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Borough Council Extends Special Activity Cancellation Through June 30

The State College Borough Council met via video conference call for the first time Monday evening to pass two resolutions, extend the cancellation of all activities and special events through June, and extend the deadline to pay real estate taxes.

Mayor Ron Filippelli kicked off Monday’s meeting by shouting out the Makery, a State College creative collective that has made masks for State College officials and municipal workers free of charge. Filippelli sported a blue mask throughout the meeting that he said was provided by the Makery and encouraged listeners to donate to the group. At the time of writing, 73 cases of coronavirus and one death due to complications from the virus had been reported in State College.

The council then passed two resolutions. The first expressed “strong support” for Governor Tom Wolf’s efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic, while the second called for Pennsylvania representatives to extend a moratorium on evictions and rent collections in the Commonwealth.

Read by councilwoman Deanna Behring, the second resolution noted that the Borough did not have the legislative power to prevent evictions and that the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania had already blocked evictions and rent collection through April 30. The resolution called for this moratorium to be continued by the commonwealth’s highest court through May 30.

“This is a full circle that affects all of us, and all of us need to be understanding and accommodating,” councilman Evan Myers said, noting that rent collectors and small businesses were suffering from the economic impact of the pandemic.

The council passed both resolutions unanimously.

The council then voted, with minimal discussion, to rescind special activity and event approval permits through June 30. The council previously voted to cancel all special activities through May 10 at its March 16 meeting.

The extended cancellation rescinded special activity permits and approval from the first State College Pride Parade, scheduled for June 13, as well as the Happy Valley Music Festival scheduled for June 19-20, among other events. Summers on Allen, the controversial initiative that aimed to turn the 100 block of Allen Street into a pedestrian plaza for eight weeks in May and June, was postponed to 2021 earlier this month.

The council then voted to change the deadline for paying real estate taxes at face value from June 30 to September 30. Despite concern from one community member who said that failing to collect tax revenue on time could jeopardize future funding opportunities, The council approved the extension unanimously.

The council finished the meeting with a financial report, noting that increased funds from real estate transfer taxes contributed to a slightly higher revenue total for the first fiscal quarter of 2020 in comparison to 2019 totals.

The presentation also outlined increased expenses due to the pandemic, with a combination of funding for increased services and personal protective gear and lost revenue contributing to a significant financial contribution and hit for the borough.

The council outlined the borough’s pandemic-related expenses during its virtual meeting (CNET).

Filippelli closed Monday’s meeting, which was adjourned in under an hour, by encouraging community members and council members and said that local residents had done well to adhere to Wolf’s social distancing guidelines and deal with extensive closures.

“I think that the borough of State College has done a remarkable job and it’s much appreciated,” he said.

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About the Author

Jim Davidson

Jim is a junior English and history major and the features editor for Onward State. He, like most of the Penn State undergraduate population, is from 'just outside Philadelphia,' and grew up in Spring City, Pennsylvania. He covers a variety of Penn State topics, but spends nine months of every year waiting for the start of soccer season. You can reach him via email at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @messijim.

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