I am pleased to send you this edition of my electronic newsletter. These e-newsletters enable me to provide information about issues, events and activities in Harrisburg and around the 41st Senatorial District to you in a timely manner while saving postage costs.
If you find this e-newsletter useful, I invite you to visit my website www.senatordonwhite.com for more information about your state government. You can also keep up to date through www.facebook.com/senatordonwhite.
If you do not wish to receive these e-newsletters, please click the "unsubscribe" button at the bottom of the page.
Supporting Our Food Merchants
I was truly honored to receive this 2014 “Friend of the Food Industry” award from the Pennsylvania Food Merchant Association on behalf of its supermarket, convenience store and associate members. These businesses are a key component of our local economy and major employers in our communities. I am pleased to work with them to promote a strong business climate in the Commonwealth for job growth and economic prosperity.
Armstrong, Indiana Projects Receive Growing Greener Funding
I am pleased to report that several local organizations will receive state Growing Greener funding totaling nearly $700,000 for watershed improvement projects in Armstrong and Indiana counties.
The Armstrong Conservation District received two awards: $151,565 for its Aluminaide Acid Mine Drainage Treatment Project and an $88,555 Baker-Roaring Run Ag Best Management Practices Grant. In addition to those Armstrong County grants, Manor Township received $135,100 for its Scout Run Road project.
Indiana County projects receiving grants included the Blackleggs Creek Watershed Association, $207,973 for Kolb Polishing Wetlands Design and Construction; Cambria County Conservation District, $124,320 for the Cherry Tree Flood Control Restoration Project; and the Evergreen Conservancy, $123,896 for the Tanoma Acid Mine Drainage Treatment System.
The local grants are part of more than $23.2 million awarded for 109 projects statewide in the current round of funding by the Department of Environmental Protection for projects to improve watersheds, reduce stormwater runoff and acid mine drainage (AMD), and support educational programs, among other environmental efforts.
The importance of acid mine drainage control and watershed protection and reclamation has been matched by the size of Pennsylvania’s investment in those efforts over the years. We have seen millions of dollars in Growing Greener funding invested in those efforts around our region.
When it comes to addressing the problems posed by old mines here and across the state, we often can’t change the damage of the past, but we must work to prevent contamination from spreading. Just as important are our efforts to control stormwater drainage and curb erosion problems. This latest round of Growing Greener grants maintains the state’s strong support for those efforts.
Local Fire, Ambulance Companies Receive State Grants
I am pleased to report that the state recently awarded the latest round of grants to volunteer fire and ambulance companies across the 41st Senatorial District. The grant awards are from a program administered by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the Office of the State Fire Commissioner.
The grant recipients include:
Since 2001, I’ve been pleased to work toward ensuring our volunteer fire services receive these grant funds on an annual basis. Their service to our community is invaluable and while these grants are not large sums of money, they’ve become a stable source of revenue allowing these dollars to be used for long-term investments. I’m grateful for the men and women who volunteer their time and energy to protect our communities.
Department of Revenue Opens Personal Income Tax Filing Season
The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue is offering assistance online and by telephone to help residents file their personal income tax returns.
All taxpayers who received more than $33 in total gross taxable income in calendar year 2014 must file Pennsylvania personal income tax returns by midnight, Wednesday, April 15. Tax forms and instructions are available at www.revenue.pa.gov.
Personal income tax assistance is available through the department’s Online Customer Service Center at www.revenue.pa.gov and by calling (717) 787-8201 between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
PA Free File software allows taxpayers with federal adjusted gross incomes of $60,000 or less to file state and federal personal income tax returns simultaneously for free through a safe and convenient electronic filing platform available at www.pafreefile.com.
The software is available through reputable vendors approved to prepare state and federal filings at no cost to taxpayers or the commonwealth. Free offers vary by vendor, and details of each free offer and a link to each vendor’s free filing product will be available at www.pafreefile.com.
Applications Now Accepted for Park/Recreational Grants
Applications are now being accepted for a state grant program that promotes the rehabilitation and development of parks and recreation facilities. The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is now accepting applications for grants under the 2015 Community Conservation Partnerships Program.
The application period for the upcoming round of C2P2 grants is open until April 16. More information and grant applications are available at www.grants.dcnr.state.pa.us. Pre-application workshops and webinars will be held across the state beginning in late January.
Over the past 20 years the C2P2 program has funded more than 4,000 projects that have helped plan, acquire, and develop parks, recreation facilities, trails, and conserved critical conservation areas and watersheds; supported education and training on conservation and recreation topics; and built conservation, heritage, and recreation partnerships.
DMVA Offers Grants to Support PTSD Programs
The state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is accepting applications for up to $750,000 in competitive grants for programs providing treatment of Pennsylvania veterans for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and co-occurring disorders such as substance abuse.
Veterans’ service organizations and statewide charitable organizations that serve veterans are eligible to apply for the funding. More information and the application are available by clicking here. Applications must be received by 3 p.m., Friday, February 13, 2015.
LCB Accepting Applications for 2015-17 Alcohol Education Grants
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is accepting applications from community organizations, law enforcement agencies, colleges and universities and schools for two-year grants aimed at preventing underage and dangerous drinking.
For a grant application, visit www.lcb.state.pa.us and click on Alcohol Education. The deadline to apply is 4 p.m., Feb. 13.
The grant cycle is two years, with a maximum award of $20,000 per year (a total of $40,000 per organization). Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis and are subject to the availability of funds, the amount of which will be determined by the Bureau of Alcohol Education.
Conewango Creek Named Pennsylvania’s 2015 River of the Year
The Conewango Creek in northwestern Pennsylvania has been voted the 2015 Pennsylvania River of the Year. A tributary of the Allegheny River, Conewango Creek flows 71 miles through northwestern Pennsylvania and western New York and is part of a 900-square-mile-area drainage basin.
The applicant for the winning waterway, the Conewango Creek Watershed Association, will receive a $10,000 Leadership Grant to help fund River of the Year activities. The association will integrate “the River of the Year message” in a program focusing on the watershed’s history, wildlife, local fisheries and related topics. Other creek-based activities may include a poker run, special fall celebration, cleanup, photo contest and public water safety courses.
A total of 9,959 one-time votes were cast by e-mail in the program sponsored by the state Department of Conservation and Natural resources. Final tallies showed the Conewango Creek receiving 4,154 votes; Loyalhanna Creek: 2,981; Lackawanna River: 1,469; Neshaminy Creek and watershed: 881; and Ohio River: 474.
To learn more about the River of the Year program, the nominated waterways
and past winners, visit
www.pariveroftheyear.org. To learn more about DCNR’s Rivers Program, visit
www.dcnr.state.pa.us (click on
“Conserve,” then “Waterways”).
286 Main Capitol