Gas impact fees to defray pipeline replacement cost

Natural gas impact fees in the amount of $180,000 were given to the Williamsport Municipal Water and Sanitary Authority Wednesday by a Lycoming County official to defray the cost of replacing water and sanitary lines serving the YMCA under construction on Park Avenue and a building addition under development by Susquehanna Health.

“As far as I am concerned, and the commissioners, this was a slam-dunk,” said William Kelly, deputy director of the county Department of Planning and Community Development, regarding the legitimacy of turning over gas impact fees for the projects.

“We hope it continues,” said William Nichols Sr., chairman of the water authority.

The authority asked the department for more gas impact fees to help with costs of a tank project in DuBoistown.

“You have a good team here,” Kelly said, promising the commissioners would continue the partnership.

In another matter, Charles Hauser, authority director of engineering, said an in-house crew recently discovered 200,000 to 300,000 gallons of water leaks. A contractor has been hired for about $19,000 to detect any further leaks, Hauser said.

“We’re aiming for under 20 percent leaks throughout our coverage area,” said Douglas Keith, authority executive director. “Whether we get there or not is questionable.”

It costs the authority an average of $1 for every 1,000 gallons of water leaked.