On Centre: Around Bellefonte | Public invited to weigh in on Keystone Community designation

Vana Dainty has laid the framework, and now the Bellefonte community will get a chance to weigh in on the Keystone Community designation.

Dainty has organized two public meetings for the community to provide feedback and allow people to present visions for the future of Bellefonte.

The program provides opportunities for participating municipalities to receive state money for improvement and marketing projects.

The first meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, and the second is March 20, also at 6:30 p.m. Both will take place in the Bellefonte Area Middle School cafeteria, and if either is canceled due to snow, the makeup will be March 27.

“Basically it is to give them a more in-depth overview of the Keystone Community designation, so they’ll be aware of what it means to Bellefonte,” Dainty said of the introductory meeting.

The first meeting will consist of a PowerPoint presentation that explains the particulars of the program. There will be time for brainstorming goals for the town.

Based on the suggestions from the first meeting, Dainty will create a mission statement for the program. She said she always has wanted the community to be heavily involved, and that this is a good way to do that.

Dainty is encouraging as many people as possible to attend both meetings so that the thoughts are representative of a large contingent of the town. She also will create committees of officials and residents that will continue to meet regularly going forward.

The committees will represent steering, design, business and marketing. The borough is hoping the program will bring opportunities for grants in the next five years for improvements and possibly sprinkler systems in older buildings.

Both meetings will be facilitated by a member of the state program.