Township News

December Minutes


Per Township Code a township may enact an “ordinance making rules and regulations regarding the location, operation and maintenance of cemeteries in the township.”
The Farmington Township Board of Supervisors have never enacted an ordinance on cemeteries.
Per Township Code the Board of Supervisors could direct the owner of any abandoned or neglected cemetery to remove weeds, refuse and debris.  Failure to comply could result in the township providing employees or hired help to do the cleanup.  Costs would be assessed against the owner of the cemetery.
Nothing in the Township Code requires a township to take or have responsibility for a cemetery within its borders.

Bills to Strengthen Fire, EMS Services Await Senate Action
My bill to help rural emergency medical services agencies keep their doors open and continue to save lives won unanimous approval in the House last week. It joins more than a dozen other measures aimed at supporting our “helpers and heroes” now awaiting action in the Senate.
House Bill 1869 would allow EMS companies in fifth- through eighth-class counties to apply for a waiver to staffing requirements on a Basic Life Support ambulance. The waiver would allow an ambulance to leave the station and come to a person’s aid even if it does not have the now-required minimum of at least one individual who is certified as an emergency medical responder (EMR) or higher and one who is licensed as an emergency medical technician (EMT).
Current law is preventing people from receiving medical care when they need it the most. My bill would change that and potentially save lives, especially in rural areas like ours where medical care isn’t just around the corner for most of us!
In addition to my bill, I had the opportunity over the last few weeks to vote in support of several other measures that would help our fire and EMS organizations by offering incentives for volunteers, more flexible funding and better access to training.
New Law Supports #GoodJobs4PA.
Following through on our commitment to improve career and technical education (CTE) through our #GoodJobs4PA legislative package, a new state law will make the most significant reforms to our CTE laws in more than three decades.
Act 76 of 2019, which was signed into law last week, will help ensure our students are better prepared for success in the workforce while at the same time attracting employers and economic development to the Commonwealth.
To ensure students are well informed about their choices, the law expands an online database of articulation agreements so students know what courses may transfer between higher education institutions, and requires schools to give equal opportunity to both college and career presenters at career fairs. The measure also requires the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board, with assistance from the Department of Education, to conduct a survey to determine the number and types of workforce development programs offered at secondary and postsecondary institutions.
To support CTE programs financially, Act 76 sets into law guidelines for CTE equipment grants and establishes the Schools-to-Work Program within the Department of Labor and Industry to provide grants to pre-apprenticeship programs for the purpose of establishing or enhancing workforce development partnerships between schools, employers, organizations or associations to create employment and training pathways.
Grant Programs to Enhance PA Agriculture Taking Applications
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is now taking applications for two grant programs created by the Legislature earlier this year to help strengthen our ag industry today and for the future.
The Specialty Crop Grant Program is available to farmers growing crops that are not eligible for the federal grant program, and those designated as high-priority crops in the state: hemp, hops, hardwoods and honey, as well as barley, rye and wheat for distilling, brewing and malting. Eligible projects must enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of specialty crops. Examples could include increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops; improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems; developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops; pest and disease control.
A percentage of funds will be designated to projects in rural communities with at least 20% of the population below the federal poverty line. The deadline to apply is Dec. 2. 
The Ag and Youth Grant Program provides direct and matching grants to help fund eligible projects, programs and equipment purchases conducted or made by organizations composed mainly of youth and organized to promote development in agriculture, community leadership, vocational training and peer fellowship. Eligible projects include education or workforce development seminars or field trips; agricultural safety training programs; and capital projects or equipment purchases. The deadline to apply is Nov. 29. 
Heating Assistance Program Now Open
Residents who are struggling with their home heating bills can now apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps individuals and families pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants. It also provides crisis grants to help in the event of an emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing his or her heat due to broken equipment, lack of fuel or termination of utility service.
The income eligibility guidelines for LIHEAP are set at 150% of the federal poverty income level. For example, the income limit for an individual is $18,735; for a couple, the limit is $25,365; and for a family of four, it is $38,625.
Residents may apply for LIHEAP online or by contacting the County Assistance Office in their county of residence.
Contact Representative Owlett’s office at 570-724-1390 for more information