On Centre: Centre Region | New document from planning agency details Centre Region information

jvanderk@centredaily.comAugust 16, 2013 

Senior Centre Region planner Mark Boeckel debuted a new publication from the region’s planning agency this week, detailing the “governance, history, society, business, services and recreation” of the six municipalities.

The idea is to offer information to residents, visitors and businesses about the area. In the first few pages, the introduction gives some fun statistics about each municipality. Some highlights:

•  Patton Township is the oldest municipality, incorporated in 1794.

•  The youngest is State College, established in 1896, and the borough also has the largest population in the region and Centre County — 42,034.

•  College Township was named for what was then the Pennsylvania State College.

•  Halfmoon Township was named from the half-moon-shaped figures etched on trees by American Indians as a way to mark routes through the valley.

•  Harris Township was formed from parts of Ferguson, Spring and Potter townships.

•  Ferguson Township has the largest land area in the region — 48.1 square miles.

Beyond that, the booklet offers narratives and statistics related to population, housing, economics, transportation and community facilities and services.

It lists median incomes, from the 2010 U.S. Census — the highest is $103,224 in Halfmoon and the lowest $58,953 in State College. Maps show park spaces, employer locations and population centers. Tables show average ages in each municipality and population growth by decade — the region had just 5,877 residents in 1900 compared to 92,096 in 2010.

It even lists and maps the region’s towns and villages and gives their backgrounds. Gatesburg for example, far west in Ferguson Township, was settled as a center of iron ore production.

The booklet is available on the agency’s website. Click the agency link on the left side of the Council of Governments home page, www.crcog.net and scroll down to “news and events.” Some print copies also are still available. Call the office at 231-3050.

Ferguson planning post open

Ferguson Township is looking for a resident volunteer to serve on its Planning Commission after member John Mason resigned.

The commission has seven members and meets the first and third Mondays of the month to review subdivision and land development plans and to discuss and consider community planning issues.

Anyone interested should submit an Authorities, Boards and Commissions application by Sept. 9. The application is at the township’s website, www.twp.ferguson .pa.us or is available by contacting Manager Mark Kunkle at 238-4651 or mkunkle@twp.ferguson.pa.us.

In College Township, Rich Francke already has begun serving on the Township Council, taking Forrest Remick’s vacant spot for the rest of the year. Francke also will remain on the Planning Commission, doing double duty for the township.

According to the state Municipalities Planning Code, that’s allowed. On a commission of seven members, up to two may be township officials or employees.

Jessica VanderKolk writes this weekly column featuring news from the Centre Region. Contact her at 235-3910. Follow her on Twitter @jVanReporter.

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