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2016 Municipal Intern Projects Now Available

Local Government Academy is pleased to announce the 2016 Municipal Internship Program projects.  To download a PDF of this report please click here.

Students interested in these projects should register and attend the Municipal Internship Fair on March 18.  Click here for more information.

Borough Street Assessment and Condition Database, Bellevue Borough, Allegheny County

  • Physical evaluation of Bellevue’s eighteen (18) miles of streets based on clear and understandable criteria.
  • Creation of a user friendly and flexible street condition database with appropriate instruction for usage.
  • Using evaluation criteria, rank the condition of Borough-owned and maintained streets. Include specific description of defects.
  • Formulate a five (5) to ten (10) year priority-based Paving Needs Projection that can be adjusted by interim work and funds availability.

Borough Administrative Intern, Borough of Donora, Washington County

  • The overall goals are to assist the Borough Administrator in implementing five crucial projects that are required either by state or federal regulations. It is imperative that the five projects be progressed either to the point of total completion or to the point of satisfying the minimal requirements of state and federal regulations. The Borough of Donora is in need of assistance with these five projects by a motivated and qualified individual so the Borough can be developed economically and avoid possible future Act 47 oversight by the state.

Capital Planning and Implementation Internship, Wilkinsburg Borough, Allegheny County

  • Researching and identifying alternative funding opportunities for the Borough, overseeing the necessary steps to implement and provide a robust application for grant funding. Currently, the municipality does not have a permanent Borough Manager to assist in prioritizing funding and economic development prospects. The intern would serve as a liaison between the Capital Planning Committee, community interests, and potential funding sources. There are two specific applications that Council has identified and highlighted that are time-intensive that would make for an ideal project for our prospective intern.

CCAPS Assistant Developer and Blight Fighter, Borough of Charleroi, Washington County

  • Develop an updated property owner database. This will work with the new CCAPS (Charleroi Code Application & Property-Management System) developed by the Senior Computer Science students at California University. The application will create a more efficient way to conduct code enforcement in Charleroi. The Code officer will evaluate a property on a portable device. After uploading the violation into the system the device will link to the property database, inserting the owner information into the Violation notice for printing and mailing. The property owner account list must be created to enable our new application to work.
  • Assist with the implementation of the CCAPS and other blight tools in Code Enforcement.

Public Field Use Evaluation and Plan, Ross Township, Allegheny County

  • The goal of this project is to evaluate and make policy recommendations for future use of Ross Township baseball, softball and open field spaces. This will include recommendations for resource management, capital improvement planning and financial management. Intern will recommend policies for adoption by Township Commission.

Comprehensive Trail Master Plan and Analysis, Cranberry Township, Butler County

  • Complete a comprehensive trail inventory, including cataloging and assessing existing trails and their conditions to impact future design and construction prioritization
  • Data collection and analysis including mapping exercises to determine opportunities for constructing additional trails, analysis of traffic counts, crash data, and community health statistics to prioritize locations of new trails and connections, as well as the implementation schedule of future improvements and examine possible future connections with existing trails in adjacent municipalities to create a regional trail system linking Cranberry to its neighbors
  • Coordinate between Cranberry Township Planning, Engineering, and Parks and Recreation Departments to design 3 to 4 future trails and connections at strategic locations throughout the community
  • Establish a methodology for trail implementation and identify funding mechanisms, and public outreach

Code Enforcement Review, Borough of Glassport, Allegheny County

  • The Glassport Police Department currently oversees the Code Enforcement Office. A review of the code enforcement department shows the need for an overhaul of the computerized records system and the development of a policy for enforcement. We will be undertaking a project to alleviate the problems we are encountering when enforcing ordinances and more effectively prosecuting offenders. The intern will need to complete the following tasks:
    • Analyze / review current ordinances
    • Develop plan for records management
    • Data entry for database
    • Create reports
    • Create a Code Enforcement Policy

Exit Act 47 Initiative, City of New Castle, Lawrence County

  • The overall goal is for the City of New Castle to successfully exit the Act 47 program. In 2015, City Council adopted the third and final Act 47 recovery plan based upon legislative changes under Act 199 adopted by the Commonwealth in 2014; which requires a municipality to exit Act 47 or potentially fall into receivership. Two objectives the student may work on towards this goal include: the first phase of a revenue study and implementation plan or assistance with the city’s Blueprint Community five-year strategic plan.
  • The student will also research the City’s sustainable certification from Sustainable Pittsburgh and determine if we have any updates that could possibly move the City from silver to gold status.

Economic Development and Marketing, City of Clairton, Allegheny County

  • The major goal of an intern if placed with the City will be to work with the Tri-COG Collaborative and the Jefferson Foundation / EDS to continue the work started to assess economic development opportunities for the City and to help develop a marketing plan.
  • The City also had our Engineering firm, KLH Engineers complete a study of all roads and streets in the City ranking each and providing a cost to repair.
  • Taking the various studies that have or will be completed and expanding upon them to see where the City should best allocate scarce resources will be a big part of the learning experience for an intern.

Executive Intern, Winfield Township, Butler County

  • Intern will work to develop a comprehensive road improvement plan. Use nationally recognized highway rating systems to rate all Township roads and develop an effective and cost efficient maintenance method to maintain and improve the existing infrastructure (excel software is preferred). In addition, the Intern will work to inventory and catalog, again in excel, the storm water facilities within the Township.

GIS Database Update, Emsworth Borough, Allegheny County

  • The successful candidate will work with the Supervisor of Public Works with input from Gateway Engineers, the municipality’s engineer, to satisfy regulatory requirements for GIS data base updates to include but not limited to Street Sign Retro-Reflectivity Analysis, Storm-water Infrastructure Analysis; Fire Hydrant Location and Mapping.

GIS Mapping Project, Borough of Greenville, Mercer County

  • The Borough of Greenville has worked very diligently over the last several years to better position itself to exit ACT 47. One area we are trying to improve upon is our data collection and retention process. In the Borough’s ACT 47 Revised Recovery Plan (RRP) it recommends having our mapping updated with current and accurate data. This will then be used for financial planning and capital projects. Without accurate data, the Borough cannot properly plan for the future.
  • Over the years the Borough has struggled to accomplish some of the much larger tasks in the recovery plan due to manpower. The Municipal Intern will play a vital role in helping the Borough overcome this problem. The data that the intern will collect, will be entered into our new GIS program. This data includes; road conditions, street signage conditions, storm water inlet locations and conditions, outfall locations and conditions, etc.

Municipality Comprehensive Plan Update, South Park Township, Allegheny County

  • The overall goal of the project is to update South Park’s Comprehensive Plan. The plan was last updated in 2005 and the Township is currently involved with the Planning Consultant to implement a new update. The process and end product is of vital importance to municipality’s future goals for effective community planning and a critical tool in overall development within township. One component of the Comprehensive Plan is the Citizen Attitude Survey which will be sent to each household. The responses will assist in guiding revisions to the existing Comprehensive Plan to meet the current and future needs of the community.

Operation Efficiency Analysis, Borough of Baldwin, Allegheny County

  • Increase the amount of recycled solid waste from residents by studying the implementation of new residential containers (logistics, funding, and distribution).
  • Analyze daily logs of the public works employees to spot trends in activities and recommend ideas for maximizing efficiency of operations (different procedures, routes, equipment, etc.). Create procedures for enabling a more accurate accounting of public work’s labor.
  • In the past year the Borough has procured technology to assist with citizen engagement (website, social media, and citizen request app), but has yet to utilize these tools to their full potential. An intern would strategize on how to use these technologies most effectively to both disseminate information and receive resident feedback. Then they will use the tools to engage residents in meaningful communications about large Borough projects, such as MS4 education and sanitary sewer infrastructure construction.

Ordinance Resolution and Review, Borough of Dravosburg, Allegheny County

  • Review, update and amend Borough Ordinances that are out of date and do not meet community needs. Research current legal requirements that apply which include but not limited to increasing penalties and fines for violations.

Fight Blight Initiative Borough of McKees Rocks, Allegheny County

  • The goal of our intern would be to assist the code enforcement officer this would be a two part project the first would consist of building a data base for code enforcement matters and tracking, the second part would be compiling all of our ordinances and resolutions into a digital data base for easy access.

Property Database Residential Survey, Harrison Township, Allegheny County

  • Conduct a survey of the exterior condition of individual residential properties in Harrison Township (approximately 4,000 parcels) by the LGA Summer Intern under the guidance of the Zoning & Ordinance Officers. GTECH will work with the Zoning & Ordinance Office Data Base Specialist and the LGA Summer Intern to integrate the survey data with the Township’s Property Management Data Base. This will permit current condition data to be linked to address, ownership, inspection, and tax delinquency data and be updated on an ongoing basis through Google Earth mapping.