December 14th, 2017 Resources for Dealing with a Snow Emergency in Your Borough Resources to help you deal with a snow emergency in your community.

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




December 6th, 2017 Energy Market Update: What to Consider this Winter

As we enter the winter season, there are a variety of factors that influence natural gas – and, thus, electricity – prices across the nation. Weather, production, and supply have the greatest influence on natural gas prices. And, though, natural gas production is at record highs, this is the season with historically low natural gas supplies. Click here to read more.



December 5th, 2017 Reorganization Meeting Step-by-Step According to Section 1001 of the Borough Code, borough councils are required to reorganize on the first Monday in January of each even-numbered year, unless it is a holiday. The next scheduled organization meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. What is required by law to take place before and at that meeting?

Click here to learn more about the reorganization meeting.
November 27th, 2017 Borough Input Requested on Complete Streets Policies Complete Streets Policies in Pennsylvania
 
WalkWorks, an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Health in partnership with Pitt Public Health, aims to increase opportunities for physical activity.  By engaging community-based partners, WalkWorks plans, implements and markets walking programs utilizing the built environment.  By early 2018, partners will have developed 75 walking routes of 1-2 miles in 17 counties – all of which are utilized by individuals as well as organized walking groups.  Further, WalkWorks promotes relevant policies to further optimize and maximize walkability and bikeability to, ultimately, improve the health of the commonwealth. 
 
Given the design of our streets is critical to a multimodal transportation system, which can and does influence the health and quality of life of community residents, WalkWorks is studying the value of as well as opportunities and barriers to adopting and implementing Complete Streets policies and the implications of future policies in the state.  We are requesting assistance from all municipalities – even if you do not have a current policy.  The study will examine variables, such as, though not limited to: the current status of complete street policies; whether the policy was adopted by local legislation or resolution; whether it is reflected in a plan, design manual, ordinance; whether the policy includes a timeline and budget for implementation; and community input during development and/or implementation.  Its purpose is to help determine the extent to which complete streets policy adoption – in Pennsylvania – is making a difference in the implementation of projects and, thus, a valuable mechanism for communities to use to enhance opportunities for physical activity. 

We are requesting that you please complete this survey or, if you feel that you are not the appropriate person to complete the survey, please forward this request to the most appropriate person in your municipality.  It is important that we hear from everyone – including those municipalities that do not currently have policies in place.

Please complete the survey no later than Dec. 19, 2017.

Thank you, in advance for your assistance with our work to make Pennsylvania more walkable, bikeable and healthier!
 
Please click here to access survey.
November 20th, 2017 PSAB Accepting Service, Communication, Other Award Nominations Service, Communications, and other Award Nominations Being Accepted;
Due March 12


PSAB is accepting nominations for the annual Years of Service, Distinguished Service, A. C. Scales, Anthony J. Defilippi Outstanding Achievement in Government Affairs, and Communications Awards for best website, newsletter, and social media. More information is available at www.boroughs.orgunder “Conferences”.  

Each borough will also be mailed an application packet.

More information is available here.

Applications are due to PSAB by March 12.
November 20th, 2017 2018 Build a Better Mousetrap Competition 2018 Build a Better Mousetrap Competition

Have you or one of your coworkers recently built an innovative gadget or developed an improved way to do a job? If so, now is the time to show off a project in the Build a Better Mousetrap Competition. The PA Department of Transportation is looking for projects that you or your employees have designed and built, including the development of tools, equipment modifications, and/or processes that increase safety, reduce cost, improve efficiency, and improve the quality of transportation. Entries will be judged by a committee of municipal road employees on cost savings/benefits to the community, ingenuity, transferability to others, and effectiveness. Applications are due Fri., Mar.  9, 2018. To see past project honorees or to download the application, click here.
November 16th, 2017 Member Alert: Municipal Radar Member Alert: Contact Your State Representatives to Pass Bill Allowing Municipal Radar

Harrisburg– The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB) lauded the passage of Senate Bill 251 authored by Sen. Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny) that would allow municipal police officers to use radar for speed enforcement. PSAB has actively lobbied for passage of this measure for more than two decades.

Pennsylvania remains the only state in the country that cannot use the important device. Like other police departments around the country, our local police can put themselves in the line of duty, they carry guns and tasers, and they make arrests. Yet, unlike other police officers, they are not permitted to use this simple, life-saving device.

The bill sets the following conditions:
  • Municipalities must pass an ordinance allowing the use of RADAR/LIDAR.
  • Municipalities with RADAR/LIDAR must post signs indicating their use.
  • Points will not be assigned if the speed recorded is less than 10 miles over the speed limit.
  • Municipalities must test RADAR and LIDAR devices at least annually and they must be approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
SB 251 is now before the state House for consideration.

Member Action Alert:PSAB requests each borough to contact their state representatives and encourage them to pass this bill. Then, email PSAB at actnow@boroughs.org to let us know you acted on this important measure.
 
November 2nd, 2017 PA Joins National Emergency Broadband Network PA Joining National Emergency Broadband Network FirstNet
Program will help law enforcement, responders communicate quickly during an emergency
 
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Wolf announced today that Pennsylvania has opted in to the deployment of the interoperable Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) as proposed in Pennsylvania’s FirstNet’s (PA-FirstNet) State Plan. The network will be available through a public-private partnership with FirstNetand AT&T to provide the nation’s first reliable communications broadband network for first responders across Pennsylvania, including those in rural areas.

“When an emergency strikes, Pennsylvania first responders are called upon to handle the situation and support the community,” Governor Wolf said. “As we have learned from recent events in many parts of the country, a vital component needed for coordinating a response is the ability for all responders on the scene to share information as events unfold.”

“Governor Wolf’s decision will deliver innovation and interoperability to first responders in the Keystone State, helping them serve and protect their communities," said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth. "We are pleased to have delivered the Network plan that best meets Pennsylvania's needs and look forward to connecting public safety throughout the commonwealth."

PA-FirstNet will open up a network for information to flow during crises and other emergencies when a quick response is imperative and when traditional commercial broadband networks are frequently jammed with consumers using them to reach family and friends. This new broadband network will be used exclusively by first responders to have a common picture of an incident that's unfolding so they are better equipped to respond quickly.

“The ability to share real-time images and video of the scene as well as the locations of first responders and locally relevant information improves communication and outcomes,” said Major Diane M. Stackhouse, Pennsylvania State Police and the state’s point-of-contact for FirstNet. “FirstNet will carry high-speed data, location information, images, and eventually streaming video that can mean the difference between life and death in emergency situations.”

FirstNet and AT&T do not need any additional state or federal funding to build and operate the network; it is a fully-funded, self-sustaining network. With it, Pennsylvania’s public safety responders will receive specialized services above and beyond what they have today with the commercial carrier network.

Prior to deciding to deploy FirstNet, Pennsylvania sought input from stakeholder groups in a multi-step process to provide input to and feedback on PA’s FirstNet state plan, helping to create a final state plan with AT&T.

Pennsylvania joins 25 states who have already made the FirstNet deployment decision.
 
 
November 2nd, 2017 Municipal Option to Prohibit Category 4 Casino Notice From the PA Gaming Control Board: Municipal Option To Prohibit  Category 4 Casino

On Oct. 30, 2017, Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law House Bill 271 which amends the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act (“Act”), 4 Pa.C.S. §§1101 et seq., and authorizes a number of gambling expansion opportunities throughout the Commonwealth.

One such opportunity is found in the creation of up to ten Category 4 slot machine licenses which would likely, but not necessarily, be owned and operated by existing Pennsylvania licensed casino operators which already have other gaming properties in the Commonwealth. Under the expansion language, each Category 4 casino could operate between 300 and 750 slot machines and eventually up to 50 table games. No Category 4 location could be located within 25 linear miles of an existing Category 1, 2 or 3 casino facility.

Generally, no Category 4 location could be located within 25 linear miles of an existing Category 1, 2 or 3 casino facility, with the exception that the operator of a Category 1, 2 or 3 casino facility may locate a Category 4 casino within 25 miles of its own Category 1, 2 or 3 casino facility.

Section1305.1 (A.1) of the Act is entitled “Municipal Option” and provides municipalities the option to prohibit, or opt-out of, the siting of a Category 4 facility within that municipality.1 As referenced, Title 4, Section 1103 defines a “Municipality” as “a city, borough, incorporated town or township.” If a municipality wishes to exercise this option and prohibit a Category 4 casino from being placed in the municipality, the governing body of the municipality must deliver a resolution exercising this power to the Board no later than December 31, 2017.

Click here for a sample resolution.

In order to facilitate this process, if a municipality desires to avail itself of the municipal option regarding Category 4 casinos, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board provides the following guidance:
  • First, the governing body of the municipality should officially adopt the Resolution at a public meeting consistent with the requirements of Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Act, 65 Pa.C.S. §701 et seq., after October 31, 2017.
  • Then, an official copy of the Resolution should be delivered no later than December 31, 2017 to:
Pamela Lewis, Board Secretary
Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
303 Walnut Street
Commonwealth Tower, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101
pamelewis@pa.gov
 
The Board also recommends that each municipal governing body consult their solicitor in the development of the resolution which, at minimum, should include the following information:
  • Reference to the power granted under Section 1305.1 and the municipality’s decision to exercise the power to opt-out;
  • The date that the governing body adopted the resolution; and
  • The inclusion of signatures or seal necessary to establish that the resolution was officially adopted.
______________________________________
[1]
The specific text of the statute is as follows:
 
§1305.1 (A.1) MUNICIPAL OPTION.
 
(1) PRIOR TO THE COMMENCEMENT OF AN AUCTION UNDER SECTION 1305.2, EACH MUNICIPALITY SHALL HAVE THE OPTION TO PROHIBIT THE LOCATION OF A CATEGORY 4 LICENSED FACILITY WITHIN THE MUNICIPALITY BY DELIVERING A RESOLUTION OF THE MUNICIPALITY'S GOVERNING BODY TO THE BOARD NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 31, 2017. NO CATEGORY 4 LICENSED FACILITY
MAY BE LOCATED IN A MUNICIPALITY WHICH HAS EXERCISED ITS OPTION UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH.
 
(2) A MUNICIPALITY THAT PROHIBITS THE LOCATION OF A CATEGORY 4 LICENSED FACILITY WITHIN THE MUNICIPALITY UNDER SUBSECTION (A) MAY RESCIND THAT PROHIBITION AT ANY TIME BY DELIVERING A NEW RESOLUTION OF THE MUNICIPALITY'S GOVERNING BODY TO THE BOARD. A
MUNICIPALITY THAT RESCINDS ITS PRIOR PROHIBITION ACCORDING TO THIS SUBSECTION MAY NOT SUBSEQUENTLY PROHIBIT THE LOCATION OF A CATEGORY 4 LICENSED FACILITY IN THE MUNICIPALITY.
October 30th, 2017 Building Fee Permit Surcharge Increased  
A bill (Act 26 of 2017) signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf will increase the cost of a building permit fee surcharge by 50 cents. It is being raised from $4 to $4.50 effective immediately.   
 
The $4 permit fee is based on each building permit issued by or under direct supervision of a Building Code Official (BCO) for construction activity regulated under the PA Uniform Construction Code (UCC).
 
The permit monies must be remitted to the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services (GCLGS) within the PA Department of Economic Development (DCED). The funds are then distributed equally among the PA Construction Codes Academy (PCCA) and the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center at Penn State (PHRC) to provide training and continuing education programs for construction code officials, design professionals, contractors, and individuals who are involved with the implementation and enforcement of the UCC throughout the state.
A bill (Act 26 of 2017) signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf will increase the cost of a building permit fee surcharge by 50 cents. It is being raised from $4 to $4.50 effective immediately.   
 
October 26th, 2017 Sewer and Septic Repair Loan Program Expanded Sewer and Septic Repair Loan Program Expanded

The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) are expanding a program intended to help homeowners with repairs and connections to septic and sewer systems. The goals are to help homeowners deal with the unexpected expenses related to this work and to protect water quality in Pennsylvania.

The Homeowner Septic Program previously covered repairs to residential septic systems and first-time connections to a public sewer. It now is being expanded to include loans for repairs to existing sewer line connections to homes.
This latest enhancement is in addition to other improvements made to the loan program in the last two years. For instance, it was previously announced that the loan program now has expanded eligibility requirements, can approve loan amounts up to $25,000 (including loans for manufactured homes), and has increased the number of local and regional lending participants.

The lenders who originate the Homeowner Septic Program loans are: Liberty Mortgage Corporation, Erie; The Muncy National Bank, Muncy; Widget Financial Credit Union, Erie; American Bank, Allentown; Erie FCU, Erie; and Members’ Choice Financial Credit Union, Danville. Together they make the Homeowner Septic Program available statewide. PHFA expects to have additional lenders joining the program in coming months.

Homeowners who want more information or want to start the PENNVEST application process should contact a participating lender. They can also call PHFA at 855-U-Are-Home (827-3466), and then press “0” to connect to the agency’s Customer Solutions Center, or visit www.phfa.org.

Lenders interested in participating in the Home Septic Program should visit PHFA’s website, www.phfa.org or call Roberta Schwalm with PHFA at 717-780-3838.
October 16th, 2017 Borough News Wins Coveted Folio Award Borough News Magazine Wins Coveted Folio Award
 
The Borough News Magazine, a publication of the PA State Association of Boroughs, won a prestigious Eddie's Award at the annual Folio: Magazine Annual Awards Program held Oct. 11 in New York City. This is the largest and most inclusive awards program of its kind in the magazine publishing industry. 

The Borough News was recognized for its May issue, Drug Addiction: Not So Black and White, in the Best Series of Articles in the Professional/Membership Association category. Borough News was nominated in the same category as The Actuary, Chemical and Engineering News, Risk Management Magazine, and many others.
 
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.  Almost 3,000 entries were received.
 
This is the second nomination for the Borough News Magazine at the Folio Awards. In 2016, Borough News received an honorable mention for best redesign.

Graphtech is the Borough News' publication partner.
October 16th, 2017 $350.5 Million in Aid for Municipal Pensions, Volunteer Firefighters Auditor General DePasquale Announces Release of $350.5 Million in Aid for Municipal Pensions, Volunteer Firefighters Statewide 

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today said he has released $350.5 million in municipal pension and volunteer firefighters’ relief association funds, which will help support emergency services and retirement plans for those who dedicated their careers to public service. A report detailing the amount of state pension aid distributed to each municipality and funding for VFRAs is available online at www.PaAuditor.gov.

“These funds are vital to helping volunteer firefighters save lives and to protect property,” DePasquale said. “This money will benefit communities across the state by helping 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 maintain retirement funds for dedicated police officers, paid firefighters and other public servants. Without this aid, communities would have to rely on local taxes to make up the difference.”

As part of the 2017 allocation, 2,521 municipalities in 66 counties received $60.6 million in fire relief association funding for distribution to the volunteer firefighters’ relief associations providing fire services to their communities.
Another $289.9 million in state pension aid went to 1,479 municipalities and regionals to aid in funding their local government pension plans, which cover police officers, paid firefighters and municipal workers. The funding was distributed before the Oct. 1 deadline.

The state municipal pension and volunteer firefighters’ 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 firefighters’ relief association funds are allocated from municipalities to various volunteer firefighters’ relief associations designated to serve their communities. 

The Department of the Auditor General audits volunteer firefighters’ relief associations and local government pension plans.
September 20th, 2017 Nominations Open for Governor's Awards for Local Government Excellence Nominations Open for Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence

Nominations are open for the awards to honor Pennsylvania’s local government leaders in recognition of exceptional dedication to improving public services through innovative initiatives. Award  nominations may be submitted for one or more of the following award categories: Building Community Partnerships; Responding to Adversity; Promoting Community/Economic Revitalization;  Innovative Community/Governmental Initiatives;  Fiscal Accountability and Best Management Practices;  Innovative Planning and Sound Land Use Practices; Intergovernmental Cooperation; Information Technology; and Health and Wellness Initiatives.

Visit DCED’s websiteat http://dced.pa.gov/governors-awards-for-local-government-excellenceto apply or for more information. The deadline has been extended until Dec. 15.
September 15th, 2017 Alert: Don't Balance State Budget on Backs of Local Governments
Don't Balance the Budget on the Backs of Local Governments  
 
As you know, the 2017-2018 state budget has not yet been finalized. Although the state funding plan passed the General Assembly by the July 1 deadline, it did not address a $1.5 billion deficit from the year before or a projected $700 million shortfall in the 2017-18 budget.
 
Now, the General Assembly is trying to balance the budget by raiding funds that negatively impact local governments and their residents.The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs is opposed to any plan that would raid dedicated funds to close a budget gap.
 
Thank you to those who have already taken action to oppose funding cuts that would affect local governments in a detrimental way. Your calls and emails are working!
 
While your outreach has helped to remove volunteer fire services and other programs from the chopping block, programs that affect local transportation, environmental, recreation, and recycling programs remain under attack.
 
Now, municipal pension state aid and Act 13 impact fees have been identified as a target in amendments to the budget plan.
 
These cuts will eliminate or stall projects in your communities.

Special Funds

HB 453 Fund Transfer Chart

Act Immediately. 

Please call your House and Senate members and urge them to oppose these cuts to vital programs in our communities.Click here to obtain contact information for your legislators.
 
Then, email actnow@boroughs.org to let us know you took action!
September 8th, 2017 Member Alert: 2018 Budget Bulletin Now Available
PSAB 2018 Online Budget Bulletin Now Available 
 
Your bor budget is one of the most important documents created each year. It allocates funding between departments, authorizes expenses, and projects spending. Without a budget, business cannot take place in your borough.
 
The Budget Bulletin aggregates numerous resources, updates, and information related to budget preparation and fiscal management into one searchable document to assist you in your budgeting and finance operations.
 
The Budget Bulletin is accessible to PSAB members and municipal associates only and is available by clicking here. The password has been emailed to borough officials and managers/administrators.

If you have questions about accessing the online Budget Bulletin, contact Mira Miller at mmiller@boroughs.org or 800-232-7722, Ext. 1019 or Barbara Colledge at bcolledge@boroughs.org or 800-232-7722, Ext. 1010.
July 19th, 2017 Tax-Free Fuel Available for Municipalities The PA Department of Revenue has shared this reminder about the tax-free purchasing and use of liquid fuels (gasoline) and fuels (diesel) for eligible local governments and municipal entities.

Terms

Under the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, Title 75 (Vehicle Code), liquid fuels (gasoline) and fuels (diesel) are tax-free when purchased by a qualifying Political Subdivision for official purposes only. All Political Subdivisions must maintain proper records of receipts and disbursements of all liquid fuels and fuels purchased and used.

Eligible entities include:

  • County
  • City
  • Borough
  • Town
  • Township
  • School District
  • Vocational School District
  • County Institutional District
  • Volunteer Fire Company
  • Volunteer Ambulance Service
  • Volunteer Rescue Squad
  • Second Class County Port Authority
  • Nonpublic School not operated for a profit
The following uses are not permitted for this statute:
  • Personal use by employees of a Political Subdivision or those contracted by the political subdivision
  • Any/All non-official Political Subdivision purposes
  • Political Subdivisions with bulk storage tanks are not permitted to re-sell their procured tax-free fuel for any reason to another business, its employees, or any other person/s
If you have any questions related to the above information, please contact the Bureau of Motor and Alternative Fuel Taxes at 1.800.482.4382, or submit your question(s) at revenue-pa.custhelp.com

 
July 6th, 2017 Gov. Vetoes Bill that Would Take Away Local Decision-Making A bill (HB 1071) that would prevent municipalities from taxing plastic bags has been vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf. The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs opposed the legislation because it would take away decision-making at the local level.

The bill, authored by Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks), would have prohibited local governments from taxing, banning, or limiting the use of plastic bags.

House and Senate members were split on the issue, with supporters arguing that it could impact jobs at the 14 plastic bag plants in PA.

“It [HB 1071] potentially thwarts local governments from complying with their trustee obligations under Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, to protect and preserve the environmental resources in their communities,” Wolf said.

The governor said the bill also contains a significant preemption issue as it relates to the rights of political subdivisions.

“In my view, the Commonwealth should only on rare occasions preempt the rights of local governments to implement laws and policies that it believes are in its best interest.  Here, the Commonwealth is impeding the freedom of local governments to regulate recyclable plastic bags.  This policy supporting this preemption is misguided and should not become the law of this Commonwealth,” he added.
June 21st, 2017 PennDOT Phasing in New ID, Driver Licenses As part of ongoing security enhancements, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has updated the design and enhanced the security features of its driver license and identification card products.
 
PennDOT entered a new contract with MorphoTrust USA in August of 2015 for the design and issuance of Driver License (DL) and Identification (ID) cards. Over the last 22 months, PennDOT has worked with MorphoTrust USA on planning, design and deployment of this major new security enhancement initiative. This update is unrelated to the REAL ID Act.
 
"The update is an important component of PennDOT's ongoing work to enhance and protect the integrity of the driver license and identification card issuance process," said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards.
 
PennDOT began a pilot of the new products beginning on Monday, June 19 at the Riverfront Office Center location in Harrisburg. All Driver and Photo centers will transition to the new products by the end of October 2017. The new products will be phased in over the next four-year renewal cycle and will replace existing products. Both current and new card designs will be in circulation during the transition period.
 
The new cards are not REAL ID-compliant. System, building infrastructure and process changes will be necessary for Pennsylvania to issue REAL ID-compliant products. PennDOT anticipates that REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and identification cards will be available at customer's option in 2019.
 
The cards look very different, but they also have additional enhanced security features, which improve fraud prevention and protect from counterfeiting and alteration.
 
Some of the enhanced features include:
  • Larger primary portrait and smaller ghost portrait 
  • 2D barcode, which contain data from the front of the card unique to the cardholder
  • Laser perforation - The keystone outline with "PA" is embedded into the card stock and can be observed by holding the card up to any light source 
  • Laminate - Each card is laminated with an optically-variable pattern with the state motto, "Virtue, Liberty, Independence," Keystone outline and “1787,” the year when the U.S. Constitution was ratified by Pennsylvania.
In addition to the above changes, the magnetic strip has been eliminated on the back of the newly designed driver’s license and identification cards.
 
For more information and to see an image of the new card design, please visit www.dmv.pa.gov.
 
 
June 5th, 2017 DCED Issues Updated Civil Service Guide for Municipalities The Governor’s Center for Local Government Services at the Department of Community & Economic Development has issued an updated Civil Service Guide for Pennsylvania Municipalities.  This updates the last version of the publication, Model Hiring Manual for Pennsylvania Municipalities, published in 2003.  The new guide serves as a valuable resource for boroughs with civil service commissions.  Included in the publication are hiring & testing procedures, model rules and regulations and sample forms.

Click here to download the document.
 
 
May 26th, 2017 PA State Association of Boroughs Helps Fight Hunger    
During the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB) Annual Conference in May, attendees donated more than 500 food and other non-perishable items to the Community Cupboard of Elizabethtown Borough, Lancaster County. The Boroughs Feeding Borough Families Community Food Drive was conceived by Elizabethtown Mayor Chuck Mummert.

Mummert, who is also PSAB’s President, selected the theme of Service With Integrity as his year-long platform. As such, he wanted service to be a part of the conference agenda. He also challenged officials throughout the state to go back to their home communities and organize a similar event to maximize the impact.

“Food drives like this raise awareness and provide critical support to our neighbors,” Mummert said. “It’s an unfortunate reality that we have many people who are hungry in Pennsylvania. That’s why I’ve asked each of our attendees to spearhead a food drive in their boroughs.”

The Community Cupboard of Elizabethtown services more than 150 families in the Elizabethtown, Rheems, and Bainbridge communities. The Community Cupboard operates under a "choice pantry" structure in which clients can pick their own food in a grocery store-like setting. Non-residents are referred to partner organizations near their home.

“The Community Cupboard of Elizabethtown would like to thank the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs for its generous help with the food drive and $2,500 donation,” said Doug Lamb, founder of the Community Cupboard. “This will go a long way in helping our effort to assist the nearly 150 families each month we serve. It's not often that an entire statewide organization can support a worthy cause as this. We thank Mayor Mummert and all the staff who work behind the scenes to see this happen. What a tremendous blessing to so many people.”
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May 22nd, 2017 State Treasurer Warns Against Unclaimed Property Scams Harrisburg, PA - Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella today warned of a surge in unclaimed property scams targeting victims through fake letters and emails in which scammers portray themselves as National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) or state Treasury representatives. The phony correspondence in many instances has been found to utilize NAUPA letterhead, where it claims the state is holding on to your unclaimed property, which may be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Scammers then request personal information along with the need to collect a small fee with the promise to obtain the unclaimed property.

Annually, Treasury receives millions of dollars in unclaimed property--items such as abandoned bank accounts, forgotten stocks, uncashed checks and contents of safety deposit boxes. The property remains available for claim by the owners or their heirs in perpetuity and Treasury serves as the custodian until it can find and verify its rightful legal owner.

Claimants may search Treasury’s website for unclaimed property, or independent “Finders” are also available to assist. Pennsylvania state law requires that all “Finders” and property recovery professionals who assist potential claimants assemble a claim for a fee must complete an application and be certified as a finder by the Pennsylvania Treasury. While Pennsylvania Treasury always assists claimants prepare and file claims for free, Finders may provide their services for a fee. Those fees are now capped at 15% through Pennsylvania law.

The Pennsylvania Treasury reunited thousands of Pennsylvanians with a record $175 million in property and money in 2016 bringing the total value of money and items returned since July 1, 2005 to $1.3 billion. Additionally, Treasury collected $400 million in dormant and forgotten property this year.

To learn more about Pennsylvania’s Unclaimed Property Program or to search for money or other items held by Treasury, visit www.patreasury.gov or call 800-222-2046
May 17th, 2017 NFIP Community Rating System Manual Approved 2017 National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System (CRS) Coordinator’s Manual Approved

The 2017 CRS Coordinator’s Manual (Expiration date March 31, 2020) has been approved in accordance with requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act.  The Manual is available for download at www.FEMA.gov by searching for CRS Coordinators Manual in the search box and at www.CRSresources.org/manual. The 2017 CRS Coordinator’s Manual will be implemented by FEMA immediately. As always, changes will not take effect for any community until that community’s next cycle verification visit.

Changes from previous editions of the Coordinator’s Manual will be marked with vertical bars in the margins of the pages of the 2017 Coordinator’s Manual. Most changes are clarification and improvements. The changes have been presented in issues of NFIP/CRS Update newsletters, beginning with the September/October 2016 issue. Back issues are available at www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-community-rating-system.

The CRS Webinars series for 2017 will include training courses on the new items in the 2017 CRS Coordinator’s Manual and other topics to assist communities. Visit www.CRSresources.org/training to see webinar dates and to register.

May 17th, 2017 Act 172 Volunteer Firefighter and EMS Tax Credit Information The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs worked with other local government organizations and the office of the State Fire Commissioner to provide information on the law that allows local governments to provide tax credits for volunteer firefighters and emergency service personnel.

For more information, contact Ron Grutza at rgrutza@boroughs.org.

Background and Guiding Document
Sample Ordinance
May 10th, 2017 PSAB Honors 250 Officials, Boroughs The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB) announced the recipients of the Association’s prestigious service awards at PSAB’s 106th Annual Conference at the Hershey Lodge on Tues., May 9. Awards were presented by PSAB President Chuck Mummert, mayor of Elizabethtown Borough, Lancaster County, and Awards Committee Chairman Tom Oliverio, who is also a Past President of the Association. In total, more than 250 individuals and boroughs were honored.

Click here to read more.
April 26th, 2017 Camera Loan Surveillance Program Can Help Prevent Illegal Dumping Camera Loan Surveillance Program Can Help Prevent Illegal Dumping
 
Do you have an illegal dumping problem in your area?  Is trash, electronics, and other material piling up around your recycling bins?  Are you stuck with expenses for cleaning up these ugly areas? 
 
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful (KPB) offers a program that loans your borough three high quality surveillance cameras, along with technical assistance, to gather evidence against perpetrators.  Fill out an application online at www.illegaldumpfreepa.org.
 
For questions about this program, contact Aaron Semasko, Enforcement Program Coordinator, at asemasko@keeppabeautiful.org. KPB will also host presentations for municipal and county groups. Applications accepted on a rolling basis.
 
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.
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 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
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 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 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.

###
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
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.

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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.
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.
 
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.