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Centre County focusing on improving quality of life

PHOTO PROVIDED Centre County Courthouse

BELLEFONTE — 2018 certainly was an interesting year for Bellefonte and the Centre Region. There are going to be plenty of changes on the horizon in Bellefonte and the Centre Region in 2019.

Let’s take a closer look at some things to look for:

CENTRE COUNTY

GOVERNMENT

The new year promises to be a busy one for Centre County Government.

The Centre County Commissioners closed out 2018 by making a $500,000 contribution to Centre Care, Inc. The contribution will help jump start Centre Care’s move to a new facility in College Township.

According to chair Michael Pipe, there’s a lot on the horizon for Centre County.

“In 2019, I’m looking forward to continuing to improve the quality of life in Centre County. The county will be focusing on many projects including upgrading our voting machines, renovating our historic courthouse, improving our energy infrastructure throughout our county buildings, enhancing 9-1-1 and public safety in our communities, and finding innovative ways to help invest and grow our small businesses,” Pipe said. “The future success of these programs and initiatives is made possible through teamwork and partnerships. That’s why I’m especially looking forward to being a part of the ongoing commitment to collaboration in Centre County government.”

The upgrade of voting machines will be done soon. In December, the commissioners hosted a Town Hall meeting where residents could get an up close and personal look at the machines. It gave them a chance to “kick the tires” and ask questions.

“This is a long term commitment,” commissioner Mark Higgins said during the Town Hall meeting. “This equipment usually lasts 15 to 20 years because you only use it two days a year.”

OPENINGS

AND CLOSINGS

Pappy Chuck’s Candy Shoppe, located at 125 W. Bishop St., closed its doors on Saturday. The store – which sold unique candy as well as soft-serve ice cream – was open for just several months and was a popular spot for children of all ages. In the end, though, owner Chuck Kormanski just couldn’t sell enough candy to keep the shop open.

“It is with great sadness that I must close Pappy Chuck’s Candy Shoppe,” owner Chuck Kormanski wrote in a Facebook post.

To liquidate his stock, Kormanski offered a “buy one, get one” deal on candy during his final weekend in business.

Another Bellefonte staple, Bonfatto’s, closed its doors at its Zion Road location on Dec. 30. However, Bonfatto’s will re-appear in February at a new location in downtown Bellefonte. Bonfatto’s Italian Market and Corner Cafe is slated to open at 401 W. High St.

According to its website, Bonfatto’s will continue to serve the world-famous Bonanza sub as well as some new staples, including hand-pulled espresso and cappuccino.

Bonfatto’s Restaurant and Lounge has been located along Zion Road for nearly two decades.

Speaking of Zion Road, the Old Farmhouse Eatery recently opened its doors for business. It’s located in the spot formerly occupied by Michael’s Tavern. The Eatery features homestyle food and is currently BYOB.

ROGERS STADIUM

In November, the Bellefonte Area High School football team played its first game at the new and improved Rogers Stadium.

New turf, new bleachers and new lights were installed at the field as Phase One of the project was completed. In 2019, look for Phase Two work to start as the district prepares for an entire football season at the stadium. In 2018, the Red Raider football team was forced to play “home” games at Lock Haven University and Bald Eagle Area High School, respectively.

The cost of Phase One was estimated at $4.1 million. Phase Two is expected to cost $3.4. Phase Two includes installation of an all-weather track, gates, ticket booths, restrooms and concession stands.

Bellefonte’s first game on the newly-turfed field was a 10-9 win over rival BEA. This fall, the Red Raider football team will play its entire home slate at the field. The Bellefonte Area High School boys’ and girls’ soccer teams expect to play some games there as well.

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