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In this Email Update:
Residents sound off on budget debate during telephone town hall event
On August 5, more than 4,700 residents of Berks and Schuylkill Counties joined me to discuss the current budget impasse and other budget-related issues during my telephone town hall.
Local residents were given the opportunity to ask questions and share their suggestions and concerns about the budget stalemate and the effects of the governor’s vetoes.
Several questions were posed to participants on a variety of issues including: the governor’s vetoes, property tax elimination, pension reform, and liquor privatization. Some highlights from the polling results are listed below:
If you were unable to join me for Wednesday’s event, I encourage you to take the time to voice your opinions on these issues by completing the survey found here.
Property Tax Independence Act billboards to be erected near Capitol
Two billboards promoting House Bill 76 and Senate Bill 76, legislation that aims to eliminate school property taxes completely, will be erected on two busy traveling routes near the state Capitol in Harrisburg on August 10 and August 17.
Eliminating the burdensome and archaic school property tax is imperative to ensure that citizens can remain in their homes, and also so we can find a better way to fund our public schools.
A huge thanks goes out to the Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations for coordinating this effort and to all those who made generous donations in order to make these billboards possible!
Senator Argall celebrates Dear Tamaqua, National Night Out in Borough
As part of the National Night Out, the Borough of Tamaqua celebrated by highlighting the finale of the “Dear Tamaqua” initiative. Several communities in Berks and Schuylkill Counties celebrated National Night Out along with over 16,000 communities across the United States. Tamaqua joined the national event with their “Dear Tamaqua” initiative, which provided valuable feedback from past and present residents of the borough.
The event featured a mile-long parade through the town, a festival for children, entertainers, trolley and horse-drawn carriage rides, “Jumbotron” televisions displaying historical footage of the town’s history, and theatrical readings of letters submitted as part of the “Dear Tamaqua” program. Letters ranged from suggestions on how to improve the community to things people love about Tamaqua.
The event saw over a thousand local residents come out to support the community.
Berks County employer global leader in eye care and treatment
Volunteers make No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum a must-see
Sinking Spring YMCA pillar for community, asset to residents
On August 4, I was invited to tour the Sinking Spring Family YMCA. I greatly appreciate the dedication of the staff and volunteers to the local community. Their first-class facilities are a great asset for the residents of Berks County.
Hawk Mountain accessible trail dedicated
It was a pleasure to join the staff and volunteers at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, along with local residents and officials, to celebrate the grand opening of Hawk Mountain’s new accessible trail on July 26.
The sanctuary’s new trail provides individuals with disabilities and mobility issues the opportunity to experience the scenic and picturesque views that Hawk Mountain has to offer.
This event was a great way to come together as a community and share these experiences in nature with one another. I want to thank all those who helped to make this event, and trail, possible for residents and visitors to enjoy.
Apply for Small Business Advantage Grants
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is currently accepting applications for Small Business Advantage Grants. Funded by the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act, these grants will be used to subsidize projects that aim to prevent pollution and increase energy efficiency in our state.
DEP encourages all those interested, such as manufacturers and retailers, to apply for a grant. In order to be considered eligible for a grant, applicants must adhere to the following requirements:
In 2014, DEP awarded 139 grants to Pennsylvania businesses that implemented pollution prevention and energy efficient projects. These grants totaled more than $980,000 to these businesses and generated over $2.5 million in private investment.
Applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis and will be accepted until funds from the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 are expended or on April 15, 2016, whichever instance may come first.
Applications must be mailed to DEP’s Grant Center at: P.O. Box 8776, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8776 or hand delivered to the center at the Rachel Carson State Office Building, 15th floor, located at: 400 Market Street, Harrisburg.
To receive an application, or for more information about the Small Business Advantage Grant, please visit www.dep.state.pa.us and click on the “Small Business Advantage Grant” option.