Senator Camera Bartolotta E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • $635K in Grant Funding Approved for Crawford Park Project
  • More Than $13.8 Million in Funding to Preserve Public Health
  • Homeowner Assistance Program Opens Feb. 1
  • Transition to 5G Service Will Cause 3G Cell Phones to Stop Operating in 2022
  • Tax Form Arriving Soon for Pennsylvanians Who Claimed Unemployment Benefits in 2021
  • Applications Being Accepted for PennDOT Summer Employment Program

$635K in Grant Funding Approved for Crawford Park Project

In late December, Rep. Pam Snyder and I were elated to present Franklin Township supervisors with two Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development grants totaling $335k for renovations to Crawford Park.

A week after our presentation, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources approved a $300k grant for the project, totaling $635k in state funding.

Renovations include constructing a new building, new pedestrian walkway and parking area, replacing playground equipment, installing new bleachers, and other improvements.

Pictured (Left to Right) State Rep. Pam Snyder, Franklin Township Supervisors Todd Hoy, Corbly Orndorff and William Walker; Sen. Camera Bartolotta; and Dennis Martinak, consultant.

More Than $13.8 Million in Funding to Preserve Public Health

Earlier this week, I announced that the Cecil Township Municipal Authority will receive more than $13.8 million from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) in the form of a low-interest loan to consolidate all system operations into one treatment plant and accommodate 41 additional customers in Lawrence.

The project will include construction of a new wastewater treatment plant. The existing Teodori Sewage Treatment Plant will be converted to a lift station and gravity sewer lines will be installed. Currently, the eastern section of the Village of Lawrence does not possess a public sanitary sewer system and uses a collection of wildcat sewers with environmental discharge locations.

Investment for infrastructure continues to be a top priority to me. By removing the wildcat sewer discharges, the possibility of human contact with raw sewage is eliminated. In addition to preserving public health, the improvements made possible with the PENNVEST loan will also eliminate discharges of raw sewage into tributaries of Chartiers Creek and positively impact stream quality.

Homeowner Assistance Program Opens Feb. 1

Homeowner Assistance Fund

Beginning Feb. 1, income-eligible Pennsylvania homeowners facing unforeseen financial hardships because of the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for assistance.

The Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund (PAHAF) will help Pennsylvania homeowners whose household income is at or below 150% of the area median to prevent or ease mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, displacement and utility disconnection.

The General Assembly allocated $350 million in federal funds for the program. The legislature also established a Construction Cost Relief Program to support the production of developments by addressing financial deficiencies directly attributed to the effects of the pandemic.

Homeowners can learn about PAHAF and see a list of organizations that can assist them by visiting www.pahaf.org or by calling the PAHAF call center at 888-987-2423 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Transition to 5G Service Will Cause 3G Cell Phones to Stop Operating in 2022

3G Phones

Residents with older cell phones are being urged by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and Pennsylvania State Police to prepare for the phase-out of 3G cellular networks and service, which could come as early as next month.

If your mobile phone is more than a few years old, you may need to upgrade your device before your provider shuts down its 3G network and you lose service – including the ability to call 911. You should contact your cellular service provider to determine if your devices are compliant to ensure you don’t lose connectivity.

The nation’s three major wireless carriers (AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile) have announced plans to shut down their 3G networks to accommodate more advanced services, including 5G, as early as February. That will cause many older phones to be unable to make or receive calls and text messages or use data services. It could also affect other devices that rely on 3G connectivity, such as medical alert devices, tablets, smart watches, home security systems, and in-vehicle safety, security and roadside assistance systems.

Low-income individuals concerned their 911-only phones will no longer be supported can apply for service through the Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline program.

Tax Form Arriving Soon for Pennsylvanians Who Claimed Unemployment Benefits in 2021

2021 Unemployment Benefits

According to the Department of Labor and Industry, 1099 tax forms will be mailed no later than Jan. 31 to Pennsylvanians who claimed unemployment benefits in 2021 and need the form to file their federal income taxes.

Claimants of all unemployment programs offered during 2021 will receive a 1099 tax form detailing their benefit payments. This form will be available online soon and viewable in the same system where claimants file their weekly claims. All claimants also have the option to view 1099 tax forms from previous years, if applicable.

The receipt of a 1099 form by a person who didn’t file for unemployment may indicate a case of identity fraud. If someone who didn’t file for unemployment receives what looks to be a 1099 tax form in the mail, they should report this suspected fraud immediately so the department can correct their income with the IRS and prevent any issues with the victim’s taxes.

Applications Being Accepted for PennDOT Summer Employment Program

PennDOT Summer Jobs

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) offers a summer employment program for students who are registered as full-time college students for the Fall 2022 semester. 

The deadline for receiving summer applications is Feb. 18, so I encourage anyone interested in the program to contact my office. 

In addition to contacting my office, those interested must also fill out an online application with the PennDOT College Student Summer Worker posting under the open summer jobs section of the website.

The hourly rate is $14.61. Applicants must be enrolled as a full-time college student for the Fall 2022 semester, have a valid PA driver’s license and be 18 years of age before beginning work.

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