Pennsylvania towns get used to the ‘new normal’ in funding

    Thousands of local government officials from Pennsylvania are meeting in Dauphin County this weekend to talk about issues their communities are facing.  The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (P-SATS) is holding its 90th annual conference. This year, out of deference to a new era of limited resources, everyone’s focus is on saving money. P-SATS director Dave Sanko says township supervisors want to get rid of outdated public notice rules that are unnecessarily costly.

    “We’re looking for the option or the ability to be able to post meeting notices on the internet or on our website instead of having to buy newspaper advertising space, as an example,” said Sanko.

    A 2006 report by Penn State-Harrisburg found that local governments spend more than $26 million a year on required newspaper advertising. But township leaders have more on their mind than ad space. The state’s new natural gas drilling impact fee is poised to bring revenue to municipalities in Marcellus Shale country.  Sanko says some of the planned talks will explain how local governments can spend the money raised as a result.  

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