- Last Updated on Thursday, 02 May 2019 21:15
On behalf of Governor Tom Wolf, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin recently recognized municipalities and local government officials for their dedication and commitment to strengthen their communities and better serve their residents.
“With all the attention paid to federal and state politics, it’s easy to overlook that the level of government that has the greatest impact on an individual’s day-to-day life is on the local level,” Secretary Davin said. “When local governments go above and beyond by implementing new technologies, forming new partnerships, or developing new ways to tackle their problems, that has a huge effect on residents’ quality of life. The purpose of these awards is to commend those municipalities and individuals that showed incredible service to their communities.”
Nine communities and ten individuals from across the commonwealth were recognized for excellent service as part of the 23rd Annual Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence. The municipality of Bethel Park was recognized with the “Responding to Adversity” Award.
On, June 20, 2018, Bethel Park witnessed a historic flooding event. The flood prompted a collaborative response, with neighbors assisting neighbors with flood clean-up and garbage removal. Local businesses donated food, cleaning supplies, and other items to help in the clean-up and recovery efforts. Contractors volunteered their time and services to repair electrical, plumbing, and structural systems. Municipal Council, Mayor Jack Allen, and municipal staff worked tirelessly to help residents recover and get infrastructure repaired quickly. The local emergency management coordinator organized an event to allow residents to come in and speak with representatives from numerous government and nonprofit agencies to find the help for their specific problem. Local municipalities and other government agencies offered assistance in the form of providing engineers and equipment to help speed up recovery. Municipal Council subsequently faced the difficult decision to increase taxes, in part to fund storm water projects to help reduce the damaging effects of future flood events and to reduce pollutant discharges into local waterways. These projects make Bethel Park a stronger community by reducing the effects of flooding on homes and businesses and improving the water quality for Bethel Park and downstream municipalities.