retain the majority of the salt in their position; they are, however, working with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to develop a prioritized list of requests from local governments to determ­­­­­­­ine how they can help. Please note that PennDOT’s and PTC’s capacity to assist local municipalities is not uniform across the state because the size of the storage facilities varies. To request assistance, please share the following process with your local governments:
 
PROCESS / REQUIRED INFORMATION:
Local municipality identifies that they have a need and notifies their County Emergency Management Agency, who in turn notifies PEMA, as per the National Incident Management System protocol.
 
The following information must be discussed with the local municipality:
  • Municipality is first made fully aware salt is to be on loan, whereby repayment is necessary.
  • Municipality to answer the following to the best of their ability:
    • How much salt do they have on hand (tons)?
    • How many storms they can handle with current inventory?  How many more storms do they anticipate?
    • Do they have any salt on order?  Who is the supplier and how much is on order?
    • What is the expected date of delivery (supplier to municipality)?
    • How much salt do they need from PennDOT or the PA Turnpike (tons)?
    • How many trucks does the municipality have at their disposal to pick up the salt and timing?
    • Lastly, contact information – including location.
  •  PEMA State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Logistics Section contacts PennDOT.
  • PennDOT and PA Turnpike staff evaluate this request and work with their District Offices.
  • District Offices determine if there is sufficient supply on hand to lend including at which stockpile the supply is located.
  • PennDOT returns information to PEMA with approval or non-approval.
  • PennDOT tracks all requests and responses for statewide analysis.
Pennsylvania is not alone. Surrounding states including New Jersey and New York have declared a state of emergency due to the lack of road salt. We are working to remedy the situation as quickly as possible and will keep you updated. We ask for your patience, cooperation, and assistance in this matter.
 
February 12th, 2014 ACA Mandate Delayed For Employers with 50-100 Employees

ACA Mandate Delayed For Employers with 50-100 Employees

February 11, 2014

For those employers with 50-100 full-time employees (who work at least 30 hours per week), the IRS and Treasury Department have postponed the ACA healthcare mandate until 2016.

Large employers (those with 100+ full-time employees) will still need to adhere to the January 2015 deadline.  In addition, the rule requiring that 95% of employees must be covered immediately has been relaxed. Large employers will need to offer coverage to 70% of their full-time employees in 2015 and 95% in 2016 to avoid being fined. For employers with non-calendar year plans, ACA compliance begins at the start of the plan year, rather than on January 1, 2015.

In addition, further clarification of the full-time employee definition has been made. Volunteer firefighters, part-time teachers and adjunct professors who teach less than 15 hours a week will not be considered full-time employees.

For more information, click here to visit the Treasury website.

January 13th, 2014 Volunteer Firefighters Exempt from ACA Requirement Volunteer firefighters and emergency services personnel will be excluded from the employment requirements under the Affordable Care Act, the Treasury Department announced on Friday, Jan. 10. This means they will not be required to provide healthcare coverage to volunteer firefighters under the federal healthcare law.

In a press release on the Treasury Department's website, Mark J. Mazur, assistant secretary for tax policy, said that firefighters and emergency services personnel "generally will not require volunteer hours of bona fide volunteer firefighters and volunteer emergency medical personnel" to be counted.

For months, there has been a nationwide push to exempt volunteer emergency service personnel.

The ACA requires that employers with more than 50 employees who work more than 30 hours per week on average offer them health insurance or pay a penalty.

For more information, visit the U.S. Treasury website.
January 3rd, 2014 PSAB Statement on PA Supreme Court Oil and Gas Decision

PSAB Statement on PA Supreme Court's Oil and Gas Decision

Harrisburg, Dec. 19, 2013 - Christopher Cap, Executive Vice President of the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB), issued the following statement on today's State Supreme Court decision striking down portions of Act 13 of 2012, the Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Act:

"Today's decision affirms that local governments should retain local control of drilling within their boundaries," Cap said. "The Association will be reviewing the entire decision handed down late Thursday by the State Supreme Court to assess the impacts across Pennsylvania."

To read the entire decision, click here

Note - PSAB filed an amicus curiae with the Supreme Court on behalf of the plaintiffs in this case, Robinson Township, et al.