Bellefonte delays waterfront flood wall application, still in talks with developers

Borough officials have decided to hold off until late September or October to submit a flood wall plan for the Bellefonte waterfront project to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, but Borough Manager Ralph Stewart thinks it will improve the project.

Originally, Stewart said, the borough wanted to submit the application by August so the construction of a flood wall to alleviate problems in the flood plain could start in the spring of 2014. But now he said they would like to have a developer’s agreement in place to work with the developer on any needs that may be identified.

“We want to make sure the developer’s ideas are incorporated into those plans before it’s submitted,” he said.

Stewart’s vision for the Waterfront district includes a restaurant and boutique hotel where the Bush House once stood and a high-rise apartment building next door with parking in-between. The estimated $6 million wall along Spring Creek would alleviate the problem of the land being in a flood plain and create a shoreline area for visitors.

A final plan for the wall has not been drafted, and the Industrial Development Authority is still trying to find the balance between space for construction and green areas for residents.

Stewart is pleased with the progress in the talks with developers and thinks the project is moving smoothly.

“The talks are going good,” he said. “We’ve got some outstanding proposals.”

The goal is still to build the flood wall during the construction of 2014 and to break ground on the buildings in 2015.