BUILDING TODAY

 for a better tomorrow.

News and Updates

  • 28 Jun 2016 8:47 AM | Craig Hoffman (Administrator)

    Published: Sunday, June 26, 2016

    Daily Local News - Real Estate

    Funds, labor and furniture donated to support Chester County initiative.

    A local builder [and PBA member] is partnering with a non-profit organization to combat the growing issue of middle-aged women on the brink of homelessness in Chester County. McKee Builders is donating their time to aid in the restoration of The Catherine Twomey House, a Home of the Sparrow Project. The renovated house will have the capacity to host up to six women at any given time while also providing them with direct access to transportation, healthcare resources and grocery stores. 

    The home building community, most especially the Home Builders Association of Chester and Delaware Counties, has graciously taken it upon themselves to assist with renovations of the house. Read the full article.

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    This post was sourced from Daily Local News: Real Estate on Sunday, June, 26, 2016.


  • 27 Jun 2016 9:15 AM | Craig Hoffman (Administrator)

    Learn how Pennsylvania home builders are successfully using the new HECM for Purchase (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, aka Reverse Mortgage) financing option to increase sales! This seminar at PBA's Summer Board meeting will be presented by Julie Didyoung of Reverse Mortgage Funding, LLC.

    Friday, July 22 at 3 PM - Register here.

    Seminar to be followed by a Q&A.

    Presenter Julie Didyoung has worked in the reverse mortgage industry since 2007. Since 2014, Didyoung has been with Reverse Mortgage Funding LLC, a company founded by industry veterans who have significant experience as leaders and innovators in the HECM business. With its exceptional management team, motivated loan specialists and years of experience and expertise, RMF understands what older homeowners value most: flexible solutions, straight talk, and responsive service. For Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, RMF is the clear choice. Click here for more information.

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    Still need to register for the board meeting? Deadline July 15.


  • 20 Jun 2016 5:00 PM | Government Affairs (Administrator)

    Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its evaluation of Pennsylvania’s 2014-15 and 2016-17 milestones in the perpetual Chesapeake Bay Watershed cleanup program. Needless to say, and to the surprise of nobody, the EPA was disappointed in the Commonwealth’s current progress and recommended increased federal oversight of the cleanup efforts.

    For 2014-15, Pennsylvania achieved its target for phosphorus reduction, but fell short on achieving the state-wide target for nitrogen and sediment reduction. Based on projections, Pennsylvania will likely meet state-wide goals for sediment reduction in 2016-17, though will miss targets for nitrogen and phosphorus reductions.

    Although Pennsylvania released its “Strategy to Enhance Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay Restoration Effort” (often referred to as the “Chesapeake Bay Reboot”) in January 2016, the EPA indicated it was not enough to address both current and future nutrient reductions. As a result, the EPA determined that it would conduct its own assessments of agricultural operations and implement its own nutrient and sediment goals for Pennsylvania. Read more on the Chesapeake Bay Reboot here.

    The EPA targeted the agricultural community, stating that “Pennsylvania will need to place considerably greater emphasis on increasing implementation in the agriculture sector to address nitrogen and phosphorus.” Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are found in fertilizers and animal manure, which enter the Chesapeake Bay via streams containing agricultural runoff.

    In March 2016, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), joined by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), failed to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a challenge to the EPA’s authority to implement the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements. Read more.  

    Urban and suburban stormwater management techniques also drew criticism from the EPA, which stated that it “expects Pennsylvania to include a milestone to develop a trading and offset policy for post construction stormwater.” Currently, Pennsylvania only provides a Nutrient Credit Trading Program for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permittees in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

    The EPA acknowledged Pennsylvania’s “renewed commitment” to achieving TMDL goals through the Chesapeake Bay Reboot, but admonished the progress that has been made so far, stating that “the gap continues to grow as a result of growth in various sectors.” Although the EPA has not formally developed its own plan, the report states “EPA may develop Pennsylvania-specific Phase III [Watershed Implementation Plan] expectations to help the Commonwealth get back on track to meeting its 2025 Bay TMDL commitments and goals.”

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    For more news and updates from PBA's Government Affairs team, go to www.pabuilders.org/government-affairs

    Follow us on Twitter @pabuildersGA

     

  • 20 Jun 2016 8:35 AM | Craig Hoffman (Administrator)


    Mark your calendar for July 21-23 at the Nittany Lion Inn in State College

    What Goes into a Board Meeting?

    PBA Board Meetings are multi-day events that take place three times each year at different locations across the state. During these gatherings, PBA's committee meetings are held (full list of committees here) along with seminars or training for members. Association partners from member benefits programs attend to connect with members and answer questions. There are also social events for members to attend, whether it's a cocktail reception in the summer/fall or the winter Installation & Awards Banquet. 

    Board meetings weekends are not just for directors and local leadership; any member may attend! Unless otherwise noted on the schedule of events, committee meetings are open to all membership. It's your chance to get involved at the state level, learn about issues concerning the industry, and make valuable connections with other members. So, how do you sign up?

    Registration Process

    Last week, an email was sent to all membership with the subject line "Register for the PBA Summer Board Meeting (Regional/Board Packet available)". This email included: 

    - Date, time, and location
    - Room reservation details
    - Regional/Board Packet for upcoming regional meetings
    Registration link to RSVP for meetings
    Full schedule of events
    - PaCAH Cocktail Reception and fundraising information

    If you didn't get this email, contact PBA staff. You can expect to receive this email each time a Board Meeting is approaching. Don’t forget, as this information becomes available, it will always be posted to the PBA events calendar along with all of the links you'll need. 

    Schedule of Events

    Board Meetings usually take place over the span of 3 days (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday).

    • Thursday: Leadership Meetings and Hospitality Suite
    • Friday: Committee Meetings, Seminars/Training and Social Events
    • Saturday: Regional Caucuses and Board of Directors Meeting

    You can download the full schedule of events here

    Any Questions?

    Consult your Member Guide or our FAQ's document for more information. If you still can't find your answers, please don't hesitate to contact PBA Staff.

    We hope to see you in State College later this summer!

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  • 17 Jun 2016 12:00 PM | Government Affairs (Administrator)

    Earlier this week, Governor Tom Wolf, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) and Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) announced a number of nominations to fill judicial vacancies at all levels of the Commonwealth’s judiciary. Although each nomination still requires Senate confirmation, the nominees were selected as part of a bipartisan-backed process.

    Wolf named current Republican Superior Court Judge Sallie Mundy to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Michael Eakin’s departure in March of this year. Eakin resigned in the wake of an ethics investigation tied to Pennsylvania’s perpetually on-going Porngate scandal.

    Wolf’s appointment of Mundy to the state’s highest court is likely an olive branch to Republican legislators as the state budget deadline approaches.

    Perhaps most interesting are the two nominations tapped to fill upcoming vacancies at the Commonwealth Court.

    The first pick, attorney Joe Cosgrove, a professor of constitutional law at Kings College and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School, has previously served as an interim judge after the “kids-for-cash” scandal plagued Luzerne County’s judiciary. Cosgrove is very vocal in his opposition to the death penalty, once having Mother Teresa testify via telephone as a defense witness in a case where the death penalty was on the table. His most recent public-sector tenure was with the legal department of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.

    Wolf’s second pick for the Commonwealth Court is Julia Hearthway, a graduate of the Rutgers University School of Law and a resident of Chester County. From 2011 to 2015, Hearthway served as Secretary of the Department of Labor and Industry after being tapped for the position by then Governor Tom Corbett. For almost two decades prior, she worked in the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, serving as chief deputy attorney general since 2001.

    The two Commonwealth Court picks hail from very different backgrounds, and add to an already diverse judicial bench. PBA currently has pending litigation before the Commonwealth Court, so we will continue to monitor the status of Wolf’s nominations.

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    For more news and updates from PBA's Government Affairs team, go to www.pabuilders.org/government-affairs

    Follow us on Twitter @pabuildersGA

     

  • 15 Jun 2016 10:30 AM | Government Affairs (Administrator)

    Recently, several members of the Building Industry Association of Lancaster County were granted class certification in a lawsuit against a township accused of charging excessive water-tapping fees. Achieving class certification means that thirty-seven builders may combine their factual and legal claims against the defendants in one lawsuit, rather than forcing each individual builder the file his or her own case.

    The lawsuit, initially filed in 2014 by five Lancaster County builders, alleges that defendants Manheim Township and Manheim Township General Municipal Authority violated the Pennsylvania Municipality Authorities Act (PMMA) by imposing water tapping fees when there was no authority to do so.

    Further, the builders allege the municipal defendants miscalculated the fees, and utilized the funds collected for general welfare rather than to specifically benefit the builders that paid the fees. If true, those actions would directly violate Article III, Section 31 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

    Plaintiff builders also claim that Arro Consulting, Inc. conspired with the municipal defendants to violate the PMMA by intentionally or recklessly miscalculating the tapping fees.

    Manheim Township has previously denied construction permits for builders that choose not to pay the miscalculated tapping fee.

    Over the last several years, the township’s tapping fees have amounted to approximately $5,600 per connection, and the total cost of the fees sought to be recovered is well above $1 million.

    If successful, the lawsuit will both assist the named builders in obtaining a financial settlement and prevent the municipality from harming future construction projects with excessive and incorrect tapping fees.

    This is the second lawsuit launched against Manheim Township concerning its tapping fees. The first, brought by a single developer in 2011, is still pending.

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    For more news and updates from PBA's Government Affairs team, go to www.pabuilders.org/government-affairs

    Follow us on Twitter @pabuildersGA

  • 14 Jun 2016 10:24 AM | Craig Hoffman (Administrator)

    PBA has announced its designation of the exclusive publisher and advertising sales agent for the PBA Buyers’ Guide (the “Guide”) — Overland Park, Kan.-based Strategic Value Media, a leading nationwide provider of print and digital media solutions to national, state and local trade and membership associations. PBA is proud to provide its members with this exclusive, easily accessible, year-round, valuable resource that is expected to be first available this coming early Fall. 

    “This comprehensive Guide offers access to a vast network of industry suppliers,” said Daniel Durden, CEO of PBA. “We’re pleased to offer such a valuable resource, which will greatly assist industry professionals in making educated purchasing decisions throughout the year.” 

    The Guide features updated and expanded company and product listings, in addition to other valuable information relating to the construction industry. The Guide provides users with an efficient way to browse for goods and services and offers construction suppliers and professionals exceptional visibility by showcasing their products and services to a targeted, industry-specific buyer group.

    The Guide will be accessible through the PBA website at www.pabuilders.org. We encourage you to take advantage of this exceptional opportunity to highlight your products and services. 

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    To learn more about advertising your products or services in the Guide, please email pba-advertise@svmmedia.com.


  • 13 Jun 2016 8:53 AM | Craig Hoffman (Administrator)


    PBA members can access a list of over 800 students who have completed their certificate goals from local endorsed trade programs!

    Support the future of our industry by hiring these students.

    Need help logging in to the website? Contact Doug Vu.

    Secondary Students have successfully completed the NOCTI (National Occupational Competency Testing Institute) exam at the competent or advanced level. Post-Secondary Students obtained a GPA of 3.0 or higher as well as a minimum B grade on the Exit Exam.

     
    Please note, only members of PBA are granted access to this information. It is to be used only for the purposes of reaching out to students who may be interested in employment with your business. This information is not to be made public or distributed for any reason.


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    Learn more about PBA Endorsed Trade Programs here.

    Questions about these programs? Contact Tom Turnbaugh.


  • 03 Jun 2016 12:09 PM | Craig Hoffman (Administrator)

    Homeownership is the American dream, but it’s also a lot of work. Your home is a significant investment and requires a consistent level of upkeep to maintain its efficiency and to protect its value.

    It's never too late to set aside some time to build a schedule of your ongoing home maintenance duties. Creating a calendar of anticipated maintenance needs will help you remember key milestones and better prepare for any big expenses.

    The following examples of typical home maintenance should be completed at least annually. Consider your home’s specific needs to determine the relevance and timing of each task, and mark your calendar appropriately. 

    In the spring:

    • Inspect the roof for snow damage.
    • Examine the condition of glazing compound, caulking, and interior and exterior paint.
    • Check for broken glass and screens in windows and storm doors. (It’s also a good idea to do this the fall.)
    • Look for evidence of termites such as sagging floors and ceilings or dry, brown tunnels in the ground near the home’s foundation.
    • Seed and feed the lawn, plant annuals and trim perennials that need pre-growth pruning.

    In the fall:

    • Add mulch around perennials that need protection from winter weather.
    • Clear the lawn of leaves and reseed patchy areas.
    • Inspect the driveway for any cracks, and repair any damage with driveway filler and coat with a commercial sealer.
    • Look for any cracks or damage to the fireplace, and have the chimney cleaned by a licensed chimney sweep.

    Before winter:

    • Inspect the roof, address any damaged shingles or flashings, and remove any debris.
    • Ensure gutters are securely fastened to the fascia board and clear them of any debris or build up that could inhibit proper drainage. 
    • Remove hose connections, then drain and store hoses to keep them from freezing.
    • Empty clay pots and planters of all soil, which can freeze and cause the pots to crack.

    Anytime throughout the year:

    • Check all electrical connections for potential hazards. Pay special attention to any overloaded extension cords, and repair or replace any worn or frayed cords of electrical appliances.
    • Test your carbon monoxide, radon and smoke detectors. Clean each unit with a vacuum or cotton swab and replace batteries and light bulbs, if needed.
    • Have your heating and air conditioning system(s) inspected and cleaned. If your system has a filter, replace it once every three months.
    • Inspect all doors and windows for proper operation and ensure the weather stripping is not cracked or torn.  
    • Inspect the attic insulation to ensure the entire ceiling area is covered. Insulation should not touch the underside of the roof sheathing, nor should it block vents in the eaves, which could cause condensation buildup and poor air circulation.
    • Oil the motors of appliances as directed in their instruction manuals.
    • Periodically check storage areas, closets and the basement to ensure that any oily rags, gas cans, paint supplies, cleaning materials or other flammable items have been stored properly.
    • Check the functionality of your security system, inspecting each sensor and confirming the primary and backup batteries are in working order.
    • Inspect interior stairs and exterior steps for any damage that could cause someone to fall. Make sure handrails and railings are sturdy and securely attached.

    The joys of homeownership come with a long list or responsibilities. But staying on top of these duties will help keep your home healthy as the seasons change and the years pass.

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    For more ideas to maintain your home throughout the year, visit nahb.org/consumers.


  • 31 May 2016 4:00 PM | Government Affairs (Administrator)

    Today the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion allowing landowners to immediately challenge jurisdictional determinations made by the Army Corps of Engineers pursuant to the Clean Water Act – colloquially referred to as the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule – prior to the conclusion of the permitting process.

    The WOTUS rule prohibits “the discharge of any pollutant” without a permit into “navigable waters,” defined as “waters of the United States.” In order to ascertain whether the WOTUS rule applies to an area of land, the Army Corps of Engineers is permitted to perform a “jurisdictional determination.” If the Army Corps determines that a property contains waters of the United States, the WOTUS rule applies and the landowner must obtain a permit prior to developing or utilizing the property.

    Chief Justice John Roberts penned the opinion, siding with respondents Hawkes Co. and affirming the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

    Read the opinion here.

    Hawkes Co. sought a permit from the Army Corps in order to harvest peat from wetlands located in the upper Midwest. The Army Corps determined that the wetlands contained waters of the United States, finding a “significant nexus” between the wetlands and the Red River, which is located approximately 120 miles away. The finding triggered a lengthy and costly permitting procedure for Hawkes Co., which, under the WOTUS rule, was allowed to appeal the decision only after the conclusion of the permitting process.

    Hawkes Co. filed a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers, alleging that a landowner should be able to immediately appeal a jurisdictional determination in federal court prior to participating in the permitting process.

    The eight Justices of the Supreme Court unanimously agreed, holding that a jurisdictional determination is a “final agency action,” and may be immediately appealed.

    M. Reed Hopper, legal counsel for Hawkes Co., stated that the ruling “marks a long-awaited victory for individual liberty, property rights and the rule of law.”

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    For more news and updates from PBA's Government Affairs team, go to www.pabuilders.org/government-affairs

    Follow us on Twitter @pabuildersGA

     




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