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. If you do not wish to receive these e-newsletters, please click the "unsubscribe" button at the bottom of the page.
I also want to extend my best wishes for the season as well. From my family to yours, I wish you a very merry holiday season and a bountiful and healthy new year.
2009-10 Legislative Session Comes to a Close
The 2009-10 Legislative Session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly came to a close on November 30.
All legislation that was not approved by both the Senate and the House and signed into law by the Governor is now dead and must be reintroduced during the 2011-12 Legislative Session.
The 2011-12 Session is set begin on Tuesday, January 4 with a swearing-in ceremony for state Senators and Representatives who won their seats in the November election. Governor-Elect Tom Corbett and Lieutenant Governor-Elect Jim Cawley will take the oath of office on January 18.
In addition to electing a Republican Governor and returning a Republican majority to the Senate, Pennsylvania voters elected a Republican House majority in the November 2 General Election.
Impaired Driver Strikeforce Prepared for DUI Checkpoints, Roving Patrols
As the holidays approach, the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) reminds motorists that troopers will be continuing the Checkpoint Strikeforce Program. The program started in 2008 is intended to reduce crashes, prevent injuries and save lives by identifying and arresting impaired drivers on Pennsylvania highways.
Each of Pennsylvania's 15 regional PSP troops will conduct sobriety checkpoints or roving DUI patrols within its enforcement area on at least 20 weekends through August 2011.
To date, the program has resulted in 4,652 DUI arrests during the first two years. The checkpoints yielded 3,347 arrests while roving patrols are responsible for the other 1,305 DUI arrests. DUI arrests made by local PSP troops during the first two years of the Checkpoint Strikeforce Program are as follows:
Strongstown Water Tank Dedicated
Senator Don White recently participated in the dedication of the new 300,000 gallon Strongstown water tank.
The Indiana County Municipal Services Authority project was supported by a $4,385,244 low-interest loan and a $1,389,938 grant from the PENNVEST program awarded in January 2009, according to Senator White, a member of the PENNVEST Board.
In addition to building the water tank, ICMSA used the financing toward the construction of 60,000 feet of water lines and installation of meters and fire hydrants to serve 209 existing homes in the Strongstown area of Pine Township.
"The PENNVEST financing helped the ICMSA address serious water quality issues facing residents of Strongstown," Senator White said. "The DEP has determined that half of the private wells in Strongstown have coliform contamination. This water project was essential and I was pleased to support the ICMSA’s request when it came before the PENNVEST Board."
Local Projects Receive $16.7M in PENNVEST Funds
The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) recently approved state funding totaling nearly $16.7 million for projects in the 41st Senatorial District, according to Senator Don White, a PENNVEST board member.
PENNVEST approved $11,386,500 in grants and low-interest loans for the Indiana County Municipal Services Authority (ICMSA) and state funding totaling nearly $5.3 million for Winfield Township, Butler County, at its November board meeting held in Harrisburg.
The ICMSA received a $6,108,654 low-interest loan and a $1,997,346 grant from PENNVEST for water system improvements in and near the communities of Parkwood in Armstrong Township, Airport Road in White and Cherryhill townships, Prymack Road in Young Township and the Breeze Clamp manufacturing facility in Conemaugh Township.
The project includes the construction of a 300,000-gallon storage tank and the installation of 112,500 feet of water lines.
Many of the properties in those areas have wells contaminated by coliform or chemicals from abandoned mine drainage. The Department of Environmental Protection ordered Breeze Industrial Products, a manufacturer of stainless steel hose clamps, to stop using a well contaminated with significant levels of trichloroethylene. The company currently ships in water for its 268 employees.
The ICMSA also received a $1,995,500 grant and a $1,325,000 low-interest loan to install 24,500 feet of sanitary sewer lines, 4,800 feet of 6-inch force sewer main lines and construct a pump station to serve the villages of Alverda, Mentcle and Brownstown in Pine Township.
The new lines will address contamination problems caused by wildcat sewers and malfunctioning on-lot septic systems in Pine Township, which are discharging raw sewage into Yellow Creek.
"This PENNVEST financing is truly an investment in Indiana County's future by enhancing the vitality of the Breeze Industries facility and providing infrastructure improvements to promote residential and economic development near Jimmy Stewart Airport," Senator White said. "It will also improve the quality of life for county residents who now are experiencing contamination problems with their wells."
PENNVEST approved a $671,000 grant and a $4.6 million low-interest loan for Winfield Township's sewer expansion project in Winfield and Buffalo Townships calling for the installation of a gravity sewer system constructed of approximately 49,000 feet of PVC pipe and pre-cast manholes.
The sewer service area for the Winfield Township Sewer System includes the communities of Marwood, Cabot, and Knox Chapel in Winfield Township, Butler County. The sewer interceptor from this service area will extend south from these communities through Winfield and Buffalo Townships to connect into the Municipal Authority of Buffalo Township's sewer system. The proposed sewer system will help current employers further develop business in the region while complementing the quality highway access provided by Routes 28, 356 and 422.
"This is a major project that definitely could have placed a tremendous burden on ratepayers without this financing. The installation of this system will result in significant economic development opportunities and job growth within the region. The system will serve about 855 residents and various businesses that currently have no public sewage, or have failed on-lot treatment systems," Senator White said.
The PENNVEST funds come on the heels of grants approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) through a $3,372,727 H2O PA grant in July 2009. The project now has all funding necessary secured to ensure the project moves forward in a timely manner at the least possible burden to ratepayers.
PENNDOT Offers Safe Winter Driving Tips
As winter weather rapidly approaches, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is providing advice and information on safe winter driving and travel advisories.
"The Ice & Snow Take It Slow Winter Driving Guide" provides a checklist to help with vehicle preparations, information on compiling an emergency travel kit, and details winter driving tips designed to keep motorists on the road and carry them safely to their destinations.
Pennsylvania's official travel information service, 511PA, provides real-time traffic information, weather conditions and transportation alternatives. Motorists can also sign up for free 511 PA Personalized Traveler Alerts to receive notifications by cell phone, PDA, or email account regarding accidents, incidents and construction on specific state highways and toll roads.
PENNDOT's $216 million winter operations budget and fleet of more than 2,100 trucks are being readied, with 641,000 tons of salt available and additional deliveries scheduled to continue throughout the season as necessary.
Mark Your Calendar
Senator Don White will have a table with information about state services and programs at the Indiana County Chamber of Commerce Expo set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 22, 2011, at the Indiana Mall.
286 Main Capitol