Mayor has issue with council

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana is expected to ask City Council tonight to reopen a recently approved bond ordinance that allows the city to borrow $2 million for capital investment projects.

Campana said he received legal advice to proceed, and Council President Bill Hall also confirmed such action could be taken.

“Anyone who voted in favor of the bond ordinance can ask to reopen it to hold a discussion,” Hall said. “They can make motions or amendments, but they had the opportunity to do that and only Councilman Jonathan Williamson took advantage after I asked twice,” he said.

The ordinance allows the city to spend $1.1 million for Reach Road reconstruction, $350,000 for Bowman Field upgrades, $450,000 for the public services, $100,000 for repairs to City Hall, $4.5 million for River Valley Transit and $220,000 to the Williamsport Parking Authority,

Campana said he would like to see $125,000 toward street lights and East End Pool.

The city has two grants amounting to $500,000 to use on a pool, he said. “That’s a BandAid.”

“Under the ordinance we have eliminated street light repair and addition in the city’s most dimly lit and crime-ridden areas,” Campana said. The street light initiative would cost an estimated $125,000, he said.

Councilwoman Liz Miele and Campana exchanged thoughts at the recent recreation meeting.

“Mayor, you brought it to us,” Miele said.

She added the administration came back a week before the second and final reading and vote on the bond that had been discussed for three months.

Campana said his option adds $1.5 million to the River Valley Transit borrowing, not the general fund.

The lack of funding also impacts whether the city can do repairs on Pine Street and relocate a recycling center at 1500 W. Third St. so a private compressed natural gas island can be built and operate.

“It was wrong for council not to discuss our option,” Campana said. “It happened so fast, most people couldn’t believe it.”

Campana said he was not informed ahead of time the council would not discuss the second option of the bond ordinance.