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W’sport City Council Approves Riverwalk Grant | News, Sports, Jobs

The City of Williamsport has a new Treasurer, Kevin Mackey, following City Council approval Thursday night.

The council previously held interviews with Mackey and Shawn Arroyo, the latter withdrew.

Mackey, who is not related to council member Jon Mackey, will replace outgoing treasurer Nicholas Grimes, who has served as treasurer since 2015, submitted his letter of resignation on April 15 and accepted a job offer at the Keystone Central School District.

In the previous interview with the council, Mackey said he was qualified and eager to learn the ins and outs of the treasurer’s department.

It will be a year and a half before voters decide who will be the next city treasurer in a general election.

WAVES agreement sealed

The council passed a resolution approving a memorandum of understanding between the city and the Williamsport WAVES Swim Team for the use of the pool at Memorial Park. This is an ongoing agreement that has been updated following legal review by attorney regarding insurance issues, membership and contribution to the city.

Riverwalk connector grant application

approved

The City Council authorized the city to apply for Greenways, Trails, & Recreation Program (GTRP) funding for the ongoing Basin Street Riverwalk Connection Project. The $96,900 grant requires a $17,100 grant. It would provide funds for the project – a connection of sidewalks and pedestrian/bicycle paths to reach the Susquehanna Riverwalk. This applies to a section from the Interstate 180 ramp to the Riverwalk, said Jon Sander, city engineer.

Councilor Randall J. Allison said this was a long-requested riverfront improvement to allow for safer access and said in the Public Works Committee that it would help tourism by allowing safe and direct access for businesses in the river Downtown and those to the east offer Third Street Old City Gateway redevelopment area to the Riverwalk.

The project is supported by the city, county and Lycoming College, all of whom share this vision of connectivity and safer pedestrian access to the walkway.

Council member Eric Beiter said he frequently parked his car and walked across the railroad tracks to access the Riverwalk. He asked how to ensure that users cross the railway line safely. Sander said the final design will be part of another phase of plans, working with people from SEDA’s governing council and its Joint Rail Authority, along with input from the US Army Corps of Engineers, which is required for a levee-related permit.

Councilwoman Liz Miele approved the grant to proceed, but determined that the money was insufficient to complete the project. It’s an estimate conducted by an engineering firm, Larson Design Group, Sander said. If additional money is needed, the city may be able to use American Rescue Plan Act funds for recreational purposes, Sander said.

Final bandshell design submitted

The council passed a resolution awarding Gannett Fleming final design credits for the Brandon Park Bandshell.

Michael Snyder, the firm’s vice president, said he would go back and look at the questions the council had, including the overall scope of the work, which would include an interior wheelchair-accessible elevator and dampness reduction. The proposal was $41,000 and the city has $280,000 to spend on construction. The band requires structural repairs such as roof replacement, mortar and brick, reinforcement of the structural stage, and bathroom accessibility improvements.

Snyder said the final design included architectural, mechanical and electrical elements to bring the facility up to date.

“Given our limited funding, we are trying to understand the full scope of the work,” said Miele.

Allison agreed, saying his concern is that labor and material costs have increased since the project was envisaged years ago.

He suggested the city would need an estimate for each component of the project.

For example, what would it cost to design and add a vertically accessible elevator? Would that be $20,000 or $100,000?

Sander is also looking for these more concrete aspects. “I assumed that the estimate for construction was part of the final design.” Said Sanders.

Councilor Vince Pulizzi recommended submitting the resolution because there were too many questions about the scope of the design and construction.

Purchase application for safety trailer approved

The council approved a resolution authorizing the city to contract out the purchase of a traffic control safety tag that meets state Department of Transportation regulations, as presented by Scott Livermore, director of the city’s Department of Public Works.

A refitted trailer cost $26,000, so Livermore said he found a new trailer for $4,700 and separate traffic cones and barricades for special events and emergencies for $13,200.

The savings were almost $7,000 and the project does not exceed the proposed $19,000. The purchase with American Rescue Plan funds was reviewed by UHY, the city’s ARPA advisor. The 7,000 listed on the purchase document offer was his weight, not the miles logged, an issue Livermore was asked to review with the Public Works Committee when it was noticed by Pulizzi. The trailer is new.

Miscellaneous Items

Other actions taken by the Council included the approval of:

• A decision on the award of the total bids

• Resolution to Amend a Resolution Approving the Purchase Agreement with Glick Fire Equipment. The city’s Fire Department has ordered three pieces of equipment — two fire engines and a ladder with a pump — for $3.3 million. Purchases are made through American Rescue Plan and Community Block Grants.

• Decision to change the contract between the city and the SEDA governing council.

• Demolition at 723 Sheridan St. for Bryan and Katie Coffey. The couple owns the property next to the store, said Joe Gerardi, city code administrator. This property is vacant and was placed on a defiled list in December. The intention is to demolish and rebuild a usable support building in a residential area.

• Certificate of Adequacy – 128 East Third St. Carl and Pamela Crouse. The walls are leaning out and the owners want to remove the roof and put on slabs of tile, paint the building and make sure the eaves are tight to the building.

• Certificates of Appropriateness – 932 W. Third St. Real Estate Renovation Plan (withdrawn from demolition for Mirabito Properties Inc.).

The next regular Council meeting will be June 9 at 7 p.m., Trade and Transit II, 144 W. Third St. 3rd Floor and online.

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