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Borough seeks sustainable community designation

Written by Vicky Taylor, Public Opinion Online | Mar 14, 2016 2:21 PM
chambersburg borough hall.jpg (600x340)

(Chambersburg) -- A partnership between Chambersburg and Shippensburg University's Center for Land Use and Sustainability will be one of the main items on borough council's agenda when it meets at 7 p.m. Monday in Borough Hall.

On hand for the presentation will be Dr. Claire Jantz and Carla Johns from the university. The SU Center is partnering with the borough in its quest to obtain Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification from the Pennsylvania Municipal League.

The borough's budget this year includes a goal to secure that certification, according to Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill, who said  the municipality is partnering with SU's Center for Land Use and Sustainability to meet that goal.

He said the center's vision is to become a nationally recognized interdisciplinary center that that leverages the expertise of faculty, staff, and students to promote sustainable land use, economic development, and communities at local, regional, and global scales.

​Since a certification assessment must be completed and submitted to the Pennsylvania Municipal League, the partnership works well for both the borough and the center.

While the league does not charge a fee to accept and review an assessment, the task does take knowledge and man hours to complete.

Hence the partnership in which the borough offered a non-paid internship to Johns, a senior working toward her bachelor of science degree in geography with a concentration in human-environmental studies and a Letter of Completion in Geographic Information Systems.

The internship will be an independent research project for Johns to gain academic and professional experience for a career in the field of sustainability. She will present her research proposal for the project to council Monday. She is advised by Jantz, a professor in the geography-earth science department and the  center's director.

The Pennsylvania Municipal League began the Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification program in 2014. The program acknowledges the steps taken by municipalities to achieve sustainability.

Achieving a level of certification recognizes municipalities that are distinguished in applying sustainable policies in order to advance community prosperity. Certification is broken down into five levels - platinum, gold, silver, bronze and associate - and is based on 130 criteria in nine categories, including governance and community engagement, healthy communities, diversity, equity and Inclusion, education, energy use, conservation and green building, environmental stewardship, housing and land use and transportation.

Also on Monday's agenda is approval of a $9.7 million recreation bond to finance the reconstruction of a new aquatic center and swimming pool at Memorial Park and appointment of PFM and Eckert Seamans to represent the borough in the bond sale.

Council meets at 7 p.m. on the second floor of Borough Hall at 100 South Second Street.

Vicky Taylor, 717-262-4754

This article is part of a content-sharing partnership between Public Opinion Online and WITF. 

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