Main Office: (610) 458-1601  Township Police: (610) 458-3205

Local Tax Return is Due April 15

It's that time of year again. Your 2014 local earned income tax return is due on April 15.

Did you know the quickest way to get your refund is to file online? If you live and work in Pennsylvania, you can e-file on our tax administrator's secure website, which is available 24/7 at www.KeystoneCollects.com.

Keystone Collections Group's e-file is the easy, fast and secure way to file your 2014 tax return. It lets you file your tax return when it is most convenient for you. You will need your W-2, your Social Security Number and any other income documents that may apply (such as a PA-UE or a Schedule C).

Please note that the forms changed this year. If you will be claiming an out-of-state tax credit or if you work in Philadelphia, you may be eligible for a local earned income tax credit up to the amount you owe to your resident municipality. The worksheet on the back of the form will help you calculate your out-of-state tax credit (attach a copy of your out-of-state filing).

If you have questions regarding local tax filing, call Keystone's Taxpayer Helpline at 1-888-328-0565 to speak with a local, knowledgeable Taxpayer Service Agent. You can also email your questions to "Taxpayer Support" at www.KeystoneCollects.com.

Taxpayers with earned income in 2014 are required to file a tax return by Wednesday, April 15.

 

How to Guard Against Utility Imposters

You hear about it all too often in the news: An unsuspecting homeowner victimized by thieves posing as utility company workers to gain entry and rob the house. You can prevent utility imposters from targeting you by taking precautions to protect yourself.

Individuals claiming to represent the "water company" or another utility will approach the resident and use a variety of excuses to enter the home. For example, they are supposedly investigating a "dirty water" complaint by a neighbor or checking water pressure due to a main break nearby. Once inside the home, the imposters typically divert the resident's attention by sending him/her to the basement or kitchen to run a faucet while they or an accomplice robs another area of the home.

First, it is extremely rare for water company personnel to show up at a customer's home without an appointment. However, if a utility worker comes to your door and you are not expecting them, DO NOT let them inside without proper identification. All Pennsylvania American Water service personnel wear uniforms, drive company-branded vehicles and wear photo ID badges with the company's logo. (IMPORTANT: Company employees will never ask for nor accept payment at a customer's home or business.)

Don't be afraid to ask for photo ID, and take the time to examine the ID badge whenever someone from a utility company arrives at your home. If you are still unsure and have any suspicions about the individual's identity, call 9-1-1 immediately. Also, you can contact Pennsylvania American Water's customer service center (800-565-7292) to check if the service visit is legitimate.

Please share this advice with family and friends, particularly seniors who often fall prey to these thieves.
Pennsylvania American Water is committed to safety for its customers and employees. Be vigilant, and don't get fooled by utility imposters!

Trash Task Force Report

The Trash Task Force report and recommendations can be found by clicking on the link below. The Task Force identified a series of options for dealing with trash collection and recycling in the Township. The Task Force selected one option as its preferred option. It is recommending that the Board of Supervisors consider developing a program which will identify and contract with a preferred hauler. Residents will be encouraged, but not required, to use that preferred hauler. It is anticipated that rates will decrease for trash pickup as more residents sign up to use the preferred hauler. All haulers providing trash pickup to Township residents will be required to provide recycling services to their customers as a requirement by state law. This is a recommendation by the Task Force only. The Board of Supervisors thanks the Task Force for its work and will consider the report, all of the options and the recommendation before taking further action. Trash Task Force Report

Are You Ready for Winter?

Get Supplies Together Now in Anticipation of Snow and Ice

With any luck, the approaching winter season won't be as nasty as the one many Pennsylvanians endured last year.  Mother Nature, though, isn't known for her predictability. With that in mind, here are some tips from www.ready.gov a Federal Emergency Management Agency preparedness campaign, to help you and your family get ready before the snow, ice, winds, and frigid temps come our way.

Before Winter and Storms Arrive

To prepare for a winter storm, ready.gov recommends the following:

Stock up on the following supplies:

  1. Rock salt or an alternative, environmentally safe product to melt ice on walkways.
  2. Sand or other antiskid materials to improve traction on sidewalks and driveways.
  3. Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
  4. Heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home, and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
  5. Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.

Create a "family communication plan." Your family may not be together when disaster strikes so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together, and what you will do in case of an emergency. To learn more about developing a plan, go to www.ready.gov/family-communications

Homeowners should consider purchasing a NOAA weather radio, which broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the National Weather Service for all hazards. Many county emergency management organizations provide phone and text notifications, too. Check with them, and if they do, register your contact information.  Also, download FEMA's Be Smart. Know Your Alerts and Warnings for a summary of notifications at www.ready.gov/prepare. Free smart phone apps, such as those available from FEMA and the American Red Cross, provide information about finding shelters, providing first aid, and seeking recovery assistance.  Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supply kit in your vehicle. To learn more about what to include in this kit, visit www.ready.gov/kit-storage-locations.

Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with nonfrozen drinking water.

During a storm and extreme cold

Once a storm arrives or the temperatures dip to bone-chilling single digits, take the following steps:

  1. Stay indoors as much as possible.
  2. Walk carefully on snowy, icy walkways.
  3. Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack, a major cause of death in the winter. Use caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when possible, and lift lighter loads.
  4. Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
  5. Signs of frostbite: Frostbite occurs when the skin and body tissue just beneath it freezes. Symptoms include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, earlobes, face, and the tip of the nose.
  6. What to do if you suspect frostbite: Cover exposed skin but do not rub the affected area in an attempt to warm it up. Seek medical help immediately.
  7. Signs of hypothermia: This is dangerously low body temperature that could lead to uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and exhaustion.
  8. What to do if you suspect hypothermia: If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, take the person's temperature. If it is below 95 degrees, seek medical attention immediately. Get the victim to a warm location. Remove wet clothing. Warm the center of the body first by wrapping the person in blankets or putting on dry clothing. Give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious.
  9. Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive, travel during the day, don't travel alone, keep others informed of your schedule, and avoid back roads and shortcuts.
  10. If the pipes freeze in your house, remove any insulation and wrap the pipes in rags. Open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate).
  11. Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least 3 feet from flammable objects.
  12. If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home and don't set the temperature any lower than 55 degrees.

After a storm

Keep these things in mind after the snow, ice, and cold temperatures move on:

  1. If your home loses power or heat for more than a few hours or if you do not have adequate supplies to stay warm there overnight, you may want to go to a designated public shelter if you can get there safely. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area.
  2. Bring personal items that you would need to spend the night (such as toiletries and medicine). Take precautions when traveling to the shelter. Dress warmly in layers and wear boots, mittens, and a hat.
  3. Continue to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors if possible.
  4. If you choose to stay in your home, never run a generator indoors or in an attached garage. Place the generator outside in a well-ventilated, dry area, away from air intakes to the home. Also, be sure to protect it from direct exposure to rain and snow.

Learn from every storm

When life returns to normal, consider the recent storm as a learning experience and do the following:
Restock your emergency supplies to be ready in case another storm hits.
Assess how well your supplies and family plan worked. What could you have done better?

Carbon Monoxide Requirements

Senate Bill 607 signed into law by Governor Corbett on December 20, 2013 requires all residential single family dwellings, multi-family dwellings, non-owner occupied dwellings of any type (apartments, tenant houses, summer homes, cabins, vacation rentals) to install and maintain at least ONE carbon monoxide alarm within the living space, when the dwellings’ appliances are served by a fuel burning source. (PROPANE, NATURAL GAS, FUEL OIL, KEROSENE, CHARCOAL, WOOD, GASOLINE). A carbon monoxide alarm is also required when a home has an attached garage.

CARBON MONOXIDE (CO) POISIONING is the most common type of fatal air poisoning to humans and animals. It is a colorless, ordorless, and tasteless gas that is otherwise undetectable to the human senses, and people may not know that they are being exposed.

The initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to the flu but, without the fever, they include:
Headache
Fatigue
Shortness of breath
Nausea
Dizziness

High level CO Poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:
Mental confusion
Vomiting
Loss of muscular coordination
Loss of Consciousness
Ultimately death

How Can I prevent CO poisoning??
l. Make sure appliances are installed and operated according to the manufacture’s instructions
2. Never operate a portable generator or any other gasoline engine-powered tool either in or
near an enclosed space such as a garage, house.
3. Never use portable fuel-burning camping equipment inside a home, garage
4. Never burn charcoal inside a home, garage or near open windows.
5. Never use gas appliances such as ranges, ovens, or clothes dryers to heat your home.
6. Never operate unvented fuel-burning appliances in a room where people are sleeping.
7. Never leave a car running in an attached garage, even with the garage door open.
8. During home renovations, ensure that appliance vents and chimneys are not blocked by
tarps or debris.
9. Make sure that appliances have been inspected and are in proper working order after
renovations are completed

How and where should I install a CO alarm?
Alarms should be installed per the manufactures instructions. The CPSC (Consumer Product
Safety Commission) recommends that one CO alarm be installed in the hallway outside the
bedrooms in each separate sleeping area of the home. CO alarms may be installed into a plug-in
receptacle or high on the wall. Hard wired or plug-in CO alarms should have battery backup.
Avoid locations that are near heating vents or that can be covered by furniture or draperies.
Install an alarm in the area or room nearest to the door to your attached garage.
DO NOT install in kitchens or above fuel-burning appliances.

What should you do when the CO alarm sounds?
NEVER ignore an alarming CO alarm
Immediately move outside to fresh air
Call 911
NO NOT re-enter the premises until the emergency service responder has given you permission
to do so.
If the source of the CO is a malfunction appliance-DO NOT operate that appliance until it has
Be properly serviced and inspected by a certified technician