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Senator Wayne D. Fontana
Senator Fontana toured the PA 2-1-1 Call Center on March 4 with some of his Senate and House colleagues.
Senator Fontana toured the PA 2-1-1 Call Center on March 4 with some of his Senate and House colleagues. Located on the South Side, PA 2-1-1 handles calls from all over Pennsylvania. PA 2-1-1 Southwest is part of the national 2-1-1 Call Centers initiative that features call specialists who provide referrals to available resources for people in need. Food banks, utility payment assistance, job training crisis intervention, after school programs are just a few of the many referrals they can provide.

Alternative and Clean Energy Program

The Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) is accepting applications for the Alternative and Clean Energy Program. This program provides financial assistance in the form of grant and loan funds that will be used by eligible applicants for the utilization, development and construction of alternative and clean energy projects in the state. The program is administered jointly by DCED and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), under the direction of the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA).  Eligible applicants include municipalities; counties; school districts; economic development organizations; and businesses. This program has a dollar-for-dollar matching funds requirement.

Alternative and Clean Energy ProgramFunds may be used for Clean Energy Project costs that include costs associated with the construction or renovation of a building; site preparation of a business park consisting exclusively of certified High-Performance Buildings; installation of equipment to facilitate or improve energy conservation or energy efficiency; installation of an alternative energy system which produces energy from sources defined under the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act of 2004; replacement or enhancement of an existing energy system that utilizes nonrenewable energy with an energy system that utilizes alternative energy.

Funds may also be used for the construction or development of an Alternative Energy Production Project that includes a facility that produces or distributes energy from sources defined in the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act of 2004; a facility that manufactures or produces alternative fuels; compressed Natural Gas and Liquefied Natural Gas fueling stations, or equipment and infrastructure associated with dispensing the fuel; a facility that manufactures or produces products, including component parts that provide alternative energy or alternative fuels; the purchase and installation of equipment used for the manufacturing of component parts of alternative energy or alternative fuel production systems; a facility that manufactures or produces products, including component parts that improve energy efficiency or conserve energy; or a facility used for the research and development of technology to provide alternative energy sources or alternative fuels.

Applicants must submit the electronic online Single Application for Assistance located at www.esa.dced.state.pa.us. Six hard copies of the application with the appropriate supplemental information should be mailed to:

PA Department of Community and Economic Development
Center for Business Financing – CFA Programs Division
Alternative and Clean Energy Program
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street, 4th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225

Questions about the program can be directed to 717-787-6245 or ra-dcedsitedvpt@pa.gov. Guidelines can also be found by visiting www.dced.pa.gov/CFA or by clicking here.

High Schools Can Register for Governor’s Civic Engagement Award

The Governor’s Civic Engagement Award (GCEA), presented by the Pennsylvania Department of State and Pennsylvania Department of Education, celebrates the efforts of Pennsylvania high school students to educate, engage and inform their fellow students about how to get involved in the voting process.

Governor’s Civic Engagement AwardSchools can register to participate by completing the online registration form which can be accessed by clicking here or visiting votespa.com/geca.  Schools then plan and execute a voter registration drive at their school, counting the number of registrations collected and calculating the percent of eligible students registered at the school. Once the registration drive concludes, the school submits their application using an online form which can be accessed by clicking here or visiting votespa.com/geca.

Schools that register to vote 85 percent or more of their eligible students earn a Gold Level Award, while schools that register between 65 percent and 84 percent of their eligible students earn a Silver Level Award. Eligible students are those who are 18 years of age or will turn 18 on or before the date of the next primary, special or general election. Outstanding students 17 years of age or older who engage in efforts to register their fellow students and also serve as poll workers are eligible for individual awards. Winners will be announced at four regional recognition events in the spring.

To learn more about this program and to take advantage of available resources to help plan a voter registration drive, please visit www.votespa.com and click on the “Civic Engagement Award” tab near the bottom of the page.  The deadline to apply for an award is April 3.

Did You Know…

Did you know that in 2019, 23 high schools earned GCEA awards, eight students won individual awards for registering their peers to vote, and 3,109 eligible students were registered to vote?

Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding last week announced that 12 counties have been added to Pennsylvania’s Spotted Lanternfly quarantine zone ahead of the 2020 spring hatch.  Included among these additions was Allegheny County.  The new dozen counties are not completely infested, but rather have a few municipalities with a known infestation which led to a quarantine being placed on the entire county out of an abundance of caution.

Spotted LanternflyThe Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula (White), is an invasive planthopper native to China, India, Vietnam.  It was first discovered in Pennsylvania in Berks County and has spread to other counties mainly in the southeast portion of the Commonwealth.  This insect has the potential to greatly impact agricultural crops such as grapes, hops, and hardwoods.  It is also reducing the quality of life for people living in heavily infested areas.

The Department of Agriculture reports that most of the affected municipalities have already been aggressively treated and with continued treatment and monitoring, Spotted Lanternflies can be stricken from these counties. Quick, aggressive treatment to newly identified populations of Spotted Lanternfly in Pennsylvania was funded through the Rapid Response Disaster Readiness line of the 2019 PA Farm Bill.

Homeowners with questions about treatment are encouraged to contact their local Penn State Extension office or learn about management, including approved sprays, online by visiting https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly. Pennsylvanians who live inside the quarantine zone should also review and sign the Compliance Checklist for residents which is available by clicking here or visiting www.agriculture.pa.gov.

For more information on the Spotted Lanternfly, please visit www.agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly.

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

HomeThe Pennsylvania Department of Revenue is now accepting applications for the 2019 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.  If you filed a paper rebate last year, you should receive an application in the mail. Applications are 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 for homeowners and $15,000 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.

Northside Leadership Conference Scholarship Program

The Northside Leadership Conference is accepting applications for their annual Scholarship Program. The program is open to any Northside resident in the 12th grade who performs volunteer service in their community and is planning to attend a college or university or training program after high school. Scholarships for $1,000 will be awarded. Individuals must reside on the Northside, but they need not attend a Northside high school.

Students are required to prepare an essay of 500 words or less, which describe his or her volunteer activities and future educational plans. On the application form, the applicant should include their name, address, phone number, school, and neighborhood in which they reside.  The student’s name, gender or reference to race should not appear on the essay.  Applicants should include a copy of their high school academic records. More information on the criteria for selection is available at www.pittsburghnorthside.com.

Applications can be downloaded by clicking here or by visiting www.pittsburghnorthside.com and are due no later than Friday, March 27.

Applications can be mailed to:

Northside Leadership Conference Scholarship Committee
ATTN: Kelly MacKay
1319 Allegheny Avenue, 2nd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15233

An electronic version of the essay should also be submitted via email to kelly@pittsburghnorthside.com. Any questions regarding the scholarship program can be directed to Kelly at the Northside Leadership Conference office at 412-231-4714, ext. 201.

Toast of the Rox

Toast of the RoxThe Greater McKees Rocks Area Rotary Club is hosting their annual Toast of the Rox, this Sunday, March 15 from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. The community French toast breakfast will be held at the Kennedy Township Fire Hall, located at 1769 Pine Hollow Road. A ticket includes one all-you-can-eat breakfast. 

Tickets can be purchased at Nationwide Insurance in Kenmawr Plaza in Kennedy Township.  More information is available by calling 412-771-6781.  All proceeds benefit the Greater McKees Rocks Area Rotary community charity organizations. E-Tickets are available on Eventbrite.com. In the search field, type “Toast of the Rox.”

Fontana Fact

It was on this day in 1971 that the United States Senate unanimously approved an amendment that would ultimately lower the voting age from 21 to 18. Later in March, the House overwhelmingly voted in favor and the amendment then went to the states for ratification. In just over two months, the shortest period of time for any amendment in U.S. history, the necessary three-fourths of state legislatures (or 38 states) ratified the 26th Amendment. It officially went into effect on July 1, 1971, though President Nixon signed it into law on July 5, 1971.

Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana

Brookline District
1039 Brookline Boulevard
Suite 2
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