Second class township code, the




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Compiler's Note:  Section 5 of Act 166 of 2006, which amended subsecs. (b), (c)(1) and (4) and (d), provided that elected assessors in office in townships of the second class as of the effective date of section 5 shall serve the remainder of their unexpired terms. Thereafter, assessors shall neither be elected nor appointed.

Section 1402.  State Association of Township Supervisors Authorized.--(a)  The formation of a State Association of Township Supervisors is authorized.

(b)  The State association shall hold annual meetings, at a time and place within this Commonwealth as it may designate, to discuss questions and subjects pertaining to the duties of elected and appointed township officials and the improvement of township government.

(c)  The State association, at its annual meeting, by majority vote of all qualified voting delegates present, may adopt and amend bylaws to govern the State association. The bylaws shall govern the qualification of delegates, election of officers, their designation, qualifications and duties, payment of dues and other organizational matters. The State association shall function under the bylaws to advance the interest of township government.

(d)  The board of supervisors may designate one or more of the following elected or appointed officials of the township to attend the annual meeting of the State association: supervisors, secretary, treasurer and manager. The convention shall be held in this Commonwealth under the procedures adopted by the State association.

(e)  Each township with dues paid in the State association shall elect one of those delegates designated in subsection (d) to be the voting delegate at the convention.

(f)  Each township shall certify the name and address of its delegate or delegates and the designated voting delegate to the State association at least thirty days before the opening of the State convention.

(g)  (1)  The expenses allowed to the delegates attending the annual meeting are limited to the registration fee, mileage for use of a personal vehicle or reimbursement of actual transportation expense going to and returning from the meeting plus all other actual expenses that the board of supervisors agrees to pay. Every delegate attending the annual meeting shall submit to the board of supervisors an itemized account of expenses incurred at the meeting.

(2)  The board of supervisors may authorize township employes, including supervisors employed by the township, to be compensated at their regular employe rate during their attendance at the annual meeting. ((2) amended July 7, 2006, P.L.718, No.101)

(3)  The board of supervisors may authorize a supervisor who is not employed by the township to receive total or partial reimbursement for lost wages or salary while attending the annual meeting, provided that sufficient documentation is presented to the board of supervisors to justify the reimbursement.

(4)  No delegate shall receive expenses for attending more than four days each year.

(h)  Membership dues of the State association are legal expenses of the townships and shall be used for the payment of expenses incurred, including, but not limited to, the rental or acquisition of real estate to be used for State association purposes and activities, cost of publications, salaries, cost of services provided to or for townships and other expenses incurred on behalf of the State association.

(i)  The State association may purchase, receive, lease as lessee, accept by gift or devise or otherwise acquire and own, use and otherwise deal with any real estate in its own name for association purposes and mortgage, sell and convey, lease as lessor and otherwise dispose of all or part of the real estate.

(j)  The board of supervisors may authorize a supervisor who is employed by the township to be compensated at the supervisor's regular employe rate and a supervisor who is not employed by the township to receive total or partial reimbursement for lost wages or salary if the supervisor attends a meeting for which the supervisor is a member of the executive committee, a standing committee or a trustee of the State Association of Township Supervisors subject to the following limitations:

(1)  A supervisor on a standing committee of the State Association of Township Supervisors shall be limited to two days per year of regular employe rate compensation or lost wages or salary, as applicable.

(2)  A supervisor on the Board of Trustees Insurance Fund of the State Association of Township Supervisors shall be limited to four days per year of regular employe rate compensation or lost wages or salary, as applicable.

(3)  Any supervisor on the executive board or committee of the State Association of Township Supervisors shall be limited to fifteen days per year of regular employe rate compensation or lost wages or salary, as applicable.

(4)  A supervisor on any of the committees, funds or boards identified under paragraph (1), (2) or (3) may not be compensated by the township under this section if the supervisor receives any compensation from the committee, fund or board for attending that meeting.

((j) added July 7, 2006, P.L.718, No.101)

(1402 amended Feb. 21, 2002, P.L.100, No.9)

 

ARTICLE XV



CORPORATE POWERS

 

Section 1501.  Suits.--Any township may sue and be sued.



Section 1502.  Property; Penalty for Violation.--(a)  The board of supervisors may purchase, acquire by gift or otherwise, hold, lease, let and convey, by sale or lease, any real and personal property it judges to be to the best interest of the township.

(b)  Any supervisor who votes in favor of or knowingly participates in the sale or lease of township real or personal property in violation of this article is subject to surcharge to the extent of any loss or injury to the township as a result of the sale or lease.

Section 1503.  Real Property.--(a)  No real estate owned by the township having a value in excess of fifteen hundred dollars ($1,500) may be sold except to the highest bidder after due notice by advertisement for bids or advertisement of a public auction in one newspaper of general circulation in the township. The advertisement shall be published once not less than ten days before the date set for the opening of bids or public auction, and the date for opening bids or public auction shall be announced in the advertisement. The award of contracts shall be made only by public announcement at a regular or special meeting of the board of supervisors or at the public auction. All bids shall be accepted on the condition that payment of the purchase price in full shall be made within sixty days of the acceptance of bids.

(b)  The board of supervisors may reject all bids if the bids are deemed to be less than the fair market value of the property. In the case of a public auction, the board of supervisors may establish a minimum bid based on the fair market value of the real property.

(b.1)  The board of supervisors may sell real property under the act of October 27, 1979 (P.L.241, No.78), entitled, as amended, "An act authorizing political subdivisions, municipality authorities and transportation authorities to enter into contracts for the purchase of goods and the sale of real and personal property where no bids are received," if no bids are received on real property after proper notices.

(c)  The requirements of this section do not apply to conveyances or leases of real property by a township to any of the following:

(1)  A municipal corporation.

(2)  The Federal Government.

(3)  The Commonwealth.

(4)  An institution district.

(5)  A school district.

(6)  A municipality authority.

(7)  A county.

(8)  A public utility.

(9)  A volunteer fire company.

(10)  A nonprofit corporation engaged in community industrial, commercial or affordable housing development.

(11)  A volunteer ambulance service or volunteer rescue squad located within the township.

(12)  A nonprofit corporation organized as a public library.

(13)  A nonprofit medical service corporation.

(14)  A nonprofit housing corporation.

(15)  A nonprofit organization providing community service or development activities.

(16)  A nonprofit corporation established for the preservation of historical, architectural or aesthetic sites or artifacts.

(17)  A nonprofit association or nonprofit corporation organized to acquire and maintain real property for the preservation, conservation and stewardship of open space.

(18)  A council of government, consortium, cooperative or other similar entity created pursuant to 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 23 Subch. A (relating to intergovernmental cooperation).

Such conveyances or leases shall be at the sole discretion of the township.

(d)  When real property is sold to a nonprofit corporation organized as a public library or to a nonprofit medical service corporation, nonprofit housing corporation, volunteer fire company, volunteer ambulance service, volunteer rescue squad or a council of government, consortium, cooperative or other similar entity created pursuant to 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 23 Subch. A involving one or more of the entities listed in this subsection, the board of supervisors may elect to accept any nominal consideration for the property as it believes appropriate. Real property sold under this subsection is subject to the condition that when the property is not used for the purposes of the corporation or volunteer fire company, the property reverts to the township.

(e)  No real estate may be purchased by a township unless the board of supervisors obtains at least one appraisal on the real property in question by a person authorized to perform an appraisal on the subject property under the act of July 10, 1990 (P.L.404, No.98), known as the "Real Estate Appraisers Certification Act," and the township supervisors may require that an environmental impact statement be prepared, indicating the potential liability of the township for any environmental problems associated with the real estate to be purchased. The person making the appraisal shall not be interested directly or indirectly in any aspect of the sale of the real estate. The price paid by the board of supervisors for the purchase of the real estate shall not exceed the price established by the appraisal: Provided, however, That if more than one appraisal is obtained, the price paid by the board of supervisors shall not exceed the average of the appraisals.

(f)  When real property has been dedicated, deeded or devised to a township to be used for a designated purpose and the real property is accepted and used for that purpose, or the real property is not used for the purpose designated for a period of ten years or more, and the township supervisors determine that it is not possible or not desirable for the best interest of the township to use the real property for the purpose designated, the township supervisors, with the prior approval of the court of common pleas, may by ordinance reconvey to the original owners or their successors, heirs or assigns, or otherwise dispose of, the real property free and clear of any public right.

(1503 amended Apr. 12, 2012, P.L.234, No.30)

Section 1504.  Personal Property.--(a)  No personal property of the township shall be sold or disposed of without the approval of the board of supervisors. No personal property owned by the township, the estimated fair market value of which is one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more, shall be sold except to the highest bidder after due notice by advertisement for bids or for public auction in one newspaper of general circulation in the township. The advertisement shall be published once not less than ten days before the date set for the opening of bids or public auction, and the date for opening bids or public auction shall be announced in the advertisement. The advertisement for electronic auction sales authorized in subsection (d) shall include the Internet address or means of accessing the electronic auction and the date, time and duration of the electronic auction. If after attempting twice to receive bids or if at a public auction no bid was received, the board of supervisors may by resolution adopt a procedure by which the personal property may be sold without further action of the board of supervisors. A procedure adopted pursuant to this authorization shall be subject to and shall conform with the requirements of any law governing the sale of property by municipal corporations generally when no bids have been received. The award of contracts shall be made only by public announcement at a regular or special meeting of the board of supervisors or at the public auction. Except as provided in subsection (d), all bids shall be accepted on the condition that payment of the purchase price in full is made immediately upon acceptance of the successful bid. The board of supervisors may reject any bids received if the bids are believed to be less than the fair market value of the property.

(b)  With respect to personal property, either individual items or lots of items, the fair market value of which is estimated to be less than one thousand dollars ($1,000), the board of supervisors shall by resolution adopt a procedure by which the property may be sold without further action by the board of supervisors. The board of supervisors may arrange for the sale of the item or items at public auction.

(b.1)  The board of supervisors may sell personal property under the act of October 27, 1979 (P.L.241, No.78), entitled, as amended, "An act authorizing political subdivisions, municipality authorities and transportation authorities to enter into contracts for the purchase of goods and the sale of real and personal property where no bids are received," if no bids are received on personal property after proper notices.

(c)  The bidding and advertising requirements of this section do not apply to the following transactions:

(1)  If personal property of the township is being traded in or exchanged for other personal property.

(2)  The sale or lease of personal property by the township to any of the following:

(i)  A municipal corporation.

(ii)  The Federal Government.

(iii)  The Commonwealth.

(iv)  An institution district.

(v)  A school district.

(vi)  A municipality authority.

(vii)  A county.

(viii)  A public utility.

(ix)  A volunteer fire company.

(x)  A nonprofit corporation engaged in community industrial, commercial or affordable housing development.

(xi)  A volunteer ambulance service or volunteer rescue squad located within the township.

(xii)  A nonprofit corporation organized as a public library.

(xiii)  A nonprofit medical service corporation.

(xiv)  A nonprofit housing corporation.

(xv)  A nonprofit organization providing community service or development activities.

(xvi)  A nonprofit corporation established for the preservation of historical, architectural or aesthetic sites or artifacts.

(xvii)  A council of government, consortium, cooperative or other similar entity created pursuant to 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 23 Subch. A (relating to intergovernmental cooperation).

(d)  A "public auction" shall include an online or electronic auction sale. During an electronic auction sale, bids shall be accepted electronically at the time and in the manner designated in the advertisement. During the electronic auction, each bidder shall have the capability to view the bidder's bid rank or the high bid price. Bidders may increase their bid prices during the electronic auction. The record of the electronic auction shall be accessible for public inspection. The purchase price shall be paid by the high bidder immediately or at a reasonable time after the conclusion of the electronic auction as determined by the township. In the event that shipping costs are incurred, they shall be paid by the high bidder.

(e)  A township that has complied with the advertising requirements of subsection (a) may provide additional public notice of the sale by bids or public auction in any manner deemed appropriate by the township.

(1504 amended Apr. 12, 2012, P.L.234, No.30)

Section 1505.  Boards of Supervisors to Exercise Powers.--The corporate powers of townships shall be exercised by the board of supervisors. If no specific authority is given for the payment of costs incurred in the exercise of any power contained in this act, the expenses may be paid from the general township fund.

Section 1506.  General Powers.--The board of supervisors may make and adopt any ordinances, bylaws, rules and regulations not inconsistent with or restrained by the Constitution and laws of this Commonwealth necessary for the proper management, care and control of the township and its finances and the maintenance of peace, good government, health and welfare of the township and its citizens, trade, commerce and manufacturers.

Section 1507.  Intergovernmental Cooperation.--The board of supervisors may by ordinance make agreements with other municipal corporations in performing governmental powers, duties and functions and in carrying into effect provisions of the act of July 12, 1972 (P.L.762, No.180), referred to as the Intergovernmental Cooperation Law.

 

Compiler's Note:  The act of July 12, 1972 (P.L.762, No.180), referred to as the Intergovernmental Cooperation Law, was repealed by the act of December 19, 1996 (P.L.1158, No.177). The subject matter is now contained in 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 23 Subch. A (relating to intergovernmental cooperation).

Section 1508.  Capital Reserve Fund.--(a)  The board of supervisors may create and maintain a separate capital reserve fund for any anticipated capital expenses, which fund shall be designated for a specific purpose or purposes when created. The moneys in the fund shall be used for no other purpose unless the board of supervisors declares that conditions in the township make other expenses more urgent than those for which the fund was created.

(b)  The board of supervisors may appropriate moneys from the general township funds to be paid into the capital reserve fund or place in the fund any moneys received from the sale, lease or other disposition of any township property or from any other source.

Section 1508.1.  Operating Reserve Fund.--(a)  The board of supervisors shall have the power to create and maintain a separate operating reserve fund in order to minimize future revenue shortfalls and deficits, provide greater continuity and predictability in the funding of vital government services, minimize the need to increase taxes to balance the budget in times of fiscal distress, provide the capacity to undertake long-range financial planning and develop fiscal resources to meet long-term needs.

(b)  The board of supervisors may annually make appropriations from the general township fund to the operating reserve fund, but no appropriation shall be made to the operating reserve fund if the effect of the appropriation would cause the fund to exceed twenty-five per centum of the estimated revenues of the township's general fund in the current fiscal year.

(c)  The board of supervisors may at any time by resolution make appropriations from the operating reserve fund for the following purposes only:

(1)  to meet emergencies involving the health, safety or welfare of the residents of the township;

(2)  to counterbalance potential budget deficits resulting from shortfalls in anticipated revenues or program receipts from whatever source;

(2.1)  to counterbalance potential budget deficits resulting from increases in anticipated costs for goods or services; or

(3)  to provide for anticipated operating expenditures related either to the planned growth of existing projects or programs or to the establishment of new projects or programs if for each such project or program appropriations have been made and allocated to a separate restricted account established within the operating reserve fund.

(d)  The operating reserve fund shall be invested, reinvested and administered in a manner consistent with the provisions of section 3204 relating to the investment of township funds generally.

(1508.1 amended December 23, 2013, P.L.1268, No.133)

Section 1509.  Indebtedness.--The board of supervisors may incur indebtedness and issues notes, bonds or other evidence of indebtedness under the act of July 12, 1972 (P.L.781, No.185), known as the "Local Government Unit Debt Act," to provide sufficient moneys for any expense of the township.

 

Compiler's Note:  The act of July 12, 1972 (P.L.781, No.185), known as the Local Government Unit Debt Act, was repealed by the act of December 19, 1996 (P.L.1158, No.177). The subject matter is now contained in 53 Pa.C.S. Pt. VII Subpt. B (relating to indebtedness and borrowing).

Section 1510.  Display of Flags.--The board of supervisors may display the flag of the United States or the Commonwealth, the official POW/MIA flag or the flag of any county or municipal corporation on any public building or grounds of the township.

Section 1511.  Township Seals.--The board of supervisors may adopt a seal which contains the name of the township and the word "seal" and which shall be in the custody of the township secretary or manager. The official acts of the board of supervisors may be authenticated by use of the seal. The seal has the same effect as the seal of a notary public.

Section 1512.  Insurance.--(a)  The board of supervisors shall secure workers' compensation insurance for its employes, including volunteer firemen and volunteer ambulance and rescue personnel of companies duly recognized by the township by resolution, killed or injured in the course of their appointed functions or while performing any other duties expressly authorized by the board of supervisors.

(b)  The board of supervisors may contract with any insurance company to insure property owned by the township.

(c)  The board of supervisors may contract with any insurance company to insure any public liability of the township, including insurance on every township officer, official and employe for liability arising from errors and omissions in the performance of their duties in the course of their employment, except that liability of elected or appointed officials or officers for surcharge under law shall not be affected hereby.

(d)  The board of supervisors may contract with any insurance company, nonprofit hospitalization corporation or nonprofit medical service corporation to insure its supervisors under section 606, employes and their dependents under a policy or policies of group insurance covering life, health, hospitalization, medical service or accident insurance. This provision is subject to the following qualifications:

(1)  Elected officials, except supervisors under section 606, and appointed officials who are not employes of the township are not eligible for participation in any life, health, hospitalization, medical service or accident insurance coverage contract paid in whole or in part by the township.

(2)  Any insurance coverage contract made by a township between January 1, 1959, and March 31, 1985, that includes or provides coverage for elected officials, except under section 606, or appointed township officials who are not employes of the township are not void or unlawful solely because the inclusion of those officials was subsequently found to be without lawful authority. No penalty, assessment, surcharge, forfeiture or disciplinary action of any kind may occur as a result of participation by those officials. Insurance benefits payable to insureds or their beneficiaries arising out of or on account of deaths, injuries, accidents or illnesses occurring before March 30, 1988, remain the property of the insureds or their beneficiaries.

(e)  The board of supervisors may contract with any insurance company for the pensioning of employes and may pay part or all of the premiums or charges for group pension or annuity plans. This provision is subject to the following qualifications:

(1)  The benefit coverage may be provided to supervisor-employes under section 606.

(2)  The board of supervisors may deduct from the employe's pay, salary or compensation the part of the premium or charge that is payable by the employe.

(3)  Elected officials, except township supervisors under section 606, and appointed township officials who are not employes of the township are not eligible for participation in any pension or annuity contract paid in whole or in part by the township. No elected official, except under section 606, or appointed township official who is not an employe of the township included in a township-paid pension or annuity plan made by a township between January 1, 1959, and March 31, 1985, is subject to any penalty, assessment, surcharge, forfeiture or disciplinary action of any kind as a result of that participation. Any residual interest, value, refund of premium or benefits payable on or after March 31, 1985, arising out of the township-paid interest of the elected or appointed township officials is the exclusive property of the township.

(4)  If an elected official, except supervisors under section 606, or an appointed official who is not an employe of the township personally contributed toward a township-sponsored pension plan or annuity, he shall receive a refund of his total contributions thereto plus any interest accumulated thereon. In lieu of a refund of contributions plus accumulated interest, a township official who personally contributed toward a pension or annuity plan in which he participated may elect to purchase that portion of his pension or annuity funded by the township. A qualified actuary, who shall report his determination under the act of December 18, 1984 (P.L.1005, No.205), known as the "Municipal Pension Plan Funding Standard and Recovery Act," shall determine the amount the official shall pay to the township to purchase the township-funded portion of the annuity or pension.

Section 1513.  Widening and Deepening Watercourses.--After permits have been secured from the Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the board of supervisors or its agents or employes may widen and deepen watercourses running through the township and erect dikes, retaining walls and embankments along the watercourses as are necessary to prevent water from overflowing the banks. For these purposes, townships may enter and condemn property as may be necessary. Townships may enter land lying near the watercourses and secure materials as may be necessary in connection with the work. Damages for property taken, injured or destroyed as the result of the work shall be determined under this act.

Section 1514.  Airports.--(a)  The board of supervisors may acquire by grant, lease, purchase or, where appropriate, eminent domain any property located inside or outside the boundaries of the township which in the judgment of the board of supervisors may be necessary to establish and maintain municipal airport facilities. Any township having acquired land for those purposes may establish, equip, condition, operate and maintain the property as a municipal airport, may lease all or part of the property to any individual or corporation desiring to use the property for aviation purposes and may contract in the form of a lease of all or part of the property by the Federal Government for aviation purposes upon nominal rental or without consideration.

(b)  The board of supervisors may acquire by lease or purchase land for aviation purposes jointly with any county or municipal corporation of this Commonwealth and operate and maintain the municipal airport jointly with any county or municipal corporation of this Commonwealth upon terms and conditions as may be agreed upon between the proper authorities of the county or municipal corporation.

Section 1515.  Urban Common Carrier Mass Transportation.--The board of supervisors may appropriate funds for urban common carrier mass transportation purposes, make contributions to county departments of transportation or urban common carrier mass transportation authorities to assist the departments or the authorities to meet costs of planning, operation, maintenance, capital improvements and debt service and make long-term agreements providing for the payment of contributions.

Section 1516.  Land Use Regulations.--The board of supervisors may plan for the development of the township through zoning, subdivision and land development regulations under the act of July 31, 1968 (P.L.805, No.247), known as the "Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code."

Section 1517.  Building and Housing Regulations.--The board of supervisors may enact and enforce codes and ordinances to govern and regulate the construction, alteration, repair, occupation, maintenance, sanitation, lighting, ventilation, water supply, toilet facilities, drainage, use and inspection of all buildings and housing constructed, erected, altered, designed or used for any use or occupancy and the sanitation and inspection of land in accordance with Article XVII-A.

(1517 amended Nov. 24, 2015, P.L.427, No.69)

 

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