Coudersport Public Library Trustees have announced that plans to break ground for construction of a new library in the spring of 2015 will need to be postponed due to the borough’s planned work on the levee system that protects Mitchell Park and the adjacent neighborhood.
Library Trustees heard from representatives of the Coudersport Borough Council in November that the needed work on the Mill Creek levee system through Mitchell Park will necessitate stream and levee access in the area where excavation and construction of the new library is planned adjacent to the current library. The site plan for the new library may need to be revised to accommodate setback requirements as well.
“When this information was initially presented, I must admit that my first reaction was disappointment that our long-anticipated construction was going to have to be postponed,” says Jane Metzger, President of the Board of Trustees. “But after having discussion with Borough Council representatives and Borough Manager Bev Morris detailing the situation, we realize that in the scheme of things, a delay really is immaterial.”
Borough Manager Morris details the borough’s process as follows: “The Coudersport Borough is in the process of reinforcing the levee system that runs through the Borough to meet FEMA mandated standards. All levee systems must meet these FEMA standards or they will not be certified. If the levees are not certified by FEMA, the majority of residents and businesses will be required to obtain flood insurance.
The Borough obtained a H2O grant ($466,000) to begin this project. The levee project has been broken into five phases. Phase one (Lower Mill Creek) is complete. Phase two (upper Mill Creek) is two-thirds complete. A Flood Mitigation Grant ($376,000) has been obtained to continue this project. Phase three (Mitchell Park levee rising), phase four (CARP levee rising) and phase five (Mill Creek debris basin cleaning) will be bid early 2015 for construction beginning in the Spring/Summer of 2015. These phases need to be complete before FEMA will certify the levee that protects Coudersport Borough residents.”
“The Library Trustees are so appreciative of the close relationship we share with the Borough Council and Borough Manager especially since the public library is located on borough property. We feel that having the library located adjacent to the park provides benefits to all,” Metzger continues. “The borough is confident that the work on the levee system is likely to be completed by the end of 2015 and with that information, we fully anticipate that the community will see its new library begin to take shape in 2016.”