City: $12M grant for parking garage falls through

City leaders at the Williamsport Parking Authority meeting Wednesday expressed high hopes that they will find the cash needed to build a replacement of the Mid-Town parking garage at West Third and Laurel streets.

“We’re going to make it happen,” said William E. Nichols Jr.

Nichols said the city didn’t receive a $12 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant for Trade and Transit Centre II and still awaits word about state grant money from Gov. Tom Corbett’s Redevelopment Capital Assistance program.

“We could hear from the state by the end of this month,” Mayor Gabriel J. Campana said.

Not waiting for the notice, Nichols said he is negotiating with the state Department of Transportation on a separate loan.

“It will be a shell of a building,” he said, adding some “ancillary” design concepts, such as redoing a driveway for transit buses and streetscape reconstruction to improve safety on Pine Street must be postponed until funding is available.

“We have to make it happen to retain jobs and add them,” said Mayor Gabriel J. Campana of the garage.

Campana said he’s also negotiating with a major retail chain that would lease up to 10,000 square feet of space in the lower deck.

The mayor lauded the authority and its leadership for adding about 1,000 parking space options for customers over the last 12 years and beginning to improve the condition of surface lots in a three-year capital improvement plan.