Project Looking to Decrease Flood Risk and Boost Economy

By Ali Ingersoll

Published 06/11 2014 11:10PM

Updated 06/11 2014 11:40PM

Dozens of people attended a meeting where developers and engineers discussed the construction of a retaining wall and walkway area in Bellefonte.

Developers and residents say it's about time something is done to the area.

"We're dealing with an area of Bellefonte that's been plagued by some devastation," says Scott Russell, the Vice President of Buchart-Horn Engineering, the company responsible with designing the waterfront project.  "It's been a long time in the making."

The plans show a higher wall and a walk way with room for developers to build behind.  Residents say, even with the wall, they think the area is still likely to be impacted by flooding.

"The flood plane is the flood plane," says Mike Prendergast, a man who lives in Bellefonte.  "It's going to be the same after they get through building it.  It's going to be just a little more contained, that's all."

Designers with Buchart-Horn say their plan should increase visitors and business to the area while stabilizing the stream front.

That's something Josh Etters, who works at Gamble Mill, hopes will happen.

"I think it'll bring more people into the area," says Etters, a manager at the tavern.  "Businesses and new attractions bring people in so it'll be great for the local economy."

Some residents weren't convinced about the project, citing concerns about the wall's lack of beauty.

Russell says the group hopes to begin construction on the new waterfront area by 2015.

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