2018-03-10 / Front Page

Committee debates Arboretum plan


Coudersport Arboretum Committee vice president Kathy Kinard pulled the name of Caroline Powers as winner of a commemorative bench to be placed in the park, part of a fundraiser conducted by the committee. A proposal by Potter County Redevelopment Authority to relocate a section of the arboretum was the major discussion topic at Tuesday’s meeting. Coudersport Arboretum Committee vice president Kathy Kinard pulled the name of Caroline Powers as winner of a commemorative bench to be placed in the park, part of a fundraiser conducted by the committee. A proposal by Potter County Redevelopment Authority to relocate a section of the arboretum was the major discussion topic at Tuesday’s meeting. Members of the Potter County Redevelopment Authority (PCRA) continue to push their offer to relocate a portion of the Coudersport Arboretum.

Details of the plan proposed by PCRA members Shawn Wolfinger, Phil Vaughn, Jeff Wilcox, David Buckler and Terry Goodenough were shared with Coudersport Arboretum Committee members this week.

If Coudersport Borough Council consents, the plan would pave the way for expansion of the Sheetz convenience store onto the park’s northern end. Arboretum Committee members don’t have any authority to act, but both PCRA and Borough Council welcome their input.

PCRA has spent more than $100,000 on property acquisition and architectural services to prepare a property on South West Street – across from the borough offices -- for relocation of the displaced section of the park.

Arboretum Committee held a lively discussion of the proposal at Tuesday’s meeting following a presentation by PCRA executive director John Wright.

Members acknowledged that the Sheetz business is important to the community, but some of them oppose restructuring the park to accommodate a private business. They also suggested the sale option could be a moot point due to a court precedent that may block Borough Council from selling the parcel.

Wayne Wentzel, president of the Arboretum Committee, asked members and other concerned citizens to closely review the PCRA offer and other options before taking a position on the issue.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, committee member elected Kathy Kinard as vice president.

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