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PROGRAM PLAN

2018


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CENTRE REGION COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS 2018 PROGRAM PLAN TABLE OF CONTENTS 2017 GENERAL FORUM MEMBERS

4 5 6 7 31

SCHLOW CENTRE REGION LIBRARY SCHLOW CENTRE REGION LIBRARY CAPITAL

119 127

CENTRE REGIONAL PLANNING AGENCY CENTRE COUNTY METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION

133 147

REGIONAL REFUSE AND RECYCLING PROGRAM COG CONTINGENCY FUND COG BUILDING CAPITAL INSURANCE RESERVE FUND

35 45 59 63 69

REGIONAL FIRE PROTECTION PROGRAM FIRE PROTECTION CAPITAL

161 171

OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT CONTINGENCY FUND

73 83

PARKS AND RECREATION (CRPR) OPERATING CRPR CAPITAL EQUIPMENT CRPR AQUATICS PROGRAM CRPR AQUATICS CAPITAL CRPR ACTIVE ADULT CENTER CRPR MILLBROOK MARSH NATURE CENTER CRPR MILLBROOK MARSH NATURE CENTER CAPITAL CRPR REGIONAL PARKS CAPITAL

177 193 197 203 209 221 231 237

COG AGENCY CONTACT LIST CENTRE REGION COG SERVICE AREA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S LETTER OVERVIEW OF THE COG OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION

CODE ADMINISTRATION OVERALL AGENCY CODE NEW CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM CODE EXISTING STRUCTURES PROGRAM CODE CAPITAL

85 99 105 115

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GENERAL FORUM MEMBERS 2017 CHAIR: Thomas Daubert, State College Borough VICE CHAIR: Danelle Del Corso, Halfmoon Township COLLEGE TOWNSHIP COUNCIL

FERGUSON TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS

HALFMOON TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS

Richard Francke, Chair L. Eric Bernier Carla Stilson Steven Lyncha Anthony Fragola

Steve Miller, Chair Janet Whitaker Peter Buckland Laura Dininni Rita Graef

Danelle Del Corso, Chair Todd Kirsten Andrew Merritt Barbara Spencer Mark Stevenson

HARRIS TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS

PATTON TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS

STATE COLLEGE BOROUGH COUNCIL

Dennis Hameister, Chair Nigel Wilson Bruce Lord Charles “Bud” Graham Frank Harden

Elliot Abrams, Chair Walter Wise George Downsbrough Jeffrey Luck Dan Treviño

Thomas Daubert, President Cathy Dauler Theresa Lafer Evan Myers David Brown Janet Engeman Jesse Barlow Mayor: Elizabeth Goreham

THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

STATE COLLEGE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT

Zach Moore / Charima Young

Gretchen Brandt

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CENTRE REGION COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS Agency Contact List 2643 Gateway Drive  State College, PA 16801-3885  Website: www.crcog.net ADMINISTRATION – 231-3077 Jim Steff, Executive Director jsteff@crcog.net Cheryl Stamm, Office Manager cstamm@crcog.net Rebecca Petitt, Human Resources Officer rpetitt@crcog.net Joe Viglione, Finance Director jviglione@crcog.net CODE ADMINISTRATION – 231-3056 Walt Schneider, Director wschneider@centreregioncode.org Tammy Strouse, Office Manager tstrouse@centreregioncode.org EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT – 235-7838 Shawn Kauffman, Emergency Management Coordinator skauffman@centreregionema.com Carolyn Irvin, Office Manager cirvin@centreregionfire.com

PARKS & RECREATION – 231-3071 Pam Salokangas, Director

psalokangas@crcog.net Jada Light, Office Manager jlight@crcog.net PLANNING – 231-3050 Jim May, Director jmay@crcog.net Lyssa Cromell, Office Manager lcromell@crcog.net REFUSE & RECYCLING PROGRAM – 234-7198 Pam Adams, Administrator padams@crcog.net SCHLOW LIBRARY – 235-7814 (211 S. Allen St.) Cathi Alloway, Director calloway@schlowlibrary.org DJ Lilly, Office Manager djlilly@schlowlibrary.org

FIRE PROTECTION – 237-4127 (400 W. Beaver Ave.) Steve Bair, Director sbair@centreregionfire.com Carolyn Irvin, Office Manager cirvin@centreregionfire.com

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Executive Director’s Letter 2018 Program Plan Overview July 12, 2017 Dear General Forum and Municipal/COG Staff, The Agency Directors and I are pleased to present the Centre Region Council of Governments (COG) 2018 Program Plan to the Finance Committee for its review, comment, and referral to the six Centre Region municipalities. Program Plan proposals for the Codes, Fire, and Emergency Management Agencies were reviewed by the COG Public Safety Committee during its June 13, 2017 meeting. The COG Human Resources Committee discussed personnel changes and compensation policies during its May 3, 2017 meeting. In addition, the Library Board reviewed the two library sections of the Program Plan. The Finance Committee considered the entire Program Plan during its July 6, 2017 meeting. The committee’s comments are incorporated in this document. The idea for a Program Plan was suggested by the Finance Committee in 2001. The document is intended to provide the General Forum with an explanation of each regional program’s history, services, current issues, mid-year financial status, and proposed programmatic and financial changes for 2018. By making this information available to the municipal officials early in the budget process, municipal officials can be both engaged in and knowledgeable about the COG. The presentation of the Program Plan in July of each year gives municipal officials sufficient time to consider the proposals, ask questions, and offer comments or suggest alternatives. Why COG……….. Almost 48 years ago in 1969, elected officials from the six Centre Region municipalities voluntarily decided to work together to serve the public. The COG was created to lower the costs of government-provided services by eliminating or reducing duplication and achieving economics of scale. Most Pennsylvania communities fund separate and distinct fire agencies, code departments, emergency management coordinators, park and recreations agencies, and have individualized plans for dealing with land use issues and guiding future land development. If one considered the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a whole, duplicating these services directly increases the cost of government for the taxpayer, is confusing to the residents, and may lessen the quality of those services. In addition, many of the major problems confronting local governments are truly regional in nature. Land use planning, protection of the natural environment, and emergency preparedness planning, typically span across municipal boundaries and can only be meaningfully addressed at the regional level. For other regional programs - fire protection, parks and recreation, refuse/recycling collection, and library services - because

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expenses are shared among multiple municipalities, the COG is typically able to provide the service at a lower per resident expense than many other communities. A key challenge for municipal government is how to effectively and efficiently combine local self-government with the cooperative partnerships that are capable of meeting residents’ service delivery expectations and their pocketbooks. By sharing services and coordinating planning efforts, municipalities that cooperate with neighboring communities can give residents more bang for their buck. 2017 HIGHLIGHTS FOR FIRST SIX MONTHS Some of the notable accomplishments achieved since the beginning of the year include: 

The Active Adult Center opened its permanent doors January 17, 2017 at the Nittany Mall. Program participation has flourished due to the spacious venue, ample free parking, and exciting programming opportunities. In the month of May 2014, 117 people attended and participated in 1,378 activities. In the month of May 2017, 261 people attended and participated in 3,951 activities. Thus, the attendance has grown by 123% and the program participation has grown by 188%.

Extended the draw down date for the regional parks loan from June 1, 2017 to June 1, 2020. The loan provides $4.8 million to build improvements to the Whitehall Road Regional Park. This time extension will give the Parks Capital Committee and Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority the time needed to: identify the entity with the financial responsibility to build the road connecting Whitehall Road to the park and for utility improvements, finalize the number of fields and other amenities that will be constructed, identify the value of community contributions to the project, and undertake the process for obtaining the required plan approvals and permits.

The Millbrook Marsh Nature Center received over $300,000 in community donations for the Phase II construction of the Spring Creek Education Building.

The Library received several large estate gifts.

Established a Steering Committee to identify the scope of work for the Parks and Recreation Regional Comprehensive Plan and to conduct a process to interview and prepare a recommendation for a project consultant.

Finalized the update to the 2010 Property Maintenance (PM) Code that has been adopted by the governing bodies of five of the six participating municipalities. The PM code establishes the safety and maintenance standards that are applied to the over 19,000 rental units in the Centre Region and Bellefonte Borough.

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Extended the COG’s contract with Bellefonte Borough for code administration services from July 1, 2017 to January 1, 2021.

Revised the formula to assign municipal contributions to the Schlow Centre Region Library as recommended by Halfmoon Township.

Extended the agreement between the COG and State College Borough for pension and risk management services until December 31, 2020.

Completed the construction of a storage mezzanine the State College Borough Fire Station at final cost of $47,784.

In February 2017, the CCMPO amended the 2017-2020 Centre County Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) to reallocate $2.1 million in unobligated federal funds for resurfacing the Mount Nittany Expressway in College and Patton Townships, and to add $3 million for “refreshing” the foundation data originally collected for the former South Central Centre County Transportation Study (SCCCTS) project, now known as the Route 322/144/45 Corridors Project. The data refresh will address traffic, environmental features, community elements, and an update of the SCCCTS Needs Analysis Report originally completed in 1999.

In 2017, the CCMPO staff has worked with other community stakeholders to advance several bicycle outreach and education efforts, including seven classes co-sponsored by Centre Region Parks and Recreation and the Centre Regional Planning Agency, and a Bike Rodeo sponsored by Ferguson Township. The bicycle outreach education efforts are key elements in the implementation of the Centre Region Bike Plan.

Completion of a draft report to potentially review how the Regional Growth Boundary (RGB) and Sewer Service Area (SSA) is administered. The report will consider other potential ways that could be utilized to strengthen the process by which requests to consider expansions to the RGB and SSA are considered.

Completion of a draft report reinforcing how the University Area Joint Authority (UAJA) and Penn State can and should continue to cooperate on provision of sewer service to the portions of the Penn State University Park campus.

LONGER TERM TRENDS AFFECTING FUTURE BUDGETS Looking ahead to the next five years the Executive Director anticipates the following six trends will impact the COG Budget: Trend 1: There will continue to be robust construction growth. As reported in the May 4, 2017 edition of the Centre Daily Times, the Centre Region is experiencing a “building boom” especially in the area of student housing. This supposition is support by statistics 2018 Program Plan – Executive Director’s Letter

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collected by the COG. Since January 1, 2016, the Centre Region Code Administration has permitted $350 million in new construction. Given the building plans on file in the Code Agency and the land development plans under consideration by the municipalities new building construction will remain robust for at least the next three to five years. Possible implications for COG: As available land zoned for development diminishes there may be increased pressure to expand the regional growth boundary/sewer service area. In addition, there will more and larger buildings for the fire company to protect thereby increasing the work load for the volunteers. Trend 2: The age demographics of the Centre Region will continue to change. Over the past 15 years, the Centre Region has experienced a considerable increase in its senior population. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, there were 8,187 persons aged 60 or older living in the Centre Region at that time. Based on the 2011-2015 American Community Survey, the number of persons aged 60 and over had increased to approximately 12,548 by 2015, which represents an overall increase of approximately 53.3%.

Population Age 60 years and over

2000 Census 8,187

2010 Census 10,958

2011-2015 ACS 12,548

Growth of the population within this age range has occurred as a result of an overall aging population as well as in-migration. Growth in this age cohort has also occurred in each municipality, but at varying degrees. The Centre Region’s 60 and over population grew at a higher rate than that of Centre County, Pennsylvania, and the nation as a whole during this time period. Possible implications for COG: The types of facilities needed and programs offered by the Parks and Recreation Agency could be affected. The demand for new “active adult” housing for residents who relocate to the area will remain high and existing residents will increasingly want to “age in place” in need for enhancing mobility for residents including sufficient housing for mobility-challenged residents, improved public transport, and barrier-free pedestrian connectivity from housing to service activities in the community. In addition, the potential resident pool for volunteer firefighters will not grow in proportion to the increasing population in the Centre Region. Trend 3: Revenues from state and federal government will continue to be problematic. As discussed in the “Factors Impacting the 2018 Budget” section of this letter, state and federal governments are facing immediate and on-going budget constraints. There will be ongoing uncertainty of state and federal appeals to be a chronic condition and there are no quick remedies to the funding maladies. Because of these constrained budgets, COG is likely to have fewer grant opportunities, continued uncertainty about state funding assistance especially for the library, and Centre Region government. Possible implications for COG: State aid to Schlow Centre Region Library may be reduced. And, if the state and federal grants-in-aid provided to Centre County are diminished then the County’s financial ability to reimburse the COG for costs for operating the Active Adult Center, Schlow Centre Region Library, and the Centre Region Planning Agency may be reduced. Funding for parks and recreation acquisition and development with the Land, Water, and 2018 Program Plan – Executive Director’s Letter

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Conservation Fund (LWCF) distributed via the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources could be reduced or eliminated as well. Trend 4: COG services will be requested more frequently by non-Centre Region municipalities’ and residents. Some of the rural areas remote from the State College/Bellefonte corridor are declining and this may affect the demand for COG services. A recent Wall Street Journal article noted that by many key measures rural areas “now rank the worst among the four major U.S. population groupings (the others are big cities, suburbs, and medium to small metro areas.”) As more rural municipalities experience loss of population, economic base, and jobs, our area will be affected. By way of example, in February the Fire Director reported to the COG Public Safety Committee that call volumes from more remote fire companies (for example, northern Huntington and Mifflin Counties, and the Philipsburg area) increased by 17% from 2015 to 2016. Most of these remote companies are dealing with staffing and fiscal pressures and are increasingly relying on mutual assistance provided by other fire companies. Possible implications for COG: COG staff may be spread too thin in some programs. The General Forum may request that COG be reimbursed for the services it provides to non-Centre Region residents who use fire protection, parks and recreation programs, Active Adult Center, and library services. This reimbursement request may cause conflict between the COG and the County and/or the municipalities whose residents are using the regional services. Trend 5: COG’s involvement in environmental issues will increase. Awareness and municipal/COG involvement and support of municipal efforts in environmental issues will increase. Topics such as water source protection, energy conservation, development of alternative energy sources, protection of natural areas, stormwater management, partnerships with environmental groups are likely to become integral to the regional dialogue. Possible implications for COG: The work objectives and staffing of the COG’s Planning and possibility the Office of Administration may be effected. Building codes and Code Agency education programs that encourage “green” construction will become more of a focus. And, the implementation of an organics collection program in the Townships that participate in the regional refuse/recycling program is more likely. Trend 6: Fire protection service is likely to become more expensive. As the Fire Director reported to the COG Public Safety Committee the “writing is on the wall” regarding the prospect of higher costs for fire protection services. Across Pennsylvania, most volunteer fire companies have experienced a decline in membership. The Alpha Fire Company is in better shape than many companies but the number of community volunteers is not increasing at a rate commensurate with the higher call volumes. Economic incentives of some type may be necessary to attract and retain the long term community volunteers. In addition, initial discussion regarding the construction of fourth fire station in Ferguson Township are underway. While a new station may be needed the construction of a fourth station will increase overall utility, repair and operational costs for the fire program. Possible implications for COG: Municipal costs for fire service will significantly increase and ability to provide mutual aid to surround fire companies may diminish. In the financially worst case scenario a fully paid fire service would increase municipal costs from approximately $1.2 million to $4.6 million annually. 2018 Program Plan – Executive Director’s Letter

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WHERE ARE WE NOW WITH THE 2017 BUDGET? For the period of January 1 to June 30, 2017, most Agency expenditures and revenues were consistent with the projections contained in their 2017 budgets with the following notable variations from the estimated budgets: Revenues: 

Administration Agency – Medical Insurance Reserve Fund: The Centre Region COG received notification of a surplus of $147,665 (as of 6/30/2017) from the Plan Administrator of its cooperative health insurance plan that it participates in with many Centre Region municipalities. The surplus will be assigned to the Insurance Reserve Fund. To date, half of this surplus has been received and the remainder will be sent by the Plan Administrator throughout the year as 2016 claims continue to close. These funds will be assigned to the Insurance Reserve Fund and used to offset future premium increases for medical insurance, finance the Employee Wellness Program, pay expenses mandated by the Affordable Care Act, and reimburse COG Agencies for unexpected increases in health insurance costs due to personnel changes (see additional details on page 69).

Code Agency – New Construction Program: For the first six months of 2017, permit revenue for the New Construction Program was within the anticipated amounts and totaled $733,803 as of June 1, 2017 compared to $943,648 for the same time period in 2016. The 2016 permit revenue is higher because of the fees paid for the construction of the new high school. The revenue projected for all of 2017 is $1,035,000 (see additional details on page 102).

Library Agency – Community support for Schlow Library has been notable in 2017. A record-setting $62,525 was raised in the May "Centre Gives" community fund drive, and the Library received an estate gift from former patron Janelle Sigel for $252,970.

Parks and Recreation Agency – Millbrook Marsh Nature Center: Fundraising for the Nature Center has been strong. To date, over $300,000 in donations have been pledged to the construction of the Phase II educational building and $50,000 to finance operating expenses.

Parks and Recreation Agency – Active Adult Center: The 2017 budget assumed that the Centre County Office of Aging would contribute $7,000 to the compensation costs for a new part-time Staff Assistant positon to provide customer and administrative support services from 10:00am to 2:00pm, the busiest time period at the center. Funding for this position was not approved by the County so the position has not been filled. The Program Plan proposed that for 2018 the COG funds all the costs for the position (see additional details on page 216).

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Unexpected Expenditures: Overall for the first six months of 2017 there were very few “surprise” expenditures for the COG Agencies. The main unanticipated expenses were: 

Overall COG Budget – The 2017 COG budget was prepared with the expectation that changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that govern the payment of overtime would change and as a result COG’s costs for overtime payments would increase from 2016. With the changes in the Executive branch of the federal government, the proposed new regulations were not adopted into law. Consequently, overtime expenses are likely to be more than $20,000 less than amounts anticipated in the agency budgets.

Administration Budget – Since January there has been turnover in two employee positions. In both cased the new employees are covered by family health insurance compared to the previous staff members who had waived coverage or had a two person plan. The $15,000 increase in 2017 premium costs will be paid by the Insurance Reserve Fund (see additional details on page 70).

COG Building Capital Budget – In January 2017, the two 13-year old gas boilers in the COG Building were in need of repair and some of the parts (e.g. control unit) are no longer being manufactured. The Executive Director authorized an unexpected expenditure of $18,927 to install one new boiler during 2017. The replacement of the second boiler will be proposed in the 2018 budget. (see additional details on page 64).

Fire Protection Capital Budget – During late 2016 the boiler and heat exchanger at the main fire station in State College Borough was found to have significant damage. The replacement of repairs of the equipment extended into 2017. The combined cost was $48,258 ($33,263/2016 and $14,995/2017).

Expenditures Authorized But Have Not Yet Occurred: 

Regional Parks Capital Budget – $2.5 million is budgeted to fund a portion of the costs for the development of Whitehall Road Regional Park. Actual expenditures will be significantly less as the General Forum and Parks and Recreation Authority wait for more answers as to the responsibility for constructing the connection road from the Whitehall Road to the Park, the offsite traffic improvements and utilities. COG Building Capital Budget– $23,000 is budgeted to install the automatic doors for the COG Building. Bids are being solicited and will be opened on June 30, 2017.

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COG Building Capital Budget – Replace the HVAC unit in the rear office area of the Parks and Recreation suite. The current unit is undersized for the load. The estimated cost provided by the firm that maintains the HVAC system is $22,000. The work is expected to be complete this summer.

Contingency Budget – During its May 23, 2016 meeting, the General Forum approved a $15,000 expenditure from the COG Contingency Fund to finance its participation in the Keystone Initiative for Network-Based Education and Research (KINBER) Study. The COG joined eight other local governments and authorities in this effort that following implementation to the regional wide area network (WAN) is expected to improve service, lower costs, and encourage economic development. The preparing of a “walking estimate” for connecting to the KINBER system is complete and currently a detailed costs are being identified for the entities that want to be included. The COG has not received billing for the services provided thus far (see additional details on page 60).

Administration Agency Budget– The 2016 Administration budget contained $20,000 to fund an IT study to assess COG’s information technologies and to prepare a five year plan for the future. Work on preparing the Request for Proposals for this study was postponed pending the outcome of the KINBER study that may contain recommendations that will impact how COG’s IT services are provided. The allocated funds have been carried forward into the 2017 Budget (see additional details on page 40).

Code Agency Budget – $10,000 is budgeted in 2017 to retain consulting services to update the Agency’s job descriptions and conduct a wage survey of code departments having similar positions in similar communities. Negotiations have been initiated with a consultant, however, the cost, scope of work, and time schedule have not been finalized. It is expected that the projected will be completed prior to the finalization of the 2018 Detailed Budget.

FACTORS IMPACTING THE 2018 BUDGET As described below a number of COG formulas will change from 2017 to 2018 including the library funding formula, the pools loan repayment formula, and the earned income tax factor in the COG formula. These formula changes mean that even if the total amount of the COG budget did not change, municipal contributions to the COG will not stay the same. Some municipal contribution amounts will go up and others will go down depending on the formulas involved. 

During its February 27, 2017 meeting the General Forum approved a revised formula to allocate the costs for the regional library program. The motion adopted by the General Forum is: “That the General Forum, as recommended by the Finance Committee, amend the Library funding formula utilized

by the Centre Region Council of Governments participating municipalities to allow for a three year smoothing 2018 Program Plan – Executive Director’s Letter

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mechanism to be added to the formula effective for the 2018 Centre Region Council of Governments Budget and over the life of the smoothing formula, municipalities will pay no more or less than they would have paid under direct assessment.” 

During its May 22, 2017 meeting the General Forum approved the following motion relating to the 2018 COG Budget. The 2.75% budget guideline set by the General Forum.

“That the General Forum, as recommended by the Finance Committee, endorse a target for the Centre Region COG that the increase in municipal contributions for the 2018 calendar year should be 2.75% or less from the 2017 approved COG Budget.” 

During its May 22, 2017 meeting the General Forum approved a motion to revisit the status of the regional parks loan within one year. The motion adopted by the General Forum is:

“That the General Forum, as recommended by the Finance Committee and Parks Capital Committee, adopt Resolution 2017-2 asking the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority to modify the regional parks loan with Fulton Bank in accordance with its May 1, 2017 proposal. Furthermore, this action is approved with the stipulation that if construction contracts are not executed within a period of time not to exceed one year then the CRPR Authority shall discuss the project with the General Forum prior to proceeding.”* 

The Earned Income Tax (EIT) factor used in calculating the COG funding formula will change, particularly for State College Borough and Ferguson Township. The COG formula has three factors, each weighted equally: Population, net of students, Assessed Value of Real Estate, and local EIT Wages. There is some variability between the 2017 and 2018 years, particularly between the Borough of State College and Ferguson Township, just as there was between 2016 and 2017. This variability was anticipated and discussed during the 2017 budget process. It was due to the Earned Income Wages component of the formula. In the 2017 Program Plan COG staff identified fluctuations that occurred in the amounts reported on the municipal DCED filings, which was largely due to Penn State switching from a monthly remitter of local earned income taxes to a quarterly remitter of local earned income taxes. COG staff proposed two options to the managers at their July 2016 monthly meeting, 1) to keep utilizing the DCED reports for each municipality or 2) to migrate to utilizing the audited information from the Centre Tax Agency. At this meeting the managers decided to keep using the DCED reports for each municipality for the 2017 and future COG formulas so that no municipality would be impacted by the timing of a change in the formula.

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The formula for allocating the costs for the regional pool loan will be reset. In 2008 the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority borrowed $7.9 million for 20 years to renovate Park Forest Pool and the William L. Welch Pool. The municipalities guaranteed the repayment of this loan with the understanding that 2008 COG formula would be used to allocate costs for the years for 2008 to 2017 of the loan and the 2018 COG funding formula would be used for years 2018 to 2028.

The internal allocation of financial management services costs ($129,000 per year) will change from 2017 to 2018. Beginning in 2015, the provision of these services shifted from the State College Borough Finance Department to the COG Office of Administration. Risk management and pension administration services continue to be provided by State College Borough. Currently, the costs for financial services are paid from the individual Agency budgets to the COG Office of Administration to offset its expenses. Reimbursements are based on the 2010 formula used by the Borough. Beginning in 2018, the COG will allocate costs based on transactional data from the past year, 2016 in this case. The transactional data will not be reviewed every year. The Finance Director will review the allocations every few years to make sure they reasonably reflect the work involved.

State and Federal Budgets may reduce grants and other funding assistance made directly to COG or to entities that have financial connections to the COG. The magnitude of this change is unknown at the present time. As the Program Plan is being prepared the state and federal budgets are not close to adoption and the stakeholders involved in approval process are deeply divided.

With the exception of the Library and its allocation of state aid the COG Agencies are not reliant on direct state or federal funding. The library has suffered greatly because of diminished State and district aid to libraries. The amount of this assistance is projected to be nearly level for fiscal year 2017-18. However, it will remain 33% less than its peak in 2008. There is no inflation factor for state aid. State aid losses have caused the Schlow Centre Region Library to reduce its hours of operation and part-time staffing in 2014 and 2016. Other than the Library’s budget the other Agency budgets are vulnerable in three ways to reduction in state and federal funding.  A reduction in state and federal funding to Centre County government could impact the County’s ability and willingness to provide financial support to Schlow Centre Region Library ($159,000), the Active Adult Center ($90,000), and the Centre Regional Planning Agency ($126,500).  A reduction in state and federal governments funding for state programs could impact the grant funding that is available for park capital, fire protection, or land use planning projects.  Any reduction in state aid that is used to offset pension costs for COG employees would result in higher premium expenses for COG.

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Medical Insurance Costs are likely to increase but the actual premium amounts will not be known until late September/October. However, during the last three years, the average percentage increase has been 8%. The annual premium for medical insurance is approximately $1,300,000. This expense is paid by the employer, employee contributions, and by a transfer from a COG Insurance Reserve Fund (the 2017 transfer from the Insurance Reserve Funds to offset premiums was $104,000). To help control costs, COG employees have a co-pay and a deductible threshold. Many COG employees also participate in the Wellness Program, which stresses the importance of taking care of oneself. In addition, at the current time, 11 employees waive health insurance coverage, which saves the COG approximately $175,000 per year. The Human Resources Committee is investigating whether there are options for controlling costs that do not harm the employees. During its June meeting the Committee discontinued its consideration of a High Deductible plan coupled with a Health Savings Account. However, other options remain under consideration for the 2019 budget year.

COG payments for the defined contribution pension plan in 2018 may decrease because of the receipt of state aid. The COG’s defined benefit pension program that is administered through the State College Borough is in good fiscal condition. Over several decades, it has been well funded through employer, employee, and state aid contributions. Additionally, the plan is audited on a regular basis and when adjustments are needed, Borough Council and the General Forum have implemented them. As a result, the COG has avoided the great unfunded liabilities that affect many plans. The pension plan is also funded by investment returns which can be volatile over a short term basis.

Employee compensation costs, COG’s largest operating expense, will increase. According to the COG’s Compensation Plan, the pay schedule is to be annually revised by the average change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) during the last 12 months ending June 30, 2017. In addition, according to the COG Compensation Plan, Agency Directors are to set aside 1.5% of their Agency’s gross compensation to distribute as Merit Adjustments or one-time Achievement Awards. The CPI-U the COG will use to calculate the annual adjustment to the 2017 pay plan is estimated to be an increase of approximately 1.9%.

PRELIMINARY 2018 AGENCY BUDGET PROPOSALS Looking forward to 2018 and beyond, the Agency Directors offer the following proposals for the municipalities to review and provide comments on. These recommendations were considered by the COG Finance Committee during its July 6, 2017 meeting. Municipal comments will be compiled and shared with the Finance Committee and Agency Directors and will be used to guide the preparation of the 2018 COG Detailed Budget.

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The following individual Agency Program Plan elements begin with either “Should” or “Note.” “Should” questions raise policy issues that need municipal guidance. Note statements report on a change outside the control of COG or explain a pending change in administrative practices. Comments are welcomed for either type of Program Plan element; however, the “Should” questions are the issues that require resolution prior to the preparation of the 2018 Agency Budgets. Office of Administration 

Should $10,000 to $12,000 be appropriated to update the COG Personnel Policy? During its June 1, 2017 meeting the Human Resources Committee unanimously voted to endorse this expenditure to ensure that the COG’s Personnel Policy Handbook may be revised to reflect current operating practices, capture trends in personnel management, and confirm compliance with federal and state regulations.

Note: Health insurance costs will increase because of change in health care coverage two members of the administrative staff. Two years ago, two administrative Staff members waived insurance coverage. Beginning in 2017, all the administrative staff will be on the COG’s insurance program (see additional details on page 40).

Note: During 2017, the current method of allocating financial services costs to the COG Agencies will be examined to ensure that it fairly captures the financial work expended for each program. The current allocation formula is the same one used by State College Borough in 2010 to assign costs and it may not be applicable given the new service arrangements and difference in how COG programs have grown over time (see additional details on page 40).

Note: Because of project delays, the $20,000 in funds to finance an assessment of COG information technologies systems and to prepare a three year plan for how they should organized has been carried forward from 2016 to 2017. The Request for Proposals for this study is approaching finalization (see additional details on page 40).

Office of Administration - Regional Refuse and Recycling Program 

Note: Revenue and expenditures for the regional Refuse and Recycling Program are expected to be flat for 2018 while staff administers the existing Regional Refuse and Recycling program and continues to develop a regional organics recycling program as supported by the General Forum at its April 24, 2017 meeting. Money from the fund balance will be accumulated to help offset the costs in 2019-20 for the start of the Regional Organics Program, i.e. additional staff to help during start up with customer service, offsetting some of the container costs and additional advertising needed at the beginning of the program. The contracted hauler will be responsible for the purchase of the carts and the costs of the carts will be paid for through the monthly residential refuse and recycling rate.

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During 2018, the PSE Committee will present the bid specifications for the proposed program and ask the General Forum to approve including them as an option in the next bid documents that will be issued in 2019 for the 2020-2024 Regional Refuse and Recycling Contract. (see additional details on page 57). Office of Administration - COG Building Capital Budget 

Should $4,500 be budget to retain the services of an engineer to conduct a study to identify the options for installing a generator and the associated costs? Installing a generator provides two benefits. First, it enables the COG building to be used in the event of an emergency as a location for emergency operations or a temporary municipal building. And, second, it would provide for electrical power to continue COG’s business operations in the event there is an extended power outage. In particular, the ongoing operation Code Administration Agency and Office of Administration would be very important during an emergency. The Public Safety Committee discussed this proposal during its June 13, 2017 meeting and it is supported by the Centre Region Emergency Management Coordinator as a way to strengthen continuity of operations for the municipalities and the COG (see additional details on page 66).

Should $50,000 be budgeted for a hardwired connection from the COG building to the KINBER fiber optic system for Local Area Network and Wide Area Network Services (LAN/WAN) ? Currently, the COG receives LAN/WAN services through Comcast but four municipalities, CATA and UAJA may change to the KINBER system (see additional details on page 66).

Should Municipal contributions to the COG Building Capital Budget increase from $18,495 (2017) to $32,000 (2018)? The increase is requested because of the aforementioned two new proposed capital projects (emergency generator study and KINBER connection. (see additional details on page 66). The following major capital projects are already included in the Capital Budget and proposed for completion in 2018:  Replace the 25 swivel/tilt mid back conference chairs in the General Forum Room. The chairs are original to the building and are showing their wear and are beginning to break. Staff is intending to budget $12,500 (estimated $500 each) to replace the chairs in 2018. The chairs will be purchase through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s CoStars program.  Depending on the recommendations contained in the IT Study, replacement servers may be purchased. However, if the COG moves to a “cloud” configuration, then the acquiring new servers may not be necessary.  Replace the second boiler in the COG building. The first boiler was replaced in early 2017 after its failure. The second boiler, which has had numerous failures, is being recommended for replacement at an anticipated cost of $20,000.

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Office of Administration – Insurance Reserve Budget This budget serves as a depository for the receipt and expenditure of excess funds received from the Pennsylvania Municipal Health Insurance Cooperative (PMHIC) that occurs when employee health insurance premiums are less than the expenses paid. No municipal contributions are paid into this budget. 

Note: Because this budget is based on health care experience of the COG staff over the course of the premium year the amount of the reimbursement can vary widely. Because of these annual fluctuations, PMHIC reimbursements have historically not been budgeted. However, the pattern is that the COG receives a reimbursement in most years. To capture this trend, the 2018 Budget will assume that the COG will receive a $25,000 reimbursement.

Note: The Employee Relations Committee (ERC) may propose that the Insurance Reserve Budget provide for a partial reimbursement to staff for gym memberships or other programs that provide for physical exercise. This reimbursement would be for the employee only and not family members. This proposal will be presented to the Human Resources Committee later this year. The ERC consists of employees from different COG Agencies and the Human Resource Officer.

Centre Region Code Administration – New Construction Program 

Should a new position of Code Services Manager be created? The new position would focus on customer service by helping people navigate through the permitting process, following up on complaints, marketing the Agency’s educational programs, and reviewing the Agency’s webpage and printed documents to ensure they are as helpful as they can be. A draft job description has been prepared and initially reviewed by the Human Resources Committee and the Public Safety Committee. The job description is under continued review by those Committees.

Should the software package be changed for the Existing Structures/New Construction programs? At a recent conference, CRCA staff learned of a new Tyler Technologies software package “EnerGov” that offers improved efficiencies, more up-to-date GIS interfacing, and simplified citizen/client interface and would allow for better communications with the municipalities and stakeholders. The information is being shared with the municipalities but a detailed cost and implementation proposal is not available at this time.

Note: A decrease in the cost of a building permit may be proposed for 2018. The current fee schedule is approximately 30% less than the rate charge in 2010 (see additional details on page 100). The agency’s fund balance and expected permit revenue may allow for a decrease in the permit fees that is sustainable until at least 2020 barring some unforeseen circumstance.

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Note: The CRCA has received a request from College and Ferguson Townships that it consider providing Sewage Enforcement Officer duties. This concept is being explored in terms of work load, and the state certifications and training that are required. It is proposed that during 2018 an implementation plan be prepared with the new service starting in 2019.

Note: Bellefonte Borough extended its code services agreement with the Centre Region COG until January 1, 2021.

Note: Compensation rates may be affected as a result of a wage survey of similar agencies having similar positions that may be completed prior to the start of the finalization of the 2018 Detailed Budget.

Centre Region Code Administration – Existing Structures Program 

Should a part-time Staff Assistant (30 hours per week) position be changed to full time status? The change is proposed to provide additional support to the field staff, assist with data entry, provide better customer service, and serve as back-up to the Permit Technician when that employee is out of the office. A cost estimate is not available at this time.

Note: Compensation rates may be affected as a result of a wage survey of similar agencies having similar positions that may be completed prior to the finalization of the 2018 Detailed Budget.

Note: During the next two months, a study will be conducted to determine whether the current costs of a rental housing permit cover all the direct and indirect costs of providing the service. The typical current annual permit fee for the Centre Region municipalities is $37. This is a low amount compared to other Big Ten University Communities and is comparable to or less than the fee charged by other communities in Central Pennsylvania. In the past the Finance Committee has indicated that a very compelling justification will needed to be made for the increase in the rental permit costs.

Note: During the next two months, a study will be conducted to determine whether the current costs of a fire permit covers all the direct and indirect costs of providing the service The cost of a fire permit varies based on the building’s size, hazards present, and use group.

Centre Region Code Administration – Capital 

Note: No municipal contributions are requested for the CRCA Capital Budget. Proposed capital projects for 2017 include:  Five Microsoft Surface Pros are proposed at an estimated cost of $10,000? The Surface Pros and related components are replacement computers for the New Construction Program and will be used by the field inspection staff.  A software package for the inspection staff is proposed at an estimated cost of $17,300. The software will allow inspection staff access to code manuals and standards on their tablets in the field.

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 A Fire Extinguisher Trainer is proposed at an estimated cost of $10,000. A second, more up to date electronic Fire Extinguisher trainer will allow larger groups of students to train in a safe and timely fashion.  A Commercial Kitchen Trainer is proposed at an estimated cost of $20,000. The training unit is prop for use in the Fire Safety trailer to allow for the education of food service workers to the dangers of commercial cooking fires. 

Note: Ferguson Township was asked to install lighting in the equipment storage building used by the Code Agency to house two fire safety trailers, a storage trailer, and the pickup truck used for transportation of this equipment. In addition some fire equipment is also kept in the structure. The financial arrangement for the related trench work, service box connection and light fixtures are not settled at the current time.

Note: Should the position of Code Services Manager be endorsed by the municipalities through the Program Plan process then monies will be needed to provide an office, furniture and a computer for the new employee. Because the position will be supervisory in nature and will involve meetings with residents that may be confidential in nature, an individual office is proposed.

Schlow Centre Region Library – Operating Budget 

Note: 2018 financial aid from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Centre County is expected remain approximately the same as the current year - $207,000 and $159,000 respectively.

Note: As State and County funding support remains unchanged or diminishes, community contributions are expected to have an increasing important role in the Library’s budget. By way of example, 2016 community donations were five times the amount raised in 2009, and have been critical in replacing decreasing state revenues.

Note: No new full-time staffing changes will be proposed. However there are three personnel changes that will be reflected in the 2018 Detailed Budget. They are:  The Library Board and COG Human Resources Committee have approved a multi-year process to bring part-time library assistant wages in line with the published schedule and market competition, which will conclude in 2018.  Stepped pay scales for library pages are proposed.  120 additional employee hours are requested for additional staffing in the busy children’s department.

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Schlow Centre Region Library – Capital Budget 

Note: No change in the $80,000 level of municipal contributions to the Library Capital Budget is proposed for 2018 (see additional details on page 125). Proposed capital projects include:  Replace Integrated Library System Software - $200,000: The software (ILS) is the “heart” of the library; the system with patron borrowing records and library inventory which tracks borrowing, fines, and other library use. The current system is shared with the Centre County Library (CCL) and Historical Museum and lacks many features of newer systems. It also has limited upgrades scheduled by the vendor and annual license and maintenance fees are unsustainably high. The current ILS has been used for double its expected lifespan. Schlow and CCL will share expenses for the new ILS.  Carpeting Replacement - $80,000: Carpeting is worn and stained after 13 years of hard use and needs to be entirely replaced.  Renovations of Adult and Children’s Departments - $40,000: The public service desks take a lot of wear and tear and are also being used in different ways than they were when the building opened in 2005. For example, the Adult Services Desk is now used for test proctoring, overseen by staff, for online coursework. Testing is a growing revenue stream for the library and furniture changes will create spaces that allow the necessary oversight and privacy for this service. A design plan to be completed in the latter part of 2017 will provide details and cost estimates for public and staff spaces throughout the building.  Computer and Network Replacements – $29,000: These are for regularly scheduled replacements of technology equipment as projected in a technology plan.  Remote Book Drops - $20,000: Schlow Library maintains 7 remote book returns throughout the Centre Region. Two of the heaviest used outdoor metal bins need replacement in 2018.  Website Upgrades and Fixes - $20,000: Annual security and structural changes are anticipated for the “Virtual Branch” Library website, which accesses confidential patron information, credit card transactions, borrowing records, event registrations, and more.  Repainting (Interior) - $10,000: Areas that will not be renovated are ready for a fresh coat of paint in the library’s 13th year.

Centre Regional Planning Agency (CRPA) 

Should the salaries and some duties of the vacant part-time Staff Assistant position (20 hours weekly) with the soon to be vacant part-time Planner position (25 hours weekly) and the proposed AmeriCorps position to create a full-time Planner position at an

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additional cost of approximately $5,000? This proposal is under discussion by the Public Services and Environmental Committee and Human Resources Committee and a final recommendation for the committee will be completed after the August Human Resource Committee meeting (see additional details on page 142). Centre County Metropolitan Planning Organization 

Note: Expenditures not related to insurance or personnel are expected to remain flat during 2018 (see additional details on page 147).

Fire Protection – Operating 

Should a full time Service Technician position be added at a proposed annual salary of approximately $34,000? Development of the job description for this position has started and the concept has been discussed with the Human Resources Committee. The Regional Fire Protection Program is responsible for approximately $20 million of apparatus, vehicles, equipment, and buildings. Approximately $13 million worth of these items requires periodic maintenance, calibration, repair, or replacement. Volunteers cannot devote the time necessary to handle these sustainment activities in addition to their obligations to response, training, and public events. Staff is handling much of this activity, but at the cost of other projects beneficial to the agency and the community as a whole.

Note: With the exception of the proposed new employment position expenditures not related to insurance or personnel are expected to remain flat during 2018 (see additional details on page 167).

Note: The Fire Director and the Public Safety Committee are currently discussing the “stipend gap”, the amount between what is currently provided to volunteer firefighters versus an amount that would serve as an incentive to most people who are interested in joining the fire company. As a result of this discussion for the 2018 or 2019 budget, the Public Safety Committee may recommend that the $584 stipend as a reimbursement for expenses be increased.

Fire Protection – Capital 

Note: Fire apparatus and vehicles are replaced in accordance with an approved depreciation schedule that is identified in the most current Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The 2018 to 2022 CIP proposes the 2018 replacement of two vehicles – a 2012 Chevy Tahoe (Command Vehicle) and a 2012 Chevy Truck (utility vehicle). The purchase of one of both vehicles may be pushed forward into 2019 depending on the outcome of an evaluation of their condition (see additional details on page 171).

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Emergency Management Program 

Note: Expenditures not related to insurance or personnel are expected to remain flat during 2018 (see additional details on page 80).

Note: The discussions with Benner Township relating to the concept of the Township joining the Regional Emergency Management Program for properties owned by the University that are located within Benner Township are on-going. The focus of the agreement is the University Park Airport. Like the community, the airport is growing in terms of number of passengers, size of planes, and number of airlines. Consequently, the risks are increasing. A draft Benner/COG Agreement has been developed and has been reviewed by the Public Safety Committee, the Emergency Management Council and COG Solicitor. If approved by the Township then it will be forwarded to the General Forum. The concept merits investigation because it appears to offer the following benefits:  The Centre Region EM Coordinator has an open, regular, and positive line of communication with University (the owner of the airport) emergency planners and response personnel.  Many of the fire, police, and EMS resources responding to a crash would be dispatched from the Centre Region.  A more formal relationship with Benner Township will ensure that the Centre Region EM Coordinator is included in emergency management training and exercises that involve the airport.  A commuter air crash could occur on the Benner/Patton border, making a response confusing under the current planning arrangements.

Note: Because of project delays, the $40,000 ($20,000 COG/$20,000 PSU) budgeted to conduct a training exercise of the Emergency Operations Center was carried forward from 2016 to 2017. The exercise is expected to occur in late 2017 and the cost is expected to be less than the approved expenditure amount.

Parks and Recreation – Operating 

Should $8,000 be budgeted to upgrade a Park Caretaker II position to Parks Mechanic? This is not a new position, but an upgrade of a current position that is intended to give the agency increased capacity to preform in-house equipment maintenance. As the Parks and Recreation Director discussed with the Human Resources Committee having a dedicated Mechanic to repair and maintain mowers, groomers and hand held equipment is critical and can be justified by lower payments to outside vendors. The job description for the Parks Mechanic is a work in progress.

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Note: $18,750 will be proposed to complete the funding package for the development of the Parks and Recreation Regional Comprehensive Study. At its May 23, 2017 meeting the General Forum established an eight-member Steering Committee to propose a scope of work that identified that issues and questions that will be addressed in the Plan. In the past, suggestions for study topics include:  An assessment of current conditions. During its 2016 prioritization exercise, the Parks Capital Committee identified as one of its highest work objectives that an assessment of current facilities be conducted with opportunities for improvement identified.  Governance of the Parks and Recreation Agency.  The relationship between the Agency and municipalities for capital repairs.  Opportunities to enhance environmental sustainability efforts.  Opportunities to reduce maintenance costs.  Opportunities to develop additional community partnerships.  Enhancing the coordination of uses among municipal and regional parks.  Review programming deficiencies to determine what else the agency should be providing. A preliminary cost estimate of this study is $75,000 with the COG contributing $37,500 ($18,250 in 2017/$18,250 in 2018) and $37,500 being funded through a possible DCNR grant. The funds would be used to hire a consultant. The firm would be selected through a Request for Proposal Process coordinated by the Steering Committee appointed by the COG with staff support provided by the Executive Director and the Administrative staff. The 2017 COG Budget appropriated $18,250 for this project. These funds will be carried forward into 2017 and the added to the proposed 2018 appropriation of $18,250 for a combined total local share match for the grant of $37,500.

Active Adult Center 

Should $15,000 be budgeted to add a part-time, year-round Staff Assistant to work at Active Adult Center welcome desk? This position was approved in the 2017 COG budget. This appropriation was conditional to the Centre County Office of Aging providing 50% of the compensation costs, approximately $7,500. The County’s support of the position was requested but not approved.

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The proposed position will allow up to 20 hours per week to cover the reception area during the Center’s busiest times between 10:00am – 2:00pm. Customer service is crucial at the Center and being able to greet walk-ins, direct participants to the check-in station, answer the phone, take meal and bus transportation requests, and provide a consistent presence is imperative to ensure high customer service. The Supervisor and Staff Assistant are typically busy with hands-on tasks related to supplies, equipment, program leaders, set-up/break-down, meals, plus short- and long-term planning, and more. Staff will also continue to recruit, train, and utilize volunteers to assist with meals, programs, and general Center tasks which will supplement the Staff Assistant’s 20 hour work week. The position would also help to assure “two deep leadership” when one of the full-time staff is away. The County’s Office of Aging proposes that that volunteers be used to perform the work identified. The Parks and Recreation Director and Center Supervisor believe that a paid, knowledgeable, and trained staff person who work in a predictable way according to a fixed schedule is best able to provide the level of commitment needed for the assigned responsibilities (see additional details on page 216). Aquatics Program – Operating Budget 

Note: Expenditure items are expected to remain flat except for compensation rate adjustments for the lifeguards to make sure their pay is competitive with other local pools (see additional details on page 202).

Aquatics Program – Capital Budget 

Note: The Aquatics Supervisor plans to replace the ultraviolet treatment system at Welch Pool, which is no longer functioning at full capacity, at an estimated cost of $12,000 (see additional details on page 208).

Millbrook Marsh Nature Center Capital 

Should $20,000 in municipal contributions be designated to the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center Capital Budget? In the past the capital budget was funded exclusively through community donations and was targeted at new construction. At the current time there are repairs and maintenance items needed for some of the physical structures at the Center including the roof for the barn, the sprinkler system, and the board walk. To undertake this work, the Executive Director recommends the municipal capital funding be considered as is the case for the library, COG Building, and three fire stations (see additional details on page 234).

Note: The Program Plan identifies $1.4 million in grants and donations for the Phase II construction of the Spring Creek Education Building and a Welcome Pavilion. In addition, the municipalities have been asked to contribute to the project.

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Note: The Millbrook Marsh Advisory Committee has asked the participating municipalities for $400,000 ($200,000/2018 and $200,000/2019) in donations for the construction of the Phase II Education Building. Among the Finance Committee members the question was asked whether these donations should be made through the normal COG budgeting process instead of in response to a request from the Advisory Committee.

Regional Parks Capital Fund 

Note: The 2018 Program Plan for the Regional Parks Budget will focus primarily on the development of Whitehall Road Regional Park within the $4.8 million budget approved by the General Forum and consistent with the approved master site plan. However, before work begins on the park, the litigation involving the adjoining property must be resolved so that the financial responsibility for building the road from Whitehall Road to the park, the off-site traffic improvements and the utility connections are known.

CLOSING SUMMARY Among local governments the Centre Region municipalities are exceptional because of the willingness, commitment and skill of the elected and appointed municipal officials working together to serve the public and address common concerns. The degree of intergovernmental cooperation that is present among the six Centre Region municipalities, and increasing to the adjacent jurisdictions, is unparalleled in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As described in this Letter there are many public services are provided through the COG. Most residents are affected by the COG in some way whether it be a visit to the library, having their refuse/recycling collected, being protected by the fire service, or living in the safety of a code compliant building. But the commitment to collaboration and sharing resources for the public good is not limited to the COG. The Centre Area Transportation Authority, University Area Joint Authority and State College Borough Water Authority are extensions of local government that join the area together and provide the cost effective regional services that are essential for public health and transport. At the individual employee level, municipal COG and Authority staffs work together and strive to resolve issues through communication and not litigation. This cooperation is best highlighted by the regular meetings of the municipal managers, public works officials, finance directors and police chiefs. And, the municipalities have also developed positive working relationships with local groups like Clearwater Conservancy, Spring Creek Watershed Commission, and C-NET. And, not to be overlooked, the municipalities communicate regularly with the Pennsylvania State University, one of the largest employers in Central Pennsylvania. The strong links of municipal collaboration and coordination all work together when one of the communities need help. This unity of purpose was recently witnessed during the flooding that occurred in Patton Township and the strong straight line winds that impacted 2018 Program Plan – Executive Director’s Letter

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Harris Township. In both instances, the Centre Region municipalities provided the assistance to their neighboring Townships. This support made the recovery efforts more efficient and prompt so that residents who were impacted by the severe weather were able to return their household routines in a short period of time. In combination, the way the municipalities collaborate with each other through the COG, Authorities, citizen groups, and the University have helped to create a growing community with a high quality of life that is, by many rankings, a great place to live and do business. Kudos to the municipal officials who have for the last 48 years have recognized the benefits of communities working together to serve the public. Because of the shared investments in time and resources that have been made in the COG and other regional entities, the municipalities have been able to keep pace with construction and population growth, adapt to changes in the state/federal regulatory environment, protect the public health, connect communities through new roads and paths, and save guard our natural resources. Respectfully submitted,

James C. Steff COG Executive Director

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OVERVIEW OF THE CENTRE REGION COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS MISSION As stated in the COG Articles of Agreement, “The overriding goal of the Centre Region COG is to improve the quality of life for the residents of the Centre Region in the face of increasing pressures due to economic and population growth. We believe that this goal can best be achieved through cooperative efforts by the regional municipalities. This involves combining our various resources to meet regional challenges that may be beyond our individual capabilities.” COUNCILS OF GOVERNMENT Councils of Governments are established by State Act 180, the Intergovernmental Cooperation Law (53 PA.C.S.A. Section 481 et. seq.) as amended. The main features of this legislation are: 

Municipalities can delegate any function, power, or responsibility to another municipality or to a newly created governmental unit (e.g. a COG).

A Councils of Government organization has no taxing power.

A Councils of Government organization’s structure, scope of services, method of municipal representation, and voting requirements are matters of local choice.

Cooperative services provided by a Councils of Government organization must be approved by ordinances that are adopted by each governing body.

A COG is not another layer of government. It provides the means of communication, cooperation, and joint action in the interest of the municipalities, individually and collectively. The active and informed involvement of the elected officials in policy and funding decisions is key to the success of all Councils of Governments. INTRODUCTION The Centre Region Council of Governments is a voluntary association of the State College Borough and College, Ferguson, Halfmoon, Harris, and Patton Townships. The service area is 150 square miles, and according to the most recent population estimate of 2015 by the 2018 Program Plan – Overview of the COG

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US Census, the estimated population was 95,439 including students at the University Park Campus of the Pennsylvania State University. The Centre Region COG was established on December 2, 1969 to perform the following functions: 

Provide a forum for discussing regional issues.

Produce cost-effective public services.

Promote coordinated land use and infrastructure planning.

Facilitate the exchange of information.

The organizational structure and the duties of the Centre Region COG are defined by Articles of Agreement, which are adopted by ordinance by each of the individual municipalities. In addition, there are separate Articles of Agreement for each COG Agency, which define: Agency responsibilities, funding formulas, and terms of admittance and withdrawal. COG services are offered as a “cafeteria” plan to the municipalities. Each community has the option to participate in some or all COG programs. This menu approach underscores the voluntary nature of the Centre Region COG. Table 1 below shows municipal participation for 2016. ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT

2017 Municipal Participation in COG

Administration Parks & Recreation Planning Fire Company Emergency Mgmt. Library Refuse & Recycling Code Administration

State College Borough       

College Township

Ferguson Township

Halfmoon Township

Harris Township

Patton Township

       

       

  

       

   

   

Benner Bellefonte Township Borough

 

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A requirement of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Law is that a municipality may engage in intergovernmental cooperation with another local government “upon passage of an ordinance” by the affecting governing bodies. The ordinance must address the manner of funding the joint program, how real estate is to be acquired and managed, the method of providing benefits (including social security) for its employees, the program’s organizational structure, and the conditions for entering into the joint program. The Centre Region municipalities comply with this requirement by adopting individual ordinances that include Articles of Agreement for each COG program. This document addresses all the issues identified by the Intergovernmental Cooperation Law in addition to conditions that may be approved by the municipalities. There are Articles of Agreement for the Centre Region COG as well as for each COG program except the Centre County Metropolitan Planning Organization (CCMPO), which is a county-wide organization. Articles of Agreement are developed by a COG Committee, referred to the General Forum for review and endorsement, and then forwarded to the individual municipalities for approval. The COG Articles of Agreement were last updated in November 2008. Highlights of the Centre Region COG’s Articles of Agreement are: 

Voting – Most issues are decided by a majority vote of the General Forum. The exceptions are the acquiring property, borrowing more than 1.5% of the budget, or amending the Articles of Agreement; these actions require a unanimous vote.

Committee Structure – The standing committees of the COG are: Executive, Finance, Human Resources, Parks Capital, Public Safety, Public Services and Environmental, and Transportation and Land Use. COG Committees may decide to offer voting or non-voting membership to outside organizations (e.g. Penn State University and the Bellefonte Borough).

Executive Director – The General Forum shall appoint an Executive Director who is responsible for: preparing the annual budget; appointing and discharging all COG employees (except Agency Directors whose appointment/dismissal requires the prior concurrence of the Executive Committee); serving as the General Forum “ex officio” treasurer and secretary; and proposing policies and programs for consideration by the General Forum.

Formula – Costs for most COG programs are based on the three factors of the COG formula: population excluding individuals typically of college age, assessed valuation of taxable property, and gross earned income. Some Articles of Agreements for individual COG programs identify other funding formulas. For instance, the costs for the regional library program are based on the percentage of library items circulated to residents of each municipality relevant to total circulation.

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GENERAL FORUM Under the COG Articles of Agreement, the policy-making body of the Centre Region COG is the General Forum, which is comprised of all of the elected officials (32 members) from the six Centre Region municipalities. The General Forum establishes the COG’s budget and major policies for the programs approved by the participating municipalities. At General Forum meetings, each municipality has one vote; the chair may use a voice vote of the majority of those present to pass motions and resolutions. Meeting dates for the General Forum are advertised in the Centre Daily Times. Meetings can be viewed through C-NET on Channel 7 or on the C-NET website at http://www.cnet1.org, and agendas are available on the COG website at http://www.crcog.net . Any member of the General Forum has the right to call for a unit vote by each municipality on any issue being voted upon at any time. The Pennsylvania State University has a non-voting designated representative to the General Forum. A non-voting liaison to the State College Area School District is also designated. Each receives General Forum meeting agenda packets.

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MISSION The mission of the Office of Administration is to facilitate the delivery of high quality and cost effective public services as requested by the General Forum, implement the policies approved by the General Forum, and work with COG agencies and others to build shared solutions to common problems that cross jurisdictional boundary lines. WHO ARE WE? The Office of Administration provides four general services which cover the following areas: provide staff support to the General Forum and its Committees, provide regional services, prepare the COG budget and manage financial services to all Agencies, and assist the COG Agencies with human resources administration. Of these, the most important is the provision of staff support to the elected officials during all phases of the COG decisionmaking process. Without the informed involvement by the elected officials, the COG would not be as successful as it has been. COG staff assistance encompasses working with elected officials on a variety of activities including identifying actual and potential regional concerns, evaluating alternative courses of action, building consensus recommendations, implementing approved decisions, and monitoring the outcome of those actions. To perform these services, the Office of Administration’s 2017 Budget provides for the following full-time staffing:     

Executive Director Finance Director Finance Assistant Human Resources Officer Office Manager

OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION

The Office of Administration was established in 1974. Prior to that time, COG Administrative services were the responsibility of the State College Borough Manager on a volunteer basis from 1971 to 1973. The position of COG General Secretary was created at the beginning of the following year. In order to provide coordination among the COG Agencies, this position was upgraded to the Director of Administration in 1979. During the 1980s, as the COG grew in response to increasing service demands from the municipalities, various committees discussed how to reduce the COG’s organizational complexity and clarify the lines of accountability to the elected officials. In response to this concern, the General Forum adopted Resolution 87-6 in August 1987, which upgraded the position of Director of Administration to that of Executive Director. Through this action, the Executive Director 2018 Program Plan – Office of Administration

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was authorized to direct, supervise, and administer the Agencies and programs of the COG in accordance with the policies established by the General Forum, except as otherwise provided for by ordinance or statute. During 2013 and 2014, the Administration Office was significantly reorganized and on January 1, 2015, began providing accounting, payroll, benefit administration, investment, auditing, and payroll services for all the COG Agencies as well as supporting them in their human resources administration. WHAT DO WE DO? The Office of Administration has four basic goals: 

To provide staff support to the General Forum and its Committees and ensure the implementation of their policy decisions.

To coordinate the provision of joint public services and facility operations.

To provide financial management services to all the COG Agencies and prepare and administer the annual budget.

To provide human resources management services to all the COG Agencies.

The following are work tasks the Office of Administration strives to accomplish in order to achieve those goals. A. Provide appropriate staff support to the COG’s General Forum, Committees, Boards, and Commissions and ensure the implementation of their policy decisions. Ongoing Contributions… 

Preparing agendas, minutes, reports, and correspondence for the General Forum and the Executive, Human Resources, Finance, Public Safety, and Public Services and Environmental Committees as well as the Municipal Managers’ Roundtable. In addition, the Administrative Staff assists the Parks Capital Committee with some projects.

Serving as the elected and appointed officials’ principal point of contact with the COG on issues relating to the quantity and quality of COG services.

Providing staff assistance to special project groups, ad hoc committees and steering committees that are established by the General Forum.

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Serving as the COG liaison to, and coordinating meetings of, other public organizations such as C-NET, Centre County Public Safety Training Center Advisory Committee, and the Pennsylvania Association of Councils of Governments (PACOG). Mr. Graham of Harris Township is the Centre Region COG’s representative to PACOG and Mr. Steff is the alternate. Both individuals are past presidents.

Responding to Right to Know Requests. The Executive Director is the COG’s Right to Know Officer and responded to 62 requests for public records during 2016 compared to 49 in 2015 and 41 in 2014.

Conducting activities to enhance public understanding of the COG. Some of these activities include the cable-casting of General Forum meetings and committee meetings of regional interest on C-NET, maintaining the COG website www.crcog.net, attending community and municipal meetings, and assisting the public and the municipalities with information requests. In addition, the Office of Administration prepares and presents information about joint programs to municipal and state associations such as the Pennsylvania Association of Councils of Governments, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council, Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, and the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs.

Coordinating an annual meeting of the Public Safety and Public Services and Environmental Committees, PennDOT, local utility companies, municipal public safety and public works personnel, and state elected officials to exchange emergency planning information. The Office of Administration also coordinates meetings between the Public Safety Committee and emergency medical service representatives to discuss issues and concerns relating to emergency medical services.

Continuing to grow positive working relationships with the business community within the Centre Region. The Executive Director serves on the Managers’ Committee of the Centre County Chamber of Business and Industry.

Conducting educational programs for elected officials to familiarize them with how the COG is organized, the services it provides, the role of the elected officials, and non-COG regional partnerships that may impact municipalities. During the first six months of 2017, two “Learning Lunches” were conducted for municipal officials on various regional services.

Using the COG website to make more information electronically available to the General Forum. Administration Staff has created a method for the elected officials, managers, and COG Staff to obtain agenda packets electronically, if that is the preferred format. This method has reduced mailing and duplication costs, reduced the environment impact, and made information more readily accessible to individuals who are comfortable in receiving information electronically. Six years ago, 47 printed General Forum packets were mailed to municipal officials and others. By 2016, that number has decreased to 17 packets.

Maintain the COG website for public access about regional services. In 2015 the COG’s homepage averaged about 4,000 hits per month; in 2016 - 5,000; and in 2017 it is now trending towards an average of 7,000.

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B. Coordinating the provision of joint public services and facility operations as directed by the General Forum.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Supporting all COG Agency Directors in the accomplishment of COG Committee/Authority/Board work goals and/or the resolution of areas of regional concerns. This support includes close collaboration in preparing information, analysis, and recommendations for consideration by the municipal officials. In addition, the Executive Director works closely to ensure there is timely, thorough, and accurate communication between the COG Agencies and the municipal officials.

Coordinating the implementation of COG services and plans as approved by the General Forum. In the past, this has included assistance in coordinating the process to gain municipal consensus on issues such as the purchase, master planning, and development of three regional parks and the adoption of a regional Sewer Service Area Agreement.

Supporting the Refuse and Recycling Administrator in resolving non-routine problems or issues that have budgetary or legal implications.

Assisting the Centre Region Emergency Management Coordinator and the COG Fire Director in advancing proposals and plans that require municipal approval.

C. Providing the COG Agencies with financial management, investment, accounting, payroll and internal control services.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Coordinating the preparation of the COG’s Program Plan, Detailed and Summary Budgets, and annual updates to the Capital Improvement Plan and providing for review by the Finance Committee and approval by the General Forum.

Providing payroll services, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and the administration of employee benefits for full time, parttime and seasonal employees.

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Monitoring the COG Agency budgets to ensure that expenditures are within budget appropriations.

Supporting the efforts of the Finance Committee in developing and executing financial plans for regional borrowings and debt refinancing.

Assigning costs (e.g. utilities, mailing, copying) that are shared among multiple COG Agencies to the appropriate fund.

Preparing and maintaining financial management policies.

Preparing financial analysis of proposed services and projects.

Presenting financial information and reports to various stakeholder groups such as the Finance Committee and the General Forum.

Assisting in the process to prepare the annual audit reports for the Centre Region Council of Governments, the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority, and the Schlow Centre Region Library.

Providing financial management services to the Centre County Federation of Public Libraries.

D. Provide and administer a comprehensive personnel management system that maximizes the use of COG Staff.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Implementing and maintaining a payroll system that processes approximately 400 W-2s for full-time, part-time, and seasonal Staff.

Supporting the Agency Directors in recruiting personnel, enrolling staff in the COG benefit programs, orienting staff to COG’s personnel policies and procedures, and resolving personnel issues.

Updating the Position Classification Plan and job descriptions for COG personnel as required.

Conducting compensation surveys to ensure that the pay plan allows the COG to attract and retain qualified employees.

Providing administrative support to the Employee Relations Committee that has implemented and maintained a Wellness Program with high employee participation rates.

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Administering medical insurance policies, dental and vision programs, flex spending accounts, workers’ compensation, and unemployment policies for all COG Staff, including responding to questions and concerns.

Updating the COG Personnel Policy to reflect changes in federal and state laws and/or organizational experience.

Administering, updating, compiling data, and running reports via the Keystone Payroll Web Portal. This portal is also the main function to all full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees’ payroll.

WHERE ARE WE NOW? For the period of January 1 to June, 2017, revenue and expenditures for the Office of Administration were generally consistent with the projections contained in the 2017 budget with the exceptions noted below. The audited 2016 ending year fund balance was $79,952, a $31,583 increase from the $48,369 projected in the budget. The fund balance was higher than anticipated because of staff turn-over, positions were vacant until new employees were hired thereby saving compensation and benefit costs. Also, $20,000 of the fund balance is designated for the COG IT study that was proposed for 2016 but was carried forwarded to 2017. At mid-year unanticipated changes include: 

Health Insurance costs are higher than anticipated. During the first six months of the year, two staff positions turned over, the Office Manager and Finance Assistant. Both new employees have family coverage while the former employees did not. The resulting premiums will be about $15,000 higher than the budgeted amount. This unexpected difference between budgeted and actual premiums will be paid from the Insurance Reserve Budget.

The COG IT Study is delayed. The preparation of a Request for Proposals to conduct an IT assessment and three year plan of COG’s information management systems has started but is not yet complete. The $20,000 budget for this project was carried forward from the 2016 to 2017 budget.

The CATA Budgeting Process has changed (no budgetary impact). Historically, one of the Office of Administration’s functions has been to assist with coordinating the annual COG review of Centre Area Transportation Authority’s (CATA) proposed municipal shares for its Operating and Capital Budgets. The adoption of CATA’s new funding formula, the municipal review of the CATA budget and its required local match shares will occur directly between CATA and the municipal governing bodies.

Looking forward to the last six months of 2017, revenue and expenditures are expected to be within budgeted amounts.

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WHAT IS THE COST? The 2017 budget for the Office of Administration provides for the revenue and expenditures as shown in the table on the right. WHERE ARE WE GOING? In many ways, the 2018 Administration Budget will be similar to the 2017 document. No staffing changes or major new expenditures are proposed. Looking forward into 2018 and beyond, recommended budgetary changes and work objectives for the Office of Administration are identified below. Proposed Budgetary Changes… 

Because of employee turnover and the resulting shifts to high cost medical insurance coverage categories, the related insurance premiums are expected to increase by $26,000 from 2017 to 2018. This single change will increase the Office of Administration’s budget by 6%, which is significantly over the target budget threshold of a 2.75% increase in municipal contributions set by the General Forum. Partially, off-setting this increase is the higher than expected fund balance and lower pension costs.

It is proposed that $10,000 - $12,000 be budgeted to update the COG Personnel Policy Handbook. An up-to-date personnel policy book is vital in capturing the core values and expectations of the Centre Region COG. Updated personnel policies will provide employees a place to reference benefit information, as well as learn the rules and expectations of the workplace. Updated policies will also provide management staff with a point of reference for enforcing rules and handling personnel issues in a clear and consistent manner. During its June 7, 2017 meeting the HR Committee expressed support to develop an entirely new policy book in 2018. COG staff are not seeking

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Office of Administration Revenue and expenditures from 2016 through the approved 2017 Budget. 41


to change employee benefits, but rather to ensure COG processes are documented appropriately and ensure that policies are compliant with the ever changing laws. With a new policy book complete and an officially designated HR position at COG, staying current would be much easier as new policies emerge and regulations change. 

The COG Capital Improvement Plan may need to be revised to include funding recommendations proposed in the IT Study and/or the Fiber Network Study. Most of COG’s computer servers are reaching the end of their useful life and if the COG does not move to a “cloud” based system they will need to be replaced.

Looking ahead to 2018 and 2019, the Office of Administration seeks to accomplish seven new work tasks in addition to its on-going responsibilities: 

Assist and Centre Region Parks and Recreation (CRPR) Director in providing staff support to the Steering Committee for the preparation of the Parks and Recreation Regional Comprehensive Plan. In addition to the work items required by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development as a condition to receiving a grant for 50% of the project costs, the scope of work for the study may include items such as the following:  Inventory and assessment of local and regional parks.  Identify community needs.  Clarify governance of Centre Region Parks and Recreation (CRPR).  Define the relationship between CRPR and municipalities as it relates to the financial responsibility for capital repairs.  Identify opportunities to enhance environmental sustainability efforts.  Identify opportunities to reduce maintenance costs.  Identify opportunities to develop additional community partnerships.  Enhance the coordination of uses among municipal and regional parks.

Based on the recommendations contained in the Parks and Recreation Regional Comprehensive Plan it is likely the General Forum will put into place a process for revising the 1974 Articles of Agreement for the CRPR that are severely out of date. The COG Administration staff will coordinate and provide the support for the process should the General Forum decide to update the Agreement.

Assist in the decision-making process to determine how to proceed with the development of Whitehall Road Regional Park.

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Update the COG Personnel Policy Handbook to reflect the current organizational structure and policies. This project will be managed in conjunction with the Human Resources Committee.

Organize a series of Learning Lunches for newly elected officials to familiarize them with all the services COG and regional authorities provides. Based on the experience in 2016 there may be as many as eight Learning Lunches held in 2018.

Following the conclusion of the KINBER and IT studies, provide for the implementation of the recommendations that have been endorsed by the General Forum.

Internal Administrative Work Objective: Prepare and issue bids for 2018 banking services provided to the COG Finance Office.

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MISSION The purpose of the Centre Region Council of Governments (COG) Regional Refuse and Recycling Program is to promote public health, safety, and welfare and to eliminate public health hazards, environmental pollution, and economic loss in the participating municipalities through the collection, transportation, and disposal of residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional municipal solid waste. WHO ARE WE? Pennsylvania State Act 101 assigns municipal governments with the responsibility of collecting, transporting, and storing refuse and recyclable materials that were generated within their boundaries. College, Ferguson, Harris, Patton, and Benner Townships use the COG as their designated agent to meet the statutory obligations in a cost effective and responsible manner through a regional contract with a refuse and recycling vendor. To fulfill the objectives of the COG Regional Refuse and Recycling Program, staff consists of a part-time (25-30 hours per week) Refuse and Recycling Administrator, who is focused on the administration of the refuse and recycling contract and serves as the refuse and recycling ordinance designated agent for the participating municipalities. Compensation for the Refuse and Recycling Administrator is funded through the contract administration fee being paid to the COG by the contracted refuse hauler. Beginning in 2012 a part-time (20 hours per week) Recycling Assistant was employed. Within 2012-2014 the Assistant helped to develop and implement a Commercial Recycling Program, a project which has been completed. After a one year vacancy, in 2016, an Assistant was hired to support the Refuse and Recycling Administrator while she focuses on developing a Regional Organics Recycling Program. The Recycling Assistant position is funded through the recycling rebate that is received from the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority (CCRRA). The rebate is received annually and is accrued through the sale of recyclable materials.

REGIONAL REFUSE & RECYCLING PROGRAM

The Refuse and Recycling Program is entirely funded through the residential contract; costs equate to 3% of resident’s monthly refuse and recycling bill which equals $0.47/month for the administration of this program. No tax monies have ever been used to finance the program since its inception in 1992. The Refuse and Recycling Program reimburses the COG for financial, human resources management and administrative services it receives from the Office of Administration.

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The Refuse and Recycling Program continues to grow and add customers each year in conjunction with regional and program growth. The program served 7,800 customers at its inception in 1992 and currently serves approximately 16,200 customers in the participating municipalities of Benner, College, Ferguson, Harris, and Patton Townships. Benner Township, comprised of 1,700 households, joined the program through the 2010-2012 regional contract and has continued to participate since that time. The program has more than doubled its amount of customers over the last 25 years. As the number of customers in the Refuse and Recycling Program grows, so does the amount of solid waste and recyclable materials that are collected. The amount of solid waste that has been collected from residents has grown from 6,800 tons in 1992 to 11,295 tons in 2016; the amount of recyclable materials that were collected (including drop off collection bins) has steadily risen from 1,115 tons in 1992 to 2,920 tons in 2016. When leaf and brush composting is considered, the participating municipalities diverted a total of 7,460 tons, 40%, of waste from the landfill in 2016. Although the total amount of trash being collected has increased with the region’s growing population, it is important to note that since 2009, the amount of trash per household has been steadily decreasing as shown in the chart to the right. Prior to 2009, the average household produced an average of 1 ton of trash per year. In 2018 Program Plan – Refuse & Recycling Program

The above chart depicts the trash and recyclables generated by an average household per year. Waste being generated has decreased significantly in the last 6 years, which most likely is the result of a greater number of items that can be recycled including miscellaneous plastics, paperboard, yard waste, computers, and electronics. Notice that prior recessions in 1990, 2001 and 2008 led to reductions in the amount of trash being collected. While the amount of recycled materials appears flat, the number of plastic containers (the lightest material) has increased while the thickness and weight of beverage containers has decreased.

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contrast, in 2016 the average household produced 0.75 ton of trash per year, a 25% reduction. This is most likely the result of more items being recycled such as miscellaneous plastics, paperboard, yard waste, computers, and electronics. WHAT DO WE DO? In 1991, the Centre Region municipalities of College, Ferguson, Harris, and Patton decided that there was interest in providing residential refuse and recycling collection on a regional basis. To implement this decision, these municipalities authorized the COG to be their designated agent in conducting a competitive bidding process and administering a regional refuse and/or recycling contract as awarded to the successful bidder with exclusive rights to serve all residential customers. To this end, exclusive contracts have been awarded to haulers in 1992, 1995, 1998, 2004, 2010 and 2015. Benner Township joined the program through the 2010-2012 regional contract. On January 1, 2015, a new contract began with Advanced Disposal to provide refuse and recycling collection services in the five participating municipalities for a five-year period through December 31, 2019. Because the contractor for the Refuse and Recycling Program is selected by a competitive bidding process, the COG has been able to secure reasonable refuse and recycling service rates for residents. Prior to the program’s inception in 1992, customers were paying an average of $20.50 per month for refuse service ONLY, through privately-hired hauling companies. Twenty five years later in 2017, customers pay a monthly rate of $15.61 for regular 8-bag refuse and unlimited recycling services or $12.61 for low usage refuse and unlimited recycling services, including semi-annual bulk item collections and Christmas tree recycling.

The current hauler, Advanced Disposal, contracts with Centre County Refuse & Recycling Authority (CCRRA) for recycling services. CCRRA collected curbside 2,635 tons of recyclable materials from residents of Benner, College, Harris, Ferguson and Patton Township.

In 2012, a new Commercial Recycling Program, Recycle at Work, was initiated. Commercial recycling was identified as an area of opportunity since there are roughly 1,000 businesses in the five participating municipalities, and previous to the Recycle at Work Program, there was not a formal process for educating, collecting data, and determining compliance with the local solid waste and recycling municipal ordinances. The Recycle at Work Program focuses on educating businesses about the requirements and benefits of recycling in the participating municipalities. The Recycle at Work Program is funded through the recycling rebate that is received 2018 Program Plan – Refuse & Recycling Program

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annually from the CCRRA, which is funded through the sale of materials that have been recycled by residents in the five participating municipalities. The Recycle at Work Program is a joint effort between the CCRRA, COG’s Refuse and Recycling Program, and the State College Borough Public Works Department. A strong Commercial Recycling Program reinforces the commitment to maintain a high standard of environmental responsibility on which Centre Region residents pride themselves. Over 800 businesses, 80% of the total businesses in the region, are identified as having a recycling program. This number is an increase from the 64% of businesses which had a recycling program identified in 2012. The recyclable materials that were collected from businesses increased 9.5% in 2016 to 2,569 tons in the Centre Region. The main increase is a result of CCRRA offering businesses a drop-off location for recycling wood waste, which includes mostly pallets as pictured to the right, and tires. The number of tons of recyclables that were collected in 2016 represents a 20% increase since 2011 prior to the Recycle at Work Program.

In January 2016, Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority added wood waste to its recycling program at a discounted rate of $35/ton. In 2016 COG businesses recycled 68 tons of wood waste into wood chips.

The Refuse and Recycling Program has four main goals:  Administer the regional Refuse and Recycling Contract for the participating municipalities.  Seek ways to help control municipal, customer, and program costs.  Serve as the designated agent to educate, inform, and serve the residents of the participating municipalities.  Administer the Recycle at Work Program. The following sections describe work tasks the Refuse and Recycling Program strives to achieve in order to accomplish those goals.

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A. Administer the regional Refuse and Recycling Contract for the participating municipalities and support the regional haulers.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Administer the service contract which is currently held by Advanced Disposal for the contract period 2015 - 2019. As the designated agent for the participating municipalities, staff monitors the program and contracted hauler in order to ensure compliance with bidding specifications and to identify areas for improvement.

Assist the contracted hauler with collecting payment on delinquent and past due accounts as well as help the contractor identify any properties that are not participating in the program as defined under the conditions of municipal solid waste and recycling ordinances.

Educate residents about the new specifications in the 2015 - 2019 contract, which includes an eight bag or container limit for refuse.

Support the regional haulers in the identification of residential and commercial property owners through the Centre County Web Information Access (WEBIA) system, which allows for an online tax record search.

Assist the contracted hauler in generating solutions to consistent problematic situations, especially confusion regarding bulk waste items, yard waste, and rental properties.

Monitor the needs and resources of current subsidy program participants who have severe financial hardship in paying for mandatory refuse and recycling service. In 2017, 28 households are being assisted through the hardship program.

Advise municipal managers and their communication assistants about issues, schedule changes and problems that may impact service in the community, i.e. ice storms, truck break downs, etc.

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Refuse and recycling trucks have transitioned to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueled vehicles. Pictured above is an Advanced Disposal refuse vehicle.

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B.

Seek ways to help control municipal, customer, and program costs.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Continue to keep the monthly rate for the contracted Refuse and Recycling Program much lower than the average rate prior to the program’s inception; the current rate is about $5.00 per month below the average 1991 rate for non-contracted refuse service. See the graph on the following page for the customer costs for regular 8-bag refuse and unlimited recycling since 1991.

Continue to keep the monthly rate for the contracted Refuse and Recycling Program much lower than the rate being paid by residents of municipalities outside the program where there is not a single mandated hauler. The average Refuse and Recycling Program customer pays 40% less than other Centre County residents for regular 8-bag refuse and recycling service, which includes a semi-annual bulk waste collection and Christmas tree recycling.

Coordinate with the hauler and educate residents about the switching of all refuse and recycling collection vehicles to compressed natural gas fuel (CNG). The switch to CNG fueled vehicles reduces harmful carbon emissions, cuts fuel costs, and minimizes maintenance costs.

Maintain the delinquent account rate at less than 1% using methods such as:  Suspend service on properties with 90 day past due bills. This process includes sending a payment due reminder letter, a notice of suspension letter, and a citation notice letter after the service is suspended.  Research delinquent accounts to find resolutions to late payments. This task includes tracking monthly sheriff sales, site visits to determine vacancy/home sales, and educating residents about the hardship program (the letters sent regarding delinquency contain information about the hardship program).  Provide the contracted hauler with property owner information to convert billing statements from the tenant’s address into the name and address of the rental property owner, which reduces the incidence of non-payment.

Provide administrative and enforcement support to make the contract attractive to hauling firms that are considering whether to submit a bid, thereby encouraging lower, competitive rates.

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Customer costs for regular 8-bag service of refuse and unlimited recycling from 1991 to present. The blue line reflects the actual monthly cost for each year for COG's trash and recycling service. The red line is the inflation adjusted cost of $20.50 from the 1991 average rate; $20.50 in 1991 has the buying power of $36 in 2017.

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C.

Educate, inform, and serve the needs of residents in the participating municipalities.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Assist customers in the resolution of issues with their refuse or recycling services.

Maintain the Refuse and Recycling Program’s website to include pertinent information about refuse and recycling, holiday collection schedules, yard waste, and other useful links. The website receives approximately 600 views per month.

Work with the CCRRA to publicize its electronics recycling program, miscellaneous plastics drop-off program, and the annual household hazardous waste collection event.

Coordinate with the CCRRA and regional refuse haulers to inform residents and businesses about the ban on computers and televisions from landfills. Pennsylvania Act 108 of 2010 bans all televisions, computers, and related electronic devices from landfills and requires them to be recycled beginning January 23, 2013.

Assist the Public Services and Environmental Committee to identify projects that help promote recycling in the region and are funded through the recycling rebate. For 2017 the PSE Committee approved funding to purchase backyard compost containers and for a recycling assistant to aid with the development of a regional organics program.

Assist the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority with maintaining a recycling program at local parks. Through the recycling rebate fund, recycling containers have been installed in seven high use parks, William L. Welch and Park Forest Pools, the John Hess Softball Field Complex, Millbrook Marsh Nature Center and Oak Hall Regional

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In November 2016 Schlow Library upgraded its recycling program for the public and for staff for multiple reasons, including the positive impact on the environment and economy. The containers shown above were paid for by the COG’s Refuse and Recycling program through the recycling rebate received from CCRRA.

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Park. In the seven years since the Recycling in our Parks Program began, approximately 397,000 plastic bottles and 95,000 aluminum cans have been recycled, which is over 7 tons of recyclable material. 

Provide advertising and public service announcements regarding holiday collection schedules and special item collections.

Contribute useful information about refuse and recycling to the newsletters of the participating municipalities.

Participate in educational opportunities with other refuse and recycling professionals in the Commonwealth.

D.

Administer the new Recycle at Work Program.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Promote the Recycle at Work Program with the goal of improving recycling at commercial locations. This program is a joint effort between the CCRRA, COG’s Refuse and Recycling Program, and the State College Borough Public Works Department.

Work in a collaborative relationship between COG’s Refuse and Recycling Program, the State College Borough, and the Centre Region Code Administration (CRCA) wherein educational materials are mailed to property owners with the following existing permits:  Recycle at Work brochures are sent with the fire permits to all building owners in January of each year.  Recycle at Home (Multi-Family Housing) brochures are sent with all rental permits beginning in August of each year.

Creating educational materials to help businesses understand the recycling process, requirements, and benefits. Industry-specific educational posters and brochures have been identified for restaurants, construction, and multi-family housing units.

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The Recycling & Refuse Authority, along with the Centre Region COG and Borough of State College, held its second awards luncheon on April 21, 2016 to honor 55 of the County’s best green businesses, schools and organizations. The next awards ceremony is planned for spring of 2018.

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Coordinate data collection between the CCRRA, haulers, and the CRCA to accurately track businesses that are recycling.

Work with the Centre Regional Planning Agency, municipal zoning officers, and haulers to ensure that space for recycling containers along with trash dumpsters is included during the design phase of building projects.

OF PARTICULAR NOTE Development of an Organics Recycling Program The COG Public Services and Environmental (PSE) Committee is committed to providing excellent refuse and recycling service for residents at a reasonable rate through the contracted hauler. It is also dedicated to exploring improvements in service that advances the sustainability of the region.

North Central Region Aggregate Municipal Solid Waste Composition

The chart to the right shows regional data from the DEP. Based on local, state, and federal information, the PSE Committee is aware that organic waste, which includes food waste and yard trimmings, makes up the largest portion (20-40%) of the materials going to the landfill. In 2013, the State College Borough implemented a successful Organics Recycling Program with 80% of its households participating and has diverted nearly 30% of material out of the landfill annually. Through the Centre Region Refuse and Recycling Program, residents landfill 11,000 tons of refuse a year. With a successful Organics Recycling Program, the Centre Region has the potential to remove 3,600 tons a year of organic waste from the landfill and put it to beneficial use. While the data supports a Regional Organics Recycling Program, the success of this type of program hinges on residents’ willingness to use the service. A residential survey to determine interest in organics recycling was done April 1 - May 31, 2015. Survey results from over 700 residents (4.85% of the 15,100 customers) indicated over 80% of the respondents were very likely or somewhat likely to participate in a weekly curbside Organics Recycling Program in which residents could recycle both yard trimmings and food waste. It also revealed that 66% of the respondents were willing to pay a nominal fee for participation. For the complete organics recycling survey report, please visit www.crcog.net/organicsrecycling. 2018 Program Plan – Refuse & Recycling Program

This pie chart shows the percentage composition of major material groups in the aggregate North Central regional waste stream from a DEP study in 2003. Centre County is part of the North Central Region.

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At its September 28, 2015 meeting, the General Forum passed a motion requesting the PSE Committee prepare a draft plan for a Regional Organics Recycling Program for the residents of Benner, College, Harris, Ferguson, and Patton Townships. The timeline for the potential introduction of curbside organics recycling is defined below. Dec 2016 PSE Committee finalize program design. 2017 - 2018 Further research, create bid specifications, develop customer education/outreach program, apply for grants. May 2019 General Forum awards the next five year residential refuse and recycling contract. 2019 Educate and prepare for organics recycling collection. Jan 2020 New contract including organics collection begins. May 2020 Distribute carts to customers. June 2020 Start organics recycling collection. The vision is for COG to build upon the successful model that State College Borough created with its curbside Organics Recycling Program. COG intends to work collaboratively with State College Borough and the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority to create a program that will operate in the Centre Region but that could be expanded to be utilized throughout the County. The Organics Recycling Program is being developed for all households in Benner, College, Ferguson, Harris and Patton Townships. The pillars of the program, as endorsed by the General Forum, consist of the following: 

Organics, consisting of food and yard waste, will be collected curbside on a weekly basis.

The organic materials will be taken to the State College Borough compost facility. This facility has the capacity to receive and process the organics from the Centre Region and is within a 10 mile radius from all households.

Residents will place their organics in either a 35 or 95 gallon cart with wheels. Additional carts will be available for those households that produce more than one 95 gallon cart on a weekly basis. Collection of refuse will also be done with carts. The

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contracted hauler will collect the organic and refuse carts weekly with automated trucks. The bid specifications will define that the carts at the end of the contract become the property of the COG so that they can remain with the household for the next contract. The specifications will also define that the contracted hauler will be responsible for the storage and delivery of the carts. 

The service area for the existing program currently includes all households of Benner, College, Ferguson, Harris and Patton Townships. A task for 2017-18 is to identify the advantages and disadvantages of separating services inside vs. outside the RGB.

The costs for the program will be paid for through the resident’s quarterly refuse and recycling fee. A rate structure will be defined in the bid specifications that require all participants pay a nominal fee for the option of this program. The levels of service and their respective costs for refuse and recycling (including organics) will be evaluated and possibly modified to better reflect a household’s usage of the services received. In order to fairly attribute costs to residents, it is likely there will be a tiered rate structure for both trash and organics collection. A task for 2017-18 is to determine the rate structure as well as study and evaluate opt-out options for residents who already remove organic materials from their trash and are following a zero waste lifestyle.

It is important to note that while the collection of organic materials will add a small monthly cost, the intent is that organics recycling will result in lower costs over the long term for our community. Removing organic material and transporting it 10 miles to a compost facility to make a valuable end product is more sustainable than transporting the material 80 miles to sit in a landfill for decades. The hope is that while recycling costs may rise for handling these resources, our costs for refuse collection will decrease. While the municipal leaf and brush collection programs are separate from the Refuse and Recycling Program, a regional organics program must look at the effects on and relationship between the municipal programs. The Refuse and Recycling Administrator will be working with the participating public works departments to develop efficient, cost productive and user friendly solutions to the growing service of processing residential yard waste. The participating townships of Benner, College, Harris, Ferguson, and Patton will need to consider the residents’ demands, costs associated with an organics recycling program, and customer service issues in order to 2018 Program Plan – Refuse & Recycling Program

Educating residents about the Organics Recycling Program proposed for 2020 while attending community events.

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determine the best long term solution to the solid waste piece of sustainability in the region. By the end of 2018, the PSE Committee will present the bid specifications for the proposed program and ask the General Forum to approve including them as an option in the next bid documents that will be issued in 2019 for the 2020 - 2024 Regional Refuse and Recycling Contract. WHERE ARE WE NOW? For the period of January 1 to June 30, 2017, revenues and expenditures are consistent with the projections contained in the 2017 budget. The main variance is due to the Recycling Rebate revenue. Looking forward to the last six months of 2017, no other variances are expected for the 2017 budget. The actual, unaudited January 1, 2017 fund balance was $143,191, which was $2,840 higher than the estimated fund balance of $140,351. Looking ahead, the fund balance will be used to help finance the establishment of the proposed organics collection program. The 2017 Recycling Rebate received from CCRRA for materials recycled in 2016 was $19,985, compared to the budgeted $15,000 amount. This reimbursement is accrued through the sale of recyclable materials and is dependent on market prices. The PSE Committee makes recommendations regarding the use of these funds. WHAT IS THE COST? The 2017 budget for the Regional Refuse and Recycling Program provides for the following revenue and expenditures as shown in the table on the right.

2018 Program Plan – Refuse & Recycling Program

Recycling and Refuse Program revenue and expenditures from 2016 through the approved 2017 budget.

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WHERE ARE WE GOING? Looking forward into 2018 and beyond, proposed major budgetary changes and major work objectives for the Regional Refuse and Recycling Program include: Proposed Budgetary Changes… 

There are no proposed budgetary changes.

Money from the fund balance will be accumulated to help offset the costs in 2019 and 2020 for the start of the Regional Organics Program. Funds may be used for:  Additional staff to help during start up with customer service.  Offsetting some of the container costs.  Additional advertising needed at the beginning of the program. Note: the contracted hauler will be responsible for the purchase of the carts and the costs of the carts will be paid for through the monthly residential refuse and recycling rate. At the end of the 5 year contract COG will own the carts since they have a 10 year warranty and can be used through the next contract.

Propose New Work Objectives… Organics Recycling Program – By the end of 2017, the Program Administrator will create a detailed timeline of the tasks required for the bidding specifications and an education outreach program. During 2018, the PSE Committee will present the bid specifications for the proposed program and ask the General Forum to approve including them as an option in the next bid documents that will be issued in 2019 for the 2020 - 2024 Regional Refuse and Recycling Contract.

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MISSION The COG Contingency Fund was established to finance the COG’s fiscal obligations arising from emergency situations or special projects not provided for in the annual agency budgets and approved by the General Forum. WHO ARE WE? Since the COG Agencies normally operate with minimum cash reserves, the Contingency Fund is an essential component of the COG’s financial management system. It permits the agencies to adjust to unexpected developments while maintaining existing service levels. Additionally, through the Contingency Fund’s allowance for unanticipated or unusual expenses, the level and need for municipal contributions during the course of the fiscal year is stabilized. All expenditures from the Contingency Fund require the approval of the General Forum. In the past, the Contingency Fund has been used to finance such items as recruitment costs for the Planning and Library Directors, the interest on a loan relating to the acquisition of the Oak Hall Regional Park property, the July 4th Fireworks, the development of a model ordinance relating to land use controls around the I-99 interchanges, the purchase of a LUCAS chest compression system for Centre LifeLink, and unanticipated legal expenses regarding the COG’s denial of a Development of Regional Impact application. WHAT DO WE DO?

COG CONTINGENCY FUND

The Contingency Fund has been a component of the COG Budget since at least 1973. From 1973 to 1984, by tradition, the beginning year fund balance was set at 1% of the total COG Budget. In 1985, the General Forum set the balance of the Contingency Fund at 1% of the COG Budget, not including Agency fund balances, the Centre Region Code Administration Budget, and special capital budgets (e.g. the Eastern Inner Loop, COG Housing, Pools Capital, Library Capital, Fire Capital, and Fire Training Site). During the budget review sessions in 2000, the COG Finance Committee recommended that the General Forum consider no additional municipal contributions to the Contingency Fund for 2000, which froze the fund at $26,380; the ending year balance from 1999. This fixed amount for the Contingency Fund balance was approved by the General Forum in adopting the 2000 to 2009 COG Budgets. Recognizing that the COG Budget had increased 2018 Program Plan – COG Contingency Fund

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during that ten year period, the General Forum, upon the recommendation of the Finance Committee, increased the threshold amount to approximately $35,000 for 2010 and 2011. In 2012, the Centre Region Code Administration repaid a $5,270 loan from the Contingency Fund. The January 1, 2017 beginning year fund balance was $38,063. WHERE ARE WE NOW? For the period of January 1 to June, 2017, revenue and expenditures for the Contigency Fund were consistent with the projections contained in the 2017 budget with the two exceptions. The audited January 1, 2017 fund balance was $38,063, a $13,683 increase from the projected amount of $24,380. The increase is entirely due to expenditures that were approved in 2016 but did not occur until 2017. 

2016 Expenditure for the KINBER Study: During its May 23, 2016 meeting, the General authorized an expenditure of $15,000 from the Contingency Fund for the COG to participate with eight other municipalities and authorities in a study to determine if they should connect to the Wide Area Network that is maintained by the Keystone Initiative for Network-Based Education and Research (KINBER). These funds have not been expended to date. In 2016, a proposal was made to the General Forum for a regional study to prepare a cost estimate for an alternative to the current Local Area Network/Wide Area Network (LAN/WAN) service agreements used by the municipalities, COG, and CATA. Currently State College Borough and College, Ferguson, and Patton Townships, CATA, and the COG have, via the State College Borough, a LAN/WAN service agreement with Comcast that expires August 7, 2018. The five year region-wide cost of this contract is $450,000. KINBER represents an alternative to the Comcast system. It is believed that over the long term, the KINBER option may provide the participating groups with improved service, more flexible service, lower costs, and may over time encourage economic development. The study’s scope of work is:  To determine the options and shared costs of a common fiber optic ring to serve as a backbone for the WAN (while also serving our long term goals of expansion).  To provide a “walking estimate” of the individual cost to connect each municipal/authority location(s) to the shared fiber backbone. A “walking estimate” is more accurate than a “desktop estimate,” but is short of preliminary engineering.

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 To provide an estimate of the costs of maintaining the connections.  To identify a method of dealing with service disruptions. Participating entities in the preparation of the cost estimate study include College, Ferguson, Halfmoon, Harris, and Patton Townships as well as the State College Borough, UAJA, CATA, and COG. This study was completed in early 2017 and because of cost and other considerations it now appears the entities interested in connecting to the KINBER system are: Patton, College, and Ferguson Township, the COG, CATA and the UAJA. State College Borough and Schlow Centre Region Library are already connected to KINBER. 

2016 Contribution to SEDA COG: In addition, in 2016 the General Forum also authorized a payment of $2,000 to SEDA-COG to contribute towards the $10,000 local match requirement to receive a $50,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Additional partners in the project include the SEDA-COG Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and the PA Council of Governments. The purpose of the grant is to offer workshops educating municipalities about the available streetlight programs being offered by their electric utilities, describing the engagement process and providing a modest amount of technical assistance to municipalities to help them work with their electric utility to retrofit their streetlights. The workshops will be held between September and November 2017. In addition, SEDA-COG will create a website to more widely share the program and process with

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Contingency Fund revenue and expenditures from 2016 through the approved 2017 Budget. 61


the interested public. This contribution was authorized only if the DEP grant was awarded to SEDA-COG. The grant award did not occur until 2017. Subsequently, the appropriated funds carried forward from 2016 to the 2017 budgets. WHAT IS THE COST? The 2017 budget for the COG Contingency Fund provides for the revenue and expenditures in the table on the previous page. WHERE ARE WE GOING? Looking ahead to the next six months of 2017 no new expenditures from the Contingency Fund are expected.

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MISSION The purpose of the COG Building Capital Budget is to finance capital improvements, capital replacements, and major repairs to the COG Building. WHO ARE WE? On May 19, 2003, after sixteen years of consideration, the Centre Region COG opened its new office building at 2643 Gateway Drive in Ferguson Township. The building is owned by the six Centre Region municipalities and the COG pays them approximately $185,000 per year in rent. The total cost of constructing the building (including land acquisition and furnishings) was $2.5 million. The project was completed on time and within the budget approved by the General Forum. The COG Building Capital Budget establishes a sinking fund to finance the replacement of major capital components, systems (e.g. roof, heat pumps), and building-wide technology-related equipment for the COG Building. As the building ages, its architectural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing components, furnishings, and technology equipment will need to be replaced or upgraded through the life of the COG lease (2028). The Finance Committee is the oversight board for the Building Capital Budget. The Executive Director has appointed two current employees as COG Building Managers to oversee the maintenance and repair of the building as well as to assist with the bidding process for capital items. The employees receive supplemental compensation to recognize the additional work associated with these duties. Beginning in mid2017 the responsibility for the maintenance of the COG’s IP telephone system was shifted from COG staff to the IT staff of State College Borough as part of the COG’s service agreement with the Borough.

COG BUILDING CAPITAL BUDGET

WHERE ARE WE NOW? Since the fund was established in 2005, the following changes were approved by the Finance Committee: 

2007: Municipal contributions and the estimated replacement costs should be annually adjusted by the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U).

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2010: Technology-related equipment (servers, switches, etc.) shared by the Agencies located in the COG Building should be included in the Building Capital Budget.

2012: Costs were updated based upon current and estimated replacement costs and they are adjusted annually by 3% in accordance with the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).

WHAT IS THE COST? The 2017 budget for the COG Building Capital Budget provides for the revenue and expenditures on the table on the right. The audited January 1, 2017 fund balance was $195,113, a $2,162 increase from the projected amount of $192,951. There are two sources of income for the COG Building Capital Fund; municipal contributions based on the current regular COG funding formula and transfers from the Refuse and Recycling, New Construction, and Existing Structures Programs. For the period of January 1 to June 30, 2017, revenue for the COG Building Capital Budget was largely consistent with the projections contained in the 2017 budget. However, there were two unanticipated expenditures. 

A boiler was replaced. As reported earlier in the year to the Finance Committee the two 13-year old gas boilers in the COG Building were in need of repair and some of the parts (e.g. control unit) are no longer being manufactured. To keep the building heated during periods of extreme cold the Executive Director authorized an unexpected expenditure of approximately $19,000 to install one new boiler.

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COG Building Capital Budget revenue and expenditures from 2016 through the approved 2017 Budget. 64


Two compressors on the heat pumps were replaced at a cost of $3,700. Because there are 23 heat pumps for the building, there is frequent maintenance and repair.

Looking forward to the next six months, the following budgeted expenditures are anticipated: 

Replace an underperforming HVAC unit serving the end offices in the Parks and Recreation suite at an estimated budgeted cost of $22,000.

Install automatic doors in both first floor vestibule areas of the COG building at an estimated cost of $23,000. The automatic door openers will make it easier for the public, customers, and staff to enter and exit the COG Building. Bids were requested for this project and one proposal was received. It is being evaluated.

WHERE ARE WE GOING? Proposed Budgetary Changes… The following are seven expenditure proposals for capital investments in the COG Building: 

Replace the second boiler in the COG building. The first boiler was replaced in early 2017 after its failure. The second boiler, which has had numerous failures, is being recommended for replacement at an anticipated cost of $20,000.

Replace the 25 swivel/tilt mid back conference chairs in the General Forum Room. The chairs are original to the building and are showing their wear and are beginning to break. Staff is intending to budget $12,500 (estimated $500 each) to replace the chairs in 2018. The chairs will be purchased through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s CoStars program.

Connect to the KINBER fiber optic systems for Local Area Network (LAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN) services and implement the recommendation contained in the COG IT study. KINBER Connection - Background Depending on the recommendations contained in the KINBER and IT studies COG is conducting in 2017, funds will need to be budgeted/carried over for potential replacements to IT infrastructure assets. During its May 23, 2016 meeting the General Forum discussed the possibility of the Centre Region municipalities and others joining the KINBER System. The Keystone Initiative for Network-Based Education and Research (KINBER) is a non-profit membership organization comprised of education, health care, economic development, libraries, public media, and other non-profit organizations devoted to fostering collaboration through technology. With Penn State as a founding member, KINBER was launched in

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2010 when it received nearly $100 million dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to provide a 1,700 mile high-speed fiber network to connect over 60 education, research, healthcare, and economic development community anchor institutions. The General Forum authorized the expenditure of funds to prepare preliminary estimates of the cost for the Centre Region municipalities, several authorities, and the COG to connect to the KINBER system. These rough costs are complete and are currently being refined. Based on the estimate provided and the recommendation received from the State College Borough Chief Technology Officer (the COG’s IT service provider), COG Staff is proposing budgeting $50,000 to install a fiber connection to KINBER from the service line along Route 26 (W. College Avenue) to the COG Building. Although the initial capital costs are high, a COG connection to the KINBER System offers the following advantages:  Reduce ongoing operating costs for a faster connection to satellite locations for COG Agencies, our regional municipal partners, and the internet (100 Mbps to 10 Gbps). COG currently uses Comcast to connect to the internet at a cost of approximately $15,000 per year.  Creates a private regional network leading to improved security and reduced operating costs.  Promotes economic development by breaking down barriers to high speed internet.  Provides greater opportunity for regional shared services, not limited to GIS, permitting, and disaster recovery. 

Retain the services of a consulting engineer to develop a cost estimate and bidding specifications to install an emergency generator in the COG Building. The plan is to retain the consultant in 2018 and, if the General Forum concurs, install the emergency generator in 2019. The Emergency Management Coordinator has suggested the installation of an emergency generator to enable the building to be used during period of a declared emergency as a back-up facility for any of the municipalities that need to relocate all or some of their operations. In addition, the Executive Director supports the proposal because a generator will enable COG to continue to conduct business if there is a power outage for an extended period. Should the municipalities decide to investigate this proposed project the estimated costs include preparation of the total project cost estimate ($3,000) and preparation of bidding documents and associated engineering work ($7,000).

Remove the pocket door that separates the Executive Director and Human Resources Officer and install dry-wall. This project is proposed to provide more privacy for each position. Currently, both individuals can hear the conservations in the others office. Prior to the hiring of the Human Resource Officer, that space was used as a small conference room for the administrative staff and the pocket door made sense. The estimated cost to remove the pocket door, install drywall between the offices, and paint the affected areas is anticipated to be approximately $5,000.

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Possible expense - Replace the evaporation coil for an HVAC unit ($6,700).

Begin implementation of the recommendations contained in the pending COG IT Study. The 2017 COG Budget appropriates $20,000 to

conduct a comprehensive assessment of COG’s Information Technologies as detailed in the Request for Proposals (RFP) and to prepare a detailed and actionable five year Information Technology Strategic Plan that acts as a road map that matches short-term and long-term goals for each COG Agency and COG-wide (multi Agency) goals with specific technology solutions to help meet those goals. The RFP is nearing completion. Looking ahead to 2018, an appropriation from the COG Building Capital Budget is proposed to implement the recommendations that are made in the study and approved by the General Forum. These funds may be used to purchase network equipment such as routers, servers, and switches. Many of these items are reaching the end of their useful life. 

Begin implementation of the recommendations contained in the pending COG IT Study. The 2017 COG Budget appropriates $20,000 to conduct a comprehensive assessment of COG’s Information Technologies as detailed in the Request for Proposals (RFP) and to prepare a detailed and actionable five year Information Technology Strategic Plan that acts as a road map that matches short-term and long-term goals for each COG Agency and COG-wide (multi agency) goals with specific technology solutions to help meet those goals. The RFP is nearing completion. Looking ahead to 2018, an appropriation from the COG Building Capital Budget is proposed to implement the recommendations that are made in the study and approved by the General Forum. These funds may be used to purchase network equipment such as routers, servers and switches. Many of these items are reaching the end of their useful life.

As previously mentioned the six Centre Region municipalities own the COG building. There is a 25 year lease between the municipalities and COG for the lease of the building. The lease began in 2003 and ends in 2028. In 2018 there will be ten years left on the lease. Later in 2017 or early 2018, COG staff intends to open a discussion with the Finance Committee surrounding the future utilization of the COG Building. The elected officials who approved the lease agreement in 2003 were silent about what should happen to the building at the end of 25 year lease in 2028. They believed that the individuals who are in elected office close to the time when the lease expires should decide what do. Although a decision about the renewal or termination of the lease is ten years in the future, COG staff believes that there is value to asking the General Forum for guidance about its preferred course of action. This direction is important because during the next ten years costly improvements (roof replacement, repaving the parking lot, expanding the parking lot, HVAC replacements, emergency power generator, etc.) will be proposed. 2018 Program Plan – COG Building Capital

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Prior to making these investments, it should be known whether the COG offices will remain where they are or move to another location. Complicating this discussion, is that as the community has grown so has the demand for COG services. This has resulted in additional staff in the Code Administration, Parks and Recreation, and Administration Agencies. Looking ahead, there are pending space limitations that need to be addressed, and in the case of the Code Agency, almost immediately. The general options to providing additional office space and storage areas include expanding the existing building, redesigning and renovating the offices, or relocating agencies to another location.

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MISSION The mission of the Insurance Reserve Fund is to serve as a depository for the receipt and expenditure of excess funds received from the Pennsylvania Municipal Health Insurance Cooperative (PMHIC) that occurs when employee health insurance premiums are less than the expenses paid. WHO ARE WE? The Insurance Reserve Fund was established in 2007 to track the refunds received through the PMHIC program. Original cooperative member organizations in Centre County included the COG, Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA), Ferguson Township, Patton Township, and State College Borough. College Township joined the cooperative in 2009, the Bellefonte Borough in 2011, and Harris Township in late 2012. The fund has been used as follows: 

To offset increases in medical insurance premiums.

To fund unexpected and unbudgeted increases in medical insurance. For instance, when an employee with single medical coverage is replaced with an employee with family coverage.

To fund employee wellness activities (e.g. health screenings, flu shots, and educational programs).

To pay for expenses associated with the Affordable Care Act. A fee is assessed to COG based on the average number of lives covered under the health insurance plan to help fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCOR).

INSURANCE RESERVE FUND

WHAT DO WE DO? Every year COG’s medical experience (dollar value of claims) is compared with the premiums that were paid into the PMHIC program. If the premiums are greater than the experience, COG receives a refund based upon a formulaic percentage of the unused premiums. The actual amount can vary widely. For instance, no reimbursement was received for the 2012 premium year, but $147,665 will be received in 2017 for the 2016 premium year. Transfers from PMHIC into this fund are entirely based on the medical costs of the COG Staff and their families. It is a very unpredictable and volatile budget. 2018 Program Plan – Insurance Reserve Fund

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A key component to the realization of these refunds is the existence and investment in the Employee Wellness Program. Prior to 2011, the funds were for the most part accumulated; however, there were occasional expenditures for health and wellness and transfers to various agencies to bridge a funding gap, if necessary, due to changes in employees’ status. The COG Finance Committee elected to pay a portion of increases in medical premiums in 2011-2017 out of the Insurance Reserve Fund. The Executive Director proposes the same arrangement for 2018. A cautionary note accompanies this recommendation, as it is not sustainable over the long term. Should the Insurance Reserve Fund not continue to grow, at some point in the future, the accumulation of rate increases will need to be paid in one lump sum. To avoid this from occurring, the status of the fund should be carefully examined as each year’s budget is prepared. If the COG does not receive a surplus payment or the payment is very low, then changes in fund management should be implemented to ensure the fund is sustainable over the long term. WHERE ARE WE NOW? For the period of January 1 to May 31, 2017, expenditures from the Insurance Reserve Fund are anticipated to be slightly higher than budgeted projections due to staff changeover in the Administrative and Parks offices. Several individuals who had waived coverage or had single person coverage left COG’s employment and were replaced with individuals who opted for family coverage. Recognizing the volatility of the reimbursements, no 2017 income was anticipated from the 2016 premium year. However, because the 2016 premiums paid exceeded employee health costs, PMHIC is expected to provide COG with a $147,665 reimbursement in 2017. Previously, given the unknown nature of the PMHIC refund, it was agreed by the Finance Committee that this rebate would not be assumed in the annual COG budget documents. After reviewing a 9 year history, COG staff would like to recommend implementing an assumption of a $25,000 rebate effective for the 2018 budget. The Insurance Reserve fund’s expenditures would then be calculated on that basis. The assumptions contained in this Program Plan proposal are sufficient to fund all the proposed expenditures for 2018 and 2019 if no PMHIC refund is received. Should the reimbursement be low or non-existent beyond two consecutive years then insurance costs paid by the employer and employee are likely to increase.

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WHAT IS THE COST? No municipal funds are directly contributed to the Insurance Reserve Fund. Revenue is composed entirely of a PMHIC reimbursement of medical premiums that have been paid by the COG and its employees. The audited January 1, 2017 fund balance was $456,003; a $28,784 increase from the projected amount of $427,219. In April 2017, COG was notified by PMHIC that its total 2016 refund would be $147,665. In 2017, anticipated expenditures include $8,000 for Employee Wellness Programs, $104,000 to offset increases in health insurance premiums for the 2017 calendar year, approximately $30,000 for unexpected and unbudgeted premium increases due to employees changing family status (e.g. single to family coverage) or replacing an employee with single medical insurance coverage with an individual needing two person or family coverage, and approximately $300 for a PatientCentered Outcomes Research (PCOR) fee that the COG is required to pay in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. WHERE ARE WE GOING? Looking forward into 2018 and beyond, the proposed major budgetary changes to the Insurance Reserve Fund are at the discretion of the Finance Committee and can be adjusted and/or revised on an annual basis. For 2018, the COG Executive Director recommends the following expenditures:

Insurance Reserve Fund revenue and expenditures from 2016 through the approved 2017 Budget.

Approximately $140,000 to offset medical insurance premiums.

$30,000 to fund unexpected and unbudgeted increases in medical insurance costs due to employee changes.

Up to $3,200 for the Employee Relations Committee (ERC) to conduct a Wellness Program to include flu shots, wellness program incentives, and educational programs.

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$2,000 for an employee weight management program.

$2,000 for First Aid, and Fire Safety training from the American Red Cross.

New for 2018; $8,100 to subsidize participation in a gym, yoga or other professionally supervised activity that encourages exercise and movement for COG employees who are eligible to participation in the health insurance program. The proposed appropriation would allow for 27 (the number is based on a survey of interested individuals) employees to receive a $25 per month subsidy if they have on-going participation in a qualified activity. This proposal is a recommendation of the Employee Relations Committee (ERC) and is supported by the Executive Director. The details of the program are being developed by the ERC and will be reviewed by the Human Resources Committee when they are complete.

The above Wellness Program items were proposed by the COG’s ERC, which is comprised of staff members from the agencies and the Human Resources Officer. For the past several years, ERC members have consulted with the COG’s medical insurance representatives and received training on setting up “healthy employee” initiatives. National data shows that health care costs are directly related to the overall well-being of the organization’s employees in both a physical and mental capacity. The ERC’s effort delivers healthy initiatives in a manner that is more conducive to participation for employees who have increasingly busy work schedules. It is believed that investments in the Employee Wellness Programs will promote the health of COG staff and their families, thereby reducing costs in medical services, lowering the absentee rate, and helping employees function with optimum efficiency. Because the COG receives a portion of these savings through its participation in the PMHIC cooperation, it is believed that there is a good return on the investments in Employee Wellness Programs.

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MISSION The mission of the Centre Region Emergency Management Program is to ensure a coordinated effort to prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate emergencies in a manner that utilizes resources effectively to protect lives and property in the Borough of State College and the Townships of College, Ferguson, Halfmoon, Harris and Patton. WHO ARE WE? The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Code (Title 35) requires each municipality to have an Emergency Management Coordinator, an Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). In 1986, the General Forum authorized a study that confirmed emergency management services in the Centre Region were inadequate and they should be coordinated for a regional response to disaster. By 1990, all of the Centre Region municipalities made the following improvements: 

Created a regional Emergency Management Program with a single Coordinator through an agreement with Penn State’s Office of University Safety that received approval by the Governor.

Adopted by ordinance, the Joint Articles of Agreement for Emergency Management Services and established a regional program administered and funded through the COG.

Adopted a Centre Region Emergency Operations Plan.

Designated a single Emergency Operations Center.

OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

The Emergency Management Program’s 2017 budget provides for the following staff: Full-Time: Emergency Management Coordinator

Part-Time: Staff Assistant (240 hours/year) provided through the COG Fire Protection Program and a Summer Intern

Volunteers: The Centre Region is fortunate to have trained Deputy Coordinators to assist the Coordinator during emergencies or to fill-in during his absence. They are: Fire Director Steve Bair, Assistant Fire Chief Dennis Harris, Penn State Emergency Management Director Brian Bittner, and Penn State Emergency Management Planner Pam Soule. 2018 Program Plan – Office of Emergency Management

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The Centre Region’s joint Emergency Management Program is considered to be a Best Practice Program by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) because it provides a regionally coordinated response to declared emergencies. BACKGROUND Administrative oversight of the Emergency Management Program is provided by the Centre Region Emergency Management Council (EMC), which is comprised of the Centre Region Municipal Managers, a representative from Penn State University, the COG Executive Director, and the Vice Chair of the COG General Forum. From 1990 to 2002, the Centre Region Emergency Management Coordinator was a volunteer position. A comprehensive review of the Centre Region’s Emergency Management Program followed the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Municipal officials concluded after the assessment that the existing program that was based on a volunteer Emergency Management Coordinator was not adequate to meet future threats. The Centre Region, including the University Park campus of Penn State University, is a potential target for domestic and international terrorism. The following contributing factors make the Centre Region a higher risk community: national sports and entertainment venues, a large international population, and growing importance as a transportation hub. In 2002 after meeting with County and Penn State University officials, the EMC made the following recommendations: 

There should be a single Emergency Management Plan, EOC, and Emergency Management Coordinator for the Centre Region.

The Centre Region Emergency Management Program should continue to be administered by the COG.

The COG and Penn State University should establish a coordinated program for emergency management.

A full-time, paid Emergency Management Coordinator should be appointed, with costs shared between the COG and the University.

The EMC’s recommendations were approved by the municipalities and implemented through a five-year agreement between the COG and Penn State University. The Emergency Management Coordinator began work in February 2003. The contract with Penn State University expired on August 31, 2007; however, during its June 25, 2007 meeting, the General Forum approved the following motion to extend the agreement through August 31, 2008: 2018 Program Plan – Office of Emergency Management

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“That the General Forum, as recommended by the Public Services Committee, extend the Emergency Management Services contract with The Pennsylvania State University for a period of one year, ending August 31, 2008, under the conditions recommended by the Centre Region Emergency Management Council; and in addition, that the General Forum ask the Emergency Management Council to evaluate the need for a full-time Centre Region Emergency Management Coordinator for the General Forum’s consideration by December 31, 2007.” In response to the General Forum’s request, the EMC evaluated the arrangement and concluded that the responsibilities of the Emergency Management Program justified a full-time employee who would serve as the regional Emergency Management Coordinator for the six municipalities. In June 2008, the recommendations of the EMC were reviewed and endorsed by the COG Public Services Committee, presented to the General Forum, and referred to the municipalities for comment. The Committee’s proposals presented were subsequently approved by all six Centre Region municipalities and presented to the General Forum for approval. In order to implement this change to the Emergency Management Program, four actions were required. During the August 25, 2008 meeting, the General Forum reviewed the four items listed below and approved the following actions to implement the changes: 1. Confirm the General Forum’s intent to create the new position and modify the COG/Penn State University Emergency Management Agreement. 2. Approve the revised COG/Penn State Emergency Management Agreement. 3. Approve a Memorandum of Understanding that identified the interim arrangements for the Emergency Management Program. 4. Prepare a draft job description for the Centre Region Emergency Management Coordinator for consideration by the EMC and Personnel Committee (now known as the Human Resources Committee). During the process of making changes to the Emergency Management Program, Mr. Stephen Abrams retired from Penn State University where he had served as the joint Emergency Management Coordinator. Subsequently, the General Forum, at its November 28, 2008 meeting, unanimously agreed to recommend to Governor Corbett that Mr. Shawn Kauffman be appointed as the full-time Centre Region Emergency Management Coordinator effective January 1, 2009. The Centre Region Emergency Management Program, which always had a strong partnership with Penn State University and the Penn State Emergency Management Program, has become more comprehensive and mutually supportive. The partnership supports a joint EOC which was relocated from the Eisenhower Parking Deck to Beaver Stadium in 2010. The new EOC provides emergency 2018 Program Plan – Office of Emergency Management

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management support to the entire Centre Region and Penn State University. During the last several years, the COG and University have conducted joint training and mutually retained a consultant to evaluate emergency operations and identify opportunities for improvement. The relationship between COG and the Penn State University is often used as an example for other town/gown communities in the United States. WHAT DO WE DO? The Emergency Management Program provides the following services for the participating municipalities: 

Developing, maintaining, and updating Emergency Operations Plans for the Centre Region Municipalities.

Enhancing the Centre Region’s Emergency Management public outreach.

Identifying, maintaining, equipping, and staff five Regional Emergency Shelters. (see attached map)

Providing training opportunities and conduct exercises for staff and volunteers who may be needed during emergencies.

Maintaining and activating, if necessary, the Emergency Operations Center.

A. Develop, maintain, and update Emergency Operations Plans for the Centre Region municipalities.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Developing, maintaining, and updating the regional emergency plans: Centre Region Basic Plan, Notification and Resource Manual, Emergency Operations Center Checklists, Hazard Specific Plans, Alerting and Notification Plan, Sheltering Plan, and Continuity of Operations Plan.

Developing, maintaining, and updating event specific plans: Memorial Day, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, and People’s Choice Arts Festival, support Penn State University football events, Ag Progress Days and other special event planning.

Assisting Centre Region municipalities with development and maintenance of individual Continuity of Operations Plans.

Assisting local businesses and authorities with preparation and review of required emergency planning documents.

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Organizing an annual meeting between the Public Safety Committee, PennDOT, utility providers, and municipal first responders to exchange information regarding emergency planning.

Coordinating Centre Region Emergency Services for major emergencies and special events.

B. Enhance the Centre Region’s Emergency Management public outreach.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Providing emergency preparedness presentations to local civic groups and business associations, as requested.

Attending open houses and safety fairs to present emergency preparedness information.

Attending General Forum meetings to provide updates to the elected officials regarding the Emergency Management Program.

Updating the Centre Region Emergency Management website, www.crcog.net/EM, and social media websites (Facebook and Twitter) with current emergency preparedness information.

Coordinating the delivery of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training to community volunteers who are interested in assisting their neighbors during a declared emergency.

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C. Maintain and equip the Regional Emergency Shelters so that they are in a state of readiness and provide staff during emergencies.

Ongoing Contributions… Monitor the five Centre Region COG shelters (Park Forest Elementary School, Boalsburg Fire Company, Mount Nittany United Methodist Church, Halfmoon Christian Fellowship Church and St. Paul Lutheran Church) to ensure they can be expeditiously and efficiently used as public shelters during an emergency. Each of these shelters is able to function effectively in the event of a power outage. 

Arranging shelter training for community volunteers that staff the Centre Region shelters.

Identifying new shelters and preparing

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Locations of Emergency Shelters within the Centre Region. 78


recommendations for the EMC to consider. 

Maintaining effective working relationships with American Red Cross staff that are responsible for operating shelters during an emergency.

D. Provide training opportunities and conduct exercises for staff and volunteers who may be needed during emergencies.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Coordinating training for individuals and groups that have a role in preparing for and responding to emergencies.

Arranging National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) training for elected and appointed municipal officials.

Organizing tabletop and functional exercises for local first responders.

Exercising notification and alerting systems and resolving or arranging for resolution of problems within those systems.

E. Maintain and activate, if necessary, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

Ongoing Contributions… 

Maintaining the Centre Region COG agreement with Penn State University for the use of the EOC.

Testing and maintaining EOC equipment to assure its availability during an emergency.

Updating the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and related documents located in the EOC.

Providing management of Emergency Support staff when EOC is activated.

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OF PARTICULAR NOTE During 2018, the Centre Region COG Office of Emergency Management will begin a targeted outreach program designed to provide emergency preparedness information to the Centre Region Vulnerable Populations which were identified by the 2017 Vulnerable Populations Special Project. This project was conducted by a summer intern whose position was funded through the 2017 Budget. As part of the Program’s outreach, the public will have the opportunity to register with the Centre Region COG Office of Emergency Management should they believe assistance would be necessary during an emergency. The registration will provide valuable information for our Emergency Operations Center during a disaster or major emergency. Additionally, the Centre Region COG Office of Emergency Management recommends securing engineering services to prepare a cost estimate for an Emergency Power Generator at the Centre Region COG office building. The proposal will identify the necessary equipment to provide emergency power at the COG office building so that in the event that the Centre Region COG approves a generator installation, the building can serve as a backup Emergency Operations Center or provide continuity of operations for Centre Region municipalities. WHERE ARE WE NOW? For the period of January 1 to June 30, 2017, revenue and expenditures for the Office of Emergency Management were consistent with the projections contained in the 2017 budget. The 2017 Emergency Management Program Budget provides for the revenue and expenditures shown in the table on the right. The actual January 1, 2017 Emergency Management fund balance was $38,111, which is $6,611 more than the estimated balance of $31,500. As 2018 Program Plan – Office of Emergency Management

Emergency Management revenue and expenditures from 2016 through the approved 2017 Budget. 80


projected in 2016, the $20,000 budgeted for the 2016 exercise was not expended and is reflected in the fund balance. Looking forward to the last six months of 2017, staff anticipates that only half of the $20,000 budgeted for the 2017 Emergency Operations Center exercise will be expended. Any funds not utilized in 2017 will be utilized in the 2018 Emergency Management fund balance. WHAT IS THE COST? Municipal contributions for the Emergency Management Program have been relatively flat during the last several years. Revenue and expenditures appear to be consistent with the budgeted projections through the first six months of 2017. WHERE ARE WE GOING? Looking forward into 2018 and beyond, proposed budgetary changes and work objectives for the Emergency Management Program include: Proposed Budgetary Changes... At this time, the Emergency Management Program does not foresee any significant budget changes 2018. The Emergency Management Coordinator does recommend that consideration be given to conduct an engineering study during 2018 to identify options and costs for installing an emergency power generator at the COG Building. An emergency generator will enable the building to serve as an alternate Emergency Operations Center for the Centre Region or provide a temporary back-up location for municipal offices that are without power. If endorsed by the municipalities, the $4,500 cost of this study would be assigned to the COG Building Capital Budget rather than the Emergency Management budget as the COG Building would be receiving the primary benefit. Proposed New Work Objectives... At this time, the Emergency Management Program does not foresee, with the exception noted below, any new work objectives for 2018. Emergency 2018 Program Plan – Office of Emergency Management

An Emergency Power Generator similar to the one pictured would be proposed after the 2018 engineering study to determine the cost and feasibility 81


Management staff will continue all aspects of the program with emphasis on outreach to Vulnerable Populations. A possible change in the program involves Benner Township’s participation. In the fall of 2016, Benner Township contacted the Executive Director regarding the concept of Benner Township contracting services from the Centre Region Emergency Management Program as it relates to properties (e.g. the University Park Airport) that are owned by The Pennsylvania State University and located in Benner Township. The general proposal is that the Centre Region Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC) would be appointed a Deputy EMC for Benner Township as it relates to University properties in the township. Some advantages to the Centre Region municipalities for the Coordinator’s involvement in Benner Township are:    

An aircraft crash on University property in Benner Township may require an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) activation. The current Joint Emergency Operations Plan relies on Centre Region staff for EOC activations. Many Centre Region fire, police, and EMS resources respond to an aircraft emergency on University property in Benner Township. The Coordinator has an open, regular, and positive line of communication with the University (the owner of the airport), emergency planners, and response personnel. A more formal relationship with Benner Township would ensure the Coordinator is included in emergency management training and exercises as well as emergency response planning involving the airport.

Working with the Public Safety Committee, COG staff prepared a draft Benner Township/COG agreement for emergency management services. The agreement was review by the Centre Region Emergency Management Council and the COG Solicitor. A copy was provided to Benner Township in March, 2017. At that time the township expressed concern about the $2,800 cost of this service. The agreement is still under consideration by Benner Township but no decision has been made as of July 1, 2017.

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MISSION The mission of the Centre Region Emergency Management Contingency Budget is to provide a pool of funds for the Centre Region Emergency Management Coordinator to use in responding to a declared emergency. This Budget was established in accordance with the Joint Articles of Agreement for the Regional Emergency Management Program that was adopted by the Centre Region municipalities. WHO ARE WE? During its November 27, 2006 meeting, the General Forum referred a recommendation to the Centre Region municipalities from the Centre Region Emergency Management Council (EMC) to update the 2002 Articles of Agreement for the Regional Emergency Management Program. The goal of the changes was to improve the Centre Region’s capacity to respond to an emergency in a coordinated, timely, and focused manner. Major changes contained in the revised Articles of Agreement relate to the authority for declaring an emergency, the duties of the EMC, and how the response to a declared emergency should be funded. The EMC’s proposal was approved by the General Forum and adopted by each of the Centre Region municipalities. To implement the revised Articles of Agreement, the 2007 COG Budget established the Emergency Management Contingency Budget to finance responses to declared emergencies. Based on the revised Articles of Agreement, the municipalities are to contribute a combined total of $25,000 to the budget for four years beginning in 2007 in order to create and maintain a $100,000 inflation-adjusted pool of funds. Due to the economic downturn in 2008, the General Forum elected to reduce the municipal contribution to $10,000 from 2009 to 2013, the year when the $100,000 targeted threshold was reached. For calendar year 2014 municipal contributions were based on changes in the Customer Price Index. WHAT DO WE DO?

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

CONTINGENCY FUND

In 2005, the EMC discussed how the initial response to an emergency would be funded. The EMC realized that during the initial response period, there should be clear guidelines as to who is responsible for expending funds and who should be authorized. After much discussion, the EMC recommended to the General Forum and the Centre Region municipalities that the Emergency Management Coordinator be authorized to spend up to $100,000 during

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a declared emergency when there is an imminent threat to human life. Expenditures greater than that amount require the approval of the EMC. WHERE ARE WE NOW? For the period of January 1 to June 30, 2017, revenue and expenditures for the Emergency Management Contingency Fund are consistent with the projections contained in the COG Budget. During this period, there were no expenditures from the fund. The 2017 Emergency Management Contingency Budget provides for the revenue and expenditures shown in the table on the right. Looking forward to the last six months of 2017, with the exception of an unforeseen emergency, no expenditures are anticipated from the Emergency Management Contingency Budget. WHAT IS THE COST? Per the Articles of Agreement for the Regional Emergency Management Program, municipal contributions are shared according to the COG funding formula that is in effect for that year. The fund balance on December 31, 2016 was $106,611. WHERE ARE WE GOING? Looking forward into 2018, the Emergency Management Contingency Budget municipal contributions would be based on the 2017 Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustment as approved by the Article of Agreement. At the present time it appears the CPI will be about 1.9% ($2,066). This translates into a proposed budget request of approximately $1,500 with the $566 (estimate) balance being made up by interest earnings.

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MISSION The overall mission of the Centre Region Code Administration (CRCA) is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of all people working, residing, and visiting in the seven municipalities served by the CRCA by providing administration of the Uniform Construction Code of Pennsylvania (UCC) for new construction, the locally adopted Centre Region Building Safety & Property Maintenance Code, and Borough of Bellefonte Safety & Property Maintenance Code for existing buildings. WHO ARE WE? The Centre Region Code Administration (CRCA) was created in 1968 by the Articles of Agreement adopted by the participating municipalities at that time (State College Borough and College, Ferguson, and Patton Townships) as a building and plumbing inspection agency. Electrical inspection services were added to the program in 1980 and by the mid 1980's the four municipalities also participated in the CRCA’s Rental Housing Program. Harris Township joined the regional building and plumbing inspection service programs in 1990 and the Rental Housing Program in 2001. With the adoption of the Uniform Construction Code, Halfmoon Township joined the New Construction Program in 2004 but chose not to participate in the Rental Housing or Commercial Fire Inspection Programs of the CRCA. During May 2014, the Bellefonte Borough signed a three year agreement with the Centre Region COG to provide CRCA inspection services; including new construction, rental housing, and commercial fire inspections beginning July 1, 2014. In May 2017 Bellefonte Borough Council voted to extend the service agreement with CRCA until January 2021.

CENTRE REGION CODE ADMINISTRATION

The CRCA is entirely funded through building, rental housing, fire permits and sewer management fees. No tax monies have been used to finance the agency in over 40 years. The CRCA reimburses the COG Office of Administration for the financial, human resource management, and administrative services it receives. The CRCA is organized into two primary areas, the New Construction and Existing Structures Programs: 

OVERALL AGENCY

New Construction Program – The CRCA provides plan review and field inspection services for all new construction and building renovations (residential, commercial, and institutional) occurring in the member municipalities (College, Ferguson, Halfmoon, Harris, and Patton Townships and the Boroughs of Bellefonte and State College), with the exception of structures on the Penn State University, University Park Campus and those owned by the state or federal government.

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The code standard administered by the CRCA that applies to all new construction and building renovation activity is the International Code Council family of codes. This is a national code standard that was adopted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania which is known as the Uniform Construction Code (UCC), or Act 45 of 1999. While the UCC is adopted by the Commonwealth, it is administered at the local level. 

Existing Structures Program – As part of the Existing Structures Program, the CRCA inspects all rental housing, commercial properties, schools, hospitals, industrial buildings, and care facilities to ensure safety using the Centre Region Building Safety & Property Maintenance Code (CRBS & PMC) and by reference, the International Fire Code and in Bellefonte Borough using the Borough of Bellefonte Safety & Property Maintenance Code and by reference, the International Fire Code. These code standards are not adopted statewide and can be locally amended through the adoption of a municipal ordinance. The CRCA conducts inspections of 19,803 rental units in the participating municipalities (does not apply to Halfmoon Township). Although there is some variation, all rental housing units are inspected every three years at a minimum, fraternities every six months, and rental housing units with a history of multiple violations annually. The Bellefonte Borough rental properties are on a two year inspection cycle as dictated by the Borough of Bellefonte Safety & Property Maintenance Code. The CRBS & PMC also includes the standard that governs the drilling and construction of wells and boreholes. These standards were adopted by the participating municipalities to protect the aquifer which supplies drinking water to most residents in the Centre Region and in neighboring municipalities. CRCA Inspectors’ duties include conducting plan reviews and inspections of fire protection systems including automatic sprinkler and alarm systems, ensuring that building egress is maintained and not obstructed, verifying compliance with the provisions of the International Fire Code, and inspecting the common areas of apartment buildings. In addition, Fire Inspectors conduct a range of fire life safety programs for businesses, schools, fraternities, day care facilities, and industries. The CRCA also administers the regional Sewage Management Program (SMP), which was adopted by the Centre Region municipalities through the Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan. This program is administered in five of the seven municipalities: College, Harris, Ferguson, Patton, and Halfmoon Townships. There are approximately 3,100 properties included in the program area. The program includes the one-time in-tank inspection of all on-lot sewage disposal systems in the first six years of the program and the walk-over inspection of all systems every six years thereafter. In addition, the SMP ensures that all septic systems are pumped every three years in accordance with the Act 537 plan. The SMP is currently in its ninth year and its walk-over inspection phase was transitioned to the Existing Structures Program in 2016.

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The Public Safety Committee provides policy oversight for the CRCA, Regional Fire Protection, and Emergency Management Programs. The Committee is comprised of one elected official from each of the participating municipalities and meets monthly to give direction on major policy, program, and financial topics. Property owners and contractors may appeal decisions of the code official to the Centre Region Building and Housing Code Board of Appeals. The Board consists of the Core, Plumbing, Mechanical, Electrical, and Property Maintenance Boards. The Core Board is comprised of five primary members and two alternate members who have the technical expertise to make judgments on complex code issues. The other four Boards are each comprised of two primary members and one alternate member who all have special experience or knowledge in the area of their respective board. The Public Safety Committee recommends to the General Forum individuals to serve on each Board, and the General Forum refers these nominations to the participating municipalities for appointment. One advantage of the Boards being comprised of regional representatives is that it helps ensure that code interpretations are made in a consistent manner among all of the municipalities. The CRCA is often used as an example of a model regional code program. The agency is financially self-supporting, service levels exceed state recommendations, and an emphasis is placed on educating the community about code standards. Additionally, the CRCA is the largest regional code agency in Pennsylvania as measured by the value of new construction and number of rental units inspected. The code administration services provided to the participating municipalities have resulted in an outstanding safety record as measured by fire loss, structural failures, and a high standard of property maintenance. A large part of this success can be attributed to the skills and experience of the regional code program’s personnel. The CRCA staff is very experienced and highly trained in the building construction industry and have earned an average of over 14 nationally recognized building inspection and fire safety certifications. The Insurance Services Office (ISO) is a nationally recognized provider of information for the insurance industry. Every five years, the ISO issues a rating of the CRCA building and fire code officials to indicate the level of safety that can be expected of the Code Agency as a way of benchmarking it against a national standard. Further, the Agency is rated separately on the commercial and residential (one and two family homes) activities. The rating ranges from one to ten with one being the highest rating. In May 2014, the CRCA was rated by the ISO and has improved to be the only code agency in the Commonwealth to have a commercial rating of one and residential rating of two. This high distinction will result in insurance savings to those who have property insurance in the area covered by the CRCA. The commercial rating level of 1 has only been earned by a total of 11 code agencies nationwide.

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To effectively administer code services, the CRCA had the following staff as of June 1, 2017:

Full-Time: Administration Agency Director (position shared between New Construction and Existing Structures Programs) Office Manager (position is funded by the New Construction Program) New Construction Program Staff Assistant (2) Commercial Plans Examiners (2) Senior Building Inspector (1) Existing Structures Program Senior Fire Inspector (1) Permit Program Technician (1) Commercial Fire Inspectors (3)

Commercial Plans Examiners/Inspectors (5) Commercial Electrical Inspectors (3) (Note: the program reimburses the existing structures program for commercial fire inspection)

Housing Inspectors (4)

Part-Time: Staff Assistant (1) (Position is 30 hours per week and is funded by the Existing Structures Program)

WHAT DO WE DO? The work objectives of the CRCA are to provide the following services: 

Professional building plan reviews.

Construction, fire, and rental housing inspections.

Staff training with an emphasis on professionalism, code standards, and helpful public service.

Effective code administration management.

Assist the municipalities served with codes.

Educate the building community and permit applicants on issues associated with the building code and built environment.

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Educate the public on fire and life safety issues.

Administer and manage the regional sewer management program and maintain compliance with the provisions of the ACT 537 plan.

The following sections express the goals and the related work objectives (contributions) common to the entire agency. Later in this document, the contributions and work objectives of the individual New Construction and Existing Structures Programs will be described.

A. Provide staff training with an emphasis on professionalism, code standards, and public service.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Conduct monthly or more frequent meetings with major stakeholders (owners, design professionals, contractors, commercial tenants, and other municipal officials) on large projects to better coordinate inspection activity and proactively address issues associated with compressed construction schedules and phased occupancy considerations.

Conduct weekly inspector meetings on code topics such as uniform code interpretations, field problems, inspection techniques, single family electrical systems, sprinkler systems, plumbing, and mechanical installations. Senior staff reviews large commercial projects together with plans examiners to ensure that inspection services are performed in a consistent manner among the inspectors.

Provide cost effective, high quality training opportunities for staff to increase the level and number of professional certifications and the overall quality of the service provided by the agency. The Agency Director and senior staff monitor the training of inspection staff to ensure that they are maintaining their inspection certifications and promoting continued educational growth in their areas of expertise.

Conduct meetings with local design professionals to discuss code-related issues, including structural load calculations and mechanical engineering issues.

Using the CRCA website to inform the public of policy and procedural changes and to solicit feedback regarding the level of customer service and measures to improve effectiveness and responsiveness to customer needs.

Investigate new technology which would allow for increased consistency, accuracy, and efficiency of inspections and improved communications between staff.

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Facilitate nationally recognized training sessions for CRCA staff, design professionals, and the general public in the Centre Region at a reasonable cost.

Provide opportunities for the CRCA staff to continue to obtain additional professional certifications beyond those specifically required for their position.

Establish an in house training center that is certified to provide continuing education to design professionals, contractors, and building code officials certified through the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry and as a Preferred Education Provider through the International Code Council. These training programs are conducted in the COG Building and elsewhere, and are open to the construction community.

B. Manage the Code Administration in a manner that is financially accountable and self-supporting through permits and fees.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Work with the Public Safety Committee, COG staff, and local builders to monitor building permit fees. The goal of the CRCA is to remain financially self-supporting in the future. Since 2011, additional actions have been taken to organize the CRCA as an enterprise fund that provides the Centre Region with code services using permit fees that fully support all agency expenditures.

Continually monitor the municipal fee schedules for building permits, fire permits, and rental housing permits to ensure that the fees are covering all direct and indirect expenses and have been properly adopted by the municipalities.

Offer a faxable building permit application and invoicing system to eliminate the need for applicants to visit the Code Office for over-the-counter permits that do not require plan review.

Verify that local contractors obtain worker’s compensation insurance in compliance with state law; a $5 filing fee is collected at the time of insurance renewal or filing. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry requires that code agencies compile this information to ensure contractors are protecting their employees.

Conduct and manage financial activities within budget guidelines and according to revenue received to produce an appropriate capital reserve fund and cash balance.

Collect the $4 surcharge levied by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania under Act 45 of 1999 from building permit applicants for each permit issued. Completing quarterly reports and forwarding those reports along with the $4 surcharge to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (L&I). The monies collected by the L&I fund training and continuing education programs

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for construction code officials, design professionals, contractors, and individuals who are involved with the implementation and enforcement of the UCC throughout the state. 

Receive payments and schedule the inspections invoiced in 2017 as part of the Sewage Management Program. In 2016, there were 56 in-tank inspections performed and 401 walkover inspections performed in the five municipalities. In 2015, there were 107 in-tank inspections performed.

Continue to work with the Public Safety Committee to follow the implementation action plan adopting the recommendations of the Code Evaluation Study that were approved by the General Forum.

Continue to improve efficiency in the CRCA’s organizational structure. One area of consideration is the balance between general inspection staff with multi-disciplined qualifications versus an inspection staff that is specifically focused in a given area.

Continue to implement a new comprehensive software package that is being used regionally by four municipalities for zoning, planning, and land development activities and by the CRCA to better manage work flow, schedule inspections, and track permits. The new software allows the agency to be more efficient and provide a higher level of customer service to its clients.

C. Provide community education and outreach regarding Code Administration programs and ensure that municipal officials are wellinformed about building code issues. Ongoing Contributions… 

Prepare monthly activity reports on new construction activity and starting in July 2017 rental housing inspection activity for the Public Safety Committee, municipal managers, and the general public.

Provide regular communications to the municipal managers regarding building codes and the Sewage Management Program. Working with the participating municipalities to ensure that work being done in the area is permitted by zoning and the building code departments.

Review the effectiveness of codes based on local and national trends and investigating new building practices (e.g. sustainable buildings).

Actively survey the permit holders to determine the perceived level of service being provided.

Monitoring and updating the Centre Region codes to comply with state and national standards.

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Participate in public outreach programs such as Ferguson Township’s annual Open House Program, the Lion Walk, the Lion Bash, the Community Resources Fair in State College Borough, Special Olympics, and the annual Bring Your Child to Work Day Safety Expo at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Attend and actively participating in Housing Task Force meetings with the State College Borough.

Actively participate in the F-8 (First 8 Weeks) working group with the State College Borough to address issues regarding the return of Penn State University students and the challenges associated with home football weekends.

Continually update the agency’s webpage (www.centreregioncode.org) to enable the public to access code information, agency procedures, upcoming educational programs, and changes in code ordinances.

Provide low cost, high quality fire safety training for child care providers to meet the licensure requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Actively participate in the Bellefonte Fire Task Force meetings with the Bellefonte Borough.

Actively participate in planning the Lion Bash in the Borough of State College.

Actively participate with the Pennsylvania Review and Advisory Council with respect to review and comment on current and proposed legislation to modify the building code provisions and regulations.

OF PARTICULAR NOTE 

Level of Construction – During 2017 and 2018, it is anticipated that the Centre Region will continue to experience a robust level of construction activity. The CRCA is anticipating the following major projects that have or will be expected to be permitted and under construction during 2017 and 2018:  Ferguson Township 

The Cottages – 286 Cottages and a clubhouse. The land development plan for this project has been approved by the Board of Supervisors but it may be subject to future litigation.

 State College Borough 

The Metropolitan – $30+ million high rise building to include retail, business, and residential uses.

254 East Beaver Avenue – 7-story mid-rise building to include business and 40 residential units.

State College High School – $100+ million renovation and addition to two buildings.

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The Rise – $30+ million high rise building to include retail, business, and residential uses (location of the Kildares Restaurant).

The Residences – South Atherton Street and West College Avenue, 12-story mixed-use structure including businesses and approximately 230 residential units.

Pugh Street & Garner Street – 7-story mixed use structure (very speculative permits in late 2018).

Garner Street & Calder Way – 12-story mixed use structure (very speculative permits in late 2018).

 Patton Township 

The Helix – 208 apartments.

The Station – 162 dwelling units, clubhouse and accessory structures.

 Harris Township 

Kestrel Drive Townhomes Mountain View Acres (12 single family homes).

WHERE ARE WE NOW? 

Fund Balance – At the mid-point of 2017, the fund balance for the New Construction Program has been slightly reduced from the beginning of year. It remains high and it is anticipated the COG staff will provide an assessment to the Public Safety Committee and Finance Committee as to whether the permit fee multiplier should be reduced from where it currently stands at 0.0065. The multiplier is the primary basis for determining the cost of a building permit. It is applied to the construction cost of the project. The resulting number is the permit fee.

Bellefonte Borough – In May 2017, the General Forum and the Bellefonte Borough Council extended the intergovernmental service agreement for the CRCA to enforce the statewide Uniform Construction Codes and the locally adopted property maintenance codes for Bellefonte, extending the agreement to January 1, 2021.

State College Cross Talk Program – In the fall of 2013, State College Borough Council voted to rescind an ordinance that was adopted in December 2012 initiating a withdrawal of participation in the CRCA programs. Following the rescind of that ordinance, State College Borough Council passed an ordinance that transferred the responsibility of permitting rental housing from the CRCA to the Borough of State College effective March 1, 2014. In addition, the State College Borough established a new Student Housing License to assist in tracking and regulating single family home rental units that are rented to students in the borough. As a result of this ordinance, State College Borough staff has been working to establish a system to administer the rental housing and student rental permitting processes.

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As part of this system, CRCA uses its Tyler Software to permit rental units in the borough. The CRCA then conducts the inspections and enters the inspection reports into its software program. This process involves a synchronization of the CRCA’s and State College Borough’s Tyler Software on a regular basis. Tyler Technologies will be developing a customized software program that will allow information from the Code Agency to be exported into the borough’s software system. The CRCA will also be modifying its application and permit documents to reflect the changes requested by the borough. An estimated financial commitment for the CRCA to have this package developed is not expected to exceed $50,000. This estimate will continue to be refined prior to the 2018 Detailed Budget preparation. The Code Director believes that these permit application changes are reasonable and suggests that the townships and Bellefonte Borough might also consider making revisions to their rental housing applications. These changes were not made as of yet due to trying to fully establish what information is being transferred. Once the Borough of State College and the CRCA are comfortable with the information that will need to be transferred then the project will start. This may not be completed until 2018. 

Update job descriptions and conduct wage survey – The 2017 budget provides $10,000 to retain a consultant to work with the CRCA Director to update job descriptions, prepare a revised organizational chart based on those job descriptions, and conduct a wage survey based on the updated job descriptions. The wage survey will be conducted later this year and will compare the COG’s pay ranges for employees with those of similar organizations having similar employment positions. It is anticipated that the re-evaluation will result in budgetary modifications that will be included in the 2018 CRCA Detailed Budget that will be distributed to the Finance Committee in September.

Fire Safety Trailer Building – During its November 23, 2015 meeting the General Forum approved a 10 year lease between the COG and Ferguson Township for approximately 2,400 square feet of equipment storage space. The lease provided for the construction of a three-sided wood framed structure with an asphalt floor. Equipment housed in this structure includes two fire safety trailers, a storage trailer, and the pickup truck used for transportation of this equipment. In addition, some fire equipment is also kept in the structure. After working in the building for several months, it has become evident that additional lighting needs to be installed to better illuminate the interior of the structure for the occupants. This is a safety issue for the CRCA staff maintaining and getting the trailers ready for use. It is anticipated that the lighting will be a plug-in-system and will utilize the existing portable generators that are stored and used with the trailers. At this time the cost of this upgrade is not available. The CRCA is working with Ferguson Township as the building owner to obtain a project cost that will be included in the detailed budget.

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WHERE ARE WE GOING? 

Code Services Manager – As documented by ISO ratings, the CRCA is one of the best code administration departments in the Northeast, if not the country. Annually collected anonymous survey data found that the vast majority of customers had a positive experience with the agency. As the community grows and attitudes change, the municipal officials have reported to the COG Executive Director there is an expectation that more can be done to improve business processes, enhance customer service and knowledge of the permitting, plan review and construction process, and expand the marketing of the agency’s education programs to the public, design professionals, building owners/manager and contractors. To address these reports the Code Director and Executive Director are proposing in the 2018 Program Plan the creation of the position of Code Services Manager. The concept and draft job descriptions have been shared with both the Human Resources Committee and the Public Safety Committee and have been met with support. The job description is a work in progress and requires additional review but it will be completed by the late fall. The proposed position would not be technical in nature but would focus on business practices, customer service, special projects and problem resolution. This position would be an advocate and source of assistance for the permit applicant and would evaluate and make recommendations on how to improve customer service across the agency. Ongoing or significant customer service issues will be reported to the Agency Director, Executive Director, and the COG Public Safety Committee so that a plan of action can be developed to handle similar situations in the future. This position would also be responsible for identifying and coordinating customer service training for all agency staff. The employee will also be responsible to follow critical or high profile projects and report potential problems to the Agency Director so they can be addressed proactively. In addition, this position would represent CRCA with outside agencies and would work with the Agency Director in fostering relationships with the groups in the community.

Part-Time Staff Assistant to Full-Time – With the increased demand that has been placed on staff with utilizing the Tyler software package and the increased emphasis on customer service, the Agency Director is proposing to move the existing parttime staff assistant, currently working thirty hours per week for existing structures, to full-time status. The Existing Structures office staff, one full-time and one part-time, are currently supporting eight (8) field staff, managing property records, scheduling inspections, and answering questions of municipal staff and permit holders for almost 20,000 rental housing units and more than 2,300 commercial fire permits. The anticipated cost of this change is approximately $4,000 per year and would be fully supported by Existing Structures permit fees.

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Sewage Enforcement Officer – Over the past two years, the Agency Director for the CRCA has met with the managers of both Ferguson and College Township regarding the Sewer Management Program (SMP) and how that program interfaces with the municipal Sewer Enforcement Officer (SEO) to develop a better customer service model. As part of those discussions it was identified that this is an opportunity to streamline, in a modest way, the permitting and construction process since the current SEO’s are likely change in the future. As part of those discussions, the proposal was made by the CRCA that one way of streamlining the development process for a single family home, and a way to provide redundancy in the process and overall provide better customer service, would be for the CRCA to become the SEO for those municipalities. These discussions continued over the past two years and the proposed plan refined. The proposed plan to provide the additional level of service for College and Ferguson Township is to utilize four staff members (Agency Director and three new construction inspectors) that will be trained and certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as SEO’s in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This training will start in June 2017 and will be complete by June 2018. The CRCA will then work with the existing SEO in 2018 to shadow his plan review and inspection process for College and Ferguson Township to understand how he conducts inspections and how he does business. During 2017 and 2018 the CRCA will evaluate the services needed for providing SEO services to the municipalities and develop a cost proposal for the municipalities to adopt as a fee schedule with the impetus that this is a user fee and that it must fully support the program, similar to other CRCA programs. The CRCA will work with the SEO to transition to the CRCA having the SEO duties and responsibilities starting in 2019. One of the goals of the program is to reduce the number of different parties that need to be contacted or contracted to construct a building in the municipality. It will also provide an increased level of customer service and reduce the time and cost associated with construction. In addition, with respect to the SMP program, the change will allow the CRCA to directly address system pumping waivers, identify system deficiencies found as a result of the walkover inspection process, and better maintain records regarding system installation, repairs, and on-going maintenance. The anticipated cost of the program is predominately related to training existing employees and the cost to purchase additional equipment. Staffing needs will be evaluated on an on-going basis, and if needed, additional staffing will be proposed with the requirement that the program support the staffing needs.

CRCA Regional Software – In November 2012, the CRCA signed a contract with Tyler Technologies to provide a cloud based software package for the administration of CRCA code services and for the use of the participating municipalities to administer their planning, zoning, and land use activities. The implementation of the package began in 2013 and College, Ferguson,

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Halfmoon, and Patton Townships chose to participate in the use of the program for their local applications. The CRCA is using the software package for the permitting of New Construction and Existing Structure activities administered by the CRCA in all of the member municipalities. Since July 2014, all four municipalities have been issuing permits using the Tyler Software as well. Phase II is the linking of the system to the GIS system and the citizen self-serve functions. Phase III will be the implementation of the ability to take credit cards. The concept of using a credit card to pay permit fees has been requested as a convenience service for many years by permit applicants, and the CRCA is happy to announce that the new software system is able to accommodate this function. During a recent national conference for Tyler Technologies, CRCA staff found out that Tyler Technologies, while still supporting the Munis software package moving forward for land development and permitting activity, will be primarily focusing this package toward financial applications and it is anticipated that the package will not be actively upgraded and maintained with regard to the land-use activities. At the same conference, CRCA staff were able to see another package within the Tyler family of software packages that was specifically developed for land-use, planning, zoning, and permitting. Energov, was developed on a Geographic Information System (GIS) platform and currently does it in the native environment many of the things that the region has been struggling with Tyler to implement efficiently with Munis. At this time discussions have begun with Tyler Technologies to look at what a transition from Munis to Energov would look like, including cost and cost structure moving forward, local system requirements, Energov system capabilities, implementation schedule and resource requirements, and the ability to interface with the existing Munis installation in the Borough of State College. At the same time an initial demonstration has been held and additional demonstrations will be scheduled in the next month with the municipal partners to look at the package and evaluate its capabilities and determine if the team feels that it is worth pursuing. It should be noted that the CRCA is committed to keeping the regional approach to this software package and will make a recommendation later this year based on the findings of the entire regional team including all of the member municipalities. The status of this proposal is very early in development so no financial impact is available at this time. 

Electronic Plan Archiving – In keeping with the recommendations of the 2010 operational study and the move to electronic equipment in the field, the CRCA will be moving toward the archiving of plans and design documents in electronic format. The movement to electronic storage will involve the scanning of all design documents and permit records. At this point it is anticipated that the scanning costs will be included in the building permit fees charged; however, it is anticipated that this will require the purchase of additional electronic storage space. Currently the CRCA is investigating using a cloud based storage system and document management system hosted by a third-party vendor. This would include a third party scanning contract that would convert documents over the course of several years. It is anticipated that this additional electronic storage will result in additional cost to the program that will be better understood and incorporated in the 2017 Detailed Budget.

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WHAT DO WE DO? A. Provide comprehensive plan review and building construction inspection programs for the member municipalities. Ongoing Contributions… 

Conducting building inspections, reviewing plans, issuing building permits, and issuing certificates of occupancy for new construction.

Issuing faxable permits and invoices to applicants. The faxable permit system allows applicants to apply for building permits that do not require plan review via the fax system and return payments by mail. In 2016, 287 faxable permits and invoices were issued.

From January 1, 2017 through May 31, 2017, the CRCA conducted 4,696 building inspections, reviewed 407 plans, and issued 596 building permits (number of building permits shown on Figure 39 on right). The total 2017 construction value to date as of May 31, 2017 was $103,734,048. 1,787

1800

1,607

1,774

CENTRE REGION CODE ADMINISTRATION

1,762 1,462

1600

1,477

1,569

1400 1200 1000 800

596

600 400 200

NEW CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM

0 2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

As of May 31

CRCA building permits issued per year from 2010 through May 31, 2017.

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Educating the general public and the development community on any proposed updates to the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) and International Family of Codes. 5-Year New Construction Statistics 2014 2016 2015

2013

2012

Building Inspections

11,455

10,594

9,667

12,315

9,476

Plan Reviews

1,450

1,479

894

1,032

1,029

Building Permits Issued

1,569

1,477

1,616

1,762

1,768

$251,767,097

$265,563,233

$149,422,950

$171,734,309

$176,419,936

Reported Construction Value

CRCA New Construction building inspections, plan reviews, building permits issued, and reported construction value from 2012 through 2016.

WHERE ARE WE NOW? For the period of January 1 to June, 2017, revenue and expenditures for the New Construction program were generally consistent with the projections contained in the 2017 budget. Since 2011 building construction in the Centre Region has been robust with a new high school, multiple student apartment complexes, active adult communities, and most currently high rise structures. As a result of these large commercial projects the agency’s fund balance has significantly increased. The audited 2016 ending year fund balance was $4,009,803 which is $256,953 more than the $3,752,850 estimated in the 2017 budget. As of the end of June, 2017 the program’s fund balance is slightly lower than it was at the beginning of the year. It is important to note that the fund balance includes $633,601 for building permits received but the services have not yet been provided. This situation occurs because many large projects pay for the permit at the beginning of the construction period that could extend for 2 or 3 years.

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Below is a comparison of building permit revenue for the first six months of each year since 2012: 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012

$733,937 $1,024,203 $1,015,888 $455,888 $959,635 $464,312

WHAT IS THE COST? The 2017 budget for the CRCA New Construction Program provides for the revenue and expenditures shown in the tables on this page.

Actual CRCA New Construction Budget Program revenue and expenditures for 2016 and the approved 2017 Budget.

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WHERE ARE WE GOING? Looking forward into 2018 and beyond, proposed major budgetary changes, capital changes, and work objectives for the New Construction Program include: Proposed Budgetary Changes… 

A reduction in the cost of New Construction Permit will be investigated: Based on the current and projected regional construction volume and anticipated expenses for the CRCA, staff will investigate and request that the Public Safety Committee opine as to whether the new construction permit fee multiplier should be slightly reduced from its 2017 level of 0.0065.

The position of Code Services Manager will be proposed: Municipal officials and the public have reported to the COG Executive Director there is an expectation that more can be done to improve business processes, enhance customer service and knowledge of the permitting, plan review, and construction process, and expand the marketing of the Agency’s education programs to the public, design professionals, building owners/manager and contractors. To address these reports the Code Director and Executive Director Fire, 136 have proposed in the 2018 Program Plan the creation of the position of Code Services Manager. The concept and draft job descriptions have been shared with both the Human Resources Commercial, Residential, 752 Committee and the Public Safety Committee and have been met 562 with support. The job description is a work in progress and requires additional review but it will be completed by the late fall. The proposed position would not be technical in nature but would focus on business practices, customer service, special projects, and problem resolution. This position would be an advocate and source of assistance for the permit applicant and would evaluate and make recommendations on how to improve customer service across the New construction plan reviews done in 2016. Agency. The wage and benefit package for the position have not yet been identified. It is expected that the position will rank as a Division Chief for Administrative Services similar to the Division Chiefs for New Construction and Existing Structures. If this occurs then a combined compensation and benefit cost is likely to

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exceed $100,000. This cost is initially proposed to be paid by the New Construction budget because this program will be the focus of the position. 

Update job descriptions and conduct wage survey: The 2017 budget provides $10,000 to retain a consultant to work with the CRCA Director to update the agency’s job descriptions, prepare a revised organizational chart based on those job descriptions, and conduct a wage survey based on the updated job descriptions. The wage survey will be conducted later this year and will compare the COG’s pay ranges for Code employees with those of similar organizations having similar employment positions. It is anticipated that the re-evaluation will result in a budgetary modifications that will be included in the 2018 CRCA Detailed Budget that will be distributed to the Finance Committee in September.

250

225

237 220

225

200

176

150

135 118

100

71

50 0 2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

as of May 31, 2017

New single family homes constructed in the Centre Region from 2010 through May 31, 2017.

Software acquisitions: At the current time CRCA staff is investigating a new Tyler Technology software, Energov, that may improve the exchange of code information between the CRCA and the member municipalities, making the permitting process more efficient, and provide for customer service enhancement. A detailed discussion of this is contained in the CRCA overview section.

Proposed New Work Objectives… 

Work with two municipalities to develop a CRCA Sewage Enforcement Officer program. Over the past two years, the Agency Director for the CRCA has met with the managers of both Ferguson and College Townships regarding the Sewer Management Program (SMP) and how that program interfaces with the municipal Sewer Enforcement Officer (SEO) to develop a better customer service model. As part of those discussions it was identified that this is opportunity to streamline, in a modest way, the permitting and construction process since the current SEO’s are likely to change in the future.

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As part of those discussions, the proposal was made by the CRCA that one modest way of streamlining the development process for a single family home, and a way to provide redundancy in the process and overall provide better customer service, would be for the CRCA to become the SEO for those municipalities. These discussions have continued over the past two years and the proposed plan has been refined. During 2018 the plan for implementing SEO will be further refined and presented to the governing bodies of the two municipalities for approval. If approved the program would begin in 2019. 

Continue to implement additional recommendations that were identified in the 2010 Code Evaluation Study for the Agency’s future organizational and operational needs as approved by the General Forum that include the following:  Implementation of a citizen access system to allow permit applicants access to review comments and inspection records.  Increased use of checklists and automated report forms to assist permit applicants in quickly and efficiently achieving compliance.

With the continued focus on sustainability and green technologies, the CRCA will continue to investigate green building options and their application with respect to the building code and keep the Public Safety Committee informed of their findings. This Fire, 743 includes proposed updates to the Uniform Construction Code and Commercial, Electrical, 3,002 the Centre Region Building Safety and Property Maintenance 3,446 Code.

Implement new technology for automated inspections using tablet computers and laptop computers. Advancements in technology could allow for increased consistency, accuracy, and more efficient inspections as well as a better method of communication between staff. The implementation of the new technology could also allow for improved interagency communication between the CRCA and the participating municipalities and improve overall customer service.

Residential, 4,264

New construction inspections performed in 2016.

Continue to implement the new comprehensive software service package and train COG and municipal staff on how to use the system in an efficient manner.

Investigate with the Public Safety Committee whether permit payment by credit cards should be accepted, and if so, under what conditions?

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WHAT DO WE DO?

A. Provide comprehensive Rental Housing and Fire Prevention Inspection Programs.

As of May 25, 2017 there were 19,803 rental units in the Centre Region and Bellefonte Borough, an increase of 257 units from 2016. All rental housing units are inspected on a three year cycle, with the exception of Bellefonte Borough properties. Bellefonte Borough rental properties are inspected on a two year cycle. Fraternities are inspected semi-annually and properties that have been identified as a “nuisance property” can be inspected annually. In addition, there are commercial spaces in the member municipalities that are subject to either the Centre Region Building Safety and Property Maintenance Code, or the Borough of Bellefonte Safety and Property Maintenance Code. For the Fire Inspection Program, the commercial units are inspected on a 1, 2*, 3, or 5 year cycle based on the level of hazard present in the structure. (*Bellefonte Borough properties only) Ongoing Contributions… 

Conducting rental housing inspections to ensure compliance with the Centre Region Building Safety and Property Maintenance Code relating to health, safety, sanitation, and welfare in a courteous and professional manner.

Maintaining regular communications with the member municipalities on rental housing issues. For instance, the Existing Structures Program staff participates in joint inspections, refers complaints to other municipal departments, and participates in the Housing Task Force that helps to identify problem properties in a neighborhood and works with property owners to bring their properties into compliance.

Holding bi-weekly meetings with Fire Inspectors to discuss field problems, inspection techniques, and code interpretations.

Responding to complaints regarding unsanitary conditions, mold, sewer problems, and lead paint. Some of these matters are referred to the State College Department of Health for follow up.

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105


Working with tenants and landlords to maintain rental properties in a condition that is conducive to the quality of life in the neighborhood and to maintain a healthy and safe living environment for the tenants and their guests.

Participating in the investigation of fires in conjunction with the Centre Region Fire Marshal and Bellefonte Fire Chief. The CRCA helps to determine if a code violation may have contributed to the cause or severity of a fire. It also helps to determine if a structure’s code compliance helped to minimize a fire through early detection or early suppression.

Utilizing the fire safety sprinkler house trailer for public education programs. The CRCA provides public education programs to elementary schools, civic organizations, property owner groups, businesses, and industrial workers throughout the member municipalities.

Providing technical assistance to property owners relating to electrical, plumbing, or mechanical systems and conducting training with local service and maintenance contractors relating to heating system maintenance, carbon monoxide detection, and water damage mitigation techniques.

Monitoring and updating “pre-fire” plans of all fraternity houses for the Alpha Fire Company’s use. The plans were originally prepared by an architectural engineering class and Penn State University Professor Moses Ling and are being used by the Alpha Fire Company to navigate buildings in emergencies.

Administering the International Fire Code through the Centre Region Building Safety and Property Maintenance Code to all commercial properties, including all business offices, mercantile, assembly, and industrial use occupancies. This includes conducting after-hours field inspections of bars and restaurants to ensure that they are not over-occupied or have blocked exits.

Conducting reviews of building plans for fire protection systems such as automatic sprinkler and alarm systems. Staff also conducts inspections of these systems to ensure that they are installed and maintained in compliance with the code. In 2016, the Agency reviewed plans for 136 fire protection systems; as of May 31, 2017, there have been 50 plans reviewed.

Increasing the overall health and safety of the Centre Region through the administration of the adopted applicable building, property maintenance, and fire codes and coordinating with the health department to identify and provide guidance on the mitigation of conditions that could compromise the health and safety of residents and visitors of the Centre Region.

Responding to emergency incidents when requested to provide expertise in structural engineering and other building systems regarding the overall safety of a structure that may have been compromised due to fire or any other destructive factor.

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Rental Housing Unit Data by Municipality Municipality

Apt.

Duplex

Fraternity

House

Mobile Home

Room

Townhouse

Total

College Township

409

110

0

296

8

7

233

1,063

1,679

259

0

335

51

11

882

3,217

Harris Township

219

19

0

143

0

2

146

529

Patton Township

2,659

40

0

254

13

6

430

3,402

State College Borough

7,865

359

42

585

0

581

702

10,134

848

223

0

116

0

20

251

1,458

13,679

1,010

42

1,729

72

627

2,644

19,803

Ferguson Township

Bellefonte Borough TOTAL

CRCA Rental Housing unit data as of May 25, 2017 by housing type and municipality.

In 2016, the CRCA conducted 6,780 rental housing inspections. This is a decrease from the 7,601 rental housing inspections that were done in 2015. The total number of inspections per year varies depending on the type of buildings that were inspected, but all units are inspected within a three-year cycle. Rental housing data for 2017 by housing type and municipality is shown in the table above.

Bellefonte, 1,458, 7%

Continuing to maintain and update the Centre Region Building Safety and Property Maintenance Code (CRBS & PMC) and incorporating the 2015 International Property Maintenance Code and 2009 International Fire Code, including many local amendments to adapt this code for use by the Centre Region municipalities in a uniform fashion. On July 1, 2017 the 2017 edition of the CRBS & PMC will go into effect in five of the six

2018 Program Plan – Centre Region Code Administration – Existing Structures Program

State College Borough, 10,134, 51%

College, 1,063, 6%

Ferguson, 3,217, 16% Harris, 529, 3%

Patton, 3,402, 17% CRCA Rental Housing data by municipality as of May 31, 2017.

107


municipalities that utilize this tool to regulate properties. Harris Township is anticipated to adopt the code in July 2017, taking effect on August 1, 2017. For the first time, the property owners and inspectors have a single document to follow regarding the management of properties throughout the region, which reduces confusion and increases efficiency and uniformity. In addition, through municipal contribution, this document has been made available on the CRCA website with links being provided to the municipalities to allow for greater client and citizen access. 4,375

4500

Rental Housing Inspections 2013 thru 2016

4000

2013

3500

2014 3000

2015

1,379

1500

500

1,304

1,146 550

539

2016

1,909

1,859

2000

1000

2,322

2,273

2500

1,055 679

421 197 114 134 203

138 134

189

0

143

256

428

0 College

Ferguson

Harris

Patton

State College Borough

Bellefonte

CRCA rental housing inspections from 2013 to 2016 by municipality and year.

Maintaining and investigating ways to enhance the emergency call-out procedure to ensure that the CRCA staff has a rapid response to all code-related emergencies such as fires or structural failures.

In 2016, staff conducted 721 fire safety inspections of non-residential properties that included commercial properties, schools, hospitals, industries, etc. In 2015, there were 447 inspections completed.

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As of May 25, 2017 there have been 260 fire safety inspections performed.

In 2016, there were 152 open burn permits issued, a decrease from the 223 permits that were issued in 2015. Since January 1, 2017, 50 permits have been issued.

As of May 25, 2017, the CRCA has inspected 2,678 rental housing units and is on target for the projected number of inspections that are needed in 2017 to keep all rental properties inspected on a two*- or three-year cycle. (*Bellefonte Borough only)

Rental housing inspections by municipality and year are shown in Figure 44 on right. Please note that due to the cyclical nature of inspections, the number of inspections shown does not equal the total number of units.

Responding to tenant complaints. Responding to complaints is challenging for the agency and may take precedence over regularly scheduled inspections.

Providing assistance and offering technical information to owners of commercial establishments regarding the correction of Fire Code deficiencies and the installation of fire suppression and protection systems.

Using the fire extinguisher module within the community education program to teach the proper use of fire extinguishers in a live fire. The unit is used in the education program for businesses, homeowners, college students, teachers, and industry.

Apartments, 13,679, 69%

Townhouse, 2,644, 13%

Duplex, 1,010, 5%

Fraternity, 42, 0% Rooms, 627, 3%

Mobile House, Homes, 72, 1,729, 9% 1%

CRCA rental housing permit data by unit type as of May 31, 2017.

Reviewing and updating fire safety programs that target local businesses, school-aged children, off-campus housing fraternities, day-care workers, and senior groups.

Exploring new methods such as developing a professionally produced video for educational outreach to new target audiences, including rental housing property managers, realtors, and maintenance staff. This effort is hoped to be done in conjunction with a program that is under development with the State College Borough and other local allied agencies.

Offering six opportunities in 2017 for childcare providers to attend fire safety training as required by the state. Upon completion, the attendees receive a certificate of attendance stating that they received training in the maintenance of smoke

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detectors, the duties of facility persons during a fire drill or during a fire, and the use of fire extinguishers. So far in 2017, the average number of attendees has been 43 per class.

B. Administer the Centre Region’s Sewage Management Program. 

Administering the Sewage Management Program (SMP) for the Centre Region as required for compliance with the Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan approved by the Centre Region municipalities and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Conducting in-tank inspection of on-lot septic tanks to evaluate compliance with program standards. In accordance with the program requirements, every three years on-lot septic systems must be pumped by a licensed septic hauler. A one-time in-tank inspection must be performed of all on-lot septic systems. The in-tank inspection is performed to record the septic tank’s type and location. During 2016, 56 in-tank inspections were completed. In 2015, the Agency conducted 107 in-tank inspections.

Performing walk-over inspections to visually confirm the septic system performance. Following the in-tank inspection, a walk-over inspection is scheduled every six years. The walk-over inspection is done to visually observe the drainage bed area for visible septic issues such as swampy yard, overly green grass, odors, etc. which could indicate an issue with the septic system. In 2016, the Agency conducted 401 walk-over inspections.

Answering property owners’ questions or concerns about the SMP requirements, benefits, and procedures for proper septic tank maintenance.

Selecting and scheduling properties for inspection, preparing and issuing pumping notices, and receiving and recording payments for inspection services. In 2017, 1,239 pumping notices will be mailed to property owners.

Taking action to obtain compliance with program regulations. Non-compliance with the SMP is a violation of the municipal ordinances. The CRCA is not the enforcement agency to obtain compliance for the individual septic system; the Agency reports observed deficiencies or abnormalities to the municipalities’ Sewage Enforcement Officers for further investigation and any required enforcement activity.

Working with Municipal Managers, Sewage Enforcement Officers, licensed haulers, Centre Regional Planning Agency staff, and property owners to identify, evaluate, and implement suggestions for quality improvements in the program’s administration.

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Representing the municipalities with issues before DEP with respect to the SMP. This includes the preparation and submission of an annual program report and answering any questions resulting from that submission.

WHERE ARE WE NOW? For the period of January 1 to June, 2017, revenue and expenditures for the Existing Structures Budget were generally consistent with the projections contained in the 2017 budget. The audited 2016 ending year fund balance is $184,995. This amount is $29,739 more than the $155,256 estimated in the 2017 Budget primarily due to savings on employee benefit costs. WHAT IS THE COST? The 2017 budget for the CRCA Existing Structures Program provides for the revenue and expenditures shown in the tables on this page.

CRCA Existing Structures Program revenue and expenditures from 2016 through the approved 2017 Budget.

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WHERE ARE WE GOING? Looking forward into 2018 and beyond, proposed major budgetary changes, capital budget changes, and work objectives for the Existing Structures Program include: Proposed Budgetary Changes… 

Change a Staff Assistant position from part-time (30 hr/week) to full-time status at an estimated cost of $8,000 per year including benefits: The additional hours will be used to assist the Permit Technician with enter data into the Tyler Software system, supporting the fielding inspection staff, and helping with customer service issues. In addition, this change provides for backup to the Permit Technician when that employee is absentee and there are customer questions relating to the 19,600 rental permits and 2,300 fire permits the Existing Structures Program administers.

20000 19225

19546

19803

18000 17552 16000 16047

16414 16619

14000

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Update job descriptions and conduct wage survey: The 2017 budget provides $10,000 to retain a consultant to work with the CRCA Director to update the Agency’s job descriptions, CRCA Rental Housing permits from 2011 through 2017. prepare a revised organizational chart based on those job descriptions, and conduct a wage survey based on the updated job descriptions. The wage survey will be conducted later this year and will compare the COG’s pay ranges for Code employees with those of similar organizations having similar employment positions. It is anticipated that the re-evaluation will result in a budgetary modifications that will be included in the 2018 CRCA Detailed Budget that will be distributed to the Finance Committee in September.

Software acquisitions: At the current time CRCA staff is investigating a new Tyler Technology software, Energov, that may improve the exchange of code information between the CRCA and the member municipalities, make the permitting process for efficient, and provide for customer service enhancement. A detailed discussion of this is contained in the CRCA overview section.

Rental Housing and Fire Safety Permit fees are likely to increase: During the next several months the fee scheduled for rental housing and fire permits will be evaluated. Based on increasing costs it is likely that an increase will be proposed. Currently, the

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typical annual cost of a rental housing permit is $37. The cost of fire permit varies based on the size of the building and hazards that are present. The last change in the rental housing permit fees occurred in 2015. Proposed New Work Objectives… 

Implement new modules of the Tyler Technologies’ Munis based, comprehensive software package and train staff on how to use this system in an efficient manner. Concurrent with this initiative will be an evaluation of new methods of the Munis software package, Energov. Continue to offer the Rental Housing Maintenance Training Program on a quarterly basis to the realtors, owners, and operators of the Centre Region and Bellefonte Borough rental housing stock to assist them in pre-inspecting their units and maintaining them between inspections. The goal of the program is to motivate and provide the tools for rental Property Managers to be proactive instead of reactive in dealing with their properties.

Bellefonte, 247, 11% State College Borough, 787, 35%

College, 559, 25%

Ferguson, 392, 17%

79, CRCAPatton, Fire Permit data by municipality as of MayHarris, 31, 2017. 205, 9%

3%

CRCA fire permits as of May 31, 2017.

Implement an electronic customer survey to assist in gauging the level of customer service. The results of the survey will help to identify opportunities to make service enhancements or improve efficiencies.

Evaluate and update the curriculum for the CRCA fire-prevention and Life-Safety Public Education Program to better serve the Centre Region residents and to better integrate the curriculum into the schools.

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MISSION The Centre Region Code Administration (CRCA) Capital Budget was established to finance capital improvements, fleet vehicles, and equipment replacements. WHO ARE WE? The Centre Region Code Administration (CRCA) was created in 1968 by the Articles of Agreement adopted by the participating municipalities at that time (State College Borough and College, Ferguson, and Patton Townships) as a building and plumbing inspection agency. Electrical inspection services were added to the program in 1980 and by the mid 1980's the four municipalities also participated in the CRCA’s Rental Housing Program. Harris Township joined the regional building and plumbing inspection service programs in 1990 and the Rental Housing Program in 2001. With the adoption of the Uniform Construction Code, Halfmoon Township joined the New Construction Program in 2004 but chose not to participate in the Rental Housing or Commercial Fire Inspection Programs of the CRCA. During May 2014, the Bellefonte Borough signed a three year agreement with the Centre Region COG to provide CRCA inspection services; including new construction, rental housing, and commercial fire inspections beginning July 1, 2014. In May, 2017 Bellefonte Borough Council voted to extend the service agreement CRCA until January 1, 2021. The CRCA is entirely funded through building, rental housing, fire permits, and sewer management fees. No tax monies have been used to finance the Agency in over 40 years. The CRCA reimburses the COG for the financial, human resource management, and administrative services it receives from the Office of Administration.

CENTRE REGION CODE ADMINISTRATION

WHAT DO WE DO? The Centre Region Code Capital Budget finances the capital needs. Capital monies are used to acquire and maintain information management systems, fleet, training equipment and furniture. The Code Capital Budget was added to the Centre Region Council of Governments (COG) Detailed Budget for the first time in the 2012 Budget. The Code Capital expenditures are: 

Reviewed by the Public Safety Committee.

Included in the COG Capital Improvement Plan.

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CAPITAL BUDGET

115


Reviewed and approved by the COG General Forum through the annual budget process.

Expenditures from this budget are made in accordance with COG’s purchasing procedures including the use of joint purchasing programs when available.

WHERE ARE WE NOW? For the period of January 1 to June, 2017, there were no unexpected revenues or expenditures for the CRCA Capital Budget. The audited 2016 ending year fund balance was $57,696, a $6,906 increase from the $50,790 projected in the budget. The fund balance was higher than anticipated because of savings associated with the purchase of computer equipment. The following is a list of capital items that were approved in the 2017 budget but are yet to be acquired: 

Five (5) Microsoft Surface Pros: $10,000. The Surface Pros and related components are replacement computers for the New Construction Program and will be used by the field inspection staff.

Software Package: $17,300. The software will allow inspection staff access to code manuals and standards on their tablets in the field.

Fire Extinguisher Trainer: $10,000. A second, more up to date electronic Fire Extinguisher trainer will allow larger groups of students to train in a safe and timely fashion.

Commercial Kitchen Trainer: $20,000. The training unit is prop for use in the Fire Safety trailer to allow for the education of food service workers to the dangers of commercial cooking fires.

CRCA Capital Budget revenue and expenditures from 2016 through the approved 2017 Budget.

CRCA Capital Budget revenue and expenditures from 2016 through the approved 2017 Budget.

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WHAT IS THE COST? The 2017 Capital Budget for the Centre Region Code Administration provides for the revenue and expenditures as shown in the table. WHERE ARE WE GOING? Proposed Budgetary Changes… 

Lighting for the Equipment Storage Building: During its November 23, 2015 meeting the General Forum approved a 10 year lease between the COG and Ferguson Township for approximately 2,400 square feet of equipment storage space. The lease provided for the construction of a three-sided wood framed structure with an asphalt floor. Equipment housed in this structure includes two fire safety trailers, a storage trailer, and the pickup truck used for transportation of this equipment. In addition, some fire equipment is also kept in the structure. After working in the building for several months, it has become evident that additional lighting needs to be installed to better illuminate the interior of the structure for the occupants. This is a safety issue for the CRCA staff maintaining and getting the trailers ready for use. It is anticipated that the lighting will be a plug-in system and will utilize the existing portable generators that are stored and used with the trailers. At this time the cost of this upgrade is not available. The CRCA is working with Ferguson Township as the building owner to obtain a project cost that will be included in the detailed budget.

Office space for the Code Services Manager: Should the position of Code Services Manager be endorsed by the municipalities through the Program Plan process then monies will be needed to provide an office, furniture, and computer for the new employee. Because the position will be supervisory in nature and will involve meetings with residents that may be confidential in nature an individual office is recommended. Because office space is severely limited it is not yet clear how that space will be provided. Budget estimated for this work will be included in the Detailed Budget should it appear the position will be moving forward.

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MISSION The Schlow Centre Region Library’s mission is to be “The Centre of Reading and Learning.” WHO ARE WE? The Schlow Centre Region Library is the public library serving the Borough of State College and College, Ferguson, Halfmoon, Harris, and Patton Townships. These municipalities had a population of 96,046 residents (from the 2016 Census estimate). Located in the Borough of State College, the Library is a member of the Centre County Federation of Public Libraries, a public library system that includes the Centre County Library, its branches, and the Centre County Bookmobile. Since 2008, Schlow Library has been the District Library Center for the Central Pennsylvania District (Centre, Clearfield, Juniata, and Mifflin Counties). District Centers receive additional state funding to provide leadership, collections, and support to the public libraries within their district. The library operates under the Pennsylvania Library Code, State Library regulations, and County and District agreements for library service. The library is a non-profit corporation that is governed by a ninemember Board of Trustees who are appointed by the governing bodies of the Centre Region municipalities in accordance with the COG Library Articles of Agreement. A separate, non-profit Schlow Library Foundation (formerly Friends of Schlow Library) provides volunteer and financial support to supplement COG and state financial contributions. The Library employs 18 full-time, 17 part-time, and 9 part-time library page (shelving) staff members who are assisted by over 100 volunteers. There are 14 professional (Masters of Library Science) librarians on staff, most serving as managers. Employees receive at least six hours of continuing education annually, exceeding state requirements. Schlow Library employees are active leaders in professional and community organizations, and the library has won numerous awards and grants for its programs. 2018 Program Plan – Schlow Centre Region Library

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Schlow’s donors and volunteers are honored at annual receptions. Volunteer hours equaled those of 4 full-time employees in 2016.

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WHAT DO WE DO? The Schlow Centre Region Library is a popular destination for Centre Region residents and offers free parking for its users. Users can browse over 150,000 books and media, use public computers and Wi-Fi service, and work, create or relax in individual or group seating areas. Chess sets and board games are used by patrons of all ages. An award-winning Children’s Department with a “Family Place” play area fosters family fun and social skills, while the art gallery features the work of local artists, and over 75 community groups hold gatherings in the public meeting rooms. In addition to the library facilities, the Schlow Library has a user-friendly “digital library” website, schlowlibrary.org. Functioning as a “branch library,” it features easily viewed or downloadable free e-books, magazines, audio content, and music. The library’s extensive catalog, event calendar, patron account information and book reviews are also available on the website. The Schlow Library offers cultural and educational programs such as preschool story times, children’s activities, author visits, concerts, and lectures. The Library promotes community reading through BookFest PA (as part of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts), Centre County Reads, Penn State Reads, Summer Reading Programs, and the holiday Polar Express event. Additional services include remote book drop-offs and returns, interlibrary loan of items not carried in the library’s collection, delivery of items to homebound residents, speakers for community groups, and much more. Librarians are available to assist library users in every way possible, including research assistance, reading recommendations, and group or one-on-one coaching sessions on e-book readers and other information devices. Following are highlights of the current strategic plan and services.

A. “Centre Region’s Living Room” 

More than 800 visitors per day visit the Schlow Library, a 38,000 square foot, two-story library that is open 61 hours per week. A high priority is maintaining the appeal, safety, and cleanliness of this popular facility. Schlow Library contracts with the Borough of State College for building services including facility management, maintenance, parking support, and security cameras management.

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Over 75 community groups hold more than 275 meetings and events in the Schlow Library event spaces annually. The library is an active partner in Downtown State College events, including BookFest PA during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, First Night, and more.

The KINBER network provides Internet service to all county public libraries. Schlow offers 35 public computers and free Wi-Fi.

B. “Read It, Know It, Schlow It” 

The curated library collection has over 150,000 items for loan. Readers can choose from e-books and print titles, audio books and magazines, large print, and book club kits, puppets, toys and games. Library staff order, catalog, and process new materials, then withdraw outdated and worn items on an ongoing basis.

Customers can return items in convenient and secure bins located at the Nittany Mall in College Township, Weis Market (Hills Plaza) in College Township, Giant (North Atherton Street) in Ferguson Township, Clearfield Bank and Trust (Route 45) in Ferguson Township, Uni-Mart (Carson’s Corner) in Patton Township, and Brothers Pizza (Stormstown) in Halfmoon Township. Deliveries of reserved materials are made to the Active Adult Center, Nittany Mall; Foxdale Village, State College Borough; and Village at Penn State, Patton Township.

Educational programs attracted over 27,000 people to 1,024 educational programs, including storytimes and lectures, in 2016.

C. “Community Connectivity” 

Schlow “connects” with partners to provide many services, including Penn State Libraries, State College Area School District, Strawberry Fields, and Leadership Centre County.

Book, crafts, writing and other clubs are hosted by the Library that provide social and educational connections for residents.

The Library has become a non-profit resource, providing resources and training for non-profit management and board development.

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D. Serve as the District Center Library for public libraries in Centre, Clearfield, Juniata, and Mifflin Counties. The Schlow Library is a District Library Center, a library leadership role which provides direct advantages to Schlow Library customers. District Centers receive dedicated state funding and grants to provide training, services, and materials to all public libraries in Centre, Clearfield, Juniata and Mifflin Counties. District funds must only be used for district activities. Centre Region residents may enjoy the following district services: 

Ill or isolated residents qualify for the library’s homebound service. Customers may request particular books or have a library staff member select books for them.

If the library does not own a book or other item, it will request a copy from another library. In 2016; 17,149 items were borrowed for Schlow Library patrons from other libraries and 10,787 items were lent to other libraries. District funds pay for shipping expenses.

The platform for the Schlow Library’s e-book service is paid for with district funds. District grants have helped pay for children’s programs and technology.

Any resident of Centre County can receive a free library card good at all county library locations.

OF PARTICULAR NOTE State and Federal Funding Issues – Pennsylvania has traditionally offered robust state library funding to supplement local government support. Unfortunately, 9 years of fluctuations in state aid has crippled public libraries in the Commonwealth. Schlow Library has lost a total of $1.6 million cumulatively in state aid since 2008. Consequently, the library has reduced services and collections. In 2014, the 2018 Program Plan – Schlow Centre Region Library

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library and website were closed for a week and staff put on unpaid furlough. In 2015, weekly hours were cut from 65.5 to 61 and book purchases were reduced. This has put the library below the state standards for hours and has required applications for special waivers. Overall, the combined $417,000 in District and Operating revenue received annually from the state is considered to be a volatile and jeopardized revenue stream. The President’s Proposed 2018 Federal Budget has totally eliminated funding for the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) program. Schlow Library has received over $300,000 in LSTA funding since 2000 for its website, computers, and programs. LSTA also funds most positions at the state Office of Commonwealth Libraries and elimination will dismantle the centralized state structure for library services. If adopted, these closures would have a severe impact on coordinated, cost-effective library operations and a key technology revenue source would be lost. In summary, a significant reduction in 2018 federal and/or state revenues is likely to result in reduced library service to the community. Fundraising and Development – 2016’s donations were five times the amount raised in 2009, and have been critical in replacing decreasing state revenues. Donations are received from a variety of sources, including an annual year-end appeal, the Centre Foundation’s “Centre Gives” online campaign, grants from civic groups and memorial and honor contributions. Estate gifts have also been received and are typically invested for future capital needs and emergencies. Libraries Pay More for E-books – Publishers charge libraries premium prices for e-books, from $40 to $90 a copy, which is exponentially more than what consumers pay. The Schlow Library is striving to provide as much digital content as possible to meet heavy customer demand, but it is a strain to buy newly-released materials in multiple digital, print, and audio formats. WHERE ARE WE NOW? For the period of January 1 to June, 2017, revenue and expenditures for the Schlow Centre Region Library Operating Budget were generally consistent with the projections contained in the 2017 budget with the exceptions noted below. The audited 2016 ending year fund balance was $147,068; a $26,557 decrease from the $173,625 projected in the budget. The fund balance was lower than anticipated due to the under budgeting of assigned gift expenditures. Schlow aims for annual fund balances between $120,000 and $200,000 in accordance with best practices. Investments held by the Schlow Library Foundation can be made available for emergency needs and longterm sustainability. The status of federal and state aid is unknown at the time of writing this plan.

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WHAT IS THE COST? The 2017 budget for the Schlow Centre Region Library provides for the following revenue and expenditures shown in the table on the right. WHERE ARE WE GOING? The Library Board of Trustees approved the 2018 Program Plan at its June, 2017 meeting. All activities align with the library’s mission and Strategic Plan. They also fulfill the obligations of the District Library Center contract and meet some, not all, state standards for public library state aid. The following proposals are activities with the greatest budgetary change. They are subject to alteration or elimination based on availability of funds. The library hopes to continue its current operating schedule and range of services but may need to reduce them if there are revenue losses exceeding $25,000. Revenue Changes: 

Funding Formula: During its February 27, 2017 meeting the General Forum approved the following motion to revise the formula that is used to allocate municipal costs to the library: “That the General Forum, as recommended by the Finance Committee,

amend the Library funding formula utilized by the Centre Region Council of Governments participating municipalities to allow for a three year smoothing mechanism to be added to the formula effective for the 2018 Centre Region Council of Governments Budget and over the life of the smoothing formula, municipalities will pay no more or less than they would have paid under direct assessment.” Library revenue and expenditures from 2016 through the approved 2017 Budget 2018 Program Plan – Schlow Centre Region Library

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State, County, and District Aid – State, County, and district subsidies are unknown at this time. There is no annual inflation factor for state aid. Cuts are proposed for state funding of interlibrary loan and online resources, which would result in greater expenses at the local level for Schlow and other libraries.

Other revenue – Revenues from fines and services are staying level or decreasing due to patrons switching to digital reading/audio materials that automatically expire and subsequently do not go into past due status.

Gifts – 2018 community donations estimates will be based on average fund drive returns of previous years.

Expenditure Changes: 

General Services – Overall, given the unknown status of state funding, the goal is to maintain services. Substantial growth or improvement, despite numerous requests from stakeholders, is not possible given the funding situation.

Personnel – Three changes are proposed:  The Library Board and COG Human Relations Committee have approved a multi-year process to bring part-time library assistant wages in line with the published schedule and market competition, which will conclude in 2018.  Stepped pay scales for library pages are proposed.

There are always surprises in the Schlow Children’s Department

 120 additional employee hours are requested for staffing in the children’s department. Looking ahead to future Library budgets there is an ongoing need for additional hours to support the library’s information technology systems that are crucial to its operation. The justification for upgrading an existing position from part-time to full-time status was provided in the 2017 Program Plan. The proposal was subsequently withdrawn because of constrained budget. While the need is still present, the position change is not proposed in the 2018 Program Plan. 

Book purchases – The 2018 budget follows a strategic plan priority to restore past spending on library materials. The state standard calls for 12% of expenditures to be spent on books and materials and Schlow Library has been slightly under that marker in recent years. “More books” was the top request from library stakeholders who participated in the strategic plan.

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MISSION The mission of the Schlow Centre Region Library Capital Budget is to pay for the maintenance, repair, upgrades, and improvements to the facility and technology systems of the Library, which is “the Centre of Reading and Learning.” WHO ARE WE? The Schlow Centre Region Library is the public library that serves State College Borough and College, Ferguson, Halfmoon, Harris, and Patton Townships. The Public Library was established in 1957 in two rooms of an old house on West College Avenue in State College which was provided rent-free by a local businessman, Charles Schlow. In 1967, the Schlow Library moved to a location at 100 East Beaver Avenue, the site of the former State College Post Office. The library began as a State College Borough operation, but it is now supported by the Borough as well as College, Ferguson, Halfmoon, Harris, and Patton Townships. In February 2004, the library moved to 118 South Fraser Street, the site of the former State College Municipal Building to allow a new library to be built on the Beaver Avenue and Allen Street site. The current facility at 211 South Allen Street opened in October 2005. It includes space used by CATA as a downtown office location. WHAT DO WE DO?

Schlow Library is open year round; 61 hours per week. 2018 Program Plan – Schlow Centre Region Library – Capital Budget

The Schlow Centre Region Library Capital Fund finances the library’s two-story 38,577 square foot facility and 70 space parking lot. Over 250,000 people visit the library annually by browsing and borrowing reading material and media, using public computers and Wi-Fi, studying privately or in groups, and attending community meetings and educational events. Meeting rooms that are available for use by the public are used by over 75 community groups annually. The library building also includes a small art gallery, chess and craft

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areas, landscaping, and an outdoor garden area. The Centre Area Transportation Authority’s downtown customer service department occupies part of the building and can be accessed from Beaver Avenue. Schlow Library has been cited as a “destination place” and “Downtown’s Living Room” in community surveys and articles. Capital monies are also used to maintain a considerable array of library-related technology, including a “virtual library” website, wide-area county library network, public computers, Wi-Fi service, customer and donor databases, collection inventory, parking, and security. The library is the only free computing facility for Centre Region residents that provides internet access, public computing, technology assistance, printing and children’s software. There were over one million uses of public computers and Wi-Fi in 2016. The Library Capital Budget began with funds remaining from 2004 capital campaign donations and was added to the COG Program Plan in the 2011 budget. New revenue is added through: 

Annual municipal contributions. Until 2015, contributions came through transfers from operating to capital funds. In 2015, direct municipal contributions to the capital fund, based on the forecasts in the Capital Improvement Plan, were implemented.

Estate gifts and grants designated for capital needs. Library staff aggressively seeks grants and estate gifts for furnishings and technology purchases.

Fund monies are invested for interest returns.

Schlow Library capital expenditures are: 

Reviewed and approved by the Library Board of Trustees. Capital expenditures are subject to COG budget and purchasing procedures.

Made in accordance with the scheduled replacements and repairs in the Library/COG Capital Improvement Plan, Technology and Strategic Plans.

WHERE ARE WE NOW? For the period of January 1 to June 30, 2017, capital revenues were on track to meet the 2017 budget projections. On the expenditures side, some projects budgeted for 2016 were delayed because the expense was not yet necessary or delays with partner agencies or vendors. The actual 2017 Beginning Year Fund Balance is $762,376 which is $153,557 more than the $608,819 estimate identified in the 2017 Library Capital Budget primarily due to estate gifts and the delay in the security camera upgrade to early 2017. 2018 Program Plan – Schlow Centre Region Library – Capital Budget

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Status of budgeted 2017 capital expenditures: 

Facility Assessment - $50,000: Professionals will analyze the condition, performance and energy efficiency of key components, including roof, walls, electric, HVAC and plumbing systems. The study will improve the management of capital projects and expenditures. The library has received a $25,000 state grant toward the study.

Security Camera Upgrade - $75,000: The library partnered with the Borough of State College for the purchase and installation of new and vastly improved security cameras at a cost, below budget, of $48,380.

Staff Office and Other Scheduled Public Area Renovations - $66,000: A design plan will be commissioned for staff office and public service area improvements necessary to address wear and tear, and changing public and personnel needs. Several area renovations in the Capital Improvement Plan have been deferred, and others are scheduled for the next 3 years. The design plan will allow for a more holistic plan of building changes and project scheduling.

Budgeted 2017 capital expenditures to be deferred: 

Replacement of Library Materials ID Software - $60,000. No vendor or library need for a major upgrade at this time. WHAT IS THE COST? The 2017 Library Capital Budget provides for the revenue and expenditures shown in the table on the following page. WHERE ARE WE GOING?

Thousands of people visit the Schlow facility for family programs, lectures, and club meetings.

An average of 857 people a day visited Schlow Library in 2016, with some days exceeding 1,000 visits during special events. The building will be 13 years old in 2018 and is worn and outdated in some areas. The 2018 capital expenditures reflect the library’s strategic plan to maintain and update the “comfortable and popular facility” which is a valued community center.

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The library does not defer needed work while scheduling capital projects and schedules work only when absolutely necessary. The timeline of the Capital Improvement Plan is not necessarily followed when postponement is advantageous. For example, the 14-year-old Integrated Library System, a major expense, has far exceeded its predicted longevity of 7 years. While capital expenditures are projected 20 years out in the Capital Improvement Plan, the 2017 Facility Assessment is likely to reveal some “urgent” system upgrades or repairs not evident at the time of this writing. The CIP will be adjusted when the study is complete. Revenue The Capital Fund was established with remaining capital campaign money in 2011 and, until 2016, was supplemented annually with modest inter-fund transfers, donations, grants and interest. Direct municipal contributions to the capital fund began in 2016 to assure adequate funds for major upcoming repairs. The approved 2016 and 2017 municipal contribution to the Library Capital Budget was $80,000 per year. That amount is not expected to change for 2018. The Schlow Library Foundation is working with the Library Board of Trustees to invest estate and major gifts for future longterm capital needs. During its February 27, 2017 meeting the General Forum approved the following motion to revise the formula that is used to allocate municipal costs to the library: “That the General Forum, as recommended by the Finance Committee, amend the Library funding formula utilized by the Centre Region Council of Governments participating municipalities to allow for a three year smoothing mechanism to be added to the formula effective for the 2018 Centre Region Council of Governments Budget and over the life of the smoothing formula, municipalities will pay no more or less than they would have paid under direct assessment.” 2018 Program Plan – Schlow Centre Region Library – Capital Budget

Library Capital Budget revenue and expenditures from 2016 through the approved 2017 budget.

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Expenditures 

Replace Integrated Library System Software - $200,000: The software (ILS) is the “heart” of the library; the system with patron borrowing records and library inventory which tracks borrowing, fines, and other library use. The current system is shared with the Centre County Library (CCL) and Historical Museum and lacks many features of newer systems. It also has limited upgrades scheduled by the vendor and annual license and maintenance fees are unstainably high. The current ILS has been used for double its expected lifespan. Schlow and CCL will share expenses for the new ILS.

Carpeting Replacement - $80,000: Carpeting is worn and stained after 13 years of hard use and needs to be entirely replaced.

Renovations of Adult and Children’s Departments - $40,000: The public service desks take a lot of wear and tear and are also being used in different ways than they were when the building opened in 2005. For example, the Adult Services Desk is The facility assessment being conducted in now used for test proctoring, overseen by staff, for online coursework. Testing is a 2017 will prioritize needed repairs and growing revenue stream for the library and furniture changes will allow spaces that upgrades on the building. allow the necessary oversight and privacy for this service. A design plan to be done in the latter part of 2017 will provide details and cost estimates for public and staff spaces throughout the building.

Computer and Network Replacements – $29,000: These are for regularly scheduled replacements of technology equipment as projected in a technology plan.

Remote Book Drops - $20,000: Schlow Library maintains 7 remote book returns throughout the Centre Region. Two of the heaviest used outdoor metal bins need replacements in 2018.

Website Upgrades and Fixes - $20,000: Annual security and structural changes are anticipated for the “Virtual Branch” Library website, which accesses confidential patron information, credit card transactions, borrowing records, event registrations, and more.

Repainting (Interior) - $10,000: Areas that will not be renovated are ready for a fresh coat of paint in the library’s 13th year.

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MISSION The Centre Regional Planning Agency (CRPA) guides regional and municipal efforts to create and sustain a vibrant, healthy, and economically diverse community by providing professional land use planning services that educate and inspire people to make the Centre Region a great place to live. WHO ARE WE? The Centre Regional Planning Agency provides a broad range of regional and local planning services to the Centre Region municipalities. Regional Planning services include the preparation of the Centre Region Comprehensive Plan and the Centre Region Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan, land use projections, model ordinances, mapping, and specialized studies in areas such as workforce housing. Local Planning services include providing staff support to municipal officials and local Planning Commissions, reviewing land development plans and zoning changes, and drafting or revising municipal ordinances that relate to land use regulations. Through an Agreement of Relationship with Centre County, the CRPA fulfills the responsibilities of the Centre County Planning Commission, as defined under the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code. Centre County government reimburses the CRPA for some, but not all, of the costs associated with performing these planning services.

CENTRE REGIONAL PLANNING AGENCY

The CRPA is committed to continuous improvement that provides relevant regional and local planning services to the Centre Region municipalities. The value of the CRPA’s commitment is manifested by a 50-year legacy of thoughtful land planning practices that leverage local knowledge and insight to form a development pattern that reflects the heritage and values of Centre Region residents. 2018 Program Plan – Centre Regional Planning Agency

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There is a long and successful history of coordinated planning in the Centre Region that has enabled our community to accommodate growth while avoiding incompatible land uses, protecting our natural resources, and maintaining a high quality of life. The six Centre Region municipalities have participated in the Local and Regional Planning Programs since the mid-1960s. The Centre Regional Planning Commission (CRPC) initially administered the Regional Planning Program as a volunteer organization with no professional staff support. Today, a professional staff supports the CRPC, much as a municipal staff supports a municipal Planning Commission. Over the years, the Local and Regional Planning Programs have evolved. All six Centre Region municipalities continue to participate in the Regional Planning Program. State College Borough and Ferguson Township now provide their own local planning staff while College, Halfmoon, Harris, and Patton Townships participate in the Local Planning Program as a cost effective way of providing professional local planning services and integrating those services with the Regional Planning Program.

The 2017 Centre Regional Planning Commission From left to right:

CRPA staff provides support services to the CRPC, the COG Transportation and Land Use (TLU) Committee and the COG Public Services and Environmental (PSE) Committee. Some CRPA staff have split positions, with a portion of their time dedicated to the Local Planning Program and the remainder of their time dedicated to the Regional Planning Program. The CRPA also houses the Centre County Metropolitan Planning Organization (CCMPO). The CCMPO budget is prepared separately from the CRPA budget for clarity.

2018 Program Plan – Centre Regional Planning Agency

Steve Watson, Penn State University Lisa Strickland, Ferguson Township (Chair) Jon Eich, State College Borough (Vice Chair) Roy Hammerstedt, Harris Township Bill Steudler, Patton Township Michael Brown, Halfmoon Township Kevin Ryan, College Township (not pictured)

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To perform these services, the 2018 CRPA Budget provides for the following staffing: Planning Director (85% CRPA, 15% CCMPO) Four full-time Senior Planners One full-time Planner (90% CRPA, 10% CCMPO) Planner - GIS (65% CRPA, 35% CCMPO) Office Manager (50% CRPA, 50% CCMPO) The Planning Director and three Senior Planners are certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). In 2018, creation of a full-time Planner position is recommended by the Planning Director by combining the vacant part-time Planner (this position will be vacated at the end of August 2017) and part-time Staff Assistant positions. The full-time Planner position is also supported by the Public Services and Environmental Committee in lieu of hiring a temporary AmeriCorps position to work on sustainability issues. WHAT DO WE DO? The CRPA advises regional and municipal decision-makers about land use planning efforts to create and sustain a vibrant, healthy, and economically diverse community. This includes long-range planning activities and projects for the Centre Region and current planning activities for the municipalities. For the purpose of this Program Plan, the CRPA’s work tasks are divided into a Regional Planning Program and a Local Planning Program.

A.

Regional Planning Program

This program is responsible for managing the preparation and implementation of the Centre Region Comprehensive Plan and the Centre Region Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan. Other core services provided through the Regional Planning Program include the preparation of timely socioeconomic and demographic forecasts and trends, the management of the Regional Growth Boundary (RGB) and Sewer Service Area (SSA), and the provision of training programs to educate elected officials, planning commissioners, and the public on planning topics. The CRPA promotes and facilitates dialogue among the municipalities to develop cooperative solutions to regional issues, and all six Centre Region municipalities participate in the Regional Planning Program. Ongoing Contributions…

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Outreach and Education – The CRPA continues to promote good planning practices and provide outreach and educational presentations. During 2017, the CRPA completed a half-day training seminar with municipal planning commissioners at the Millbrook Marsh Spring Creek Education Building. CRPA staff also participate on a number of community groups and committees, including but not limited to the Spring Creek Watershed Association and the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County’s Business Environment Committee. In addition, the CRPA prepares “Fact Sheets” about important planning topics that can be viewed or downloaded from the CRPA webpage at www.crcog.net/planning.

Determine Locations to Potentially Expand Beneficial Reuse Transmission Lines Inside the RGB and SSA – This project considers locations to potentially expand Beneficial Reuse waterlines in the region. The Beneficial Reuse water from UAJA is an underutilized resource that has potential for expanded use in a variety of industrial and commercial applications where potable water is used. There is also potential to expand the use of Beneficial Reuse water for environmental projects in other areas of the region. The UAJA included this project in a request to update the Centre Region Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan in August 2014. Determining locations where the UAJA can provide Beneficial Reuse water will allow new transmission lines to be installed in those locations without having to formally amend the Act 537 Plan in the future.

A report on potential expansion of the Beneficial Reuse Water System will be finalized this year.

State of Housing Report – The CRPA is updating the State of Housing Report to help define the role the CRPA should take in affordable housing issues, with the intent being to find a role in which the agency can be effective without duplicating the work of others. This is the second year the CRPA has worked on this annual project.

Timely and Relevant Demographic Information – The CRPA is a resource for a variety of demographic information.

Technical Resource Center – CRPA staff serve as the Centre Region’s technical specialists, and the agency is the resource center for a variety of land planning and zoning topics, including open space preservation, ridge protection, contemporary zoning practices, riparian buffers, and other best practices in land planning and zoning. In 2017, the agency completed the Demographics of the Centre Region document. The agency is also coordinating the 2020 US Census project with the municipalities.

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B.

Local Planning Program

This program provides staff support to individual Centre Region municipalities to address localized planning issues. CRPA staff also provides support to the municipal planning commissions. Four municipalities participate in the CRPA’s Local Planning Program. College Township funds a full-time local planning position, Patton Township funds a half-time local planning position, and Halfmoon and Harris Townships each fund 40 percent of a local planning position for their respective municipalities. The Borough of State College and Ferguson Township have their own planning departments to address local planning issues, and the CRPA maintains a close working relationship with both planning departments. Ongoing Contributions… 

Reviewing subdivision and land development plans. Recent examples include:  Hamilton Plaza Shopping Center – State College Borough  PSU Chemical Engineering Biomedical Engineering Building – State College Borough  The Gates Subdivision – Harris Township  Toftrees Planned Community Master Plan Update – Patton Township  Houtz Self Storage – Halfmoon Township  Fieldstone Subdivision – College Township

Preparing ordinances and regulations to implement the Centre Region Comprehensive Plan. Recent examples include:  Solar Energy Systems Ordinance – College Township  Farm Café Ordinance – Patton Township  Completion of a Bi-annual Code Amendment Process – Halfmoon Township  Village Commercial District Regulations – Harris Township

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Preparing special studies related to specific issues or concerns within a municipality. Recent examples include:  Halfmoon Township Small Area Plan  Conservation Design Regulations – Harris Township

Halfmoon Township Small Area Plan Steering Committee – Halfmoon Township proposed a Future Mixed Use Area in the Centre Region Comprehensive Plan. CRPA staff helped facilitate two workshops with the Board of Supervisors in order to establish the next steps in addressing the mixed use area in the eastern portion of the township. The board explored the idea of a small area plan during a joint meeting with the Planning Commission where Harris Township representatives shared their experience in adopting a small area plan. A Steering Committee was established, comprised of landowners and residents, which continues to work on the community vision for that portion of the township.

Halfmoon Township Planning Commission Bylaws – CRPA staff worked with the Halfmoon Township Planning Commission to adopt Bylaws in September 2016 in order to standardize procedures such as the adjustment of the published schedule of meetings, the cancellation of meetings, and the election of officers, in addition to establishing the order of business for meetings and assigning individual duties.

Conservation Design Regulations – In 2015, the Harris Township Planning Commission finalized its Designated Rural Areas Project, which provided guidance on how growth and development should be accommodated outside the Regional Growth Boundary. This project envisioned the creation of four new zoning districts that would replace the township’s existing rural districts. Throughout 2016, CRPA

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Conservation Design Subdivision Regulations would require the preservation of open space, which must include important natural, environmental, and cultural resources, whenever residential development in the Designated Agricultural Area is proposed. 138


staff assisted the Harris Township Planning Commission as it drafted Conservation Design Subdivision Regulations. The regulations define how residential development can occur in the proposed Designated Agricultural Area. Conservation Design Subdivision Regulations require the preservation of open space, which must include important natural, environmental, and cultural resources, whenever residential development is proposed. The amount of open space that must be preserved is related to the density of residential development proposed. These regulations could be adopted as part of a comprehensive update to the rural zoning districts in Harris Township. CRPA staff will be working with the Township Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors in 2018 to codify the Conservation Design Subdivision concepts developed to date. Farm Cafés Ordinance – CRPA staff worked with the Patton Township Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors to develop an ordinance that added “farm cafés” to the list of Conditional Uses in the A-1 (Rural) district. Farm cafés are intended to support small farms and encourage strong relationships between local food producers and citizens to promote a healthy and sustainable local food system. They are intended to be an accessory use to an active agricultural operation and utilize foods produced onsite or locally to the greatest extent possible. The ordinance contains provisions addressing land use and operational requirements, protection of the land through a conservation easement, parking, food sourcing, and retail sales. At its November 2, 2016 meeting, the Board of Supervisors held a public hearing and approved the ordinance. OF PARTICULAR NOTE The completion of the CRPA Regional Planning Program Evaluation in 2015 identified several strategies that have strengthened the accountability of the Regional Planning Program and focused the CRPA on a series of five core service areas for the municipalities: 

Implement the Centre Region Comprehensive Plan.

Maintain the Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan.

Provide demographic information.

Monitor the Regional Growth Boundary and Sewer Service Area.

Conduct educational programs on planning topics.

The CRPA continues to utilize the Comprehensive Plan Implementation Program (CHIP) as a process to establish priority projects for the Regional Planning Program. All municipalities actively participate in establishing priority projects for the CRPA to include in the annual Program Plan. The CHIP provides a list of short-term projects that the region should complete to implement the goals, 2018 Program Plan – Centre Regional Planning Agency

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objectives, and policies of the Centre Region Comprehensive Plan. The CHIP translates the goals, objectives, and policies of the Comprehensive Plan into actionable projects and identifies priorities, timeframes, and primary responsibilities for completing the projects. In April, 2017, the COG TLU Committee and the Centre Regional Planning Commission (CRPC) approved a biennial process for updating the CHIP. The CHIP is not a static document, but a dynamic, evolving process that involves CRPA staff, the municipal planning departments, the COG TLU Committee, the CRPC, and the COG General Forum. The process involves many people to encourage an organizational environment that supports collaborative and relevant Regional Planning efforts. The process also encourages a consensus-based approach to identifying and implementing projects that best meet the needs of all Centre Region municipalities. The biennial CHIP update process ensures visibility, relevancy of projects, and regular progress towards achieving Comprehensive Plan goals, objectives, and policies. The TLU Committee and CRPC began using the CHIP process shortly after the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan in 2013. Since then, the CRPA has facilitated the same process on an annual (now biennial) basis to identify priority projects for the coming year. The following guidelines serve as the basis for establishing the highest priority projects or initiatives: 

Implement the goals, objectives, and policies from the Centre Region Comprehensive Plan.

Address a significant and clearly demonstrated regional planning issue or problem.

Benefit all of the municipalities in some way.

Facilitate Comprehensive Plan implementation based upon the local planning capabilities in each municipality.

WHERE ARE WE NOW? For the period of January 1 to June 30, 2017, revenue and expenditures for the Centre Regional Planning Agency are generally consistent with the projections contained in the 2017 Budget, with the following exception: 

The actual unaudited January 1, 2016 fund balance was $85,943, which was $13,393 higher than the estimated fund balance of $72,550. The difference was due to lower than expected personnel costs because of turn-over in positions.

For the balance of 2017, the CRPA does not anticipate any significant variation in expenses from those included in the 2017 Budget. 2018 Program Plan – Centre Regional Planning Agency

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WHAT IS THE COST? The 2017 Centre Regional Planning Agency Budget provides for the revenue and expenditures shown in the table on the right. WHERE ARE WE GOING? The CRPA remains mindful of municipal funding constraints when considering opportunities to reorganize or shift the responsibilities of agency personnel to meet the changing needs of the municipalities. The agency continues to pursue ways to more effectively deploy personnel, use technology, be resourceful, and strategically reorganize to add value to the services provided to the municipalities. Looking forward to 2018 and beyond, major budgetary and personnel changes proposed by the Centre Regional Planning Agency include several items that will potentially expand regional sustainability initiatives, as requested by the Public Services and Environmental Committee, and strengthen staffing by not filling two part-time positions to create a full-time Planner position. Proposed Budgetary Changes… 

The COG Public Services and Environmental (PSE) Committee supports hiring a full-time Planner in lieu of hiring an AmeriCorps position to work on regional sustainability issues. The position would be filled in August of 2018, based upon the AmeriCorps hiring cycle. Potential work tasks for this position for the initial 12-18 months include the following activities:  Research and report activities that Centre Region municipalities, COG, and other entities are currently

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undertaking to support climate action.  Assess how, if, and where a regional approach to these activities (and others) could support regional resiliency, leverage funding, align or improve the deployment of resources, and support regional climate action efforts in a way that adds value to municipal efforts.  Determine the key stakeholders, potential roles, and challenges in forging a regional approach. Stakeholders could include, but are not limited to, the municipalities, Centre County, PSU, regional authorities, and non-profits.  Propose next steps needed to form a lasting program for regional collaboration to address climate action. Next steps should include an organizational and decision-making structure, administration, funding, cost sharing, other potential revenue sources, staffing, and membership. The full-time Planner position would be created by combining a part-time Planner position that is approved for 25 hours/week and a part-time Office Assistant position that is approved for 20 hour/week. The CRPA Director anticipates not filling the parttime Office Assistant position and increasing the number of hours from 25 to 40 hours/week for the Planner position, which will be vacated in August 2017. The net cost of the full-time Planner position is anticipated to be $15,319 in 2018 because the majority of funding for the position will be provided from salaries and benefits of existing part-time positions that will not be filled in 2018. Current CRPA funding for the existing part-time positions amounts to $47,500, with an additional $7,882 provided by the CCMPO. The total cost of the position is anticipated to be $70,701, of which $55,382 comes from existing funding sources. Total costs are estimated using the cost of all anticipated benefits, including family medical benefits. The challenges of filling part-time positions include:  Difficulty finding and retaining qualified applicants.  A small and transient pool of local applicants.  Difficulty recruiting for part-time positions requiring a college degree.  Lost staff time and expense of training new part-time employees to replace part-time employees that leave for personal reasons or full-time positions elsewhere. With the proposed creation of the new full-time Planner position, some job duties (including those that had been performed by the part-time Staff Assistant position) will be reassigned to the Planner and the Office Manager so that core responsibilities for 2018 Program Plan – Centre Regional Planning Agency

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the Planner will be research, data analysis, and report preparation and the core responsibilities of the Office Manager will be providing administrative support to the staff. Funding for the existing part-time Planner position comes entirely from the Regional Planning Program. Funding for the existing part-time Staff Assistant position is split between the CRPA and the Centre County Metropolitan Planning Organization (CCMPO), with half of the salary funded from the CRPA budget and half from the CCMPO budget. In 2018, the CCMPO will contribute about the same dollar amount that it contributed to the part-time Staff Assistant position in 2017. In future years, the dollar amount will be adjusted annually, as would normally occur during the Detailed Budget process. This will allow the CCMPO to retain a consistent level of funding for staffing in 2018 and future years. Certain CCMPO work tasks will be completed by the full-time Planner. 

In May 2017, the Halfmoon Township Municipal Manager notified the CRPA that the township may request a reduction in Local Planning Services from 40 percent to 25 percent of Senior Planner time. This will require a shift in hours to the Regional Planning Program to maintain a full-time Senior Planner position. Overhead costs in the Local Planning Program will continue to be spilt four ways by the four municipalities participating in that program, as was agreed to in 2015. The municipalities should consider the following revenue sources during their review of the Program Plan. These proposed revenue sources have the potential to reduce municipal shares for the Regional and Local Planning Programs:

Within the next several months the General Forum should consider requesting that the UAJA Board of Directors dedicate a permanent and sustainable source of funding to support Regional Planning Program activities that benefit the UAJA beginning with the 2018 budget. The General Forum’s expression of support for this proposal is likely to be an important factor in the authority’s decision as whether the CRPA funding should be provided. Currently the UAJA reimburses the agency for mapping services provided by the GIS Analyst; however, this reimbursement is a minimal source of revenue. In 2014 and 2015, the agency committed substantial resources to preparing for possible amendments to the Act 537 Plan, but there was no formal agreement in place to recoup costs. Moving forward, the CRPA recommends that the UAJA reimburse the agency for work related to Act 537 Plan activities and a portion of other services that provide benefit to the UAJA, including demographic forecasts and trends, land use planning and land development activities (particularly related to the location of Beneficial Reuse waterlines and increased use of Beneficial Reuse water), coordination with water authorities on source water protection, and coordination with the DEP.

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The General Forum should consider requesting that municipalities recover all possible review fees for planning services for which fees are allowed in the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC). Municipalities that are not assessing fees as authorized in the MPC should commence collecting fees in 2017 (for instance some but not all communities charge for time a COG Planner invests in reviewing land development plans). These fees can be used by municipalities to partially offset their costs for the Local Planning Program.

Proposed New Regional Work Objectives… Six new Regional Planning work objectives were jointly recommended by the Centre Regional Planning Commission and the COG Transportation and Land Use Committee. In April 2017, the General Forum endorsed these priority projects for the CRPA’s 2018 Work Program. Looking forward, major CRPA work objectives include: 

Potential Comprehensive Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan Amendment – The CRPA is currently working on an approved project to review how the current RGB and SSA boundaries are administered. The Agency is reviewing how other regions administer their programs. The UAJA, for a number of years, has also requested a comprehensive update to the Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan. The scope of a comprehensive Act 537 Plan amendment must be developed and approved by the General Forum and the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Complete training for newly elected officials at the joint COG TLU Committee and CRPC meeting in spring 2018 – In 2016, the COG TLU Committee and the CRPC approved making the CHIP process a biennial process. In years where there is not a full CHIP process, the CRPA will prepare a training session for the joint meeting in April. Newly elected officials and new members of municipal planning commissions will be invited to attend. The purpose of the training will be to review the CHIP process, review ongoing work, and provide an orientation on the purpose and operations of the CRPA and the CCMPO.

Required review and possible amendments to the Regional Growth Boundary (RGB) and Sewer Service Area (SSA) Implementation Agreement – The current Implementation Agreement, approved in 2013, requires a review every five years, with the first review required in 2018. The extent of the work to complete this item will not be fully known until the COG Public Services and Environmental Committee and Centre Regional Planning Commission initiate the review and identify specific areas to consider amending.

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Addressing Regional Sustainability Issues/Potential AmeriCorps Position – The COG Public Services and Environmental Committee has recommend that a position be added to the CRPA to potentially address regional sustainability issues. The current proposal is to hire an individual from the AmeriCorps program to accomplish several tasks, including: Researching and reporting on activities the Centre Region municipalities and other entities are undertaking to support climate action; assessing how and if a regional approach to these activities could support regional resiliency, leverage funding, align or improve the deployment of resources, and support regional climate action efforts in a way that adds value to municipal efforts; determining key stakeholders; and proposing next steps to form a program for regional cooperation to address climate action.

Annual State of Housing Report – This is an annual update to a project approved in 2016 and initially completed in 2017.

Potential Development of Regional Impact (DRI) Request – Halfmoon Township is currently preparing a small area plan for the eastern portion of the township. The township may be prepared to file a DRI application in 2018, depending upon the status of the small area plan.

Additional CHIP Projects – The CRPA has a considerable backlog of priority projects that were approved in 2016 but were unable to be completed because of staff turnover. At their April 2017 joint meeting, the COG TLU Committee and CRPC approved maintaining that list. This will allow the CRPA to work with the COG TLU Committee and CRPC to complete these projects if anticipated work does not materialize in 2018.

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The Centre Region State of Housing Report is updated on an annual basis.

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MISSION Federal law requires local and state officials in all designated urbanized areas of the United States to maintain a cooperative, continuous, and comprehensive transportation planning program. In Centre County, this requirement is fulfilled by the Centre County Metropolitan Planning Organization (CCMPO). The Centre Regional Planning Agency (CRPA) is the lead staff support agency for the CCMPO, working cooperatively with the Centre County Planning and Community Development Office (CCPCDO), the Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA), and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Central and Engineering District 2-0 Offices. WHO ARE WE? The CCMPO Coordinating Committee is the policy-making body and is comprised of 18 voting members from the following organizations: Centre County Government (2) College Township Ferguson Township Halfmoon Township Harris Township Patton Township State College Borough PennDOT Central Office PennDOT District 2-0 Office

Nittany Valley Planning Region Lower Bald Eagle Valley Planning Region Moshannon Valley Planning Region Mountaintop Planning Region Penns Valley Planning Region Upper Bald Eagle Valley Planning Region Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) Centre Regional Planning Commission (CRPC)

CENTRE COUNTY METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION

Non-voting members include: Penn State University (PSU) Federal Highway Administration Federal Transit Administration Advisory comments and recommendations are provided by the CCMPO Technical Committee, which is comprised of 18 voting members from the same organizations represented on the Coordinating Committee. 2018 Program Plan – Centre County Metropolitan Planning Organization

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Frequently Used Acronyms: BPT

PennDOT’s Bureau of Public Transportation

FTA

Federal Transit Administration

BFC

Bicycle Friendly Community

LRTP

Long Range Transportation Plan

CATA

Centre Area Transportation Authority

MAP-21

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act

CCMPO

Centre County Metropolitan Planning Organization

MTP

Multimodal Transportation Program

CCOT

Centre County Office of Transportation Services

PennDOT

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

CCPCDO

Centre County Planning and Community Development Office

PMG

Potters Mills Gap

CRBAC

Centre Region Bicycle Advisory Committee

STC

Pennsylvania State Transportation Commission

CRPA

Centre Regional Planning Agency

TA

Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program

CRPC

Centre Regional Planning Commission

TIP

Transportation Improvement Program

FAST Act

Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act

UPWP

Unified Planning Work Program

FHWA

Federal Highway Administration

The proposed 2018 CCMPO Budget provides the following staffing for CCMPOrelated work tasks: Director One Principal Planner (Transportation) Two Senior Planners (Transportation) Planner - GIS Planner* Office Manager

15% 100% 100% 35% 10% 50%

*Replaces the CCMPO’s 50% share of the part-time Staff Assistant position that is proposed to be consolidated with the part-time CRPA Planner position to create one full-time Planner position in 2018.

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The Planning Director, Principal Transportation Planner, and one Senior Transportation Planner are certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). In 2018, creation of a full-time Planner position is recommended by the Planning Director, which would be shared by the CRPA (90%) and the CCMPO (10%). The position would be created by combining the vacant part-time Planner position (will be vacated at the end of August 2017) and part-time Staff Assistant position. Along with the CRPA positions, one full-time Senior Transportation Planner at the CCPCDO is dedicated to providing staff support to the CCMPO. The CCPCDO Director, Assistant Director and other staff planners, and the Centre County Geographic Information Systems (GIS) staff also provide a lower level of support to the CCMPO. In addition, the CATA General Manager; the Directors of Information Services, Transportation, and Finance; the Paratransit Manager; and the Public Relations Manager provide staff support to the CCMPO. Revenue sources that finance CCMPO staff and operational expenses include: 

Federal and state funds provided by PennDOT.

Funds and staff services provided by Centre County Government.

Funds provided by the six Centre Region municipalities.

Funds provided by CATA.

WHAT DO WE DO? The core responsibilities of the CCMPO focus on three broad areas: 

Preparing a Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).

Developing a short-range Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

Adopting a Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP).

These tasks guide the planning, prioritization, and funding of countywide, regional, and local transportation projects that improve safety and mobility, reduce congestion, preserve the existing transportation system, and facilitate economic vitality.

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The LRTP guides the allocation of federal, state, and local funds for projects that are programmed on the TIP. Federal regulations require the LRTP to address a minimum 20-year horizon and be updated every five years. The CCMPO’s LRTP 2044 was adopted in September 2015 and covers a 30-year horizon. The TIP covers a four-year period and is updated every two years. The number of projects on the TIP is constrained by limits on the federal and state funds allocated to the CCMPO by a statewide formula. The CCMPO’s 2017-2020 TIP was adopted in June 2016 and includes approximately $187 million in federal, state, and local funding for roadway and bridge projects. Over $22 million is programmed on the TIP for the Atherton Street Drainage/Repaving Project, and $122 million for the Route 322 Potters Mills Gap Project. The TIP also includes approximately $94 million in federal, state, and local funding for public transportation services provided by CATA and the Centre County Office of Transportation Services (CCOT). Over $38 million is allocated for CATA’s operating assistance, and over $31 million is allocated for CATA’s Maintenance Facility Expansion Project. As a recipient of federal funds, the CCMPO must comply with federal Environmental Justice and Title VI nondiscrimination regulations. The CCMPO’s Public Participation Plan, Limited English Proficiency Plan, and Title VI Complaint Process guide efforts to prevent discrimination and to ensure that all stakeholders are provided with opportunities to participate in the transportation planning process. For the Program Plan, the staff services provided by the CRPA, CCPCDO, and CATA are divided into three broad categories: Planning, Programming, and Administration/Coordination.

A. Planning

Ongoing Contributions… 

Developing, adopting, and updating the Centre County Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) 2044.

Providing transit planning services to CATA and the CCOT, such as updating CATA’s Title VI Program, managing the Articulated Bus Assessment study, and assisting in preparations for the Federal Transit Administration’s Triennial Review of CATA’s operations.

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Implementing high-priority actions in the Centre Region Bike Plan, such as, coordinating with the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Agency, the Centre Region Bicycle Advisory Committee, and the State College Area School District to implement bicycle education programs and working with State College Borough to develop a Complete Streets policy.

Assisting municipalities in planning bicycle/pedestrian facilities and integrating public transit amenities into subdivision and land development plans. In the past year, staff provided comments about development plans for the Mountain View Country Club Hotel in Harris Township, the Nittany Valley Sports Center in Patton Township, and The Residences in State College Borough; provided input to Harris Township about a proposed trail connection near Boalsburg; and assisted Ferguson Township in updating its Official Map.

Reviewing rezoning requests and development master plans to ensure that the land use and transportation aspects of the proposals are consistent with the goals, objectives, and policies in the LRTP, the Centre Region Comprehensive Plan, and other municipal and multi-municipal comprehensive plans.

Both CATA and the Centre County Office of Transportation Services (CCOT) benefit from the public transportation planning services provided by the CRPA.

B. Programming

Ongoing Contributions… 

Developing, adopting, and amending the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). In the past year, staff administered several revisions to the 2017-2020 TIP, including the reallocation of $2.1 million in unobligated federal funds, the addition of $500,000 to start a new municipal bridge project, and the addition of $450,000 for four safety improvement projects.

Providing comments about the design of highway and bridge projects. In the past year, staff provided comments about preliminary alternatives for improvements at the Route 64/550 intersection in Walker Township and the Route 26/45 intersection in Ferguson Township.

Administering the Transportation Alternatives (TA) Set-Aside Program. In the 23 years since the TA initiative started, 25 projects with a value of over $7.6 million have been completed in Centre County, including bicycle/pedestrian trails, streetscape projects,

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and transit amenities. The CRPA and CCPCDO assist prospective project sponsors in preparing applications for TA Program funding, and work with PennDOT and project sponsors to implement approved projects. In the past year, staff assisted CATA, College Township, and Patton Township in advancing TA-funded projects. 

Monitoring efforts to increase federal and state funding for transportation improvements. In the past year, staff and PennDOT researched alternative sources of funding for the I-99/I-80 interchanges and Route 322/144/45 corridors projects, which have not been advanced because of funding limitations, and discussed the possibility of applying for discretionary funds from the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

C. Administration/Coordination

Ongoing Contributions… 

Preparing the CCMPO’s portion of the COG Budget, which details all revenue and expenditures associated with providing staff support. The figure on the right shows the distribution of the CCMPO’s 2017 revenue sources.

Preparing the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). The UPWP lists the work tasks that may be completed by the CRPA, CCPCDO, and CATA to support the CCMPO, and specifies the amount of federal and state funds provided by PennDOT to support staff activities. The FY 2016-18 UPWP addresses a two-year period and was adopted by the CCMPO in February 2016.

Administering legal agreements and periodic work orders executed by the Centre Regional Planning Commission (CRPC) and PennDOT to provide federal and state funding for staff activities.

Preparing media advertisements, agendas, and minutes for CCMPO meetings. Each CCMPO Committee typically

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CCMPO revenue sources in 2017. 152


meets four or five times each year. Most of the information provided to the CCMPO, stakeholders, and interested parties is now provided electronically. 

Maintaining the CCMPO’s website www.ccmpo.net, including posting meeting agendas, notices, and new information about key topics.

Completing quarterly progress reports and submitting invoices to PennDOT for reimbursement of personnel and other expenses incurred in providing staff support to the CCMPO.

Updating the CCMPO’s Public Participation Plan, Limited English Proficiency Plan, and Title VI Complaint Process to ensure that the procedures used to involve officials, citizens, and stakeholders in the CCMPO’s planning process are consistent with federal regulations. Input is solicited from stakeholders by sharing information via periodic e-mail and written correspondence, media advertisements and press releases, special presentations, and the posting of information on the CCMPO’s webpage: The CCMPO’s contact list of interested parties currently includes more than 160 officials and citizens.

Providing presentations about the CCMPO’s activities to local elected officials and other organizations, such as the “MPO 101” presentation to the COG General Forum in November 2016.

Responding to requests for information and assistance from citizens, municipal officials, businesses, and other stakeholders. In the past year, the CRPA and CCPCDO provided assistance to Benner Township and other municipalities affected by flooding from heavy rainstorms in October 2016; Millheim Borough with the preparation of a plan to remove parking on Route 45 (Main Street); and the Centre County Board of Commissioners for the implementation of a $5 vehicle registration fee ordinance.

OF PARTICULAR NOTE 

As directed by the COG Transportation and Land Use (TLU) Committee, staff prepared an application to the League of American Bicyclists to renew the Centre Region’s designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community (BFCSM). In late 2016, the League awarded a Bronze level designation to the Centre Region, and also awarded a Silver level Bicycle Friendly University (BFUSM) designation to The Pennsylvania State University. Staff is working with several businesses and other entities (including the Centre Region COG) to gain designations as Bicycle Friendly BusinessesSM (BFBSM). The League’s designations recognize the Region’s commitment to improving bicycling conditions by investing in education programs, infrastructure, and pro-bicycle policies. BFCSM, BFUSM, and BFBSM are

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The Centre Region’s designation as a Bronze level Bicycle Friendly CommunitySM was renewed in 2016.

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service marks of the League of American Bicyclists and are used with permission. 

In 2016, the CRPA, CATA, and the Centre County Office of Transportation Services (CCOT) developed a travel training program for senior citizens and persons with disabilities. The program is intended to transition riders from using demandresponsive van services to using conventional fixed route buses. Development of the program included reviewing travel training practices, surveying peer transit agencies offering travel training services, and working with two pilot agencies in the Centre Region to develop a program tailored to local needs. A final report was prepared for submission to PennDOT, and the project is currently in the implementation phase under the direction of CATA. CRPA and CATA staff provided a presentation about the travel training program at the annual spring conference of the Pennsylvania Public Transportation Association in April 2017. 

The travel training program will mean greater freedom, flexibility, and independence for seniors and persons with disabilities.

In early 2017, staff worked with PennDOT to add $3 million to the 2017-2020 TIP to update and “refresh” the foundation data originally collected for the former South Central Centre County Transportation Study (SCCCTS) project, now known as the Route 322/144/45 Corridors Project. The data refresh will address traffic, environmental features, community elements, and an update of the Needs Analysis Report originally completed in 1999. The data refresh is the first step in reactivating work on the project. The CRPA and CCPCDO will be active participants in the data refresh, particularly with regard to transportation needs and the identification of key community and environmental features.

WHERE ARE WE NOW? For the period between January 1 and June 30, 2017, revenue and expenditures for the CCMPO were generally consistent with the projections contained in the 2017 budget, with the following exception: 

The actual January 1, 2017 fund balance was $89,107, which is much higher than the estimated fund balance of $35,739. The significant difference was due to lower than anticipated pension costs, lower than anticipated employee development expenditures, and fewer large expenditures for special projects.

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WHAT IS THE COST? The 2017 budget for the CCMPO provides for the following revenue and expenditures shown in the table on the right. WHERE ARE WE GOING? The majority of expenditures in the CCMPO Budget are for personnel costs. Revenue for the CCMPO Budget is divided about equally between PennDOT and local sources. Because PennDOT does not provide annual increases in the base allocation of federal and state funding provided to the CRPA, staff continues to pursue sources of supplemental federal and state funding from PennDOT to help support staff activities. County and municipal funding constraints are carefully considered when the CCMPO Budget is prepared. In 2016, the CCMPO Chair directed the CRPA to review the CCMPO’s formula for determining the County and municipal funding shares, and to develop future budget options for discussion. In November 2016, the CCMPO Coordinating Committee discussed the local share formula and various budget options, and concluded that the current formula and local funding arrangements are appropriate. Thus, the current formula will be used to determine County and municipal funding shares for the 2018 budget. In 2016, the CRPA and CATA also discussed alternative approaches for determining CATA’s annual local share contribution. The goal of the discussion was to develop an approach that is predictable and sustainable for both the CRPA and CATA. The outcome of the discussion is a proposed new approach that would be implemented in 2018 Program Plan – Centre County Metropolitan Planning Organization

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2018 (see explanation in the following section). Proposed Budgetary Changes…Revenue 

Base allocation of federal and state funding – The CCMPO’s current FY 2016-18 UPWP provides the same annual amount of federal and state funding as was provided in the prior UPWP. Although a new FY 2018-20 UPWP will take effect in July 2018, the amount of federal and state funds to be provided by PennDOT in the new UPWP will not be determined until late 2017. Thus, for the purpose of preparing the 2018 Budget, the CRPA will assume that base funding will remain the same. Municipal and County funding shares can be anticipated to increase slightly in 2018 and 2019 unless PennDOT increases the base allocation of federal and state funding.

Supplemental federal funding – The CCMPO is currently using supplemental federal transit planning funds in the FY 2016-18 UPWP for the Articulated Bus Assessment study, which will be completed in fall 2017. The project is being advanced using consulting services; however, a small amount of the supplemental allocation is being used by staff to offset the cost of managing the project.

Local share contributions in 2017.

In early 2017, the CCMPO requested supplemental federal highway planning funds to research bicycle counting technology and purchase counting equipment. A small portion of the allocation would have been used to pay for staff time charged to evaluating technologies and managing the procurement process. The request was not approved by PennDOT. However, there are no implications for the 2017 Budget because this project was not considered when the budget was being developed, and no revenue was anticipated from this project in the 2017 Budget.

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The CCMPO will continue to request supplemental planning funds when PennDOT makes supplemental funding available. However, because supplemental allocations are approved through a statewide competitive process, there is no guarantee that supplemental funding will be secured to offset staff costs. Thus, for the purpose of preparing the 2018 Budget, the CRPA will assume that no supplemental funding will be available to help offset staff costs. 

County and municipal funding – The CCMPO’s current local funding share formula will be used for determining County and municipal funding shares in 2018. County and municipal shares are anticipated to increase slightly in 2018 and 2019.

CATA funding – Historically, CATA’s cash contribution to the CCMPO Budget has been the amount approximately equal to the difference between the base allocation of federal transit planning funds and the total cost of the CRPA’s transit planning position. Currently, CATA contributes $29,912 to the CCMPO Budget, which represents the difference between the $75,000 in federal transit planning funds PennDOT provides to the CCMPO and the total cost of the CRPA’s transit planning position. However, CATA’s cash contribution is offset by the pass-through of up to $12,500 in federal transit planning funds to CATA. In 2018, a new approach for determining CATA’s local share amount is proposed to be implemented. CATA’s share is proposed to be determined by the amount of non-federal funding needed to match the federal transit planning funds provided in the UPWP (historically an 80% federal/20% local split). Assuming PennDOT does not increase the base allocation of $75,000 in federal transit planning funds, CATA’s local share in 2018 would be $18,750 (20% match). The decrease in CATA’s share from the 2017 contribution of $29,912 will be offset by eliminating the pass-through of $12,500 in federal transit planning funds to CATA. In 2018, the full allocation of federal transit planning funds will be retained by CRPA, and CATA’s local share contribution will be the 20% non-federal match.

Budget Year 2017 2018 2019

CATA Cash Contribution $29,912 $18,750 $18,750

Less Pass Through to CATA ($12,500) 0 0

Net CATA Contribution $17,412 $18,750 $18,750

CATA’s Local Share Contribution

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Proposed Budgetary Changes…Expenditures 

As recommended by the CRPA Planning Director, the COG Public Services and Environment Committee supports hiring a fulltime Planner to work on regional sustainability issues. The full-time Planner position would be created by combining a part-time CRPA Planner position that is approved for 25 hours/week and a part-time Office Assistant position shared with the CCMPO that is approved for 20 hours/week. The CRPA Director anticipates not filling the part-time Office Assistant position and increasing the number of hours from 25 to 40 hours/week for the Planner position. The Planner position would be shared by the CRPA (90%) and the CCMPO (10%). The total cost of the Planner position is anticipated to be $70,701, which includes the cost of all anticipated benefits, including family medical benefits. This change will more effectively meet the needs of the CCMPO and municipalities, and address challenges the CRPA has faced in filling part-time positions, including:  Difficulty finding and retaining qualified applicants.  A small and transient pool of local applicants.  Difficulty recruiting for part-time positions requiring a college degree  Lost staff time and expense of training new part-time employees to replace part-time employees that leave for personal reasons or full-time positions elsewhere. Creation of the new full-time Planner position would include elimination of non-essential duties from the Staff Assistant position and reassignment of some duties to the Planner position. The consolidation of the two part-time positions would form a full-time Planner position beginning in 2018. Funding for the existing part-time Planner position comes entirely from the Regional Planning Program. Funding for the existing part-time Staff Assistant position is split between the CRPA and the CCMPO, with half of the salary funded from the CRPA budget and half from the CCMPO budget. In 2018, the CCMPO will contribute approximately the same dollar amount it contributed to the part-time Staff Assistant position in 2017. In future years, the dollar amount will be adjusted annually, as would normally occur during the Detailed Budget process. This will allow the CCMPO to retain a consistent level of funding for staffing in 2018 and future years. Certain CCMPO work tasks will be completed by the full-time Planner.

Efforts continue to reduce or minimize increases in the operating and capital line items over which the CRPA has direct control. For example, the CRPA circulates meeting agenda packages electronically and frequently posts information to the CCMPO

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website to reduce the costs of copying and postage. Staff also continues to explore methods of advertising meetings and other activities that may cost less but still meet federal requirements. Special equipment needs are carefully considered to ensure that expenditures in the Capital and Transportation Projects line items are only budgeted if the equipment cannot be borrowed from other entities or otherwise procured at a low cost to the CCMPO Budget. New or Expanded Work Initiatives in 2018… 

Working with PennDOT, FHWA, and FTA to refine performance measures for the LRTP and TIP. Implementation strategies and performance measures were included in the LRTP for the first time in 2015, and are intended to help PennDOT and the CCMPO evaluate the success of projects and programs towards meeting federal, state, and local goals and objectives. Recent federal rulemaking has provided detailed guidance about the refinement and implementation of performance measures.

Managing a special planning study for CATA that will evaluate alternative transit service models for areas with low population densities.

Working with PennDOT, federal and state elected officials, and local stakeholders to advance the Route 322/144/45 Corridors and I-99/I-80 Interchanges projects. Activities may include preparing grant and or loan applications for discretionary sources of funds, such as the FASTLANE and TIGER grant programs and the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan program. Should funding be secured to restart work on these projects, the CCMPO may need to add the projects to the LRTP and TIP. Prior to the CCMPO taking action to amend the LRTP and TIP, the CRPA would plan and administer a 30-day public comment period, hold a public meeting(s), and prepare a report documenting the input received during the comment period.

Developing a new master Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that outlines the roles and responsibilities of all voting and non-voting members of the CCMPO, PennDOT, and other stakeholders. The new MOU would replace the original 1982 formation agreement for the CCMPO and a 2008 MOU between the CCMPO and CATA.

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MISSION The mission of the Regional Fire Protection Program is to maintain a volunteer fire company to provide fire, rescue, and related services to the Borough of State College and the Townships of College, Ferguson, and Patton, a portion of Benner Township, and the University Park campus of Penn State University and to provide support and assistance to assure that these services are provided in a high quality manner. WHO ARE WE? The Regional Fire Protection Program is a partnership comprised of three entities: Centre Region COG, State College Fireman’s Relief Association (Relief), and Alpha Fire Company, working together to provide high-quality, cost effective fire protection and related services to the citizens.

REGIONAL FIRE PROTECTION PROGRAM

Composition of the Regional Fire Protection Program.

The centerpiece of the Program is the Alpha Fire Company (Company), a non-profit corporation that received its charter as a volunteer fire company in 1899. In addition to its established service area, the Company provides 2018 Program Plan – Regional Fire Protection Program

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assistance to other area fire companies through mutual aid agreements during major emergencies. In 1998, a portion of the Company’s service area in College Township (Harris Acres) was transferred to the Boalsburg Fire Company because of this area’s proximity to the Boalsburg Fire Station. The Company currently operates from three fire stations. The main fire station is located in State College Borough and houses two rescue engines, an aerial truck, a heavy rescue, a firefighting ATV, a utility vehicle, a special response unit/brush, a traffic unit, and a tanker. The main station has a 23 person bunking capacity and serves as the primary location for company meetings and training. A second station was opened in Patton Township in 2001 with a ten person bunking capacity. The Patton Township Station houses a rescue engine, a tanker, a utility vehicle, and an aerial truck. In 2002, a third fire station was opened in the lower level of the College Township Municipal Building and bunking facilities for ten personnel were completed in early 2010. The College Township Station houses an engine, a quint, and a foam trailer which was obtained through federal funds and is used for large fires and incidents that involve flammable liquids. The Company also fields a decontamination trailer which was obtained through federal funds and is housed in the Centre Region Code Administration storage building that is located near the Ferguson Township Public Works facility. As a non-profit corporation, the Company is governed by an Executive Board that is comprised of the Executive Officers and the elected Operational Officers of the Company. Executive Officers include the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, and three Trustees. The Operational Officers include the Fire Chief, two Assistant Chiefs, a Health and Safety Officer, three Fire Captains, and five to six Fire Lieutenants. The Company’s Executive Officers and Chiefs are elected annually by the Company’s general membership. During its January meeting the COG General Forum confirms the election of the Chief Officers while Fire Captains and Lieutenants are appointed by the Fire Chief. Ten of the active members are sworn Fire Police Officers who assist the Company and local law enforcement as needed. The Company has several associate members, including Chaplains, the Company Attorney, an auditor, a photographer, and a Historian. The Fire Protection Program benefits significantly from funds that are voluntarily provided through the Relief. The Relief Association is financed through a program that is administered by the state Auditor General which places a tax on fire insurance premiums. These funds are paid to the state, forwarded to the municipalities, and then distributed to the fire company. The use of these funds is heavily restricted; they must be used only for items that benefit the health and safety of firefighters. The Relief Association currently covers the cost of all personal protective equipment, supplemental insurance, training costs, portable radios, and specialty rescue equipment. Relief also contributes to the cost of apparatus and worker’s compensation insurance.

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Volunteers:

Paid Staff

Active Alpha Firefighters and Fire Police – 105 CRCOG Fire Marshal – 1 CRCOG Assistant Fire Marshals – 5 Alpha Associate Members – 5

Fire Director Office Manager (shared with the Emergency Management Program) Assistant Chief – Operations and Training Assistant Chief – Operations and Field Services

The Fire Director leads the Regional Fire Protection Program. The program is funded by the Centre Region COG on behalf of the participating municipalities and Penn State University. The Office Manager provides direct support to all three entities involved in the Regional Fire Protection Program. The Director and Assistant Chiefs respond with the Company to emergency incidents. WHAT DO WE DO? A.

Ensure the Alpha Fire Company has the facilities, equipment, and support necessary to accomplish its mission and continue to provide Fire protection to Centre Region residents in a cost effective manner.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Developing and executing plans for recruiting and retaining volunteers. Attracting and retaining volunteers is a very high program priority. Examples of recruitment activities include direct mail solicitations, website updates, digital marketing, television and radio advertising, and participation in community events.

Providing for the maintenance, repair, and upkeep of over $13 million of apparatus and equipment and three fire stations.

Ensuring that carried equipment and tools are in safe and effective working order.

Providing a long-range capital plan for the replacement and/or addition of fire apparatus, computers, furnishings, and equipment.

Developing and reviewing response plans to assure the needs of the community are being met through qualitative and quantitative analyses of responses and risks.

Developing and maintaining strategic plans that are adaptable to changes in technology, the Centre Region’s demographics and economy to assure consistent, quality service.

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B. Respond to emergency calls for service.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Collaborating with partners in Code Administration, Emergency Management, Law Enforcement, Emergency Medical Services, and Penn State Hazmat to provide complimentary life safety services which represent good value to the community.

Identifying and pursuing grant funding opportunities.

Identifying, developing, delivering, and facilitating quality training programs for firefighters and fire police officers. Vehicle Accident with Entrapment

House fire in State College Borough

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The table below details the number and types of calls for each COG municipality in 2016. Company 3 is Boalsburg, Company 5 is Alpha, and Company 15 is Port Matilda. Including mutual aid, Alpha responded to 1,307 incidents in 2016. For comparison, the next busiest company in Centre County is Bellefonte Fire (Logan and Undine), which responded to 402 incidents in 2016.

Distribution and types of calls per municipality in 2016.

C. Ensure Fire programs meet statutory requirements.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Remaining knowledgeable of current laws and administrative rules that govern the conduct of fire companies within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, take steps necessary to ensure the Company is in compliance and to keep the Public Safety Committee updated about changes that may impact the regional fire service.

Reviewing land development plans to assure compliance with applicable state and local fire protection codes. [Note: specific building plans are reviewed by the Centre Region Code Agency.]

Delivering or facilitating delivery of training required for statutory compliance to firefighters and fire police officers.

Reviewing and approving certain special permits such as those required for fireworks.

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OF PARTICULAR NOTE 

2016 was another record year for Alpha Fire Company activity in terms of the number of calls. Members provided over 26,000 labor hours to the community for response, training, public programs, and maintenance of buildings and equipment.

A storage mezzanine was installed in the Borough Fire Station.

Staff completed and referred to the Township Manager a report on the desirability and viability of a fire station in Ferguson Township.

Assistant Chief Schreiner is coordinating group purchasing of foam, aerial and ladder testing, and hose testing for all county companies.

Alpha Fire Company’s incident frequency per month from 2014 to 2017 YTD. Assistant Chief Harris is starting a project to move the Alpha probationary training programs from classroom lecture formats to blended learning formats.

Office Manager Irvin is assisting the Fire Company with an overhaul of its Administrative Manual.

Centre Region Fire Protection and Penn State Hazmat staff were successfully recertified as a Haz-Mat Team by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). The certification is valid until June 30, 2021.

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In 2016 the Fire Company was awarded a federal SAFER Grant in the amount of $197,700 to fund our multi-year digital media and strategic communications project. These grants are competitive and the Company members and COG staff were pleased to have been selected. The grant application was prepared by the Fire Director.

WHERE ARE WE NOW? The 2017 budget for the Centre Region Fire Protection Program provides for the revenue and expenditures shown in the table on the right. With one exception, for the period of January 1 through June 30, 2017, revenue and expenditures were consistent with the projections contained in the 2017 budget. The exception is the costs incurred to make an emergency replacement to the boiler. The beginning fund balance of $52,979 was below the estimated $61,584 due to projects that were expected to be completed in early 2017 but were completed in 2016. WHAT IS THE COST? The current annual per capita cost for fire protection in the Centre Region remains less than $20. This figure includes all revenue sources: municipal contributions to operating and capital budgets, contributions through Fireman’s Relief, private donations to Alpha Fire Company, and state and federal grants. The Centre Region continues to enjoy very low costs compared to communities of similar size throughout the nation. In Pennsylvania, the average per capita municipal contribution for suburban volunteer fire companies is approximately $38 based on benchmark data. Regional Fire Protection Program revenue and expenditures from 2016 through the approved 2017 Budget 2018 Program Plan – Regional Fire Protection Program

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WHERE ARE WE GOING? Looking forward into the remainder of 2017 and beyond, proposed major budgetary changes and work objectives for the Regional Fire Protection Program include: 

Having volunteers in sufficient numbers is critical to maintaining the fire protection system. Responding to alarms and participating in training, often while managing career and family, places a significant personal burden upon many of the volunteers. An increasing number of our volunteers are working second jobs. Current trends in volunteerism, both locally and statewide, have created a significant threat to the long term viability to volunteer based fire services. It appears that the current model may not be sustainable over the long term. The Fire Director and the Public Safety Committee are currently discussing the “stipend gap”, the amount between what is currently provided to volunteer firefighters versus an amount that would serve as an incentive to most people who are interested in joining the fire company. As a result of this discussion for the 2018 or 2019 budget, the Public Safety Committee may recommend that the $584 stipend as a reimbursement for expenses be increased. To address the issue, the Fire Director has undertaken study of volunteer recruiting and volunteer incentives. A proposal to increase the volunteer incentive may be introduced in late 2017. At present, potential revenue opportunities to help fund increases are being evaluated.

With the exception of the introduction of additional incentive to encourage individuals to be firefighters, there are no significant projects planned for 2018 that will impact funding. Items not related to insurance or personnel are expected to remain flat or increase at the rate of inflation. Significant increases in digital marketing and public outreach investments will be funded from our federal grant award (SAFER).

In 2018 the Fire Director, in consultation with the Fire Company membership, proposes the addition of a full time Service Technician position. Development of the description for this position has started and the concept has been discussed with the Human Resources Committee. The Regional Fire Protection Program is responsible for approximately $20 million of apparatus, vehicles, equipment, and buildings. Approximately $13 million worth of these items requires periodic maintenance, calibration, repair, or replacement. Volunteers cannot devote the time necessary to handle these sustainment activities in addition to their obligations to response, training, and public events. Staff is handling much of this activity, but at the cost of other projects beneficial to the agency and the community as a whole. We have identified more than 40 hours per week of activity for this position. The salary proposed for this position is $34,000 annually (pending final job description), $17,000 fringe (50%) rate, and approximately $500 per year for mileage and training reimbursements for a total anticipated annual cost of $51,500.

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Penn State has expressed interest in making the Penn State Hazmat Team part of the Regional Fire Protection Program through formal affiliation with Alpha Fire Company. Agency staff routinely assists Penn State with team administration and training in concert with the very close operational relationship between the team and the fire company. The model being explored includes Penn State’s continued funding for the team, the result of which will assure no financial burden to the municipalities. A formal plan is likely to be presented in late 2017.

During 2018, the concept of constructing a fourth fire station to be located in Ferguson Township is expected to be more fully explored with the Board of Supervisors. If the Board endorses the proposal then it will be discussed by the Company and the General Forum. If the stakeholder groups agree to proceed the township would be responsible for constructing the building and the COG would be responsible for providing the staff, equipment, apparatus and maintenance.

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MISSION The Capital Budget for the Regional Fire Protection Program was established by the participating municipalities to provide the COG with funds to purchase vehicles and apparatus in accordance with a depreciation plan. The Capital Budget provides for regular predictable contributions for the large planned, but irregular, apparatus expenditures. In accordance with the COG Capital Improvement Plan, the Fire Capital Budget also provides for regular, predictable contributions for expenditures related to capital items at the three five stations. WHAT DO WE DO?

Apparatus Replacement Schedule 1 Quint

$1,000,000

4 Engines @ $565,000

$2,500,000

2 Aerial Towers @ $1,100,000

$2,400,000

2 Tankers @ $395,000

$800,000

1 Heavy Rescue Truck

$550,000

1 Command Unit

$75,000

1 Chief's Vehicle

$34,000

1 Fire Director’s Vehicle

$34,000

2 Utility Vehicles

$80,000

1 Special Unit/Brush Vehicle

$75,000

1 ATV with Trailer

$65,000

2 Fire Police Vehicles Total Replacement Value

$230,000 $7,843,000

Approximate cost to replace the current fleet.

The COG has maintained a capital fund (originally termed a sinking fund) for the purpose of replacing apparatus since 1975. This capital budget provides long term planning for the timely replacement or addition of fire apparatus and ensures that sufficient funding is in place to make purchases. The apparatus replacement schedule is updated annually with input from the Alpha Fire Company (Company), Fire Director, COG Public Safety Committee, COG Finance Director, and COG Executive Director. The replacements scheduled in the current year of the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) become the basis for the draft Fire Protection Capital Budget for that year. After review and submission to the COG Executive Director, proposals for apparatus replacement move to the General Forum for final approval. Once approved by the General Forum, the Fire Director and Company personnel prepare technical specifications to solicit bids for individual apparatus. Recently, the Comonwealth of Pennsylvania’s CoStars joint purchasing program has been used to acquire fire apparatus. Fire apparatus and vehicles are owned and licensed to the Centre Region COG. All Centre Region apparatus is insured for full replacement cost.

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CAPITAL BUDGET

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TYPES OF EQUIPMENT Engines – Sometimes called pumpers, they have a pump and a water tank and carry fire hoses, nozzles, ladders, small tools, and water. Rescue Engine – An engine that has additional storage space and is equipped with rescue tools for use at automobile crashes and other rescue situations. Each station includes at least one apparatus set-up for rescue. Aerial – Also known as a truck, ladder truck, aerial truck, tower truck, or platform. The common factor in all aerial apparatus is a vehicle-mounted device that can extend to a height of 65 to 120 feet or more. It is used for access by firefighters and to rescue trapped victims. The aerial apparatus also carries a large variety of ladders and tools that are used to support operations. Tanker (Tender) – A mobile water supply apparatus that carries 1,000 – 3,500 gallons of water. The tanker is used to supply water to locations not served by fire hydrants. COG’s tankers carry 2,000 gallons and 3,000 gallons of water, respectively.

2014 3,000 gallon Tanker

Heavy Rescue Unit – This is a dual purpose vehicle and its use is determined by incident type. For rescue mode, it carries a large variety of tools and equipment to extricate victims from a wide variety of circumstances. At a fire incident, the rescue truck is used as a supply source for self-contained breathing apparatus and spare air cylinders. The vehicle also carries a large generator to supply electrical power at an incident scene.

Quint – The quint is essentially a rescue engine and an aerial combined into one unit. The COG’s quint is stationed at the College Township Fire Station. Command Unit – A vehicle equipped with several radios to permit communications with all surrounding fire companies and State College and University Police. The unit has maps, charts, plans, manuals, as well as specialized support equipment. Utility Vehicle – A pickup truck outfitted for emergency response. Its primary function is the transportation of personnel, equipment, and supplies for a variety of situations. Fire Police Vehicle – A vehicle with a utility or service body that is used to transport traffic and access control, investigation support equipment and personnel to incidents. 2018 Program Plan – Regional Fire Protection Program – Capital Budget

2010 75’ Quint 172


Chief’s Vehicle/Fire Director’s Vehicle – Vehicles used by the Fire Chief and the Fire Director for emergency responses. These are equipped to allow the Chief and Director to communicate with other responding emergency equipment and the Centre County 911 Center. Special Unit/Brush – This vehicle is essentially a small pumper with limited capability. It is primarily used for nuisance fires and brush fires. This vehicle was procured as a “gift in kind” from Penn State University. ATV – The fire suppression ATV is used for brush fires and the protection of Beaver Stadium and parking lots during football events. The unit also handles fire patrol duties at large events in the Centre Region. The ATV was donated by the Penn State Athletics Department.

2011 Kabota

OF PARTICULAR NOTE The COG places a high priority on the maintenance of fire apparatus to ensure that they are in working order and safe for the volunteers and paid staff to use in the event of an emergency. Because of this ongoing investment in maintenance, it may not be necessary to replace some of the apparatus at the time it is scheduled for replacement in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). Looking forward, the COG will continue to balance the amount of accrued funds, vehicle conditions, and apparatus price trends to ensure fiscal responsibility. 

In accordance with the capital plan we placed an order for a new engine to replace COG’s 1996 KME engine (Unit 513). The replacement engine will be delivered the second week of July. The elected officials approved a trade-in offer of $14,500 on the 1996 unit which will be removed from service upon receipt of the new engine.

Consistent with the COG’s CIP methodology, the 2018 Fire Capital Budget will include line items for replacement of physical infrastructure, notably major building systems and fixtures. In years prior to 2015 these expenditures were included in the program’s Operating Budget. Several items of interest regarding our physical facilities include: 

Plans to replace two rooftop HVAC units at the Patton Station. The existing units are at end-of-life. The estimated cost is $20,000 for the pair.

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In late 2016 the main heating boiler at the Borough Station was rebuilt and a water treatment system was added to prevent recurrence of failure. A similar system is proposed to be added at the Patton Station to prevent a future failure of that heating boiler. The estimated cost for the system at Patton is $11,000.

In early 2017 a mezzanine in the Borough Station was completed at a final project cost of $47,794. The total budget for this project was $55,000.

WHERE ARE WE NOW? The 2017 budget for the Centre Region Fire Protection Program Capital Budget provides for the following revenue and expenditures. For the period of January 1 through June 30, 2017, revenue for the Regional Fire Protection Capital Budget is generally consistent with the projections contained in the 2017 budget. The replacement of a rooftop HVAC unit at the Borough was delayed after determining repair of the unit was cost effective. WHAT IS THE COST? After eleven years of flat municipal contributions to the capital plan for vehicles, municipal contributions to the 2017 Capital Plan for vehicles was increased by 2.6% ($6,515) to assure the availability of sufficient funds for future vehicle replacements (notably aerial apparatus). Planned municipal contributions for vehicle replacements will increase with inflation in 2018 and in future years. With regard to buildings, there are no plans for additional projects in 2018 that are not already included in the CIP. 2018 Program Plan – Regional Fire Protection Program – Capital Budget

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WHERE ARE WE GOING? The next planned vehicle replacements are the Command Unit (2013 Chevrolet Tahoe) at an estimated cost of $74,080 and a Utility pick-up at an estimated cost of $49,631 both planned for 2018. Replacement of the Command Unit may be deferred by one year if evaluation of vehicle condition warrants. There are no building or land acquisitions planned for the immediate term; however, at the request of Ferguson Township, the Fire Director has prepared and referred to the Township Manager an analysis of a proposal to construct a fourth fire station in Ferguson Township somewhere west of W. College Avenue. Should this occur, Ferguson Township is responsible for all the cost for acquiring the land and constructing the station and the COG is responsible for providing the staffing, apparatus and maintenance services. At this early stage, it does not appear the additional apparatus would need to be acquired for the Ferguson Township station. Instead, current apparatus would be reassigned. A fourth fire station would increase municipal/University contributions to the Capital Budget to fund capital expenses at the Station after the warranty period for the building expires.

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MISSION The mission of the Centre Region Parks and Recreation (CRPR) Agency is to provide Centre Region residents with a variety of opportunities which enrich lives and build community. This is accomplished by providing opportunities through recreation, education, health and wellness, and sustainability and conservation. WHO ARE WE? The CRPR Agency was established in 1966 to provide recreation programs and parks maintenance services to the six Centre Region municipalities. (Halfmoon Township withdrew from the COG’s Park and Recreation Agency in 1985). Working in cooperation with the COG General Forum, the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority serves as the primary oversight body for the agency. The authority consists of five volunteer members who are appointed for five-year terms by their respective municipality. A sixth board member represents the State College Area School District. 2017 CRPR AUTHORITY MEMBERS

Christopher M. Hurley, Chairperson Sue Mascolo, Vice-Chairperson* Kathy D. Matason, Secretary Diane J. Ishler, Treasurer James W. Dunn, Ph.D. Shannon E. Messick *resigned effective June 7

REPRESENTING

Township of Patton Township of Ferguson Township of College Township of Harris Borough of State College S.C. Area School District

SERVICE DATES

5-YEAR TERM EXPIRES

2008 – Present 2004 – Present 2005 – Present 2014 – Present 2014 – Present 2014 – Present

January 2018 December 2018 December 2021 December 2020 December 2020 December 2021

CENTRE REGION PARKS AND RECREATION

OPERATING BUDGET

The board and staff work with the five participating municipalities, the COG Parks Capital Committee, the State College Area School District, and various community groups to provide policy guidance on park projects, park operations, recreation programming, special events, special partnerships, and resources. 2018 Program Plan – Centre Region Parks and Recreation Operating Budget

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The following documents provide the basis for the proposed 2018 CRPR Program Plans: 2015-2020 CRPR Strategic Plan 2017 CRPR Authority Priorities 2018-2022 COG Capital Improvement Plan

2016 CRPR Work Plan (carried over to 2017) 2017 COG Parks Capital Committee Priorities

WHAT DO WE DO? The CRPR Agency coordinates eight different budget funds to provide comprehensive parks and recreation opportunities to the five participating municipalities, including park operations, recreation programming, special events, aquatics, environmental and conservation education, and active adult programming and services. This budget serves as the overarching account that provides for general recreation programs and special events, park operations, fundraising and administrative oversight/coordination for the entire agency. The other seven funds are utilized to serve specialized purposes and/or sites. To provide the various services, the eight agency funds provide for the following staff: Professional Staff 20 full-time positions, 2 part-time positions * Indicates a position funded by this budget 1. Director* 2. Recreation Services Manager* 3. Recreation Supervisor* 4. Sports Supervisor* 5. Aquatics Supervisor 6. Nature Center Supervisor 7. Nature Center Program Coordinator 8. PT Nature Center Staff Assistant 9. Active Adult Center Supervisor 10. Active Adult Center Staff Assistant 11. Parks Manager* 12. Assistant Parks Manager* 13. - 18. Park Caretakers I and II (6 positions)* 19. Office Manager* 20. FT Staff Assistant – Main Office (funded by Aquatics and Nature Ctr.) 21. FT Staff Assistant – Park Operations* 22. PT Staff Assistant – Main Office (20 hours per week) 2018 Program Plan – Centre Region Parks and Recreation Operating Budget

Seasonal Staff (PT and FT): For this fund only. The number of positions vary by season  Program Leaders/Day Camp Leaders  Parks Maintenance Workers  Sport Instructors and Officials  Tournament Staff

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For 50 years, the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Agency staff have remained focused on five objectives: 

Plan, implement, and promote a diverse menu of year-round programs, sport leagues and special events.

Promote and accommodate self-directed uses of parks/facilities by individuals, families, and groups.

Provide efficient parks maintenance and operation services across an extensive range of recreation facilities at a reasonable cost.

Strive to improve community parks and advance the approved capital projects at municipal and regional facilities.

Coordinate and administer effective support for all of agency operations. Millbrook Marsh Nature Program

A.

Plan, implement, and promote a diverse menu of year-round programs, sport leagues and special events.

Programming and league operations are primarily funded by user fees and donations. Ongoing Contributions… 

Offering eight weeks of summer day camps that meet a day care niche for parents who work full-time. Camps have continued to be competitively priced and offer comparable activities, field trips, and qualified staffing, as compared to other similar camps in the area. The agency offered a total of 17 different summer camp options for ages 3-18, including the revised “Teen Treks Camp”. The “Leaders-In-Training Program,” introduced in 2016 as Junior Leaders, continues to provide teens the opportunity to learn leadership skills in a guided program. These summer programs create lifelong memories for children!

Offering a Youth Scholarship Program to assist families who may not be able to afford registration fees for programs, camps and pool passes. This program was revised in 2017 to provide improved application guidelines to those individuals who may apply for a scholarship. Eligibility is now based on the 2016 Federal Income Guidelines. The agency is now also actively fundraising throughout the year for the scholarship fund.

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Providing staff support for the planning, construction, funding, and operation of the three regional parks. Two of these parks are now in operation, Hess Softball Field Complex and Oak Hall Regional Park, and provide playing venues for a range of youth and adult sports.

Operating adult sports leagues throughout the year including volleyball, softball (co-ed, women’s, men’s, age 35+, and age 45+), flag football, and the CRPR Happy Valley Adult Bocce League. In 2017, CRPR served 52 softball teams, 45 volleyball teams, 16 bocce teams, and 16 flag-football teams. Added into the mix in 2017 was a Summer Tennis League that was able to run two divisions, Men’s Singles and Women’s Doubles, and an All Ages Disc Golf Clinic in partnership with the Centre County Disc Golf Association. Staff continue to research potential new leagues, for both adults and youth. “Growing The Game,” a new basketball league launched in 2016 with PSU Basketball, returned in 2017 and filled to capacity!

Hosting major softball and baseball tournaments at the John Hess Softball Complex, Oak Hall Regional Park, and numerous satellite fields. The 12 tournaments scheduled for 2017 also provide notable economic benefits to the region as the participants stay, shop, and dine at local businesses. During 2016, Oak Hall Regional Park and John Hess Softball Field Complex hosted 1,200+ softball games through leagues and tournaments. The centralized location and high-quality of these venues has made the Centre Region a premiere tournament destination in Central Pennsylvania.

Developing and expanding community partnerships to further enhance the vitality of the Centre Region through increased program opportunities, event sponsorships, and better marketing plans. Current partners include, but are not limited to, the State College Rotary Club, State College Lions Club, State College Area Municipal Band, PSU Field Hockey Team, PSU Basketball, Recreational Arts, Inc., The Makery, Encore Farms, Centre County Disc Golf Association, Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and the Penn State Golf Courses. A new CRPA partnership is with the Centre Bike and provides for youth and adult educational programs on bike safety and other bike related topics.

Operating a variety of youth sport programs including tennis, rhythmic gymnastics, field hockey, basketball, track and field, and Smart Start Youth Sports. Staff members continuously evaluate the

2018 Program Plan – Centre Region Parks and Recreation Operating Budget

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180


community’s youth sports offerings in order to provide appropriate programs. A variety of sports-oriented special events are held throughout the year such as MLB Pitch, Hit and Run, Youth Track Meets, and NFL Punt, Pass and Kick, as well as an extensive menu of adult fitness programs with certified instructors. CRPR is trying a new youth flag football program for 2017 for youth entering 1st through 6th grade. 

Hosting popular, annual special events such as Bike-In and Dive-In Movies, Easter Egg Hunts, Touch-A-Truck Expo, Centre Tennis Play Day, Kids on Wheels Parade, Friday Night Lights, Halloween Costume Parade, Paws-A-Pool-Ooza, Pedal, Splash & Dash Youth Triathlon, and concerts by the State College Area Municipal Band. 50Fest, a new special event in 2016, will return in 2017 under the new name of “So Long Summer Shindig”.

Providing community outreach to let residents know about CRPR programs, special events and services and to stress that all residents are welcome. Staff markets CRPR through the CRPR Active Guide, E-Newsletters, surveys, evaluations, social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and soon-to-be-added Snapchat, and the CRPR website. A major administrative work project for the agency in 2017 is to update and redesign the website to give residents the information they are seeking in the easiest possible manner.

Ensuring that agency staff and volunteers are trained in, knowledgeable about, and follow the CRPR Child Safety Policy based on the recently-updated state laws and regulations. As the state guidelines change for day care and day camps, CRPR will be evaluating how this legislation will affect its camp operations and will make necessary changes if possible to keep this popular program in place. Operational expenses may change depending on these legislative changes due to more staff training, longer camp hours, more requirements for supplies and equipment, increased background checks, and other new protocols.

B. Promote and accommodate self-directed uses of the various parks and facilities by individuals, families and groups and provide efficient parks maintenance and operations services across an extensive range of recreation facilities at a reasonable cost. Ongoing Contributions… 

Maintaining and operating 56 municipal and regional park sites, as shown on the next page. The extensive parks maintenance tasks includes mowing and trimming, carpentry, soil work, building maintenance, masonry, plumbing, playground safety inspections, arboriculture, sport-field care and enhancements, trash/recycling collection, and janitorial tasks. The extent of maintenance required in any park depends on the features in each park, the popularity of each feature, and the durability/age of each feature.

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Owner / Lessee State College Borough College Township Harris Township Ferguson Township Patton Township CRPR Authority/COG TOTAL

Acres Maintained by CRPR 115 131 68 179 169 268 930 acres

Acres Maintained by the Municipality 0 80 0 27 110 0 217 acres

Total Acres 115 211 68 206 279 268 1,147 acres

Responsibility for Capital & Capital Repair Costs: Host Municipality Host Municipality Host Municipality Host Municipality Host Municipality The Modified COG Formula

The facilities assigned for CRPR operations have expanded over the years (as shown below): 1992: 2000: 2006: 2016: 2017:

272 acres at 33 sites 452 acres at 38 sites 670 acres at 49 sites 920 acres at 55 sites 930 acres at 56 sites*

*To allow for 2018 budget planning, June 30 is the annual deadline for the municipalities to request the addition of new park facilities for regional park maintenance. It is not anticipated that the Whitehall Road Regional Park will start construction until late 2018 or early 2019 and be fully operable until fall of 2020 or later.

Over the past decade, the community parks inventory has grown to include the renovated Park Forest and Welch Swimming Pools, the expanded Millbrook Marsh Nature Center with the Spring Creek Education Building, Hess Softball Complex, Oak Hall Regional Park, and the leased Parks Maintenance Facility, along with expanded or new municipal parks. The agency maintains 45 playground areas with no user fees charged or proposed. 

Performing parks maintenance tasks and special projects, as scheduled across the park system. Overall, the parks are noted by residents for the high level of care and responsiveness provided by CRPR staff. The agency continues to efficiently maintain all sport-fields, especially those sites used for leagues and tournaments.

Providing staff support for the Phase I construction of Whitehall Road Regional Park.

Promoting and enhancing the Park Partner Program, along with other volunteer initiatives, to maximize community involvement in assisting with the maintenance and development of our municipal and regional parks.

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Providing for concession services at the regional facilities. Food and team sports often go hand-in-hand and in some situations, like tournament games, concessions are often expected. Historically, CRPR has contracted with third-party vendors for concession services, which has not always worked well. As an experiment for 2017, the agency invested in equipment, food and drink inventory, and personnel to provide in-house concession services at Oak Hall Regional Park. So far, this test has worked well in terms of cost recovery and service to the customers, and is off to a great start in 2017. Third-party concessions still exist for both Park Forest and Welch Community Pools as well as Hess Softball Complex, and visiting third-party concessionaires do still visit Oak Hall Regional Park during youth tournaments. CRPR also improved and updated on-site vending machine contracts.

C. Provide coordination and administrative support for all agency operations. Ongoing Contributions… 

Providing administrative support to the CRPR Authority and the COG Parks Capital Committee by preparing agendas, minutes, reports, and correspondence.

Continuing to coordinate the Regional Parks Initiative and the associated projects currently underway.

Managing CRPR scheduling to better utilize all current and planned park facilities. In 2017, conversations started with the individual municipalities on overall maintenance, service expectations and assignment of tasks. This project is not complete but will continue through the year to determine best practices and to strive for some consistence across the municipalities.

Redesigning the agency’s website in 2017. This process began in late May with the advertisement of the Request for Proposal for qualified design firms to submit a proposal for the redesign process. Scoring and interviewing of the top firms will take place during the summer of 2017, with redesign to begin in late summer and early fall. Going forward, the agency will be able to better maintain and update the CRPR website, which will remain at the current www.crpr.org web address.

Initiating the CRPR participation in the annual Centre Gives 36-hour crowdfunding campaign operated by the Centre Foundation. The agency raised funds for Millbrook Marsh Nature Center’s operating funds and Phase II of the Spring Creek Educational Building expansion, the Active Adult Center’s Phase II capital campaign, and the Youth Scholarship Program. Approximately $4,600 was raised through this first-time participation.

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Completing the agency’s application to participate in NRPA’s “Fund Your Park” crowdfunding platform in the summer of 2017. Of the 14 projects selected, Millbrook Marsh Nature Center’s Phase II of the Spring Creek Educational Building expansion was chosen with a $25,000 goal. This fundraising project will run July 25 – August 24, 2017.

Seeking and investigating grant and donation opportunities to supplement the operating budget. For example, the small grant provided from Strider Bikes allowed the agency to start the Lil’ Striders program which teaches pre-schoolers balance and riding skills.

OF PARTICULAR NOTE 

The Centre Region Active Adult Center opened at its new, permanent location inside the Nittany Mall in January 2017. Prior to the move, the Active Adult Center relocated to an interim space at the Nittany Mall on September 1, 2015. Immediately upon moving to the permanent space in January, attendance grew and programs expanded, making this a very desirable center for the region’s active adults.

How Agency Programs are funded is being evaluated. An important aspect of the CRPR Funding Model is to, when feasible, have those directly benefitting from an agency service bear some or all of the cost to provide that service. The table at right shows the increasing revenue from reservation permits (pavilions, sport-fields, etc.). While there was a slight drop in revenue for permits in 2016, overall, the total permits increased by 67.

A new Patton Township park to be added: Upon project completion in 2017/2018 CRPR will assume operations for the new Grays Woods Park. The Phase I project includes a small park area with playground and trails.

Facility Reservation Revenue $180,000 $160,000 $152,612 $149,366

$140,000 $120,000 $113,473

$100,000 $80,000

$84,815

$121,880 $125,370

$131,638

$92,859

$60,000 $40,000 $20,000 $-

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2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

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A new Harris Township park to be added: It is expected in the next three to five years that Harris Township will request maintenance services for the new Tussey Pond Park, which is under the master planning process now. Development of this park will coincide with a re-design of Countryplace Park, which will allow the two parks to be connected and for Countryplace Park to be better utilized.

Fundraising Study: In March 2016, the CRPR Authority engaged a local fundraising firm (Affinity Connection Inc.) to guide agency fundraising efforts. The work got started in late 2016 but continued full force in 2017. The agency staff, including the newly-defined Recreation Services Manager position, will carry Circleville Park Basketball Courts, Patton Township this project forward into 2018 and beyond. The agency will request funds to support our continued fundraising efforts to include print materials, fundraising event infrastructure, and marketing needs. Affinity Connection, Inc. is currently providing assistance with:  Expanding the successful fundraising efforts to date (Millbrook Marsh Nature Center’s Phase II Spring Creek Educational Building expansion and the Active Adult Center Phase II).  Providing the necessary framework and assistance to raise funds for Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, the Active Adult Center, and the Regional Parks.

The “Growing The Game” Youth Basketball program expanded in 2017 and has 187 youth enrolled. The program ran on two nights in 2017, with girls playing on Tuesdays and boys playing on Wednesdays. The league was filled to capacity in 2017.

WHERE ARE WE NOW? For the period of January 1 to June 30, 2017, revenue and expenditures for the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Operating Budget were generally consistent with the projections contained in the 2017 budget with the exceptions noted below. The audited 2016 ending 2018 Program Plan – Centre Region Parks and Recreation Operating Budget

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year fund balance was $296,073, a $73,228 increase from the $222,845 projected in the budget. The fund balance was higher than anticipated because of lower than anticipated pension costs. There were a number of changes related to the pension plan (including the receipt of state aid for the defined contribution plan and the impact of GASB 68) that lowered COG’s pension contribution as compared to the prior year. At mid-year unanticipated changes include three full-time positions; Parks Maintenance Caretaker, Parks Office Staff Assistant, and Parks Recreation Services Manager being open for approximately six months each and parttime parks maintenance wages trending below budgeted levels as of May 31, 2017. WHAT IS THE COST? The 2017 budget for the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Agency provides for the revenue and expenditures shown in the table on the right. WHERE ARE WE GOING? Proposed Budgetary Changes for 2018… The following is a list of proposed changes that will directly impact the 2018 Parks and Recreation Operating Budget. Generally, except for changes in compensation and benefits costs, the 2018 CRPR budget will look similar to the 2017 budget. 

$18,750 is proposed for the Centre Region Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Study: In 2017, the CRPR Authority applied for a $37,500 PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Grant to engage a consultant to coordinate the development of a Regional Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Plan to guide both municipal and cooperative efforts and investments in the future. At

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the time of grant application, a 50% local match was guaranteed. In the 2017 budget, 25% of the full 50% match was included at a cost of $18,750. Therefore, the remaining $18,750 (the other 25% of the 50% required match) will be requested in the 2018 Budget. Pending DCNR approval of the grant application in late-2017, the actual study would be conducted in 2018/2019. While an outside consultant will be engaged to spearhead the project, the Centre Region Planning Agency agreed to also provide technical assistance for this project. The four main components of the plan are shown at right. In addition to the study components required by DCNR as a condition of the grant, other possible topics that have been mentioned by individual municipal officials include:  Governance of the Parks and Recreation Agency.  The relationship between the Agency and municipalities for capital repairs.  Opportunities to enhance environmental sustainability efforts.  Opportunities to reduce maintenance costs.  Opportunities to develop additional community partnerships.  Enhancing the coordination of uses among municipal and regional parks.  Review and discussion of parks and facilities inventories, how they are currently used, and deficient areas.  Review programming deficiencies to determine what else the agency should be providing. To develop the scope of work for the study, prepare a request for proposals, interview consultants, prepare a recommendation for a consultant for the General Forum to consider, and to work with the consultant, the General Forum approved the creation of a Steering Committee. The Committee is expected to hold its first meeting in August as schedules permit.

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Members of the Committee are: Organization

Name

Affiliation

State College Borough

Tom Daubert

Council

College Township

Eric Bernier

Council

Ferguson Township

Laura Dininni

Board

Halfmoon Township

Kim Hyeseon

Township Parks + Rec Board

Harris Township

Bruce Lord

Board

Patton Township

Susan Wheeler

Township Staff

Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority

Chris Hurley

Authority Chair

Centre Region Parks and Recreation Agency

Pam Salokangas

Agency Director

$8,000 is proposed to upgrade a Park Caretaker II position to Park Mechanic. This is not a new position, but an upgrade of a current position that is intended to give the agency increased capacity to provide in-house equipment maintenance, and to better reflect the actual job tasks. As the Parks and Recreation Director discussed with the Human Resources Committee, having a dedicated mechanic to repair and maintain mowers, groomers and hand-held equipment is critical. The job description for Park Mechanic is not finalized at this time.

Expand professional development opportunity for the CRPR staff: Increase the emphasis on staff training and professional development. A cost estimate for additional professional development is not available at this time but will be included in the detailed budget.

Continue to review state suggested changes to day camps: Agency staff will continue to monitor proposed statewide changes to day camp programs; current proposed legislation redefines summer day camps and may include new licensing procedures and operational requirements that could drastically effect the current CRPR KIDVenture and WeeKIDVenture programs as well as

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the agency’s week-long specialty camps. If there are budgetary effects from this proposed legistration, they will be reflected in the 2018 Detailed Budget. 

The Agency Director is currently reviewing personnel assignments to various service areas; it is proposed that there will be a shift in staffing assignments for some seasonal staff; overall, there won’t be an increase in salary request, but salaries would shift from one budget area to another. These changes will be reflected in the 2018 Detailed Budget. These changes reflect better methods of oversight, training, job tasks, and equipment operation, and will create a better work flow and efficiency for operations and supervision.

Additionally, there are plans to show operational cost centers for certain areas of the agency’s detailed budget; the goal is to show revenue and expenses for certain areas of operation.

Proposed Work Objectives for 2018… The following is a list of proposed 2018 Work Objectives for Centre Region Parks and Recreation: 

Provide the staff support necessary for the consultant and the COG Steering Committee to complete the Parks & Recreation Regional Comprehensive Plan.

Continue to provide the staff support necessary to complete the Phase I improvements at Whitehall Road Regional Park within the budget approved by the General Forum and consistent with approved master site plan for the park. The General Forum, through Articles of Agreement for the Regional Parks has asked the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority to lead this development effort within the approved parameters.

Publish the CRPR Recreation Destination Guide: Funds obtained through a Central PA Convention and Visitors Bureau Tourism Grant will fund the publishing of a print “CRPR Facility Guide” to highlight the parks, pools, nature center, and tournament sites.

Expand Tournament Hosting: Continue to promote the tournament opportunities provided by Oak Hall Regional Park and the John Hess Softball Complex, along with additional satellite fields, making the Centre Region a premiere softball destination in Pennsylvania for tournaments, leagues, parks rentals, and special events. These tournaments have the added advantage of giving local youth and adults the opportunity to play on their “home fields” without requiring travel to other locations.

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Continue to implement the CRPR 2015-2020 Strategic Plan: Consult, follow, and update the CRPR Strategic Plan with annual measurement evaluation and updating. The plan will assist in the development and refinement of annual work plans and aid in coordinating with priorities set by both the CRPR Authority and the COG Parks Capital Committee.

Grow community fundraising: Close out the contract work with Affinity Connection, Inc. to raise the appropriate funds for capital projects as well as agency operations for the Active Adult Center, Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, and regional facilities. Then the agency will expand the fundraising focus to supplement the municipal investments in parks and recreation projects in 2018 through Annual Giving, individual donor/corporate solicitation, fundraising events, grants, and participation in Centre Gives and other similar crowdfunding activities.

Continue to emphasize playground safety: Under COG policy, the funding of new or replacement playground equipment, as well as capital repair projects in their parks, is a municipal responsibility. This topic is included here to confirm prior discussions with the respective municipal staff that the replacement of some playground equipment and other park projects should be scheduled in their Capital Improvement Plans. CRPR staff involvement in that planning remains important.

Evaluate the way recreation programs are provided: Continue to partner with local businesses and experts-in-their-field to become instructors for CRPR program. Convert former commercial permit holders to independent contractors and bring those programs in-house as a win-win for both parties.

Continue to evaluate the agency’s programs to ensure they are current with the community’s expectations: Develop a multi-year plan for program operations (including leagues, fitness classes, and an annual program schedule). Continue to evaluate and refresh the program and special event menu to attract more participants. Develop more business and community sponsors. Locate additional indoor sites to host CRPR programs. Establish program evaluation procedures to guide the success of the agency’s programming.

Develop a policy for accepting major contributions to regional parks development: To help off-set municipal costs CRPR has been encouraged to work with other organizations (i.e., Centre Soccer, Central Pennsylvania Visitors and Convention Bureau etc.) to fund improvements at the regional parks. Contributions from these groups look promising, however, it will be important to maintain that the first priority for regional parks is to serve the residents of the Centre Region while at the same time recognizing the programmatic needs of the entity making the contribution.

2019 AND BEYOND Looking ahead to 2019, the significant policy level issues relating to the Parks and Recreation Program are:

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Implement the approved recommendations contained in the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan.

Review the COG Articles of Agreement: The 1974 Articles of Agreement for the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Agency are out of date and should be revised. Articles of Agreement are recommended by the General Forum and adopted by ordinance by the governing bodies of the five municipalities. It is proposed by the Executive Director and CRPR Director that one of the topics addressed in the upcoming Comprehensive Plan is the how the agency should be governed. The information and recommendations contained in the Comprehensive Plan may provide a good basis for updating the Articles of Agreement.

Identify and evaluate options for improving access to indoor facilities for community recreation: Continue the discussion of the need for an indoor recreation facility or community center. Staff currently travel across the region to oversee programs in various rented facilities, both during the day and at night. The shortage of indoor space has been magnified by reduced access to both Penn State University and the State College Area School District facilities. This topic will also be addressed during the Parks and Recreation Regional Comprehensive Study conducted in 2018. When this initiative is approved by the General Forum the involvement of the Authority and the COG Parks Capital Committee will be a priority. The lack of an indoor facility limits the amount and variety of programs offered by CRPR, which directly impacts the amount of revenue able to be generated.

Continue to work with the Park Capital Committee to identify and evaluate options for developing Phase II improvements to the regional parks. Two of the more immediate needs are constructing restrooms at the John Hess Softball Field Complex and adding pavilions and playground equipment at Oak Hall Regional Park.

Identify a long-term plan for a parks maintenance building: Because of the maintenance responsibilities CRPR owns (through the COG) a significant number of vehicles, trailers, mowers, tractors, etc. During the summer months CRPR employees over 30 full- and part-time staff to perform maintenance work. Currently, the maintenance facility is located in a rented temporary facility on Stewart Drive across from the Nittany Mall. The annual rent is approximately $55,000. Several years ago the General Forum discussed and provided for the construction of a parks maintenance building in the Phase I development plan for Whitehall Road Regional Park. This site was centrally located and the COG and Ferguson Township jointly own the land. Because of financial and other reasons this proposal was discontinued and no funds have been included in the 2018 budget for the design or the construction of a maintenance building. Looking ahead to 2019 and beyond, the General Forum should decide whether it should continue to rent or own its own maintenance building.

Identify the agency’s strategy for on-going support of community fundraising: As previously mentioned, the agency staff will continue fundraising efforts after the conclusion of the Affinity Connections contract. In 2017 and through 2018, staff will be refining our process and will determine the best methods for the agency which could include a mix of corporate donors toward specific projects, an annual giving campaign, sponsorship opportunities, increased grant applications, and fundraising-focused special events.

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MISSION The mission of the Parks Capital Equipment Budget is to track capital improvements of park maintenance facilities and the acquisition and scheduled replacement of motorized equipment/vehicles and computers that are used by the Centre Region Parks and Recreation (CRPR) Agency. WHAT DO WE DO? Starting in 2014, the Parks Capital Equipment Budget was directly-funded by the participating municipalities. Formerly, this revenue was transferred from the Parks and Recreation Operating Budget. Annually, the Detailed Budget includes an updated equipment inventory and multi-year replacement schedule. It is noted that all items over $10,000 are also listed in the 2018 to 2022 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The Parks Capital Equipment Budget currently includes funding for the purchase of parks maintenance vehicles and equipment and the scheduled replacement of Agency computer hardware. The CRPR vehicle and equipment inventory continues to increase in order to satisfy effective maintenance requirements A CRPR tractor and top-dresser works at a local park. in designated parks across the region (930 acres across 56 sites). Maintenance tasks include mowing, trimming, trash and litter collections, sport field operations, major and minor landscape projects, building repairs, supplies and equipment transport, turf care, tree maintenance, and a host of other tasks. To properly maintain and operate 56 sites, the CRPR equipment fleet consists of:     

18 mowing tractors 2 dump trucks 17 pickup trucks 13 flatbed trailers (used to transport equipment) 2 skid-steer loaders

    

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CENTRE REGION PARKS & RECREATION

CAPITAL EQUIPMENT

3 farm-style tractors 21 various tractor attachments 1 passenger van (used for camps and programs) 6 utility trucksters 4 ballfield groomers 193


The CRPR equipment inventory serves routine maintenance, capital projects, and major repairs in municipal and regional parks. Equipment is used and stored at eight satellite park maintenance buildings across the region or at the leased CRPR Parks Maintenance Facility located on Stewart Drive in College Township, across from the Nittany Mall. WHERE ARE WE NOW? For the period of January 1 to June 30, 2017, revenue and expenditures for the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Capital Budget were generally consistent with the projections contained in the 2017 budget. The audited 2016 ending year fund balance was $167,755; a $3,450 decrease from the $171,205 projected in the budget. WHAT IS THE COST? The 2017 Parks Capital Equipment Budget provides for the revenue and expenditures shown in the table on the right. WHERE ARE WE GOING Proposed Budgetary Changes… 

Scheduled Computer Replacements: It is proposed to annually replace four desktop computers from this fund. The scheduled computer replacements are at the two pools, the Nature Center and the Active Adult Center will be funded by their respective budgets. The cost estimate for the scheduled computer purchases will be included in the Detailed Budget.

Equipment Replacements and Additions: The scheduled replacements and additions over $10,000 within the Parks Capital Equipment Budget are fully outlined in the COG 2018 to 2022

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Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The goal of the CIP is to verify that there is sufficient equipment to ensure that all municipal and regional parks are maintained safely while being kept in a clean condition and remaining a cost-effective investment for the municipalities. To ensure the acquisition costs are low, equipment purchases occur either through a competitive bidding process or from a state contract. For 2018: Pending equipment evaluations in 2017, the following equipment purchases are scheduled for the 2018 and 2019 Parks Equipment Budget for a total of $96,100 and $121,725 respectively. Additional funds may be included pending the status of Whitehall Road Regional Park construction project. All equipment scheduled for replacement is evaluated annually; items that have no safety defects and maintenance issues will be delayed to a later year on the CIP.  Replace Chevy Silverado 4x4 Truck #202

$28,000

 Replace Toro Groundsmaster 328-D #172R

$30,900

 Purchase new Turf Topdresser equipment

$21,200

 Purchase new ABI Ballfield Groomer/parking lot/trail machine $16,000 2018 Total

$96,100

For 2019: Pending evaluations in 2018, the following equipment purchases are scheduled for the 2019 Parks Equipment Budget for a total of $121,725. Additional funds may be included pending the status of Whitehall Road Regional Park construction project. All equipment scheduled for replacement is evaluated annually; items that have no safety defects and maintenance issues will be  Replace Toro 4500-D Mower #177

$61,800

 Replace Chevy Silverado 4x4 Truck #215

$28,100

 Purchase New Truck

$31,825 2019 Total

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For 2020: The following equipment will be proposed if construction of Whitehall Road Regional Park is complete:  Purchase 6’ Turf Mowing Tractor

$26,500

 Purchase 10’ Turf Mowing Tractor

$63,650

 Purchase pickup truck

$32,800

 Purchase utility truckster w/attachments

$25,500

2020 WRRP Total

$148,450

An example of a small ABI Groomer.

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MISSION The mission of the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Aquatics Program is to provide safe, clean, and cost-effective public swimming facilities that allow for wholesome recreation opportunities for Centre Region residents. The Aquatics Program provides all ages with the opportunities to obtain aquatic and life-saving skills and to improve physical health. WHO ARE WE? On behalf of State College Borough and College, Ferguson, Harris, and Patton Townships, the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority (CRPRA) maintains, operates, and programs the Park Forest and William L. Welch Community Swimming Pools and provides programming at the State College Area School District’s High School Natatorium. To perform these services, the Operating Budget provides the following Aquatics Program staff: Full-Time, Year-Round: Aquatics Supervisor Half of a Staff Assistant at CRPR office

Part-Time, Seasonal: (up to 150 employees) Lifeguards Instructors Front Desk Staff 2 Pool Managers (1 at each pool) 4 Assistant Pool Managers (2 at each pool)

The facilities used by the CRPR Aquatics Program includes two regional pools that are a very popular destination for residents. The two outdoor pools are open each summer, seven days a week, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. In addition, the program has access to the indoor pool in the North Building of the State College Area School District High School. 

Park Forest Community Swimming Pool located at 2100 School Drive in Patton Township: The pool originally opened in 1970 with a partial renovation in 1991. The

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William L. Welch Pool 197


entire facility was renovated and re-opened on June 13, 2009 with a 220,000 gallon main pool that contains six lap lanes, two waterslides, and a diving board. This $3.2 million pool facility also includes a toddler pool with a spray pad and water spray features. Park Forest pool is located on land owned by the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority. 

William L. Welch Community Swimming Pool located at 670 Westerly Parkway in State College Borough: This pool originally opened in 1959 and was renovated in 1982; a waterslide was then added in 1987. Welch Pool was closed during 2010 for construction and reopened in 2011. This $5.4 million pool facility also includes: a zero entry main pool, a lap pool, current channel, toddler pool, a spray pad and water spray features, and beginning in 2016 a climbing wall. Welch Pool is located on land owned by the State College Area School District and leased to the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority.

Swimmers prepare to enter the water during the Pedal, Splash and Dash Youth Triathlon held at William L. Welch Pool.

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State College Area High School Natatorium: This pool is rented from the State College Area School District to provide yearround community swimming and diving instructional programming.

WHAT DO WE DO? A. Provide safe and clean swimming facilities for Centre Region residents at a reasonable cost. 

Maintain a clean and healthy pool environment that meets or exceeds the Pennsylvania Bathing Code requirements and other current industry pool operating standards. To ensure water quality, automatic systems monitor the water 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and staff manually test the water quality every two hours while the pools are open. In addition, water samples from each pool are tested weekly in a laboratory, and the facilities are inspected annually by state and local agencies.

Operate each pool safely and efficiently.

Ensure pool staff are well trained by providing training both prior to the season opening and twice monthly throughout the season to review rescue procedures, improve response reaction times, and keep staff up-to-date on current pool procedures and operations.

B. Provide quality programming and events at the aquatic facilities. 

Provide multiple-level swimming lessons year-round as well as an annual Lifeguard Certification Class.

Provide aquatic programs at the outdoor pools including swim teams, adult fitness, springboard diving lessons, and private swim instruction; offer pavilion reservations, and umbrella and pool rentals.

Hold special events at the outdoor pools including Friday Night Lights; Dive-In Movies; Pedal, Splash and Dash Youth Triathlon; Paws-A-Pool-Ooza; and $1 Admission Days.

OF PARTICULAR NOTE Some important comparisons can be made from 2008 (prior to any renovation work at the two pools) to 2016 (with two renovated facilities in operation):

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 Total pool visits per year nearly tripled from 48,122 in 2008 to 136,296 in 2016.  The number of season passes increased from 1,836 in 2008 to 4,176 in 2016. 

Municipal contributions to the Aquatics Program Budget dropped from $122,879 in 2008 to $0 for 2011-2016. 2011 was the first time in 25 years that municipal funds were not requested for Aquatics operations. In addition, operating revenue received from the operations also enabled a $50,000 contribution in 2012, a $70,000 contribution in 2013 and 2014, $30,000 in 2016, and $25,000 in 2017 to the Aquatics Capital Budget to help offset some of the capital costs and loan repayments. Similar contributions may be made annually for the foreseeable future, pending seasonal successes that are in large measure dependent on the weather. Hot weather translates into more revenues while wet and cold weather results in less income. Thanks to the popularity of the renewed pool facilities and the addition of fresh programming and supplemental recreation equipment for pool use, this strategy is expected to continue for 2018.

Municipal Contributions (Operations) $150,000

$100,000

$50,000

$0 2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

-$50,000

-$100,000

The agency’s initiative to offer mobile snack concessionaires at each pool has been very successful. It has fulfilled a need for patrons while also providing additional income to the agency, thanks to seasonal concessionaire contracts with local vendors. This service is appreciated by patrons, and the contracts’ commission fees will further enhance the Aquatics Program. For 2017, the pools will also sell some limited concession items at the front desk. Future expansion of concession services will continue to be explored with additional food concessionaires and/or in-house services. A successful in-house concession program was launched at another CRPR facility in 2017; therefore, aquatics staff will continue to evaluate that model to evaluate whether a permanent concession stand or a third-party operation would make a good addition to the operation.

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The new pool facilities, coupled with the popular array of recreational, instructional, and competitive programs and events, assist in attracting returning and new patrons to the pools. The renovated pools have enabled CRPR to offer new aquatic programs such as Youth Springboard Diving and FloFit, a fitness class that utilizes in-water floating fitness boards. The addition of a floating obstacle course for use during special events has already appeared to be a hit with patrons. This addition may drive additional attendance and ultimately increase revenue as patrons pay for daily admissions or pool passes to enjoy the course, along with the other available amenities.

TOTAL AQUATIC REVENUE $600,000 $500,000 $400,000 $300,000 $200,000 $100,000 $0

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 In 2015, the Aquatics staff began to use electronic time-clocks at the pools. This has already been able to reduce errors, omissions, or exaggerations on the timesheets completed by each employee. An additional benefit includes the reduction of staff time to correct, total, organize, enter, and submit the timesheets, which typically took approximately 6-8 hours per pay period. So far, the program has been successful and is intended to continue into the future.

WHERE ARE WE NOW? For the period of January 1 – June 30, 2017, revenue and expenditures for the Aquatics Program are consistent with budgeted projections. The 2016 Ending Fund Balance was $171,230, $73,728 more than the projected fund balance. The higher fund balance is due to better-than-anticipated income from daily admissions and lower than anticipated employee benefit costs. During 2011-2016, the increased pool attendance generated revenue that exceeded projections and covered all operating expenses. No municipal contributions were required for pool operations. For January – June 2017, expenditures are within budget estimates.

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WHAT IS THE COST? The 2017 budget for the Aquatics Program provides for the revenue and expenditures shown in the table on the right. WHERE ARE WE GOING? Looking forward to 2018 and 2019, the work objectives, which have been successful to date, will be extended. Aquatics program staff will continue to operate and maintain the pool facilities, provide programs and events, and investigate the costs of capital improvement projects as outlined in the Aquatics Capital Budget section. Proposed Budgetary Changes… •

The Authority has annually adjusted the pool entry fees to better match comparable facilities across PA. It is expected that season pass fees will be increased slightly for 2018.

• Due to the competition for qualified lifeguards and instructors, there may be slight increases to proposed wages for seasonal staff in the hopes that better pay will attract and retain quality personnel. These changes are expected to be approximately a 1% increase for seasonal staff. • Staff will continue to focus on the confirmation of the resident/nonresident status of each pool patron.

Parks & Recreation Aquatics Program revenue and expenditures from 2016 through the approved 2017 Budget.

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MISSION The Aquatics Capital Budget for the Aquatics Program was established by the participating municipalities to fund capital improvements to the regional pools as well as for the renovation of those facilities. The Aquatics Capital Budget provides for regular, predictable contributions for the larger capital expenditures that may be planned or unplanned. WHO ARE WE? The participating municipalities have maintained an Aquatics Capital Budget separate from the Aquatics Operating Budget for over 30 years. It was established to fund major pool repairs and the planning and construction of renovations at Park Forest Community Pool in Patton Township and the William L. Welch Community Pool in the Borough of State College as approved by the General Forum. The last six years have witnessed the transition of two dated pools facilities that were losing patrons and costing the municipalities’ money to two new state of the art facilities that have doubled patron usage and are financially self-sustaining. They are among the best public pools in Central Pennsylvania.

CENTRE REGION PARKS AND RECREATION

William L. Welch Community Pool

Some of the accomplishments funded through the Aquatics Capital Budget include: 

AQUATICS CAPITAL

The Master Site Plans were developed for the renovation of the two pools through a public process and were unanimously approved by the participating municipalities.

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A financial consultant and bond counsel were retained to prepare and issue requests for funding and evaluate competitive proposals for borrowing up to $7.9 million, the largest fiscal transaction in the Council of Governments’ (COG) history.

Park Forest Pool was fully renovated and under construction from 2008-2009. Construction began in August 2008 and the pool reopened to the public in June 2009.

Welch Pool was fully renovated and under construction from 2009-2011. Construction began after the pool closed in September 2009. The pool was closed for the 2010 summer and reopened to the public in May, in time for the 2011 pool season.

The total cost of both pool renovation projects combined was within the $8.6 million budget ceiling.

In 2012, the loan balance of $6.128 million was refinanced to a lower interest rate of 2.43% for the same term, reducing the overall debt by over $500,000. After the first 10 years, the interest rate will be calculated at 64% of one month’s LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate), plus 2.1% with a cap of 3.95%.

Capital Budget Review: 

2001-2003 – The municipalities contributed a combined total of $65,000 annually to the Aquatics Capital Budget.

2004-2006 – A combined total of $25,000 was contributed each year with the understanding that a bond issue may be considered for the approaching pool renewals.

2007 – The municipalities contributed $200,000, which was used primarily to offset the architectural fees that would accompany the pool renovations. The COG engaged a public financial consultant to guide the elected officials as they considered the various strategies to finance the upcoming pool renewals.

2008 – The municipalities contributed $465,000 to prepare for the anticipated loan repayments.

2009 – The municipalities contributed $350,000. Much of the fund balance was utilized following a cash flow management plan to pay for the pool construction costs from August 2008 through May 2010.

2010-2012 – The municipalities contributed $400,000 per year per the debt-service plan. In addition, municipal contributions were established to build a Capital Improvement Fund with $21,300 for 2010 and $39,500 for 2011 and 2012.

2013 – The municipalities contributed $317,825 to the debt service payments (a reduction from the prior three years); capital improvement contributions remained the same as the previous two years at $39,500. Also in 2013, $54,300 was spent to install an ultraviolet treatment system at both pools.

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2014-2028 – The annual debt service payments are projected to remain steady at $446,600 through 2028. However, the municipal contributions are supplemented by the available fund balance and by any available transfer from the operating funds. The final loan payment is scheduled in 2028.

WHAT DO WE DO? A.

Maintain, repair, and improve the two swimming pools operated by the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Evaluate and upgrade facilities and equipment as required by local laws and national operating and safety standards.

Perform necessary capital replacements and improvements on the pools as needed and, using the pre-determined Capital Improvement Plan to guide those replacements based on the recommended lifespan and condition for equipment pieces.

B.

Provide funding assistance for the planning and construction of new or renovated facilities.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Continue to build the fund balance for capital repairs and replacement projects that may occur annually in the future. In addition to the loan repayments, the consultants recommended contributing $20,000 per year ($10,000 for each facility) to address large scale projects (as needed) such as re-plastering a pool or fixing a major structural or system issue.

OF PARTICULAR NOTE With good summer weather, it is expected that annual operating revenue will again exceed expenses in the Aquatics Operations Budget. If that assumption holds true, it is planned that surplus income from the 2017 Aquatics Operating Budget will be available to transfer to the Aquatics Capital Budget to help reduce the municipal loan obligations. Surpluses in the Operating Budget in the years 2011-2013 and 2015-2016 were applied to the following year’s Capital Budget.

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William L. Welch Community Pool

Park Forest Community Pool

It should be noted that there are two cost center components to the Aquatics Capital Budget: 

Providing funding to repay the loan that was incurred to fund the renovations of the two pool facilities.

Providing funding for capital improvement expenses that may arise and to build a capital reserve fund for future projects or repairs.

WHERE ARE WE NOW? For the period of January 1 to June 30, 2017, revenue and expenditures for the Aquatics Capital Budget were generally consistent with the projections contained in the 2017 budget. The audited 2016 ending year fund balance is $86,556. This amount is $564 more than the $85,922 estimated in the 2017 budget. The major expenditure for the first six months of the year was $11,570 ($15,000 estimated budget) to purchase an inflatable obstacle course (Wibit Aquatrack) that is specifically designed for 25 yard pools like the COGs. It has six inflatable components that can be 2018 Program Plan – Centre Region Parks & Recreation – Aquatics Capital

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arranged and re-arranged to provide changing aquatic experiences. It has been used at both pools with great success and has been appreciated by the patrons. WHAT IS THE COST? The 2017 Aquatics Capital Budget provides for the following revenue as shown at right. The Budget provides for revenue and expenditures for both the loan repayment and for capital improvements. Unused capital improvement funds are accumulated in the fund balance to finance future large capital repairs and replacements. The replacement schedules for the new facility features are not easily projectable. In the short term, the Capital Improvement Budget allows for as-needed emergency repairs at the facilities; all equipment has been evaluated for its life-span and long-term replacement periods. Capital projects at the pools have historically been funded 100% by municipal contributions according to the Modified COG Formula and are reduced when feasible by transfers from operating revenue. WHERE ARE WE GOING? Together, the five municipalities participating in the regional Aquatics Program have made a significant investment in rebuilding and maintaining the pools. These facilities improve the Centre Region’s residents’ quality of life by providing opportunities to exercise, learn new skills, meet friends, and in hot weather “cool off” in a fun way. Looking forward to 2018, proposed budgetary changes include further enhancement of the two community pools, including: Parks & Recreation Aquatics Capital revenue and expenditures from 2016 through the approved 2017 Budget. 2018 Program Plan – Centre Region Parks & Recreation – Aquatics Capital

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Park Forest Community Pool  Consider the purchase of patio furniture to replace and supplement existing features at a cost of approximately $6,000.  Investigate options for a shade canopy for the top platform of the waterslide tower. During this summer staff will experiment with a patio-type umbrella while exploring more permanent options.  Replace the diving board at an approximate cost of $4,500.

William L. Welch Community Pool  Replace the automatic (submersible) pool vacuum unit at this pool at a cost of approximately $5,000.  Replace the ultraviolet treatment system which is no longer functioning at full capacity, at an approximate cost of $12,000.

Looking ahead to future budget years, it is suggested that funds be designated to retain a consulting engineer to evaluate the pool facilities and prepare a depreciation schedule as is the case for the replacement of fire apparatus and the maintenance of the COG and library buildings. Although the pools are new, pumps, filters, plumbing and electrical systems, all wear out over time. At the current level of funding, the monies will not be available in the long-term to replace the major infrastructures and equipment at the pools. However, staff believes the life cycle of these assets should largely extend past the final loan repayment date, thereby allowing the municipalities to repay the loan before investing heavily in capital repairs, replacements, and upgrades. That being said, staff’s assessment could change as pool use continues over the next several years. In 2018, the COG formula for the Pools loan will reset from the 2008 levels as was predetermined in the 2008 loan documents. The below table shows the 2017 and 2018 municipal contribution percentages, the corresponding dollar impact of the formula change, and the anticipated difference by municipality should total municipal contributions remain unchanged.

Municipality St College College Ferguson Harris Patton

2017 % 25.69% 17.44% 26.84% 9.49% 20.54%

2017 $ $112,174 $ 76,150 $117,194 $ 41,437 $ 89,686

2018 Program Plan – Centre Region Parks & Recreation – Aquatics Capital

2018 % 23.34% 16.75% 27.88% 9.71% 22.32%

2018 $ $101,912 $ 73,137 $121,736 $ 42,398 $ 97,458

$ Inc/(Dec) $ (10,262) $ (3,013) $ 4,542 $ 961 $ 7,772

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MISSION The mission of the Centre Region Active Adult Center is to be the Centre Region’s lead agency that provides a diverse menu of activities, events, and resources for active adults, ages 55 and over. The Center is operated by the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority (CRPRA) with the assistance of the Centre County Office of Aging. WHO ARE WE? The Centre Region COG and the CRPR Authority have operated the Centre Region Active Adult Center since 1975. Until 1986, the center was located in a church basement on Easterly Parkway and was open three days per week with part-time staff. Program oversight was provided by COG Executive Director in consultation with the Centre Region Senior Citizens’ Advisory Commission. Due to space and scheduling conflicts with the church, programming was limited primarily to noontime meals. In 1986, the Center moved to the newly-constructed Fraser Plaza in State College Borough. It was during this time the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority was named as the administrating agency for the Active Adult Center. In 2004, the Center was expanded by 1,700 square feet into the former CRPR office space. The most-recent five-year lease with the State College Borough was set to expire on December 31, 2017. Due to construction in the area, traffic congestion, patron-accessibility concerns, as well as the availability of a tenant that was interested in immediate rental of the space, the CRPR Authority voted to accept an offer from the State College Borough to terminate the lease effective August 31, 2015. After evaluating numerous sites, the CRPR Authority Board finalized details to relocate to the new 7,075-square foot space inside the Nittany Mall. A smaller interim space inside the mall was also secured while lease negotiations and permanent space renovations were completed. The Center relocated to the interim space on September 1, 2015. The permanent space was completed and the Center opened in its permanent location January 17, 2017, with a grand opening ceremony held January 27, 2017. Upon opening, the Center was renamed to the Centre Region Active Adult Center to attract the interest of active adults as well reflect the traditional services for the current patrons.

CENTRE REGION PARKS AND RECREATION

ACTIVE ADULT CENTER

The center remains a successful cooperative partnership between the Centre County Office of Aging and the COG/Authority. The Active Adult Center is staffed by a full-time Supervisor, full-time Staff Assistant, and up to 25 2018 Program Plan – Centre Region Parks & Recreation – Active Adult Center

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volunteers/program instructors to assist with a variety of activities including instruction of Tai Chi, Silver Spurs Line Dancing, Musical Qigong, Senior-Size Exercise, Genealogy, Second Winds Band, computer tutoring, other programs and presentations, coupon cutting and sorting, meal preparations and services, and various special events. WHAT DO WE DO? The Active Adult Center (AAC) provides a central location for adults, ages 55+, to come together in a community setting and take part in important opportunities for socialization, recreation, education, and nutrition. The center provides services and activities for participants that reflect their experiences and skills, meets their needs and interests, enhances dignity and respect, supports their independence, and encourages community involvement and peer connections. Healthy Steps Exercise Class in the Multi-Purpose Room at the new

The municipal funding shares for 2018 will be calculated using the 7,075 sq. ft. facility. residency data for individual patrons from July 2016 – June 2017. This calculation method was initiated in 2013 to more accurately account for participation by municipality. The process also identifies the number of non-residents from outside the Centre Region who are attending the facility. A.

Provide high-quality and diverse programming to the Active Adult Center participants.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Providing extensive information and resources on a variety of issues to a very diverse active adult population, ages 55+.

Offering a wide variety of fee-based programs along with free activities that stimulate the mind and body. Program examples include but are not limited to:

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Fee-Based Programs & Special Event Examples:     

Computer Education Open Artist Studio Bridge Genealogy Club Gadgets for GrownUps Cooking Together Sun Catchers Healthy Tai Chi

 

Free Activity Examples:       

Canvas Paint Party Splatter Art Yard Sale Murder Mystery Lunch “Carn-Evil Catastrophe” “Old Bag Auction” Progressive Weight Training

 

Earth Day Gardening Crocheting 101 Day Trips

         

Line Dancing Canasta & Poker Left/Right/Center Guggenheim Skippo Trivia Bingo CRPR Active Walkers Mah Jongg Musical Qigong

        

Book Club Rummikub Senior Hikers Healthy Steps in Motion Wii Sports Scrabble Brain Boosters Stretches, Weights and Walking Senior-sizing Seconds Winds Band

In addition, the center also hosts several guest speakers throughout the year who discuss a variety of relevant topics. The AAC also holds different programs and events including health screenings (blood pressure, vision, balance, etc.), vaccination clinics, special events, holiday celebrations, picnics, and book discussion groups in cooperation with the Schlow Centre Region Library. The center also is a distribution location for the Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers and other important and timely information. To keep the center activities relevant and current, staff conducts monthly planning meetings which encourage participants to provide input on program development, implementation, and volunteer opportunities. Providing this opportunity to participants helps to develop more interest since they have the opportunity to make the center and its programs their own. Discussing ideas and community opportunities that promote healthy living, independence, personal growth, and knowledge are the guiding principles for the programs and activities provided. 

Developing new program sponsorships to enhance services and to reduce municipal contributions, including HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, OMNI Home Care, Comfort Keepers, Home Watch Caregivers, Bright Star, Apria Health, State College Area Food Bank, Penn State Recreation, Park & Tourism Management students and interns, Penn State Gerontology Center, Medi Home Health and Hospice, Addison Court Senior Apartment Community, Home Instead Senior Care, Bellefonte Family YMCA, Northland Bowl, Bellefonte Lanes, Mountain View Country Club, Mount Nittany Medical Center, Centre County Coalition of Senior Centers, Forever Broadcasting, Foxdale Village Retirement Community, AristaCare@Hearthside

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Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Centre Crest Nursing Care Center, Elmcroft Senior Living, Juniper Village, Omni Home Healthcare, and Fullington Trailways. 

Creating new partnerships with community organizations. By way of example, the Centre County Transportation provides a van service that allows the Center to expand active adult travel opportunities to include special shopping trips, local farmer’s markets trips, picnics in local parks, outings for lunch at local eateries, local arts festivals and county fairs, and late afternoon and evening cultural performances on campus, in town, and beyond (Altoona, Mill Hall, Belleville, Raystown, and Lewisburg). Because motorcoach transportation isn’t always affordable or costeffective, van services like this allow smaller groups to attend these day trips on a more affordable budget.

Promoting and assisting with partners’ programming from Schlow Centre Region Library, Silver Spurs, Second Winds Band, Senior Hiking Group, PSU Gerontology Center, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) of Penn State.

Promoting the programs and events via the CRPR Active Guide, print and social media, the agency’s website, monthly calendars, and during special presentations when appropriate.

The Senior Hiking Group takes a break after a local hike.

B. Coordinating appointments and providing volunteers, staff assistance, and resources for income taxes, property tax rebates, rent rebates, Medicare updates, and farmer’s market vouchers. Ongoing Contributions… 

Coordinating daily transportation services (via the Centre County van service) as requested by participants including responding to phone inquiries for information and services as well as providing and updating the daily transportation roster. Included in the van services are weekly grocery trips, beauty shop visits, family visits, doctor appointments, and more. Donations are accepted from participants (50¢ per stop) to defray costs. All transportation donations are relayed to the Centre County Office of Aging.

Providing required monthly reports and statistics to the Centre County Office of Aging and the CRPR Authority, as well as any fund-granting agencies, where reporting of data is required as part of receiving those grant funds.

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Arranging for nutritious noontime meals, for a small donation, to Centre Region active adults while monitoring their special dietary needs. Active Adult Center participants, ages 60 and over, are provided a noontime meal with a requested donation of $1.50 per meal ($4.25 for those between 55-60 years); funds collected are split with Centre County Office of Aging. Noontime meals are prepared by a vendor selected by the Centre County Office of Aging and served by Active Adult Center staff and volunteers in accordance with ServSafe® and state regulations. Monitoring participant responses to menu selections and providing feedback to the Centre County Office of Aging regarding the food service contract.

Description # of weekdays the Active Adult Center was open # of weekdays noontime meals were served # of noontime meals served # Active Adult Center programs offered (titles) # of Active Adult Center program sessions held # of program visits # of program participants (individuals) # of weekdays the County Van Service used # of Van Service riders for the Active Adult Center

Jan 2017

Feb 2017

March 2017

April 2017

June 2017

19

19

22

18

21

18

18

21

17

21

436

416

502

426

441

42

47

45

53

54

347

338

346

282

374

3,294

3,505

4,282

3,848

3,793

231

240

235

242

259

19

19

22

18

22

305

312

377

294

363

OF PARTICULAR NOTE The Active Adult Center relocated to an interim space inside the Nittany Mall on September 1, 2015. Since that time, 610 new participants have joined the Center. On January 17, 2017, the Active Adult Center relocated to its permanent space in the Nittany Mall. The increased accessibility, parking availability, wide-range of programs and events, as well as the highly-qualified staff have demonstrated the Region’s dedication to its aging population. On average, the number of meals served and program visits have increased significantly. MAY

Meals Served

Program Visits

2015

239

1,433

2016

369

2,813

2017

423

3,951

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The CRPR Authority approved a lease amendment on May 19, 2016, finalizing renovation costs and rental payments and extending the lease from 10 years to 15 years, ending on July 31, 2030. The signed lease remains within the amended COG and Centre County approved budget as approved in late January, 2016. The final rental rate for the 7,075 square foot space is as follows: 

2016–2018

$13.00/square foot per year

2019–2021

$14.00/square foot per year

2022–2030

$16.00/square foot per year

Given the high rental rates for commercial space in the Centre Region, the rates that were negotiated with the mall owners are very competitive with the other site options considered by the CRPR Authority. In 2016, the CRPR Authority engaged Affinity Connections, Inc. of State College to assist with fundraising efforts related to further enhancements and Phase II additions. Affinity Connections expects to assist CRPR with raising approximately $100,000 for capital improvements to the center. To date, approximately 1/3 of those funds have been raised and are being held for Phase II renovations and additions. CRPR was awarded the PA Department of Aging “Senior Community Center Grant” in the amount of $65,744. These funds will enable staff to work with community partners to offer the proposed “Active Adult/Healthy Eating Initiative.” The initiative will combine successful, existing mental and physical health programs with new nutrition education as well as tips and tricks for healthy living. Funds will be used to complete kitchen upgrades including new appliances and equipment that will allow for hands-on, interactive cooking classes, healthy eating education, and for congregate meal service. New tables and chairs will also be purchased to accommodate the growing number of participants and the expected additional increase from the initiative.

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WHERE ARE WE NOW? For the period between January 1 to June 30, 2017, revenue and expenditures for the Active Adult Center were generally consistent with 2017 budget projections with one exception – funds were not received from the Centre County Office of Aging to provide 50% of the cost of the new part-time Staff Assistant position and consequently the position was not filled. The audited 2016 ending year fund balance was $60,180, a $31,158 increase from the $29,022 amount projected in the budget. The fund balance was higher than anticipated because of higher than anticipated community contributions received in 2016 as well as a grant provided through the Pennsylvania Office of Aging for the purchase of furniture and cabinets for the center. To date, the Active Adult Center has received an additional $4,500 in donations and continues to pursue these funds for the Phase II expansion. WHAT IS THE COST? Cost shares are allocated based upon the residency of individual center patrons (Unique Person Served). Municipal shares are adjusted annually based upon the residency of the program participants in the prior year. The 2017 budget for the Active Adult Center provides for the revenue and expenditures as shown at right. WHERE ARE WE GOING? It is expected that the following trends that were reported over the past several years will continue in 2018: 

According to the Centre Regional Planning Agency, the 60 and over population increased by 83% between 1990 and 2010, with an estimated 12% of the Centre Region population now above age 60.

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Parks & Recreation Active Adult Center revenue and expenditures from 2016 through the approved 2017 Budget.

215


The 2016-2020 PA State Plan of Aging reports that Pennsylvania is the fourth “oldest” state in the nation, with nearly 2.7 million individuals age 60 and over and more than 300,000 individuals age 85 and over. By the year 2030, it is estimated that 3.6 million or more Pennsylvanians will be age 60 and over.

In Pennsylvania, 28.9 percent of individuals age 65 and over live alone. In the Commonwealth’s rural communities, 44 percent of all single households comprise individuals age 65 and over. Overall, 39.1% of older adults live in a home they own.

According to the 2011-2015 American Community Survey Estimate; 35,826 of the individuals that reside in Centre County are 55 and over. Of that amount, 44.27% (15,861) reside in the five participating municipalities.

January 2017 Active Adult Center Grand Opening.

Proposed Budgetary Changes for 2018 The following factors should be reflected in the 2018 Detailed Budget that will be presented to the Finance Committee in September: 

Increased program revenue: In the Centre Region there is a shortage of indoor space for hosting recreation programs. The space in new Center has allowed CRPR to provide new programming options with respect to hosting evening and weekend fee-based programs for all ages, including seniors, adults, and youth. A portion of those program fees will be directed to offset the increased expenses to operate the Center which will partially offset the increase in municipal contributions needed to operate a larger facility. Increased community contributions: During the last six months, CRPR has undertaken initiatives to increase community donations to the Active Adult Center. It is anticipated that the 2018 Detailed Budget will anticipate an increase to the 2017 budgeted amount of $5,000 for improvements to the Center. Addition of a part-time Staff Assistant (20 hours/week): CRPR is proposing the addition of a part-time, year-round Staff Assistant to work at the Active Adult Center Welcome Desk. The position will allow for a dedicated receptionist to work 20 hours per week during the Center’s busiest time, which is between 10:00am – 2:00pm. The total estimated salary expense for

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2017 is $14,710 (no benefits will be offered). Typically, all Active Adult Center staff-related expenses are shared 50/50 with the Centre County Office of Aging per the current Articles of Agreement; Centre County plans to revise the Articles of Agreement with CRPR in 2017. It is anticipated that the Articles of Agreement will be in draft form during the Detailed Budget preparation, which will allow CRPR to adjust figures based on any proposed new formulas or shared costs between CRPR and the Centre County Office of Aging. In January, 2017 COG and County staff met to discuss the funding of the proposed Staff Assistant position. Centre County decided not to fund a 50% share of the costs. Instead the County recommended that volunteers from the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) be used. To date, RSVP volunteers are not in place although CRPR Staff continue to work with the County to place volunteers. With this Program Plan, the Parks and Recreation Director is recommending that the part-time position be fully funded by the COG in 2018. Customer service is crucial at the center and being able to greet walk-ins, direct participants to the check-in station, answer the phone, take meal and bus transportation requests, and provide a consistent presence is key. The Supervisor and Staff Assistant are typically busy with hands-on tasks related to supplies, equipment, program leaders, set-up/break-down, meals, plus short- and longterm planning, and more. Staff will also continue to recruit, train, and utilize volunteers to assist with meals, programs, and general center tasks which will supplement the Staff Assistant’s 20 hour work week. Hiring a part-time staff member for this position allows the AAC to provide consistent customer service and provides a regular face at the front desk for participants and visiting guests. Consistency is very important at the center because many participants consider the staff members their extended family. Because volunteer Bitty Ballet Class being held in the multi-purpose room after operation schedules vary and are inconsistent across long time periods, hours of the Active Adult Center. having different faces in that position does not provide for the consistency our participants desire. Additionally, training a single part-time staff member is a worthwhile investment as opposed to training several volunteers and repeating the training multiple 2018 Program Plan – Centre Region Parks & Recreation – Active Adult Center

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times because of changing schedules, vacations, other volunteer hours, etc. The AAC Supervisor can train a part-time staff member fully which allows them access to COG email, an account with ActiveNet, CRPR’s registration software, and other duties that would not typically be assigned to a volunteer. The supervisor can also hold this staff member accountable for their work and be confident that the employee has other CRPR and COG staff to assist them with employee development, training, goal-setting, and performance issues. 

Higher Utility Fees & Insurance: Relocating to the larger 7,075 sf space has resulted in increased utility expenses (electric, water, trash), janitorial services, and insurance. Center staff are currently working to obtain cost estimates for the 2018 Detailed Budget.

Proposed New Work Objectives 

2018 is expected to be a year of growth at the Centre Region Active Adult Center. Staff members are dedicated to increasing program offerings to include new fee-based health and wellness initiatives, creative art and music programs, and educational opportunities. The increased space and flexibility of the facility will allow multiple programs to occur at one time, increasing the benefits to participants.

The opportunities provided by the larger Center will foster community resources, social interactions, and mental stimulation for adults, ages 55+, through increased programs, events, and educational opportunities.

The Center staff plan to update marketing materials to include the new name, new programs, and new events. Staff will actively engage the community by visiting local senior living facilities, by attending local civic group meetings, and engaging Penn State classes.

Staff will continue to strategically recruit volunteers to assist with a variety of Center tasks including: meals and transportation, program instruction, greeters, and program hosts.

The staff will continue to conduct community outreach for future program partnerships and funding support, including grant opportunities and program sponsorships such as the PSU Department of Healthy Aging, the Centre County Coalition of Senior Centers, Osher Life Long Learning at Penn State, Global Connections, Geriatric Interest Network Organization, and numerous local senior service providers.

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Because the Active Adult Center and Agency staff will continue fundraising efforts in 2018, a small amount of funding will be set aside for those fundraising efforts; these monies will be earmarked as seed money for special events, marketing efforts, and additional direct mail pieces.

400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 1/1/2014-12/31/2014 (Downtown)

1/1/2015-12/31/2015 (Downtown)

Residents

1/1/2016-12/31/2016 (Nittany Mall)

NonResidents

Active Adult Center Patron Counts Per Year (Residents / Nonresidents)

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MISSION The mission of the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center is to educate and inspire the community about the natural world and to instill a passion for the environment through science, history, culture, and art.

WHO ARE WE? The Millbrook Marsh Nature Center (MMNC) is a recreation and education destination for the community. Its unique natural setting serves as a regional destination point that offers free passive recreation opportunities to the public while also providing educational options and revenue-generating rental facilities. To utilize the property, in January 1997, a 35-year lease at $1 per year between Penn State University and the Centre Region Parks and Recreation (CRPR) Authority was executed for the Nature Center after consulting with the General Forum. During 2007, the lease was extended through 2042 (plus three additional optional five-year extensions) to provide for the construction of the expanded facilities at the Nature Center. The center consists of a 12-acre farmstead plus a 50-acre marsh area in College Township. The 50-acre marsh area also hosts a Conservation Easement between Penn State and ClearWater Conservancy of Central PA. The conservation easement is a legal agreement and limits certain uses on all or a portion of a property for conservation 2018 Program Plan – Centre Region Parks & Recreation – Millbrook Marsh Nature Center Operating

CENTRE REGION PARKS AND RECREATION

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purposes while keeping the property in the landowner’s ownership. The easement is recorded at the Centre County Recorder of Deeds office and protects this area in perpetuity. The site also has a historic, restored barn and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certified Spring Creek Education Building. A capital campaign raised $1,087,830 (with 100% payment on all pledges) to fund the Phase I construction of the building and visitor parking area. The visitor parking area construction was completed in spring of 2016 and was funded by a grant awarded by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and additional contributions from private donors. Planning for the Phase II construction of the expansion of the Spring Creek Education Building as well as the addition of the Welcome Pavilion continued in 2016 and 2017. Led by staff and the MMNC Advisory Committee members, and with guidance from the fundraising consultant, a capital campaign is underway and has raised almost $500,000 as of June 2017. The buildings at the Nature Center provide a popular and local setting for community rentals and indoor education space. The unique wetland ecosystem allows the center to offer quality environmental education programs, wildlife viewing opportunities, and community events. Millbrook offers curriculum and state standards-based programs for students from local and surrounding school districts to learn about the importance of the wetland ecosystem. Other programs are designed to address the needs of scout groups and homeschool families. A wide range of activities geared specifically toward families, children, and adults are offered as well as youth day camp programs. The CRPR Authority appoints volunteer committee members to the Nature Center Advisory Committee for two-year terms. The committee represents the partner groups associated with the Nature Center and works with staff to help guide the developmental and operational needs of the center. Subcommittees were also formed to guide the financial and program aspects of the Center. In 2014, the Nature Center began focusing on Operational Fundraising to support the growing programs and the maintenance and upkeep of the facility. This was a positive move that has continued and which may provide more support in the future. The essential addition of the on-site part-time staff assistant in mid-April of 2017 enabled the Nature Center Supervisor and the Program Coordinator to focus on operational fundraising, the Phase II capital campaign, and expanding programs and revenue. The MMNC Staff Assistant greets visitors, oversees facility rentals, and assists the Nature Center Supervisor and Program Coordinator with daily tasks and projects. Because of this position, the supervisor is able to invest more time in developing non-municipal funding sources for the Nature Center. 2018 Program Plan – Centre Region Parks & Recreation – Millbrook Marsh Nature Center Operating

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CRPR staff support for the Nature Center includes: Full-Time, Year Round: Nature Center Supervisor Nature Center Program Coordinator Part-Time, Year Round: Nature Center Staff Assistant CRPR Staff Assistant – Main Office (funded 50% by this budget)

Seasonal: Spring/Fall Program Leaders College Interns Summer Camp Leaders Instructors

WHAT DO WE DO? A.

Preserve the Centre Region’s historical, agricultural, and environmental heritage by maintaining and enhancing the buildings and wetland ecosystems of the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Carrying out initiatives to make it easy for Centre Region residents and others to visit the center: By way of example, a new Visitor Parking Area was constructed in 2016 to accommodate the growing volume of visitors. The crushed-stone lot includes 84 parking spaces, rain gardens and walkways to the facilities. This project was funded solely by private donations and a 50% matching grant from the state. Prior to this project, visitors and buses parked on the grass, which proved to be problematic.

Maintaining the physical structures at the center in a safe condition that is representative of the Centre Region: Looking ahead, the MMNC staff evaluated the aging structures at the Nature Center including the boardwalk which is over 10 years old and has been damaged by storms, the dry sprinkler system in the unheated barn which has developed leaks due to interior rusting, the seven-year old grinder/pump stem for the SCEB restrooms, the seven-year old pump system for the geothermal wells, the exterior siding and roof of the barn which both require attention, the need for an ADA drinking fountain for visiting children’s groups, the staff offices which are located in the Service Building, and a rehabilitated barn which will require some major upgrades. The maintenance and repair of these existing facilities are addressed in the MMNC Capital Budget.

Providing facilities for community special events: Both the Education Building and the bard are rented for bridal/baby showers, meetings, workshops, retreats, wedding receptions, and more. This building is also the home base for the Puddle Jumpers Nature Play Program for preschoolers.

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Controlling invasive plants at the Nature Center with support from specialists and biologists at Penn State University, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and ClearWater Conservancy helps to keep the site safe for visitors and encourages native plants to thrive in this ecosystem. In particular, poison hemlock which is native to Europe and North Africa has been found at the Center. CRPR is assisted by Penn State University in eradiating the plants as they are identified.

Maintaining the MMNC grounds in compliance with the Conservation Easement and Management Plan, including land management and building operations.

B.

Serve the community by providing safe, fun, and educational programs for children and adults, community events, facility rental options, and other services.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Conducting programs to increase participation and grow program revenue with new programs such as the “Puddle Jumpers” Nature Play Program series (the only nature play-based program in the region), additional adult classes, and new exciting summer camps for youth such as the “Outdoor Explorer – Hiking Expeditions” and Boating Adventure camps.

Continuing to offer the “Eco-Explorers” afterschool program series (started in Fall 2014) in partnership with the SCASD Community Education Extended Learning (CEEL) program at six schools. This program series is the first time the Nature Center has provided off-site programming for children.

Continuing to develop and offer new programs including introductory kayaking classes, a family camp day program, plant walks, classes about reptiles/amphibians, and additional adult workshops such as outdoor painting.

Providing a large-scale family event each year in partnership with the PSU Recreation, Parks & Tourism Management classes: the Earth Day Birthday.

Developing an online presence for the Nature Center, including a Facebook page and monthly E-newsletters. This is intended to reach a larger audience and better promote the mission and programs. All Nature Center publicity is also shown on the CRPR Facebook page, website, and E-newsletters as well.

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Youngsters plant a Pawpaw tree during the Puddle Jumpers Program.

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Offering a recreational setting for visitors to enjoy dogs walking, bike riding, picnicking, hiking, bird watching, photography, painting, and time with their friends and families.

Providing quality environmental education programs for school groups, private groups, homeschool families, children’s birthday parties and more.

Developing the current volunteer program into a “Docent Volunteer Program” for the Nature Center to better organize and coordinate interested volunteers and their strengths. Currently, the Nature Center has a Volunteer Garden Coordinator who maintains the flower beds and gardens and other volunteers who offer their time and assistance with maintenance, photography, programming, and other duties at the center.

Focusing on quality customer service, well-trained staff, and offering a friendly welcome to all who attend programs and events.

Offering quality programs to meet the criteria for Boy Scout and Girl Scout education and skill classes.

C.

Millbrook Marsh Nature Center Girl Scout patch.

Develop municipal, private, and community partnerships to fund the development and operation of the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Cultivating outside resources and private contributions to fund operations and capital projects at the MMNC. Exploring funding and sponsorship options to expand community offerings. Meeting with educational groups, private citizens, and community groups to increase awareness of the Nature Center.

Expanding the “Friends of Millbrook Marsh” group to gather supportive and interested community members together to share ideas, discuss fundraising, participate in and organize events, and support the Nature Center.

Developing strong partnerships with area agencies and groups to offer joint programs and events, including Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, the Centre County Historical Society, Discovery Space Museum, PSU Arboretum, ClearWater Conservancy, and others. Attend events, conferences, fairs and meetings to promote CRPR and the MMNC.

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OF PARTICULAR NOTE 

Progress with Operational Fundraising: Starting in 2014 the Nature Center staff focused on operational support for the Nature Center. This fundraising effort was expanded for 2016 and 2017, to include contracting a fundraising consultant for the agency to do a feasibility study for the Active Adult Center and regional parks, including the Nature Center. Through grant programs, community donations, and major donor gifts, 71% of the 2017 Operational Fundraising goal has been secured as of May 2017. Developing relationships and a track record of success with potential donors are the most effective ways to raise these funds. This process takes time and attention to develop; therefore year-to-year revenue can be difficult to project. Dovetailing the fundraising for the Nature Center (for capital projects and for operating expenses) to other CRPR fundraising efforts remains of critical importance.

Grants: The Nature Center will apply for grants in 2018 to support programs and summer camps at the Nature Center, including a Walmart Community Grant for $2,500 primarily to purchase binoculars and additional kayak equipment. The Nature Center received several grants in 2017, including a Walmart Community Grant for $1,000 and a Columbia/Grassroots Alliance Belay Program Grant for $2,500 to purchase rain jackets for program participants and volunteers to borrow while on-site at the Nature Center and $2,500 for program supplies.

Alcohol Policy: The Nature Center introduced an Alcohol Policy in January 2017 for facility rentals and select MMNC events. For facility rentals, the policy limits alcoholic beverages to beer, wine, and champagne inside only the barn and the Spring Creek Education Building, and includes requirements such as adhering to the PA Liquor Control Board regulations and providing liability insurance. Since initiating this policy, the MMNC has booked three wedding rentals and is in the planning stage to offer a fall fundraising event. In 2016, the Nature Center booked one wedding reservation.

WHERE ARE WE NOW? For the period of January 1 to June 30, 2017, revenue and expenditures for the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center Budget were generally consistent with the projections contained in the 2017 budget. It is gratifying to report to the municipal officials that operational community fundraising for the center for the first six months of 2017 is in excess of $50,000, the highest amount in the history of the program. The audited 2016 ending year fund balance was $49,851, a $36,065 increase from the $13,768 projected in the budget. The fund balance was higher than anticipated largely due to savings attributable to lower than anticipated wages for full and part-time staff.

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A major focus of the CRPR staff in managing the Center’s budget is to identify and develop nonmunicipal revenues sources. Efforts that are reported below for 2017 are based on the 2017-2018 Work Plan: 

Operational fundraising is at 71% of the budgeted amount through the first two quarters of 2017 and while donations are never guaranteed or predictable, the MMNC Advisory Committee and staff are committed to developing future fundraising efforts. A Fundraising Consultant was selected in April 2016 by the CRPR Authority to conduct a fundraising feasibility study for the Active Adult Center and the Nature Center. The feasibility study for MMNC was completed in February 2017 and is used to guide the Nature Center for capital and operational fundraising. The Nature Center Supervisor and the Facilities and Finance Subcommittee at the Nature Center continue to work on operational and capital fundraising.

The expansion of program offerings has increased Seasonal Program Leader hours for 2017 and may increase slightly in 2018 due to the addition of new programs.

The Nature Center continues to coordinate with Clearwater Conservancy through the lives under a log on an Insect Safari Connections Program to provide funding assistance to groups that utilize the Nature during a spring field trip. Center facilities. While the MMNC programs are valued educationally, many groups in the community that attend the programs face difficulties in affording the costs of trips including transportation and program fees. To retain customers who provide revenue to the Nature Center, the Advisory Committee must continue to evaluate the program costs. The program fee for group programs remains at $7 per child at the request of the Nature Center Advisory Committee. While it is anticipated that the Connections Program will continue, it is noted that requests from schools for funding assistance have doubled since 2011. Currently, 75% of group programs to the Nature Center use Connections funding.

13 Specialty Summer Camps are being offered during eight weeks of summer 2017 and will teach youth skills such as Kayaking, Canoeing, Geocaching, Outdoor Exploring, Nature Art, and more. These camps involve contracting with a qualified instructor for specialty skills and the use of MMNC Summer Interns for camp support.

2nd Grade Students investigating what

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Millbrook Marsh Nature Center’s Phase II expansion of the Spring Creek Education Building was chosen to be a project with NRPA’s “Fund Your Park” crowdfunding platform in the summer of 2017. For 30 days, this project will be funded through donations from all over the nation. Good For PA/Good For All will be a partner during our campaign and will help us to formulate our marketing efforts to get the best promotion during the event. The MMNC will be able to keep all funds raised minus a 5% administrative fee; the overall goal is $25,000.

WHAT IS THE COST? The 2017 budget for the Nature Center provides for the revenue and expenditures as shown on at right. WHERE ARE WE GOING? Looking ahead, fundraising will be vital to covering an increase in upcoming operational costs. Growing programs, increasing rental requests and monitoring short and long term maintenance needs of the site will all require additional staff. A review of staff responsibilities and priorities is warranted to determine how the Nature Center Supervisor should devote efforts to fundraising while also supervising daily operations of the Center. Proposed Budgetary Changes for 2018 and 2019… 

Operating and Capital Donations: The Nature Center Advisory Committee will continue work to grow both types of donations in 2018 and future years. We believe that these efforts will build a stronger financial foundation that cannot be achieved with user fees alone. Further, the 2018 Detailed Budget will again be prepared in a

Millbrook Marsh revenue and expenditures from 2016 through the approved 2017 Budget.

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manner that reflects the true costs of operating the site with less subsidizing from the main CRPR budget. Staff will continue to seek and apply for grants or targeted donations to support the needs of the MMNC. Operational donations can be challenging when capital projects are also underway, but for 2018, both will be a focus. Operational donations for 2017 are budgeted at $64,875 (71% raised so far), while in 2016 $46,178 was raised (budgeted at $56,176). Capital fundraising for 2018 will focus on donations to supplement the $160,000 pledged by a major donor to allow the Phase II Construction of the Spring Creek Education Building and the Welcome Pavilion to be constructed, as well as grant funding. 

Staff Development for Fundraising: In addition to the assistance from the Fundraising Consultant, the Nature Center staff will need continued training in the techniques and procedures of facilitating fundraising. This skill, which can be learned through workshop settings, webinars, and mentoring will enable staff to efficiently solicit operational and capital funds. Also, fundraising has a cost associated with the process, including thank you letters, breakfast or coffee meetings, printing fundraising materials, planning and offering small events for donors, etc. Staff will identify expenses related to fundraising efforts in the 2018 Detailed Budget.

Program and Maintenance Supplies/Equipment: New program ideas are being explored for programming ideas and successful, sustainable funding strategies. Staff expects to maintain those programs that are popular and add new programs to replace those programs that are not self-supporting. Expenditures for this category will increase slightly due to the increased activities planned for 2018. Expenditures for contracted services may increase slightly for 2018 due to the increased summer camps which include the costs of rental vans for campers, trucks for pulling boat trailers, and maintaining qualified instructors for the specialty camps. Because expenses will be reimbursed through the fees charged for participating in the program, the budgetary impact is negligible. The Nature Center Supervisor will continue to apply for grants to reduce program supply costs.

Facility Renovations: In the CIP and Capital Budget staff identified initial capital improvement projects for the 2018 budget year. CRPR staff will continue to identify a methodology to prepare further assessments of the physical structures at the Nature Center and the cost for replacing them in accordance with a capital replacement schedule (CIP). The features that need more immediate attention are the barn’s dry sprinkler system, upgrading the barn lights to energy-efficient LEDs, the center’s boardwalk system, staining the barn siding, safety lighting for the Visitor Parking Area, the need for an ADA drinking fountain for visitors, Service Building repairs, and barn roof repairs and replacement. Previously, the Capital Budget has been focused on funding the construction of the new structures at the Nature Center. The budget now includes funding for the replacement and/or repair of major capital items costing over $10,000. The Executive Director recommends using the initial assessment of the current facilities in this Capital Budget and include municipal contributions that would be focused on maintaining the current structures. Municipal contributions would be linked to an approved capital improvement schedule. This approach has been used successfully in keeping the fire stations, library, and theCOG building in a safe, energy efficient, and attractive condition.

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MISSION The mission of the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center Capital Budget is to provide funds for the improvements listed on the Master Site Plan, including the Spring Creek Education Building, the Welcome Center, and visitor parking as approved by the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority and the COG General Forum. This fund also addresses the major routine and preventative maintenance needs at the Nature Center.

The barn and Phase I of the Spring Creek Education Building at Millbrook Marsh Nature Center.

CENTRE REGION PARKS AND RECREATION

WHO ARE WE? Since 1997, the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center (MMNC) has been a destination in the heart of the Centre Region that offers quality environmental education programs, a friendly staff, and a beautiful setting. The Nature Center consists of a 12-acre farmstead and a 50-acre marsh area in College Township. The land is home to two main structures: a historic, restored barn and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certified Spring Creek Education Building (SCEB). The Marsh land also contains boardwalks, picnic tables, pavilions, and wildlife viewing areas that visitors utilize daily. Since its initial development, the Nature Center has expanded its programs and rental opportunities and drop-in traffic continues to increase greatly by residents and visitors alike. 2018 Program Plan – Centre Region Parks & Recreation – Millbrook Marsh Nature Center Capital

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WHAT DO WE DO? A.

Plan, develop, and support future additions to the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center through a capital building campaign, donations, grants and other sources to extend the ability to offer quality programs and recreation options.

Ongoing Contributions… 

Continue working toward the Phase II expansion of the Spring Creek Education Building and the construction of the Welcome Pavilion (near the new parking area).

Continue to make connections with past and potential donors for upcoming capital projects.

Continue to monitor, evaluate, and maintain the overall site and its facilities.

OF PARTICULAR NOTE 

Phase II of the Spring Creek Education Building (SCEB) continues to progress with architectural drawings, renderings, and an updated project budget completed in April of 2017. The estimated project budget is $1,719,740 and includes two classrooms, a large meeting and event space, two additional restrooms, and sustainable features such as solar panels and recycled materials. The existing SCEB is currently the only temperaturecontrolled space on-site. It is only able to Phase II Spring Creek Education Building, First Floor Rendering by AP accommodate one group at a time due to sound Architects constraints and is limited to 50 people per floor. As part of the Phase II expansion, the existing first floor space will be converted to a welcome area with a docent greeter, gift shop, and an educational display. State funding was requested in April 2017 through a PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural

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Resources (DCNR) grant application in the amount of $350,000. Fundraising efforts to seek additional project support from private donors and grants continue. Recommendations, solicitor trainings, and a campaign brochure were provided by the fundraising consultant in 2017. 

In late 2016, new fencing was donated and installed around the native pollinator garden. The Builders’ Association of Central Pennsylvania donated all of the materials and volunteered their time to build the fence during fall of 2016. Thanks to this effort, the garden is more pronounced for visitors to find and deters animals from eating the plants, leaving them for the pollinators to enjoy.

Phase II Spring Creek Education Building, Second Floor Rendering AP Architects

WHERE ARE WE NOW? For the period of January 1 to May, 2017, revenue and expenditures for the Millbrook Marsh Center Capital Budget were generally consistent with the projections contained in the 2017 budget. As estimated in the budget over $300,000 in community contributions have been pledged for the Phase II construction of the Spring Creek Educational Building. The audited 2016 ending year fund balance was $16,419 which is $6,221 more than the $10,198 estimated in the 2017 budget. As discussed in the “Looking Ahead” section of this Program Plan, a number of the Nature Center structures and facilities are now over 10 years old and will require capital level repairs and funding is not available under current budgeting practices. WHAT IS THE COST?

Parks & Recreation Millbrook Marsh Capital revenue and expenditures from 2016 through the approved 2017 Budget.

The 2017 capital budget for the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center provides for the revenue and expenditures shown in the table on the left.

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WHERE ARE WE GOING? Proposed Budgetary Changes… 

Spring Creek Education Building Phase II: As part of the 25-year vision for the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, we remain on track with this project. Over the past 20 years, the Nature Center has grown exponentially from the early programming plans of 1997, to 3,000 visitors for programs, events, and rentals in the year 2000, to over 14,000 visitors in 2016. These numbers do not include the countless visitors who explore the Marsh on their own for hiking, wildlife viewing, picnicking, and other recreational uses. While this growth is exciting, we are experiencing limitations on our existing facilities, as mentioned above. The expansion of the SCEB will provide classroom and meeting space to accommodate the increased in popularity for programs, retreats, workshops, and family events.

Welcome Center Pavilion – As shown on the Master Site Plan, a Welcome Pavilion is planned to be constructed in conjunction with the Phase II development of the SCEB, for cost savings. The Welcome Pavilion would include four ADA family restrooms, a water fountain with a water bottle filling station, benches, educational signage and a brochure rack. Architectural drawings and renderings are complete for this facility and an updated budget will be provided in late 2017.

Welcome Pavilion at Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, Architectural Rendering AP Architects

Proposed New Work Objectives… 

Capital Improvement Plan: The buildings, structures, systems, and amenities at the Nature Center have been evaluated for repairs and replacements and the Phase II Campaign will consider these projects:  New item - Expanding the Spring Creek Educational Building.  New item - Constructing the Welcome Pavilion including adding an exterior ADA accessible drinking fountain.  New item - Exterior and interior improvements to the Service Building that houses staff offices.  New item - Install safety lighting in the Visitor Parking Area including lights along the pathways that lead to the facilities.

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 Existing item - Stain the siding and roof repairs and replacement for the barn.  Existing item - Replacement of the sprinkler system in the barn, due to interior rusting of the sprinkler piping.  Existing item - The boardwalk, which is now over 10 years old, has been damaged on several occasions by flood waters and needs to be replaced.  Existing item - Pavilion and sun shelter repair and improvements.  Existing item - Parking area and pathway repair and renewal. These projects will be included in the Capital Improvement Plan for the upcoming six years. LOOKING AHEAD An initial assessment has been made regarding the physical structures at the Nature Center and those projects requiring attention have been added to the MMNC Capital Improvement Plan. However, during late 2017 and early 2018 the COG and CRPR staff will identify a methodology to prepare a more in-depth and detailed assessment of the physical structures at the Nature Center and the cost for replacing them in accordance with a capital improvement schedule (CIP). To ensure that the information collected during the assessment is accurate and the cost estimates are realistic the retention of a consulting professional engineer may be recommended. This assessment will be limited in scope to the existing structures. Existing capital items that require more immediate attention are renewal of the boardwalk system, service building repair and replacement, and repairs/replacement of the barn roof. Previously, the Capital Budget has been focused on funding the construction of the new structures at the Nature Center. The Executive Director recommends using the initial assessment of the current facilities in this Center Capital Budget and include municipal contributions that would be focused on maintaining the current structures. Municipal contributions would be linked to an approved capital improvement schedule. This approach has been used successfully in keeping the fire stations, library, and the COG building in a safe, energy efficient, and attractive condition.

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MISSION The purpose of the Regional Parks Capital Budget is to provide for the jointly-financed capital costs associated with the development of the three regional parks that the municipalities have acquired through the Centre Region Council of Governments (COG). The three parks are: 

John Hess Softball Field Complex, 21 acres in Harris Township – In operation since 2011. This property is owned by the COG (College, Ferguson, Harris, Patton Townships and State College Borough).

Oak Hall Regional Park, 68 acres in College and Harris Townships – This new park was opened in May 2015. This property is owned by the COG (College, Harris, Patton Townships and State College Borough).

Whitehall Road Regional Park, 100 acres in Ferguson Township – This property is jointly owned by the COG (College, Ferguson, Harris, Patton Townships and State College Borough) and Ferguson Township. The planning and Phase 1 construction of this park remains on hold as a result of delays by the proposed development which would provide access and utilities to the new park.

WHO ARE WE?

CENTRE REGION PARKS AND RECREATION

The view of Mt. Nittany from Oak Hall Regional Park.

The Regional Parks Capital Budget was established to be a repository of funds relating to the development of three regional parks. The Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority was designated, through Articles of Agreement adopted by the participating municipalities, as the entity responsible for regional park development and operations. The Regional Parks Capital Budget is the budget that the CRPR Authority uses to carry out the charge given to it by the municipalities acting collectively through the General Forum.

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Since the authority has no independent funding, major policy issues relating to regional parks are discussed with the Parks Capital Committee as established in 2008 with the adoption of revised Articles of Agreement for the Centre Region COG. Under this agreement the responsibilities of the Parks Capital Committee are: 

To recommend the designation of regional park facilities to the General Forum.

To develop and recommend a funding strategy for the planning, development, and operation of regional park facilities to the General Forum.

To cooperate with the CRPR Authority in the preparation of recommended master site plans for regional recreation facilities for referral to the General Forum and/or the participating municipalities.

To study and prepare recommendations on regional parks for the COG Executive Committee.

WHAT DO WE DO? A. Cooperatively establish a framework for the ownership, management, planning, development and operation of regional parks and implement those processes with the participating municipalities. Ongoing Contributions… 

Identify, evaluate, and recommend options to fund the Phase I development of the regional parks. After the Phase I development is complete, this budget may be used to finance the Phase II construction at the regional parks and the possible building of a centralized parks maintenance building should the General Forum decide that renting a maintenance facility is not the best option.

Monitor the regional park project loan financing to ensure that it is the most cost-effective option available to the participating municipalities. This review includes interest rates, loan periods, and opportunities to lower costs. In 2017, the Oak Hall and Whitehall Road Regional Parks loan was modified, which provided a lower interest rate over the term of the loan. It also provided reduced fees and an additional three years to draw funds for park construction.

The CRPR Authority Board and the COG Parks Capital Committee meet jointly each month to review and approve project plans and progress for the regional parks. Previously, the groups also coordinated the renovations of the two community swimming pools. Actions that are necessary to proceed with the regional parks are then recommended to the General Forum.

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OF PARTICULAR NOTE With the opening of the John Hess Softball Field Complex and the Oak Hall Regional Park, the 2018 Regional Parks Program Plan is focused on the Phase I development of the Whitehall Road Regional Park within the budget approved by the General Forum. In 2011 the Centre Regional Recreation Authority (now known as the Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority) entered in to a $7,578,800 loan with Fulton Bank. The loan was incurred to fund improvements at Oak Hall Regional Park and Whitehall Road Regional Park. The Phase I Oak Hall Regional Park Project is complete and the remaining $4.8 million is designated for Phase I of the Whitehall Road Regional Park project. The repayment of this loan was guaranteed by the municipalities that participate in the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Program. The loan has been modified five times since 2011. According to the terms of the fourth amendment to the loan, all funds had to be drawn down (used) by June 1, 2017. To evaluate options for proceeding with the loan, the Authority after conferring with the Finance Committee, retained the services of a financial consultant and bond counsel. After meeting with these individuals it was decided to ask the financial consultant to meet with representatives from Fulton Bank to identify terms for re-negotiating the loan Fulton Bank responded with the following terms:

Whitehall Road Regional Park Site

 The date of the final draw will be extended from June 1, 2017, to June 1, 2020.  The fixed interest rate will be reduced from 2.80% to 2.59% through 2022.  No change in maturity date or guarantees. There will be no prepayment penalty. 2018 Program Plan – Centre Region Parks & Recreation – Regional Parks Capital Budget

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 To draw an additional $167,798 on the loan and place the proceeds in a deposit account at Fulton Bank.  A loan modification due to Fulton Bank of $2,500. During its May 22, 2017 meeting, the General Forum approved Resolution 2017–2 that asks “the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority to modify the regional parks loan with Fulton Bank in accordance with

its May 1, 2017 proposal. Furthermore, this action is approved with the stipulation that if construction contracts are not executed within a period of time not to exceed one year then the CRPR Authority shall discuss the project with the General Forum prior to proceeding.” Based on the General Forum’s action on May 24, 2017, the authority approved a modification to the loan agreement as described above. As the municipal officials are aware, the facilities that the park will contain are directly linked to whether the adjoining property is developed. The development of the adjoining property has been litigated at Centre County Court, Commonwealth Court and may be considered by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. If the proposed development of the adjoining parcel goes forward then the costs for the road, off-sight traffic improvements and utilities to the park will be minimal. If the project does not go forward then these costs would be paid from the regional park budget. WHERE ARE WE NOW? The COG staff wrestled with how much detail to provide regarding the facilities may be included in the Whitehall Road Regional Park. Given the uncertainties of the situation it was decided not to provide plans that may be inaccurate. Simply put, the park will be developed within the budget approved by the General Forum and consistent with the approved Master Site Plan. If the road, off-site traffic improvements, and utilities are constructed by the adjoining property owner then there will be more amenities. If it turns out that the CRPR Authority/COG is responsible for the infrastructure, then there will be fewer amenities. In addition, if community groups contribute sufficient funds to build artificial turf fields and lighting, then those facilities will be included in the construction project. If funds are not contributed then there will be grass fields with no lighting.

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WHAT IS THE COST? The participating municipalities have allocated $4.8 million to develop Whitehall Road Regional Park. This budget may be augmented by contributions from local community groups that want to see the new park development. The amount of these possible contributions is unknown at the present time. WHERE ARE WE GOING? Proposed Work Objectives for 2017 and 2018… 

Advance the development of the Whitehall Road Regional Park within the budget approved by the General Forum and consistent with the approved master plan.

Identify and confirm community contributions to the project. Several organizations have expressed strong interest in

Parks Capital Budget revenue and expenditures from 2016 through the approved 2017 Budget. 2018 Program Plan – Centre Region Parks & Recreation – Regional Parks Capital Budget

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contributing to the project if it includes at least one artificial turf field and one field with lights that would allow for games to be played at dusk. 

Researching grant opportunities in 2018 to secure additional funding for additional improvements to the facilities at Whitehall Road Regional Park.

Proposed Work Objectives for 2019 and beyond… 

Advance the Phase II development of the Regional Park especially the construction of restrooms at Hess Field and a playground at Oak Hall Regional Park.

Decide whether the COG should continue to rent a parks maintenance facility or build one at a location that the municipalities can agree to.

Hess Softball Complex, Harris Township

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2018 Program Plan  

The first of three budgetary documents, the Program Plan presents the history and purpose of each COG Program, our goals, where we are at in...

2018 Program Plan  

The first of three budgetary documents, the Program Plan presents the history and purpose of each COG Program, our goals, where we are at in...

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