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Friday, June 23, 2017

Coudersport Councilman Comments On Decision To Offer Part Of Arboretum For Sale

Bryan Welsh

So in a 3 to 2 vote the Boro council is putting the portion of the arboretum out for bids. I can't say that I'm happy about it but it's how democracy works. I can't speak for any of the other council members. All I van do is explain why I opposed the motion.

First an foremost, I listened to the people who put me in the chair on council. As an elected representative that is my main purpose, to carry the Will of he people to council. It is as simple as that.

Secondly, I believe that Coudersports future is tourism. We have so much to offer to tourists. And tourist dollars don't come with any strings except make people feel welcome and they will return again to spend more tourist dollars. I feel that our arboretum is an integral part of that industry. I would love to see it expand and grow. Community gardens and maybe even a community orchard would go far as to getting us noticed.

If you look at any small town with a strong, healthy economy they share one thing in common, tourism and a sense of cooperation and community. We can choose the path that has worked for so many other small towns or or continue the boom and bust economics that is killing rural America.

As I sat at the arboretum his evening, I counted 27 tanker trucks roaring up our quiet little towns main street at 11 o'clock. It's money I guess. But at what cost in the long run?

Tourism is sustainable. But trading our character and assets that would attract folks who just want to get away from the noise and hassles of city life is not a progressive or wise decision.

45 comments :

Anonymous said...

The trucks are going to run whether the Arboretum is there or not. If I was a tourist I would rather stop at a nice Sheetz with adequate parking. I'm not going to stop at a shitty local grocery store checkout aisle for a candy bar and drink.

Anonymous said...

OMG! Thank you Brian for standing your ground. I am shocked disappointed and moved to tears. To Mr. Husson, please answer this question: do you have any respect or any answers for the people who gave of their hearts and their wallets to memorialize loved ones and leaders of our community at that park (before you arrived to tell us how backwards and stupid we are)?
Are you willing to just tromp on those people and their precious memories and destroy one of the few beautiful things we have in this town so the boro can pocket a few bucks one time only? When that quick hit of money is gone, it's gone and so is the beauty of the park FOREVER. Here is the article on the front page of this week's Endeavor: "Supporters of selling a section of the arboretum to allow Sheetz to expand bided their time for a month and then pounced. With one member on vacation Councilman Husson aburptly moved to sell." That is about the dirtiest lowdown thing I have ever seen in this town. I hope the people of this town are willing to attend the next Borough Council meeting and be heard.

Anonymous said...

Right 7:40. People come from miles around -- not for the dark skies or natural splendor, but for the wonderful Sheetz store. You can't find one of those anywhere else in PA or the USA. Great point.

Anonymous said...

Such a complicated and controversial topic. A lot of people who made donations visit the arboretum to see the memorial trees, bricks, lightposts, benches and other personal and heartwarming memorials. They think about their loved ones and the people who made our town what it is. It is a beautiful setting. The people who donated believed that with everything around there paved and commercialized there would be one place that was priceless and because it was the one refuge there, it would surely never be sold. They trusted their boro elected officials and the good people who worked so hard to give us such a wonderful place. Last year they even had live music there and that was a true joy to sit among the flowers and landscaping and hear the joy of local musicians as they performed. And don't forget that this is a historic treasure that preserves our railroad heritage. My grandparents told of taking a passenger train right from that train station to Port Allegany. I do not have any ill will toward the boro council people because I think if they understand the background of the arboretum and consider the trust that people put in the boro when they supported it, then they will have a change of heart. My prayer tonight is that God sheds His light on their hearts and they reconsider. These are good people we have in office and we should not give up on them doing the right thing in the end. Please be civil and respectful. The arboretum can be saved without bitterness and cross words. I have faith they will recognize that saving it is the right thing to do. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"Shitty local grocery store..." Stay classy, 7:40.
Biding your time and "pouncing" when you can rig a vote? Stay classy, councilman. Maybe the UPMC Cole merger is a good thing after all.

Anonymous said...

The aboretum can be moved and still have everything preserved. There are other options that are not being considered. Part of the arboretum could go on the road directly in front of the borough office, next to Coudy service center. Then it would make Main St. look nicer because let's face it, Main St. looks like crap. Or other sections of Main St. could be cleared and used. And why are they putting it out for bid, when a certain landowner offered the borough $350K for that piece of land, and Sheetz offered to pay for all of the plants and bricks to be relocated? That money could pay for the town pool. This town is so unfriendly to businesses, and backward-thinking.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Bryan,
I commend you for your efforts to save the arboretum.
Coudersport is fortunate to have you serving the community with strong moral principles & dedication.

Laurie Barr

Anonymous said...

Bryan Welsh should not be voting on this, considering he is a "former" Sheetz employee.

And why aren't the borough and water authority meeting minutes posted online anymore?

Anonymous said...

Amen 8:45 pm, very well said,
I'm not from your town, but this is very sad to get rid of something that is so special to people & a memorial, I'll be in prayer too...

Anonymous said...

If the abortoreum did not exist, and their was a current discussion to build it, no right thinking person would say "hey I know the best spot, lets squeeze it in between the Dollar General, and Sheetz. It would be much nicer to relocate it to a more suitable spot. Best of all worlds, a better arbortoreum in a nicer location, and a nicer newer Sheetz store.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see some honest to goodness dollar figures on how much tourism revenue is earned in McKean and Potter counties.

Anonymous said...

The only people currently using the arboretum are drug dealers, and the ground is covered with cigarettes. And does it really matter if part of it is moved? Why not move it to the old Texaco lot across from the jail? Or, the Bruzzi cleaners/old cable office building is going to be demolished, why not there? It would look nice next to the Adelphia building. Or tear down the former WFRM building and use that and the lot next to it. There are other options!

As for not wanting progress/change...this town has dissolved into a trashole of drugs and welfare, like every town around. One would think any improvements or expansion of businesses would be welcome.

Anonymous said...

What is really pathetic is when people who are obviously in on this manipulation of our Borough Council to serve their selfish interests post comments that obviously reflect their inside knowledge. Take 9:17 for example. The last time this subject was up on here they were eight or nine of the comments that came from the same person or two who happen to be directly involved. And I do agree that the UPMC Cole thing might not be all bad, at least when it comes to this issue. It might result in some personnel changes. I think you can read between those lines.

Anonymous said...

This is a quote.....We have so much to offer tourists. I get so sick of that attitude what about the other times of the year when these tourist people aren't gracing our wonderful, so you say Attractions? I think the majority of resident don't give a damn about tourism. They run our lives while they are here, make fun of us stump jumpers and with a laugh go away. I know this for a fact from working at times in the public arena. I know nothing about the arboretum but if locals want it to heck with the tourist Opinion! The reason many of us live in this area of depressive winters and little to do is just because we just plain don't want live in an area over run with what tourists opinions. We just want some peace and quiet, others can go away anytime. We give up a lot to live here just because some of prefer to be alone in an area abandoned by others.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to hear the legal argument behind that comment at 9:25. A duly elected member of the council is not permitted to vote because he used to work somewhere? Stay classy, wannabe lawyer.

Elaine Russell said...

9:25... Bryan is able to vote as he votes for his constituents.

I understand the need for funds. I also would say... look at what happened with the pool fundraiser. With enough folks of positive spirit and community heart... things CAN be accomplished. But will the tourists come when all we have to offer is cheap beer and 24hr hot dogs? No mom and pop shops because new business folks can't gather the funds because there is no work really to be had? Will they come in their cars over potholes that the trucks leave behind that we can't afford to fix? Will the stargazers come when the neon lights of dollar stores and gas pumps blind out the milky way? Will they want to fish in streams tainted by fracking?? Will they sit in the parking lot of Sheetz ... devoid of trees and plants and look at the sky, try to find the quiet... and be glad they came?...

Anonymous said...

i am still waiting for the answer to the question about who was paying kids for each name they got on a petition to tell the boro to sell out. That question was ignored the last time it was asked on here. Did the Housing Development Authority order it's employee to do that? Why don't you guys pass it around and buy the signatures yourself, David, Jeff, Terry, Shawn and Phill? Did you guys really buy those houses on West Street so you could kiss Sheetz butt by offering the boro another lot to put the park? Why is that even any of your business? Maybe you won't stop until you own the whole town. What are you guys doing???

Elaine Russell said...

.. and as far as I know.. the arboretum was there before Sheetz... Certainly before Dollar General. So it's not like the folks who worked so hard on the arboretum purposely wanted it sandwiched between the two.

Also.. my understanding is that the plot of land that Kudrick's own was not suitable for the arboretum. But would it be any better sandwiched between Sheetz and McDonald's? I think not. Besides. It is a smaller plot of land than what they are on now... so it's not like they would be able to move all the stuff onto a smaller plot of land.

As to the WFRM comment: It is owned, and even though it may not look the greatest on the outside, as far as I know; it is still in use, and not for sale.

Anonymous said...

More misinformation Sheetz was there way before the Arboretum get ur facts straight instead of guessing

Anonymous said...

If you read the council minutes Mr Welsh voted for a land swap of the arboretum twice.

Anonymous said...

Me, too. Is Coudy really swarming with tourists? I haven't noticed.

Anonymous said...

Agree. Also the idea of spreading it out and making it stretch to several different spots would be kind of nice. Maybe people would add to it with perennials from their own gardens. It would be great to see some younger people get involved in the arboretum, maybe even kids would want to help if it was a new community project.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone approached the arboretum about transplanting to different locations? Making small garden spaces in several different places throughout town? How quaint that would be and what a welcoming sight to tourists and locals. I'd love to see a bench with its own little garden next to it, but several places like that in town would be fantastic.

Anonymous said...

From what I hear all of the houses/property from the car wash to Costa's Market are for sale and back to the river what a great location that would be for the Arboretum just saying.

Anonymous said...

Sheetz is the only reason tourists come into our town. Without Sheetz downtown there would be no reason for tourists to drive into our town.
Also want to know what Bryan has done as a councilman to promote tourism in Coudersport?

Anonymous said...

I applaud the developers involved in this deal. As President Trump says, "Always get even. When you are in business, you need to get even with people who screw you." It's just business folks!!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't wait to see if the prediction made by the person at 10:12 came true. Sure enough the tiny few who are trying to screw this town picked up where they left off with their sneaky manipulation here. The question about the petitions is being ignored by people who have something to hide. What do the members of the Housing Authorities have to say about their land grab? Those five guys owe us some answers and not their appointed wheeler dealer.

Anonymous said...

Huh? "Sheetz is the only reason tourists come into our town." What do they do, take a quick swing onto U.S. Rt. 6 to visit the rustic Sheetz historic site before they return to the cowpath they have chosen for their travels? You can't fix stupid and you can't fix greed either I guess.

Anonymous said...

First off, the arboretum is not just used by drug dealers. My family, including my children, like to walk through there, sit and enjoy the quiet, and the kids love the train and playing around it. Yes maybe it could be moved so it could be more visible from the road because right now it is hidden by not just buildings but the line of trees/shrubs there as well!

And may I ask why this has turned into a bash Bryan Welsh? Who cares where he did or didn't work? Who cares which way he voted (respectfully) as it is a vote and he isn't the only deciding opinion? He was elected to fill a role, he is doing so, and providing information on what is happening so why make his the bad guy? He has children, little ones at that, so he is vested in the community just like many of you if not more so. Those of you throwing out your negative opinions, maybe you should get involved and help instead of sitting back and throwing stones!

Anonymous said...

And there it is, someone said it: you don't want tourists in Coudersport. Which means you don't want stores and restaurants to survive, because they sure as heck can't survive on local resident, who never eat at the restaurants and got to Olean to shop. So this town will turn into a wasteland full of welfare recipients and druggies. Pathetic.

I hope Majot moves Sheetz down the road and leaves the current building to sit and rot like an ugly eyesore for years.

Anonymous said...

This tourism idea is so comical.First you have to retrain potter county residents to be welcoming.Most visitors I encounter wonder why they came.

Margaret Caldwell said...

I have been reading this with great sorrow. Progress is nice and convenient. Memories cannot be replaced. The arboretum was developed as a place to sit and reflect on our lovely small town and remember our history. Do we want to erase all that we were??? I grew up in a city. I chose to move here 30 plus years ago as this is my husbands home town and I fell in love with it and the people that live here. The people that developed the arboretum did so with great care and love for this town and its people. My husband spent countless hours gathering names of veterans from past wars who were from Coudersport. He did not ask for anything in return. He did so to honor those people who were from here and served our country. The trees were planted in memory of people from here. The bricks were placed with care for the people who have lived here. The people that planted them in the exact spot they are in stood on that ground an honored their loved ones. These memories may be insignificant to some but many of us love this town and its people. Do you think Sheetz does??? Yes it is convenient to go to Sheetz but do they really help our economy? Many of our mom and pop business have been affected by this progress. The restaurants downtown suffered because of Mcdonalds and Sheetz. The Maple Tree/Jim and Hildas is closed because it was more convenient to get a quick bite on the go......Boyd's corner Store is gone......why??? There are so many businesses that are gone now. Our town used to support a lot of restaurants and small stores , even before the Adelphia boom. We need to preserve and protect our small town. If we give in to progress we will just be a pit stop for gas. I for one, think Coudersport is a very beautiful small town. I am proud to call it home. We all as a community need to love, protect and preserve our heritage.

Anonymous said...

Instead of asking questions here, why don't you go to the meetings of the Potter County Redevelopment Authority (you had the name wrong)? From their website these are the five people who are buying up half the town. If you don't like that or if you do like that or if you don't like them sending their employees out to buy signatures on a petition (I personally don't believe they would do that but can't say one way or the other) then you ought to tell them personally:
David Buckler, Chairman
Phil Vaughn, Vice Chairman
Terry Goodenough, Secretary
Jeff Wilcox, Treasurer
Shawn Wolfinger, Asst. Secretary / Asst. Treasurer

Anonymous said...

Hows about you move to a better small town? There are plenty around. Ones that dont have crooked councilmen,or sheetz stores or mom and pop stores. Lets see...... how about Turtlpoint in Mckean county they have a booby bar? That way all you boobs that comment on here could have your own clubhouse!!

K said...

To above commentators:
Presuming the articles below are correct than yes, technically, the Sheetz location in Coudersport preceded the Arboretum- By 7 years. It apparently would have been put in earlier except there were concerns about the Adelphia building expanding.

http://www.endeavornews.com/news/2008-08-16/community/019.html

http://www.tiogapublishing.com/potter_leader_enterprise/news/group-makes-new-proposal-for-coudersport-sheetz-expansion/article_a9bad22e-4b5e-11e5-a18e-a74039effbdd.html

However the land was donated for the explicit purpose of creating a memorial and garden space and it's location therefore is incidental.

http://www.tiogapublishing.com/potter_leader_enterprise/news/coudersport-memorial-arboretum/article_a1bd5c4c-012e-5da0-a233-5388c3049202.html


As far as Coudersport revenue the number one employer in Coudersport is Cole Memorial Hospital. For reference Sheetz is number 50 and Zito is number 5. These numbers are from 2015. These numbers still appear correct for 2016.

http://www.workstats.dli.pa.gov/Documents/County%20Profiles/Potter%20County.pdf

According to an online source retail work is the second most common job in Coudersport for females at 18% preceded by office and administration work at 23%.
Most common industries in Coudersport are Manufacturing at 15% followed by retail at 10%.

http://www.city-data.com/city/Coudersport-Pennsylvania.html

Tourism is also a $39.2B dollar industry in Pennsylvania. Creating $4.1B in tax revenue annually.

http://dced.pa.gov/key-industries/tourism/

Anonymous said...

Very well said Margaret Caldwell, I totally am in agreement.......thus is very sad, there really should not have been any controversy over the abertorium, it just needs to be left where it is.......MONEY & GREED OVER RULES MEMORIES & The history of your county....

Anonymous said...

Would someone please build something!
For 10 years Sheetz has been talking about a new building in Coudersport.
Why do they get priority of selection.
Other business have been interested in moving to the area but we can't seem to pick a good spot for the wonderful Sheetz corporation.
Does Sheetz want a new landlord?
Do the few landowners involved want a new Sheetz?
Why does the town have to solve the good neighbor issue.
Let's move on.
Several meetings and votes have taken place but the answer of NO doesn't seem to be accepted. Always someone misrepresented something.
What about the nittany Mary?
Couldn't have that because of lights and traffic. How's that working out now. Last time we closed streets tour down buildings for big plans worked out great too.
Kudos to the council for trying.
As always decisions make some happy and others mad. There are options for ALL parties involved.
How about asking Sheetz to make sure it's planned properly so the one vehicle trying to get fuel doesn't stick out in the main road. Other businesses can't do that why Sheetz?
Are they going to put in electric charging stations?
How about LNG terminal?
Do we only harass a long time local business owner for types of vehicles stored there? What about the junk vehicles collecting in a big parking lot?
How about the council working to attract the business interested in coming to Coudersport, not just be bullied by Sheetz.
Let's work together to make Coudersport great again.
When we had those smaller businesses around the gas prices were more competitive and the hoagies were just as good.
Thanks

Anonymous said...

You no longer have a vibrant business district in coudy like you used to have . Your main st like so many other small towns is half empty. But tourism is the answer ! Look at Austin the dam was going to save us well it didn't and never will ! You need industry people plain and simple because without it you will sink fast !

Anonymous said...

Einstein,
Why sell it to them when you can lease it to them.
Sell it and the lump sum will be gone in 5 years. Lease it and it turns into a yearly income stream in perpetuity
It's a no-brainer alright. One things for sure the Boro will get the short end of the stick.

Anonymous said...

Too bad we can't have a "save our aubortorium" fund raiser like we did for the pool and out bid Sheetz for the land. Then have the deed state that it is to remain building free.

Anonymous said...

If this land is being sold just to line someone's pocket then it is wrong and you know it. The arbortorium needs to stay together all in one place.

Anonymous said...

Good point. It's hard to remember sometimes how unwelcoming this town feels from an outsider's perspective. I can remember though, what it felt like when I first moved here, and there is definitely a chip on some people's shoulders toward "flatlanders."

Anonymous said...

Even after being here over 25 years you are still an outsider...It's time that outsiders have a say to move this town forward; otherwise it will have a slow painful demise. The young educated adults are moving away for better jobs...that leaves us with the elderly, the welfare, and the complacent....so sad

Anonymous said...

You have a point there.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if anyone's ashes have been spread over that portion of the land that is up for grabs? I think that would be just cause for the expansion not to go forward.