2015-07-11 / Front Page

Post 192: ‘Hell no’ to Sheetz expansion at Arboretum


Coudersport photographer Curt Weinhold snapped this aerial photo of the block bordered by Main and Chestnut streets. Sheetz wants to expand its convenience store and fuel station into a portion of the Coudersport Arboretum property, shown at left. Coudersport photographer Curt Weinhold snapped this aerial photo of the block bordered by Main and Chestnut streets. Sheetz wants to expand its convenience store and fuel station into a portion of the Coudersport Arboretum property, shown at left. One eels about the possible sale of the Coudersport Arboretum to a real estate developer looking to expand the Sheetz Inc. convenience store.

Representatives of American Legion Post 192 attended a recent Coudersport Borough Council meeting to voice opposition to the plan.

Developer Tom Majot is evidently poised to offer the borough a considerable sum of money to part with a portion of the park. Post 192 members are gearing up for a fight.

Commander Beau Gross points out that the military wall of honor, complete with flags recognizing each branch of the armed forces and tasteful landscaping, was a major undertaking that remains a cherished source of pride for Post 192 and many area families.

Legion members have also volunteered for maintenance work at the arboretum over the years and many Post 192 members are memorialized with bricks and other symbols.

“We’re definitely not thrilled with the prospect of losing something that honors our war veterans, just so a convenience store can sell more merchandise,” Gross said. “A group of us made our feelings clear to Borough Council. They know where we stand.”

Post 192 Adjutant Ted Parsell was even more vocal.

“I don’t just say no, I say hell no!” Parsell said. “I know that money talks, but if they decide to sell it, it would be a travesty.”

Sheetz, which operates a 24/7 store and gas pumps at the Main and Chestnut Street intersection, would expand to the west and occupy a major portion of the park. An expanded Sheetz would allow for a wider selection of products, less traffific congestion at a busy intersection, and more parking.

Opposition to the plan appears to be mounting. Social media has been buzzing for weeks with talk of a petition drive.

“We’d like people to keep expressing their concerns and disapproval to let council know how they feel before this gets any more traction,” Gross said. “The whole community has put a lot of time and effort into making the arboretum a beautiful, tranquil place. There’s no advantage to selling it.”.

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