Open Seat 48th E-Newsletter

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August 12, 2019 

York Co. Court Appointed Special Advocate Volunteers

There are close to 400 York County children in foster care or out-of-home placement.  The York County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program is calling for individuals to serve as advocates for these children.  CASA volunteers provide a voice for kids in the child welfare system by serving as the eyes and ears of the Court.  Advocates are appointed by a judge, gather information, develop recommendations in the best interest of the child, and provide a detailed report to the Court.

All potential volunteers go through an application and screening process, and are carefully selected for intensive training.  As a neutral party, the CASA volunteer is able to facilitate collaborative relationships to ensure each child has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential and have the best possible outcome.  The next information sessions are at noon and 5:30 p.m. on August 13, 2019 in the Jury Assembly Room in the York County Judicial Center.  The next training will begin on September 17 with applications due September 3.  For more information, visit, call (717) 771-9754 or e-mail

Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program

The PA Department of Agriculture has announced the opening of the first grant program made possible by the PA Farm Bill.  The Urban Agriculture Infrastructure (UAI) Grant Program will provide $500,000 in funding to increase market opportunities for PA’s urban agriculturalists.  Individuals, partnerships, associations, businesses and municipal governments are eligible to apply here, and the application period closes on September 6.  The UAI will provide grants to improve agriculture infrastructure in urban areas, the aggregation of product, sharing of resources, and support for community development.

Two types of grants will be awarded:  “microgrants” and “collaboration” grants.  Microgrants of up to $2,500 can be used for one-time projects of a single entity applicant.  Collaboration grants (up to $50,000) demonstrate cooperative or regional efforts which share resources, aggregate agricultural products on producers, promote the sharing of resources among agricultural entities, and support community development.

Fire Company, EMS Company Grant Program

The PA Office of the State Fire Commissioner (OSFC) invites fire companies and emergency medical services throughout PA to submit a Fire Company, Emergency Medical Services Company Grant Program application beginning the first week of September.  The application period will remain open for 45 days.  Program guidelines will be available for download on the OSFC webpage.

Fire companies and emergency medical services may apply for a grant in up to two of the six eligible program categories:

  • Construction and/or renovation of the fire company’s or ambulance service’s facility, and purchase or repair of fixtures and furnishings necessary to maintain or improve the capability of the company to provide fire, ambulance and rescue services;
  • Purchase or repair of firefighting, ambulance, or rescue equipment, including the purchase of fuel for company vehicles;
  • Debt reduction associated with the facility or equipment categories above;
  • Training and certification of members;
  • Training and education materials regarding fire prevention for the general public, and;
  • Career Fire Departments Only – Overtime costs associated with backfilling positions while firefighters are attending training.

An organization wishing to apply for this year’s grant but has not submitted a Final Report documenting expenditures of funds received in the 2018-19 grant year must do so by 4:00 p.m. September 3, otherwise the organization is not permitted to submit a grant application for the 2019-20 year.  Any company not current with reporting incidents through July 31, 2019 will also not be permitted to submit a grant application unless brought current prior to the application deadline.  To be awarded a grant, a company must actively report to PennFIRS monthly throughout the years of the grant application.

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