Bellefonte Borough Council delays vote to create Keystone Community committees

Seeking a blessing for her newly forming committees, Keystone Community Development Coordinator Vana Dainty presented information to Borough Council at its regular meeting Monday, but the vote was delayed.

Dainty is looking to create four groups to help the borough in the process of obtaining a Keystone Community designation, which would open up more opportunities for grants. She plans to use the Historical Architecture Review Board as the design committee, the Industrial Development Authority as the development committee, specific members of the community as a marketing committee and a fourth committee of businesses and merchants.

But council tabled the motion until the next meeting after a motion from Councilman Walt Schneider.

He said he doesn’t have any major issues with the idea and doesn’t think this needs to hold up the process, but he would like to see more information in writing before giving formal approval.

Dainty gave an oral presentation and Borough Manager Ralph Stewart said he didn’t provide any specific written information because he thought it was straightforward. But council still voted to hold off on granting its approval.

Going forward, Dainty said the support of business owners will be key when looking for grants and state money.

“They all need to buy into this because without their buy-in, we’re just sort of spinning our wheels,” she said.

She said she has gotten a good amount of support and interest from many of the businesses she has talked with, and she is excited to continue to work with them.

The committee will act outside of the Bellefonte Intervalley Chamber of Commerce because Dainty wants as close to full participation as possible and doesn’t want to exclude businesses that aren’t chamber members.

She has said this could be a way to get the businesses to work together to maximize sales during event weekends and cross-promote.

Borough staff will now work on getting additional written information to council for a likely vote at the next meeting on Feb. 3.