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COG Set To Analyze Effect Of Local Events

by on April 27, 2010 6:34 AM

The Centre Region Council of Governments will aggregate available data to evaluate the impact of major events on the local governments, the group decided unanimously last night.

A complete analysis should not take very long, said COG Fire Director Steve Bair. But it needed approval since it was not originally part of the 2010 program plan.

"Most of this data, if not all of it, exists," Bair said. "It is not a difficult study, but it will take staff time."

Bair will conduct most of the study, which hopes to uncover the cost of formal events (such as the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts) and some more informal events (such as State Patty's Day). The evaluation, COG members said, could be used to help fund expenses for these events.

Barbara Spencer, Halfmoon Township supervisor, said the drinking culture of the area is a serious problem, and COG could rally the public for change "if we had some hard numbers."

Bair will report back to COG after the study is complete.

Also from last night's meeting:

  • The 2010-2011 budget for CATA, which currently calls for a fare increase of 25 cents and asks for more contributions from local governments, has been sent to the local municipalities for review. The borough is being asked for a 9.2 percent increase in contributions, from $72,500 to $79,188. Penn State is being asked for a 5 percent increase, from $102,476 to $107,600.
  • Parks Capital Committee Chair Dan Klees showed COG members plans for three parks in the region: Oak Hall Parklands, Whitehall Road Parklands and the Hess Softball Field Complex. The $17.5 million plan is not feasible right now, Klees said, and so municipal governments are being asked to consider how much COG should move forward with in the near future. "This is your shopping list," Klees said, showing all items included on the master plan. "These are the things that need to be considered." COG will proceed with the recommendations at its May 24 meeting.
  • COG accepted the services of Premier Power Solution and will join a consortium of schools and governments to seek out cheaper electricity costs. Rate caps for Allegheny Power will end when 2011 begins, "and conventional wisdom is that rates will go up," PPS President Lee McCracken said. The agreement is of no cost to COG; the accepted supplier will pay PPS' fees.
  • Building permits must be picked up within one year, COG decided last night. After one year, abandoned permits will become invalid.

Terry Casey is a former managing editor of He can be reached at [email protected]
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