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Senator Wayne D. Fontana
Senator Fontana spoke at a reception for the Center that CARES at the Jeron X. Grayson Community Center in the Hill District on April 26.
Senator Fontana spoke at a reception for the Center that CARES at the Jeron X. Grayson Community Center in the Hill District on April 26. The Center that CARES has supported more than 2,800 students and their families since its inception, offering programs for pre-k through grade 12 and beyond. Their dedicated staff are committed to uplifting and transforming the lives of people of all ages through education, recreation, cultural enrichment, and thoughtful guidance. Pictured with Senator Fontana is Rev. Glenn Grayson.

Time to Cease Operations of the ICA

capitolAs a member of the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee, I was pleased that we unanimously passed Senators Costa, Vulakovich and my Senate Bill 1047 (SB 1047) last week.  This legislation would dissolve the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (ICA).  

In February, the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) officially released Pittsburgh from Act 47 status which our city has operated under since 2013 when the debt burden amounted to more than one-fifth of their operating budget.  At that time, state lawmakers also created the ICA to act as a second oversight agency to help Pittsburgh avoid bankruptcy.  

Under current state law, the ICA must remain in place until Act 47 oversight ends or June 30, 2019, whichever is later.  However, even though Pittsburgh has been removed from Act 47, state law still needs to be amended to allow the ICA termination to take place. 

Senate Bill 1047 takes these final steps of ceasing the operations of the authority and the legislation now awaits consideration by the full Senate.  

Grants for Libraries

LibraryThe Office of Commonwealth Libraries invites applications for the 2018 Keystone Grants for Public Libraries program. These grants are funded through the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund.

A competitive grant application process is used to award matching grants to municipalities that sponsor state-aided public libraries. These grants may be used for planning, acquisition, construction and rehabilitation of public library facilities as outlined in the General Guidelines. To be eligible, the sponsoring municipality and the board of the state-aided library must jointly submit an application developed cooperatively by both entities and signed by their governing bodies.

The maximum Keystone grant award is $750,000 and requires a dollar-for-dollar match. Applicants must show matching funds on hand at the time of the application. There is no minimum amount that may be requested.

Applicants must submit a complete application to the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, postmarked on or before June 15.

The Office of Commonwealth Libraries expects to notify applicants by early September whether they have been awarded a grant.

The application and related Keystone information is available at www.statelibrary.pa.gov.

Did You Know…

Did you know that the Mt. Washington branch of the Carnegie Library originally opened in 1900 and was one of the first of the neighborhood-style libraries built by Andrew Carnegie?

Absentee Ballots

The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot for the May 15 Primary Election is Tuesday, May 8.  All completed ballot applications must be received by the Allegheny County Division of Elections Office no later than 5 p.m.  Completed voted ballots are then due in the Elections Office by 5 p.m. on May 11.  The Elections Office is located in the County Office Building at the corner of Forbes Avenue and Ross Street in downtown Pittsburgh:

542 Forbes Avenue, Room 601
Pittsburgh, PA  15219

Vote PA Voter Registration You may apply for an absentee ballot in person at the above address.  You may also visit any of my district offices to receive an absentee ballot application or you can go to the Resource Center page at www.votespa.com to download one.

If you have any questions or need any additional information, please call the Allegheny County Division of Elections Office at 412-350-4520.

Great American Cleanup

I want to remind everyone that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) are seeking volunteers for this year's Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania that began March 1 and runs through May 31. Groups participating in PennDOT's Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) program, which involves volunteers cleaning roadsides year-round, are also encouraged to participate in the cleanup.

The cleanup is sponsored each year by PennDOT, DEP, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, and other partners.

Great American Clean Up Pennsylvania Great American Clean Up Pennsylvania Gloves, trash bags, and safety vests for the cleanup campaign will be provided by PennDOT, DEP, and the GLAD Products Company, a national sponsor.

Through PennDOT's AAH program, volunteers collect litter on a 2-mile section of state highway at least two times a year. The program currently has over 4,900 participating groups, more than 85,920 volunteers, and 10,612 miles of adopted state-maintained roadways.

PennDOT has created a comprehensive webpage that includes all volunteer opportunities available, from the Great American Cleanup of Pa and Adopt-A-Highway to Safety Training, Litter Brigades and more. Visit www.penndot.gov and click on the “Roadside Beautification” tab then the “Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania” tab to learn more.

For their extensive partnership on the 2017 Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania, DEP and PennDOT were awarded the State Agency Partner Award by Keep America Beautiful.

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

Property TaxThe Pennsylvania Department of Revenue is accepting applications for the 2017 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.  If you filed a paper rebate last year, you should have received an application in the mail.  Applications are also available at my district offices, online at www.revenue.pa.gov or by calling 1-888-222-9190.  As always, my staff would be happy to assist you in preparing your application.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older.  The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters.  Please keep in mind, half of Social Security income is excluded.

Applications are due to the Department of Revenue by June 30 and rebates will be distributed beginning July 1. The program is funded by the Pennsylvania Lottery and revenue from slots gaming.

Crime Watch Seminar

The Ingram and Crafton Community Crime Watches are hosting a Crime Watch Seminar focusing on Identity Theft on Tuesday, May 22 at 7 p.m.  The Seminar is being held at the Ingram Borough Community Room, located at 40 W. Prospect Avenue.  The Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office will present the program.

Cinco De MayoCinco De Mayo Celebration

Las Palmas and the Latin American Cultural Union are hosting their annual Cinco De Mayo Festival in Beechview this Saturday, May 5.  The event will take place from noon – 9 p.m. in the parking lot at Las Palmas, located at 1616 Broadway Avenue.  The event benefits Casa San Jose and will feature inflatables for children, food vendors, artistic presentations, folk performances, raffles, and more!

Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh MarathonFontana Fact

This Sunday is the annual Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon.  The 26.2-mile course starts and ends in downtown Pittsburgh and winds through several neighborhoods.  In the United States in 2018, 760 marathons are scheduled.  Last year, more than 511,000 people finished marathons throughout the country.

Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana

Brookline District
932 Brookline Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
Phone: 412-344-2551
Weekdays – 9 am – 5 pm
Harrisburg
543 Main Capitol | Box 203042
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: 717-787-5300
Fax: 717-772-5484
Weekdays – 8:30 am – 5 pm
Kennedy Township
Kenmawr Plaza
524 Pine Hollow Road
Kennedy Twp, PA 15136
Phone: 412-331-1208
Weekdays – 10 am – 4 pm
Beechview Satellite
1660 Broadway Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
By Appointment
Northside (Mobile Office)
Carnegie Library | Allegheny Branch
1230 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
By Appointment