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Paterno Way forum on tap for fall


February 16. 2013 1:28AM
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STATE COLLEGE - Two municipal governments will meet jointly this fall to take public comment on the petition requesting that Park Avenue become Paterno Way between North Atherton Street and U.S. Route 322.
Borough Council President Don Hahn reported Monday night that, after meeting with College Township Council Chairman Dave Fryer, the two decided it may work best to hold a joint public hearing on the issue in September.
The issue reached both municipalities earlier this month when Tony Ricciardi, program director and radio personality for 93.7 The Bus, submitted a petition with 7,000 signatures requesting the change in honor of longtime Penn State football coach Joe Paterno. Paterno died in January from lung cancer.
Park Avenue travels through both municipalities and is also a state road.
The petition triggered the borough‚??s renaming process, which requires 50 borough resident signatures and a public hearing. When College Township received the petition, it agreed to monitor that process.
After Borough Council chose not to hold a public hearing in April, Hahn and Fryer came up with the fall plan.
"We believe the start of the new football season was the best, ideal time to reflect on coach Paterno‚??s contributions to our community," Hahn said, rather than May, when the academic year ends, or during the summer, when many residents are out of town.
The two leaders also agreed forming a committee to discuss how to involve the state Department of Transportation and Penn State would be helpful. It would include members of both councils and the municipal managers.
Councilman Ron Filippelli asked if the public hearing date could be flexible, so that officials can have the anticipated investigative report on Penn State from Louis Freeh.
"It seems to me the prudent thing to do," Filippelli said. He also said he supports Hahn and Fryer‚??s plan. "I think this is the right way to go on this issue."
Student representative Brendan McNally said he thinks a lot of students wanted to see speedier action but agreed waiting was the way to proceed.
"I think it‚??s the best way to go about it," he said.
Ricciardi, who attended Monday night‚??s meeting, said he agreed with Filippelli, and will try to drum up more support in the meantime.
Also Monday, Borough Council heard an update from environmental coordinator Alan Sam about recent activities toward meeting the borough‚??s sustainability goals. Those goals came from a 2007 Borough Council resolution, which Sam said a borough sustainability committee hopes to update this year.
Sam said the committee hopes to add goals related to smart growth, entrepreneurship and housing, and to do more outreach. He also hopes the borough can work on increasing recycling and decreasing energy use in student housing.
"That‚??s a difficult sector to reach," he said.
One of the main borough goals is to reduce landfill waste to 35 percent of the entire waste stream by the end of this year. Landfill waste currently is 67 percent. But Sam pointed to the food waste program expanding boroughwide starting next year.
"Hopefully we‚??ll reduce that even more," he said.


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