News for Constituents

Where’s My Plow

During the cold winter months when you are watching the snow fall and wondering, “Where’s My Plow”, the answer is now just a click away at

The Automated Vehicle Location system’s equipment reveals a plow’s location and whether or how much product is being spread.  Brine, salt, and anti-skid are used singly or in some combination depending on the temperature, precipitation type, and traffic volume. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s winter operations use more than 2,248 trucks, plows, and salt spreaders across nearly 95,000 snow-lane miles.  Another 380 trucks are added to the crews as necessary to assist PennDOT in executing its winter storm tactics.  The Winter Services Guide offers specifics on your county’s snow removal operations.

2021 Virtual Farm Show

The Pennsylvania Farm Show was unlike any other this year, but the show must go on.  The 2021 Farm Show took place virtually, but with plenty of exhibits.  Kids can even participate and learn with the AgExplorers program.

Photographs from this year’s events are available online, and winning recipes from chefs across the Commonwealth can be found in an online cookbook.

FEMA Firefighting Grants Available 

FEMA provides several grants for firefighters and emergency responders each year. 

The Assistance to Firefighters Grants, which help firefighters and first responders obtain critically needed resources, are open for applications until February 12, 2021.  Additionally, the Fire Prevention and Safety Grants are open until February 26, 2021.  These grants can be used for projects including fire prevention education and training, fire code enforcement, fire investigation, and prevention efforts.

Future grant opportunities include the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program.  SAFER grants provide funding to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help with hiring, recruitment and retention.  The application period for these grants is from February 8 to March 12, 2021.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Season Now Open

The state Department of Human Services is reminding Pennsylvanians that the 2020-2021 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) season is still open.  LIHEAP helps low-income families pay heating bills via a cash grant.  The cash grant is a one-time payment sent directly to the utility company/fuel provider to be credited on a bill.  Grants range from $200 to $1,000 based on household size, income and fuel type.  Households in immediate danger of being without heat can also qualify for crisis grants. 

Visit the program’s website to learn more about the assistance, including the income requirements.  Applications are accepted online using COMPASS, by paper or in-person at your local county assistance office.

PA Personal Income Tax Return Filing Options

Once again, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue is offering several options for filing your PA Personal Income Tax Return, including by traditional paper forms, myPATH, or PA e-file.

MyPATH is a free and secure way to file your return directly with the PA Department of Revenue.  PA e-file is a free option to file your federal and state taxes simultaneously.  Click here for a PA Personal Income Tax Guide and to download paper forms.

Cold Water Boating Safety 

Some 80 percent of all recreational boating fatalities occur when a boater fails to wear a life jacket, according to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC). 

During the winter and spring months, sudden cold-water immersion triggers cold water shock.  In water temperatures less than 70 degrees, involuntary gasping, hyperventilation, breathlessness, and reduced ability to control breathing and swimming occurs. 

Pennsylvania’s boating safety requirements include a mandatory life jacket usage requirement in effect from November 1 through April 30.  In addition, whether underway or at anchor, boaters on vessels less than 16 feet long, canoes, or kayaks are required to wear U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices. 

Consult the PA Boating Handbook (page 11) for an understanding of the legal requirements for year-round boating in PA. 


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