The Atherton Street Corridor Project, which will put up fences along Atherton St. in an effort to stop jaywalkers, will continue to move forward after the State College Borough Council voted at the meeting yesterday.
Council member Peter Morris said he believes adding the aesthetics is a worthwhile investment.
He said it was important that Atherton St. look nice because it was the entryway into the borough as well as Penn State.
“It’s what newcomers see first and what people who live here see when they come home,” Morris said. “It should look like something that makes you a little bit happy instead of depressed.”
However, council member Thomas Daubert is not in agreement with the aesthetic sides of the project, such as additions of new crosswalks, sidewalk improvements, benches and traffic lights. He thinks the fences are enough.
“There’s almost half a million dollars we could cut out,” Daubert said. “I just have no understanding as to why, other than niceties, we would want to do this. We can afford something that we want.”
James Rosenberger, a member of the council, said he hoped to join forces with the local property owners.
He said if they agreed to join with the project, they could contribute to the funding, which would help pay for the aesthetic enhancements.
The council then voted to defer the discussion on a new Park Maintenance Facility to the general forum.
“It’s a very, very expensive project,” Daubert said. “It is needed in one way or another, but it seems like it’s overblown at this particular point.”
The council also discussed the Arnold Addison Award, which was given to Gary Schultz in 2009 for town relations, after Jeff Martin, a resident of State College, said he wanted the council to consider rescinding the award.
President of the council Don Hahn said despite the negatives that have come to light, he still believed Schultz had contributed positively to the community. He said they would have to consider these positives before they made a decision.
“I’d forgotten we did that and I wish you hadn’t remind me,” Morris said. “I wish it never happened and we could just take it away. If it actually was given to him, we can’t pretend it wasn’t. I don’t believe in that either.”