2017-02-18 / Viewpoints


College Not For Everyone

Dear editor:

Last week you ran an essay from Bob Esch about the large number of unfilled jobs in our area. He really hit the nail on the head.

Does anyone remember being told that if you do well in school and graduate from a four-year college, you will be able to get a great job and live a fulfilling life? You’ll have that dream job with a great starting salary. You will be able to buy that car you want, get married, buy a house, and retire comfortably by the time you’re 55 or 60?

This is a great dream, but for many of today’s youth it is not even close to realistic. Pressuring a teen to just go to school and figure it out from there can be detrimental, not to mention saddling him with a debt that can haunt him for the rest of his life.

It’s time that we remove the stigma associated with jobs that do not require a college degree. People are having great success, along with finding it easier to attain gainful employment, by going to technical and trade schools.

Locally, our kids do have the option to attend the Career and Technical Center in Port Allegany in combination with their regular school. At the CTC, they can take courses in auto repair, construction, cosmetology, and even computers, just to name a few.

Local schools are also starting to embrace a mentor program, operated by the Potter County Education Council, through which students get one-on-one experience and advice.

PCEC also offers college courses that provide real credits for a fraction of the costs involved with major universities. These can be taken by high school students who desire to get a leg up on their higher education.

One other viable option is the military, where they will get training and experience in a multitude of job fields and qualify for financial assistance if they opt to attend college either during or after their service.

Students, take a look at ALL of the options and then decide for yourself -- what do you want to do?

Bill Pekarski

Do Or Die For Pool

Dear editor:

This letter is addressed to friends of the Coudersport Borough swimming pool.

Since 1953, the residents, recreation board, school district and borough have been able to support and maintain the only community pool in Potter County and the only place to offer swimming lessons. Hundreds of children in Coudersport and surrounding communities have been able to learn the life skills of water safety.

Unfortunately, over time the facility has run its course of viability. The Coudersport Borough pool must now be renovated, overhauled, or tragically abandoned.

Currently there is a 50/50 matching grant available to renovate the pool. However, we would need $500,000 to accomplish this, half of which would need to be raised by the community.

This would be the approximate cost for a basic family-friendly community pool that complies with all the government regulations and engineering standards.

This match is required by April 1. Donations and donation commitments can be dropped off at the borough office. Individuals donating $2,500 or more will receive a lifetime pool pass.

Over the past eight years, concerned community members have raised around $35,000 in funds to maintain some of the infrastructure costs and meet ADA compliance standards that needed to be addressed to keep the pool from closing. Currently, that fund contains around $24,000 to maintain, renovate, and comply with regulations to maintain the pool.

This money is not used to run the day-to-day operations of the pool, which yearly runs a deficit in the tens of thousands of dollars. This deficit, in large part, is accrued from the maintenance of running an antiquated facility, as well as the elimination of the recreation board and significant reduction in contributions from the Coudersport Area School District.

In my estimation, this will be the last time the community will have an opportunity to have a matching grant that would afford the community a renovated facility. This once in-a-generation opportunity will provide our children and those in the surrounding communities a safe place to play and learn life skills of water safety.

Should funds not be obtained to match the grant, the pool with close forever. Thanks again for your consideration in protecting the children of Potter County.

I can be reached by email at Hustod04@hotmail.com or by phone at 570-337- 8135.

Donations can be sent to Coudersport Borough, 201 South West St., Coudersport Pa 16915. Checks can be made out to Coudersport Borough Pool Fund. Thank you for your support.

Todd Husson
Borough Councilman

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