$85,714 in State Funding for Jonestown Sewer Replacement
9/21/2018
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Legislative Update
What’s happening in Harrisburg and the 102nd Legislative District.

$85,714 in State Funding for Jonestown Sewer Replacement
This week, the Northern Lebanon County Authority was awarded $85,714 in funding from the Commonwealth Finance Authority (CFA) for a sewer replacement project in Jonestown Borough.

The existing gravity sanitary sewer line along Fisher Street has had various issues due to the progressive sagging of the pipe. The authority will replace the pipe between West Hill Street and West Swatara Drive. The project will also include the installation of two manholes and replace 20 service laterals along the project route.

The total project cost is $100,841.

The grant was awarded under the CFA’s Pennsylvania Small Water and Sewer Program, which offers grants for small water and sewer infrastructure projects and can be used to assist with the construction, improvement, expansion, or rehabilitation or repair of a water supply or sanitary sewer system. 
 

PA Treasury Holding Military Decorations
The Pennsylvania Treasury announced the launch of a new state website dedicated to reuniting military decorations that have been reported as unclaimed property with their rightful owners.

The new search function allows users to search their names, or the name of a loved one, to see if Treasury is holding a military decoration as unclaimed property. In addition, users can look through a photo gallery featuring some of the decorations that are in the unclaimed property vault, as well as medals that have been returned to their rightful owners. Military decorations are often reported to Treasury as contents held in a safe deposit box that has gone unclaimed or abandoned.

Since 2017, Treasury has returned 58 service decorations, some of which have been in Treasury’s custody for decades, including Purple Hearts, to their rightful owners. Treasury continues to search for the owners of over 500 unclaimed military awards.

To search for unclaimed military decorations, click here.
 

Schools Urged to Apply for Safety Grants
The new School Safety and Security Grant Program – established as part of the 2018-19 state budget package – is now open for applications.

Schools interested in applying for grants to help with safety equipment and resources should submit their applications by Oct. 12 to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, which is administering the new program.

A total of $52 million in grant funding will be provided to school districts, intermediate units, area vocational-technical schools, charter schools and private residential rehabilitative institutions for a wide variety of projects to improve school safety.

The grants can be used for any of 22 specific school safety initiatives listed in the legislation, including such things as hiring school security officers, purchasing security-related technology, completing safety and security assessments, implementing violence prevention curricula, offering counseling services for students, and other programs and services to protect students.

The grant money is to be distributed geographically, with no school district receiving more than 10 percent (but eligible for at least $25,000) of the available funds. The money is expected to be distributed by March 2019.

To apply or for more information, visit the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s website here.
 

Attention Dairy Farmers!
 
Attention dairy farmers! A $5 million grant program approved as part of the 2018-19 state budget is now accepting applications through the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

The Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program was established under Act 42 of 2018 to help dairy farmers overcome falling milk prices and other market challenges. The grants may be used for researching new technologies, products and best practices; marketing to new domestic and international markets; exploring new business opportunities to diversify their operation and revenue streams; transitioning to organic production methods; and incorporating or expanding value-added dairy production, such as cheese and yogurt products.

For more information about how to apply, click here
 

Farm Conservation Tax Credits Available
To help farmers implement best management practices (BMPs) to prevent water pollution or purchase conservation equipment, $10 million in tax credits is available through the 2018-19 Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program.

REAP is designed for agricultural producers who install BMPs or make equipment purchases that reduce nutrient and sediment runoff, which improves Pennsylvania’s streams and watersheds. The program is administered by Pennsylvania’s State Conservation Commission.

Farmers may receive tax credits of up to $150,000 per agricultural operation for 50 percent to 75 percent of a project’s cost. The most common projects approved are for no-till planting and precision ag equipment, waste storage facilities, conservation plans, Nutrient Management Plans, and protecting animal heavy-use areas like barnyards. Cover crops and riparian stream buffers are also common REAP-eligible practices. REAP can be used in conjunction with other funding sources such as the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) or the Chesapeake Bay Program to help install BMPs.

For projects that include the proposed purchase of equipment, the equipment must be delivered by June 30, 2019. For projects involving the implementation of structural BMPs, all BMPs and BMP components must be completed by June 30, 2020, to be eligible.

REAP applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, click here
 

New Website Offers Latest on Spotted Lanternfly
The spotted lanternfly (SLF), a pest native to China and Vietnam, was first discovered in Berks County in 2014 and presents a significant threat to Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry. Products specifically at risk include grapes, tree-fruit, hardwoods and nursery items.

The pest has since spread to 13 counties – Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Schuylkill – which are now considered to be part of a quarantine area.

While little is known about the insect's behavior and biology, researchers at the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are working to gather scientific data on how to contain and manage this pest. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) and USDA are working to implement containment and control efforts.

Penn State Extension has compiled a comprehensive website with a lot of resources, including a checklist for homeowners in the quarantine area, tips for handling yard waste, ways to report and dispose of the insect, notices of public meetings, along with signs and symptoms, what’s at risk, where it’s found, and how the state is managing response to the insect. You can also sign up to receive the latest news, updates and alerts.

To access the website, click here.
 
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Office Locations                                                                                                                                                                      
District: 2232 Lebanon Valley Mall, Lebanon, PA 17042 | Phone: (717) 277-2101
Capitol: Room 53B, East Wing, PO Box 202102, Harrisburg PA 17120-2102 | Phone: (717) 787-2686
Email: rdiamond@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614