Bellefonte program gets vision, mission statements

mmorgan@centredaily.comMarch 26, 2014 


    Bellefonte is a community full of character with something for everyone from the historical preservationist to the outdoor enthusiast, cultural devotee, shopping fanatic or culinary connoisseur. Its rich heritage as an arts, historical, and recreational destination helps current and new businesses thrive. A vibrant downtown is one that embraces community assets and is symbolic of good economic health and a high quality of life. This vitality is strengthened by the coordinated efforts of; business-friendly organizations, established business owners, community volunteers, progressive political leadership and responsible property owners.

— After two community-driven feedback meetings, coordinator Vana Dainty has compiled the vision and mission statements for the Keystone Community Development program.

Dainty wanted the statements to be community-generated. She had small groups write their own statements at the second meeting, and asked everyone to vote for their favorites. She then developed a top choice.

She said she was pleased with the cohesive ideas of the group.

“I thought they did an outstanding job,” she said. “I wasn’t sure how it would go and how it would come out, but I’m actually impressed.”

Dainty, a former councilwoman, now works in a contracted position with the borough, overseeing the Keystone Community Program, whose purpose is to get state-grant funding and promote Bellefonte.

The organization’s mission statement says its leaders are to be “stewards and advocates for Bellefonte’s historic and architectural heritage while promoting a vibrant, economically viable downtown.”

Assistant Borough Manager Don Holderman said that message captures the thoughts that he was hearing from his small group.

“People have varying thoughts on what they think the future should hold for Bellefonte,” he said. “Ultimately ... key themes that seem to be permeating to the top are economic development and historical preservation.”

The vision statement is crafted to show the direction of the program through its core values. In Bellefonte’s case, that includes promoting some areas of the borough that might otherwise be overlooked.

The statement draws attention to the versatility of the town, that it has something for many groups of people, such as “outdoor enthusiasts, cultural devotees, shopping fanatics or culinary connoisseurs.” It also brings up the quality of arts programs and businesses.

Dainty said that the next step will be to set up four committees — design, promotion, organization and economic restructuring. She sent emails to those who indicated interest in specific committees, and will start setting up meetings in the next week.

She said there will not be a cap for how many may serve on each committee.

The ultimate goal is to get Bellefonte designated a Keystone Community by the Pennsylvania Downtown Center in order to have opportunities for state grant funding for projects such as facade improvement and sprinkler systems.

Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan.

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