Public Meeting Tonight On Austin Park Expansion Plan

From Potter County Today

bayless Plans for an expanded Austin Dam Memorial Park, linked with Austin Borough in a cooperative tourist promotion and heritage preservation mission, will be explained and open for public input tonight (Tuesday, Aug. 30) during a public meeting at the Austin Firehall, starting at 7 pm. Organizers are hoping for a good turnout so they can not only share their plans, but also hear suggestions. Consultants John Buerkle of Pashek Associates and Glenn Vernon of Albertin Vernon will present proposed strategies to:

  • guide the borough and the Austin Dam Memorial Association to encourage economic development on Main Street;
  • connect the park to Main Street;
  • improve the park to become a destination in the Pennsylvania Wilds;
  • share Austin’s tragedy with the world by documenting the 1911 flood;
  • interpret the lives of the victims and survivors of the flood.

“We believe the recommendations provide Austin with realistic and tangible strategies, not only to guide the future of the park but to also capitalize on economic development opportunities presented by visitors coming into town,” Buerkle said.


A major component of the project is a southern access point to the park that links it with Austin Borough and a recreation trail with historical attractions. Planners hope a cooperative effort will lead to walking tours through the borough and development of businesses that would appeal to tourists coming to see the dam and the E. O. Austin Historical Museum. An art gallery and historical murals and banners are also envisioned. Businesses and Austin Borough would be encouraged to team up to make downtown more attractive.


Austin Borough owns about 17 acres that encompass the ruins of a paper mill and other deteriorated structures along Freeman Run. It’s possible that the tower on that tract could be renovated and opened for viewing of the valley. Austin Dam Memorial Association (ADMA) owns 76 acres to the north. Another 20 to 30 acres in the region are owned by Patterson Lumber Company, which has been cooperative with ADMA over the years.

Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.

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