Local Government Assistance

Back Mountain Community Partnership

The Back Mountain Community Partnership (BMCP) is a consortium of municipalities in the Back Mountain area of Luzerne County.   The BMCP consists of seven municipalities -Dallas Borough, Dallas Township, Franklin Township, Harveys Lake Borough, Jackson Township, Kingston Township, and Lehman Township.  The BMCP was formed in October of 2008.  State Senator Lisa Baker, in cooperation with Misericordia University and the NEPA Alliance, provided the impetus for the formation of the Partnership.  NEPA Alliance has remained the administrator of the BMCP since its inception.  The BMCP meets monthly (with the exception of July and August) on the third Thursday of the month at 3pm.  The meetings are held at the Back Mountain Regional EMA Building on Route 118 in Dallas.

Since its founding, the BMCP has undertaken a number of successful projects.

  • BMCP conducted an Open Records Seminar in conjunction with Senator Baker’s Office, Misericordia University and NEPA Alliance for municipalities on April 2, 2009. Approximately 30 individuals attended.
  • Submitted two PA Conservations Works! grant applications for Energy Efficiency Municipal Building Improvements ($239,000) and Solar Panels ($249,000).-  Awarded $239,000 Energy Efficiency Municipal Building Improvement Grant in November 2009. NEPA authored and administered the grant.
  • Jointly appointed a delegate and alternate delegate to the Luzerne County Tax Collection Committee (TCC) to provide the BMCP a greater allocated vote in the proceedings.
  • Hosted Encana/Whitmar on January 21, 2010 to give the BMCP and all interested residents a presentation and discussion on Marcellus Shale and the Hydraulic Fracking process.
  • Applied to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) for $20,000 for the purchase of Tasers in the Spring of 2010. The Taser Grant(s) were awarded in October 2010.
  • Five (5) municipalities jointly purchased a speed trailer device to be shared among the municipalities. The cost of the speed trailer unit was $6,488. The unit was purchased upon finalization of joint purchasing agreement.
  • In 2012, a $975,000 joint proposal submitted by the BMCP was funded through Pennsylvania’s Local Share Account (LSA) Program. The funds were used to renovate a jointly-used EMA operations facility and storage garage and to purchase new equipment.
  • In 2013, a $200,000 LSA grant submitted by the BMCP was funded through LSA Program. The funds were used to purchase emergency services equipment to be shared on a regional level.
  • In 2014, a $350,000 LSA grant submitted by the BMCP was funded through the LSA Program.  The funds were used to purchase public works equipment.
  • In 2015, 6 of the 7 BMCP municipalities agreed to participated in a study to determine the feasibility of a regional police force.  The study is being conducted by the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).  The study is expected to take two years to complete.
  • In 2015, a $400,000 LSA grant submitted by the BMCP was funded through the LSA Program.  The funds will be used to purchase additional public works equipment to be shared by the BMCP municipalities.

Plymouth Township

The Township of Plymouth (Luzerne County) was declared a financially distressed community under Act 47 (Distressed Communities Act) in July, 2004 by the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). NEPA was awarded a contract for the preparation of a financial recovery and implementation plan by the Commonwealth and has since been providing Recovery Plan Coordinator services under the implementation phase of the project since 2005. In accordance with a Recovery Plan Update adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 2010, a home rule charter was prepared for and adopted by the Township to improve the structure of the township’s governance and operations.

Still recovering after a Coal Creek flash flood and Susquehanna River flooding events, the Township is progressing well with disaster recovery activities with most infrastructure projects now completed. and are concluding the process of receiving federal recovery expense reimbursements, while pursuing further grant assistance. NEPA staff is also assisting the township with a strategy to address sewer system improvements and continues to engage in discussions with DEP, Pennvest, DCED and Borton-Lawson Engineering. An Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan Update is expected to soon be initiated. This past year, the Township again ended its fiscal year with a modest fund balance and continues to strengthen its fiscal position for an exit of the Distressed Municipalities Program in 2015.

Staff Contacts

Alan Baranski – Vice President, Transportation Planning Services Division
Kate McMahon – Transportation Services Manager

 
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