Online Training Academy

 

The Online Training Academy (OTA) is a series of web-based courses designed to build strong authorities. This convenient and cost-effective training has been developed for authority board members, consultants and management staff, billing departments, financial staff, treatment plant and work crew employees.

Each one-hour webinar will consist of a 45 minute presentation along with an interactive question and answer period. Webinars allow us to provide more training to an even broader geographic area and make learning opportunities more accessible to all employees throughout your organization. Every member of the authority team benefits from these courses!

 

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Previously Presented Webinars

Previous webinars are available for purchase. Please use the registration link below to purchase the session(s) that you are interested in. A link to the archived webinar will be emailed for you to view at your convenience.

Effective Workers Compensation Strategies

The Evolution of Tapping Fees – Past, Present, and Future

Leadership Series
   Essentials of Effective Leadership
   Managing and Developing Talent
   Resolving Conflict and Dealing with Difficult Behavior
   Accountable Leadership

Stormwater Webinar Series
   Overview:  Stormwater Management in Pennsylvania
   Stormwater, the Legal Perspective:  What Your Municipality Needs to Know
   DEP Stormwater Presentation: The Regulatory Side of Things
   Case Study: So You Want to Form a Stormwater Authority?

Ten Things Authority Board Members and Management Employees Should Know

Best Practices for Avoiding the Top 10 Labor & Employment Pitfalls Facing Public Employers

Financial Issues Municipal Authorities Should Consider

Municipal Purchasing & The Power of e-Procurement 

A Comprehensive Review of the MAA

Dialing Down on Delinquencies: How to Increase your Authority's Effectiveness in Collecting Payments


Getting to the “Will Do”: Improve your Interviewing Skills to Improve your Workforce!

Water Terminations: Laws, Procedures, Strategies
 

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Effective Workers Compensation Strategies
Want to become the best, most cost-efficient Workers Compensation risk you can be? Has your authority seen a recent large increase in your premiums?  Do you need to know how to obtain a quote in time for your renewal for property, liability or insurance?

Join us for a webinar in which we share with you the most important information you need to know and the best techniques you should employ to save money for your authority.

Presenter: Rick Atkinson, Executive Vice President of the HDH Group, Inc., representing the MRM Trust


The Evolution of Tapping Fees – Past, Present, and Future
Tapping fees as we now know them will turn 25 this year. Although the Municipality Authorities Act always authorized the collection of a “tapping fee” there was no guidance as to its purpose or how this fee was to be calculated until 1990. This webinar will discuss a bit of tapping fee history and its 2003 amendments. We will also work through some of the concepts imbedded in the act and how they are applied to individual connections.

Specific areas covered in this session will include:

  • Tapping Fees a “fee” or a “tax” - Why Act 203 was needed in order to prevent legal challenges over the right to impose and collect a tapping fee.

  • The Uniform and Reasonable Standard and the Role of Assessments - Authorities have several ways to recover costs; why tapping fees? So what does a property owner get for all this money anyway?

  • What are the Fees and What Do They Cover? - Act 203 defined three fees that could be collected from new connections to a water and/or system:  Connection Fee, Customer Facilities Fee, and a Tapping Fee that has four parts. Each fee is calculated separately.

  • Basic Formula and Calculations

  • Act 57 Amendments and Silly Math Tricks

  • When to Recalculate - You have a tapping fee, should you change it? What are the factors that should be considered and is change a good thing?

Presenters:
Aurel M. Arndt, Executive Director, Lehigh County Authority
Russell F. McIntosh, Vice President, Herbert, Rowland and Grubic, Inc.
Adrienne M. Vicari, Manager of Financial Services, Herbert, Rowland and Grubic, Inc.


 

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Leadership Series
Essentials of Effective Leadership
This session will address leadership behaviors essential to succeeding through others. Beginning with strategies for maximizing a leader’s own productivity, the webinar will also explore effective delegation—how and when to delegate, what to include in communicating assignments, and how to follow up on delegated assignments. The webinar will conclude with a discussion of the role of both reinforcing and redirecting feedback—necessary components of strong leadership.

Presenter: Paul Caulfield, Principal, Avant, IMC and Dering Consulting Group

Managing and Developing Talent
During this session, we will explore practical ways the leader can capitalize on individuals’ natural talents to maximize performance. From selection through long-term professional development, the leader’s ability to recognize and reward talent largely determines success. The Webinar will provide simple and powerful methods of making the most of the talent available—and finding needed talent for the future. Learning objectives include:

  • Manage team members’ talents from selection through development.

  • Engage team members using various motivation and recognition techniques.

  • Coach and develop team members to maximize their performance.

Resolving Conflict and Dealing with Difficult Behavior
This Webinar provides guidance for resolving workplace conflict through a systematic, interest-based approach. Participants will explore a three-stage approach to conflict resolution designed to address the most common sources of workplace conflict, including miscommunications, differences in approach, and limited resources. It also provides tips for dealing with those truly difficult behaviors we experience in the workplace form time to time, including aggressive and know-it-all behaviors.

Accountable Leadership
This is the fourth and final installment of our leadership series which focuses on ethical and accountable leadership. Some of the key components that we will cover are:

  • Identifying the difference between “legal” and “ethical” actions

  • Keys to influencing ethical workplace results

  • Recognizing the most important ways for managers to model accountability

  • How to coach team members towards greater accountability

  • Become aware of resources that managers can use to lead team members toward more accountable behavior

Presenter: Paul Caulfield, Principal, Avant, IMC and Dering Consulting Group

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Stormwater Webinar Series
Overview:  Stormwater Management in Pennsylvania
- Short history of stormwater management
- Brief synopsis of state and federal laws governing stormwater
- Considerations and process for creation of a stormwater authority
- Funding options for stormwater authorities
- Links to additional information

Presenter:  John Brosious, PMAA Deputy Director

Stormwater, the Legal Perspective:  What Your Municipality Needs to Know
- Legal procedures to establish a stormwater authority
- Responsibilities related to permitting and regulatory issues with DEP and/or EPA
- Overview of MS4 compliance regulations
- Latest case law relating to the assessment of stormwater fees

Presenter:  Attorney Steven Hann, PMAA Eastern Solicitor

DEP Stormwater Presentation: The Regulatory Side of Things
Minimum Control Measures (The basic program, required of all MS4 permittees):
- Public Education and Outreach on Stormwater Impacts
- Public Involvement / Participation
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
- Construction Site Runoff Control
- Post-Construction Stormwater Management
- Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping 

2018 MS4 Permit:  Application due dates, new planning requirements and website planning table
General Permit holders and new permittees must submit stormwater control plans by September 2017, including a Pollutant Reduction Plan with specific BMPs for the 2018-2023 permit term.

Collaborative Solutions:  Permittees can benefit from joining forces with neighboring municipalities to address stormwater issues. County planning commissions and county conservation districts frequently provide support to MS4s, and working with local watershed and environmental groups can be useful.  

Presenter:  Lee Murphy, Water Program Specialist, DEP Bureau of Clean Water

Case Study: So You Want to Form a Stormwater Authority?
Sit in on a first person account of how Derry Township Municipal Authority added stormwater management to their current wastewater management responsibilities in the greater Hershey area. 

This informative presentation on their intergovernmental working relationship with Derry Township will include a discussion on the use of a stakeholder advisory committee, the planning steps, and the current progress in the development and implementation of an effective stormwater management program.  

The webinar will also present related topics including legal and technical consulting support, budgeting, fee development and funding, as well as engineering concerns, permitting and public participation and interaction.

Presenters:
Wayne Schutz, Executive Director, Derry Township Municipal Authority
Mike Callahan, Stormwater Program Coordinator, Derry Township Municipal Authority
Adrienne Vicari, P.E., Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc.

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Ten Things Authority Board Members and Management Employees Should Know
Learn more about the Ten Things Authority Board Members and Management Employees Should Know!

This interactive webinar will cover ten important topics, all taken from the Municipality Authorities Act and related laws (e.g., Sunshine Act, Ethics Act) that authority managers should be aware of in the day-to-day operation of a municipal authority. Board members are also encouraged to attend as we will be discussing things they should know in their decision making process provided to them by law.

Specific areas covered in this session will include:

  • Monies of the Authority – What they cannot be used for and legal action if violated.

  • Communications by E-mail and Sunshine Act Issues

  • Board Appointments – What is legal and what is not with WHEN, WHOM, and HOW

  • Board Member Conflict of Interest – As they relate to the State Ethics Act and the Municipality Authorities Act.

  • Bylaws and Regulations – What should be in them, how often updated.

  • Board Meetings – Quorums (present vs. attendance by phone). What is permitted in law.

Our presenter and PMAA East Solicitor, Steve Hann, will address these topics and answer attendee questions during this informative session.

Presenter: Steve Hann, Esquire, Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, P.C.

 

Best Practices for Avoiding the Top 10 Labor & Employment Pitfalls Facing Public Employers

As public entities, municipalities and authorities are vulnerable to a whole host of labor and employment issues on a daily basis. This webinar focuses on the most common—top 10—labor and employment issues facing municipalities and authorities and provides the audience with practical and effective advice which can be implemented now in order to avoid significant liability down the road. Everything from the basics to the most complicated issues will be addressed—for example:

  • Employee due process rights

  • Protected employee conduct

  • Workplace investigations 

  • Employee discipline/terminations

  • Conflict between elected/appointed officials

 

Presenters:
Cory A. Iannacone, Principal, Pillar+Aught
Lindsey E. Snavely, Principal, Pillar+Aught 

Cory A. Iannacone is a founding member and principal of the Harrisburg based law firm, Pillar+Aught where he represents both public and private sector employers with regard to a full range of labor and employment issues they face on a daily basis. Cory's experience includes day-to-day employment advice, collective bargaining negotiations, arbitrations (grievance and interest arbitration under Act 111 and Act 195), defense of unfair labor practice charges, mediations, and contesting discrimination and retaliation claims brought before the PHRC, EEOC, state court and federal court.
 
Lindsey E. Snavely is a founding member and principal of the Harrisburg based law firm, Pillar+Aught where she provides counsel to both public and private sector employers on various workplace issues, including disciplinary matters, leaves of absences, and wage and hour questions. In addition, she represents employers in state and federal courts, as well as before the PHRC and EEOC, and also routinely speaks at seminars and other workshops about labor and employment issues such as the Affordable Care Act, navigating employees’ leaves from the workplace, and compensation and benefits.
 

Financial Issues Municipal Authorities Should Consider
 

Municipal Authorities have a lot on their minds.  One of the most important issues is dealing with financial matters.  This webinar will discuss some of the common, and not so common, financial issues which Authorities should consider with an eye towards the future and how they will affect you. We will also discuss what is in your control and what is not. 

During this webinar, the not so common issues include:

  • Acquisitions – to be acquired by a public or private entity, or to acquire other public systems.

  • Capital Planning – how much is enough?

  • Changes contemplated by the State legislature regarding borrowing under the Local Government Unit Debt Act. 

  • How are demographics changing the financial landscape?

  • Rate elasticity – how much room is there for raising future user rates?

Some of the common issues include:

  • Market conditions and their effect on borrowing cost

  • Bond ratings and coverage requirements

  • Are municipal guarantees essential to obtaining competitive borrowing costs?

  • Bank loan vs bond issue financing – which one is the right one?

  • Healthcare costs and pension issues.

Presenters 
Christopher M. Gibbons, Principal, Concord Public Financial Advisors, Inc.
Daryl S. Peck, Principal, Concord Public Financial Advisors, Inc.
Michael A. Schober, PE, BCEE, T&M Associates

 

Municipal Purchasing & The Power of e-Procurement 

Saving Time, Money & Headaches by Knowing Your Options, and What NOT to Do

Public sector purchasing is riddled with detail-oriented and time-consuming tasks which are commonly viewed as cumbersome. If not implemented correctly, they can lead to even greater costs and headaches.

This interactive webinar will educate participants on the basic concepts and principles of procurement, allowing them to incorporate best practices and sound approaches.

It will then cover the many time and cost-saving benefits of e-Procurement, culminating with a brief demonstration of current e-procurement capabilities.


Presenters:
Steven A. Stine, Esq.
Mr. Stine is a sole practitioner in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania. He concentrates his practice in municipal law and currently represents a number of municipalities as solicitor and special counsel in Dauphin and Cumberland Counties. In addition, he has written a chapter on municipal procurement, which is included in the first, second, third and fourth editions of the Municipal Solicitor's Handbook, which have been published by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Mr. Stine received his A.B. from Albright College in 1982 and his J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law in 1985.

Freddy Lutz, Director of Strategic Planning and Client Development, PennBid
Mr. Lutz serves as Director of Strategic Planning and Client Development for Lancaster County, PA based PennBid/Apex PM Solutions.  Mr. Lutz boasts 20 years' experience in municipal operations, project management, communications & marketing and capital project implementation. With a keen sense for cost effective and practical solutions, Mr. Lutz is a thought leader specializing in consensus building, creative thinking, and moving public sector clients forward. Mr. Lutz has a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree from Lock Haven University.


 

A Comprehensive Review of the MAA

This webinar will provide a broad overview of the Municipality Authorities Act (MAA) aimed primarily for Authority board members and staff. The entire MAA will be reviewed with emphasis on areas of general concern and the majority of questions that Mr. Witherel, Esq. has received over the years.

In this session, you will:

  • Learn about some of the misinterpretations of the MAA regarding board appointments, compensation, etc.

  • Review board conflicts/prohibitions in matters of money and contracts

  • Understand the basics of tapping fees in the MAA but this lengthy section will be devoted to a future webinar

We will also touch on the following areas of the Act:

  • Amendments of Articles

  • Limitations of Authorities

  • Bonds

  • Investment of Authority Funds

  • Exemption from Taxation and Payments in Lieu of Taxes

  • And more!

Who should attend?
Authority board members, managers, and office staff that deal with customers and who are involved with board meetings of the Authority.

Presented by:
PMAA's Western Solicitor, Michael J. Witherel, Esq. of Witherel & Associates
 


 

Dialing Down on Delinquencies
How to Increase your Authority’s Effectiveness in Collecting Payments

When it comes to managing outstanding water and sewer accounts, knowing a variety of collection options is key to increasing your authority’s effectiveness in collecting payments from delinquent customers.

This presentation will lay out various legal options, tools, and methods you can implement that will be the most effective for your authority.

In this session, you will:

• Understand various laws (water termination, collection, liens, etc.) & how to apply them 

• Examine different collection options & tools best suited for your authority

• Learn methods & strategies other authorities have found most effective
 

Who should attend?
Authority managers, staff, solicitors, and board members – anyone that is involved in handling delinquencies from an administrative, legal, or policy perspective.
 

Presented by:
PMAA’s Western Solicitor, Michael J. Witherel, Esq. of Witherel & Associates



 

Getting to the “Will Do”: Improve your Interviewing Skills to Improve Your Workforce!

Have you ever wondered how that “90 Day Wonder” employee got past you during the interview? Even “professional” interviewers (like HR folks) make mistakes in the hiring process.

During this interactive webinar, we will review the process of interviewing as well as the problem areas that impact ALL interviewers – especially the line manager who doesn’t interview very often.

Lastly, we’ll cover some best practices that you can implement immediately after the webinar that will have a positive impact on any interviewing style!
 
After this webinar, you’ll come away with a better understanding of:
 
• HOW someone will do their job – will they be a fit?
• Effective methods for preparing for interviews
• Use of the selection process to actually help make the decision
• What to avoid completely!


Presenter:
Karen A. Young, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
President of HR Resolutions and author of “Stop Knocking on My Door: Drama Free HR to Help Grow Your Business”

 

Water Terminations: Laws, Procedures, Strategies
November 8, 2017
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Your customers won’t pay their bills…now what?!

Several statutes exist dealing with the termination of water service for nonpayment of water and/or sewer bills.

This presentation will provide an overview of which laws apply under what circumstances.

In addition, examples of proper authority rules and regulations of water termination procedures will be shared as well as strategies and recommendations for compelling delinquent sewer customers (not connected to public water) to pay their bill.

This session will cover:     

  • Understanding water termination laws depending on type of customer (residential property owner/renter) and type of service (water/sewer) 

  • Examples of water termination procedures outlined in authority rules and regulations

  • Strategies to motivate delinquent sewer customers in paying their bill - which one is right for you?

Who should attend?
Authority managers, staff, solicitors, and board members – anyone that is involved in handling water termination from an administrative, legal, or policy perspective.

Our presenters Jennifer Case, PMAA Government Relations Liaison and Steve Hann, PMAA Solicitor East will also be handling the Q & A session during the webinar.

 

Click here to register and pay online for any of the above listed webinars.

 

Click here to register if your authority has pre-paid webinar credits.

 

Important Information

What you need:
- A computer (Mac or PC) with high-speed internet access
- Speakers or headphones to listen to the audio portion of the sessions
- A valid email address for registration

You will receive login information via email by 9:00 am on the day of the scheduled event.

Webinar Cost – $40 per session

Cancellation Policy All cancellations must be received in writing and sent to PMAA via fax, mail or email. No refunds will be granted for a cancellation notice received less than 48 hours before each session. Substitute registrants are welcome; please email Craig Fahnestock at fahnestock@municipalauthorities.org.