Project money in limbo

Gov. Tom Corbett’s Office of Budget has “indefinitely postponed” the first round this year of Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funding, putting Mayor Gabriel J. Campana’s vision for “Destination 2014” on the slow track, city and state officials said.

“The governor has announced the next round of RCAP funding is on hold,” said William E. Nichols Jr., director of finance, who said he would like the city to receive $10 million for the reuse and redevelopment of the properties and adjacent properties between Hepburn, West Fourth, West Third and Elmira streets.

“We’re waiting to hear when applications will be accepted for the next round,” Nichols said.

That answer may come when the state fiscal budget hearings are held between Feb. 19 and March 7, according to Tonya Anderson, legislative liaison for state Rep. Rick Mirabito, D-Williamsport.

The city has received similar RACP funding for other projects including $500,000 for the Kohl’s and William Street redevelopment, Mirabito said.

Campana said the downtown project has the potential to be a $30 million investment at no tax dollar expense and he wants the city to be the main facilitator, not a developer.

Meanwhile, The Liberty Group and developer Daniel A. Klingerman, who purchased the YMCA property, are considering what they will do with it.

Klingerman has said his plans are to expand and add seating to the arena to make the Williamsport Civic Arena and reuse the YMCA building at the corner of West Fourth Street and another building to the east of that site for residential and commercial purposes.

Klingerman said he sees potential in its development while he continues to construct two Hilton Hotel towers and at least one restaurant at Faxon in Loyalsock Township.

“The city’s responsibility would be for the parking facility and Williamsport Green,” a town square at the entrance to West Fourth and Hepburn streets, Campana said. “We are putting all of the pieces together to come up with a definitive plan of action. Once it is achieved and we have concrete numbers we will be pleased to present this information to City Council for their review and input.”