Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association
Bellefonte, Pennsylvania
Minutes of Past Meetings


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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Location: Home of Gay & Jim Dunne, 222 N. Allegheny St., Bellefonte


Attendance: Keith Koch (president), Jim Dunne (Secretary), Dave Eggler,(Treasurer), JoAnn & Dick Knupp, Sally Houser, True Fisher, Gay Dunne, Colina Seeley, Nancy & Carl Miller, Jonathan Eburne, Melady Kehm, Julia Kasdorf, Philip Ruth, Gary Hoover, Joanne Tosti-Vasey, Art Curtze, Erin Hammerstedt (Preservation PA).


Garman Opera House


Keith summarized the June 20th hearing.  The ruling on the IDA Petition for Approval is due no later than July 5. {Judge Kistler ruled on June 28.  See below}


A motion: BHCA will pay legal bills to date (Bruce Manchester, $2500 attorney fee, $225 private investigator fee; $200 to Keith Koch reimbursement for tax lawyer fee).  (Jim, JoAnn) Approved by unanimous voice vote.


Dave Eggler Treasurers report: General BHCA funds (not encumbered to a project such as Talleyrand Park) are $27,000 (before paying the above legal fees).  We need to maintain enough funds for continuing operations.


Erin will check on 2 easements (theater dome, exterior) that may exist of the Garman in addition to the covenant. {follow up report - no easements were found}


Jonathan suggested a board and a steering committee as organizational structure for the Garman. restoration efforts.


An LLC with a bank or other corporation as a partner was discussed.  Tax credits are significant if there is substantial rehabilitation - 20% Federal, 25% State (regulations not yet written)


A motion: BHCA will appeal the Court ruling if the PDG plan is approved or directed to make limited amendments, such that there could be no further recourse available through the Court of Common Pleas.  (Jim and Joanne, Nancy).  Approved by voice vote.


If a new plan is requested: Strategy needs to be developed.  Liability insurance.  Positive public image.


Art - include DoDe in the vision.  We discussed including the  DoDe and Cadillac Building in our extended plans.  Gay - There is a structural engineer report that the DoDe is a total loss


Jonathan - Funds for roof could come in part from our treasury.


Gary - Judge could require IDA to comply with Conservator’s Act with public hearings, financial details.  We could request that BHCA be named conservator


Sally - get support from other historical communities that have worked to restore theaters.  These organizations could serve as Amicus Curiae in any further court proceedings and engender support from the community and preservation organizations.


Next meeting: Wednesday, June 10, 7 PM at the Dunnes


Jim Dunne, Secretary




Judge Kistler’s ruling was handed down on June 28.


Pursuant to § 1160(c)(7) of the Act. “[i]f the court decision requires the plan be amended, a hearing shall be set within 60 days from the date of the decision.”  68 P.S. § 1160(c)(7).  At this time, the Court believes it is premature to approve the plan proffered by PDG, when the possibility still exists that the Garman can be restored.   In the 60 days allotted, BHCA must make substantial progress in securing the funds necessary to repair the Garman, including, if necessary, the entire balance in BHCA’s treasury of $60,000.00.  BHCA’s proposed plan will then be considered against PDG’s proposal.  If BHCA is successful, the community of Bellefonte will have regained a part of its history. Should BHCA not be successful, then hopefully the community can join together, having exhausted all possible efforts to save the Garman, to support the alternative proposal advanced by PDG, which has already been described by by BHCA as “a pretty good plan”.  For all these reasons, the following is entered:


AND NOW this 28th day of June, 2013, 2013, Conservator’s Pettition for Approval hereby ordered to be AMENDED.  A further hearing date shall be set within 60 days from the date of this Order.



            BY THE COURT:




            Thomas King Kistler, Judge