Traffic to medical center, East End development, River Walk access among issues on city’s agenda

Whether you are interested in revitalization of the city’s East End, recycling updates, a corridor allowing faster access to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center or the Hepburn Street access to Susquehanna River Walk, City Council is expected to discuss these and other issues tonight.

Council is expected to approve its first East Third Street Gateway Revitalization Commission, a group that will discuss ideas for consideration by the administration and council on the redevelopment and revitalization from Penn Street, north to Washington Boulevard and areas east to Catherine Street, near the border with Loyalsock Township.

The commission, as proposed, includes real estate developer and businessman John Albarano II, chairman; Neil Casale, Lou Miele, Al Clapps, Pete Sides, Casey Stopper and Kent Trachte, president of Lycoming College.

The commission’s main goal is to create a more attractive and tax producing area east of Penn/Chatham streets to Catherine Street and portions of Washington Boulevard, according to Mayor Gabriel J. Campana.

In recycling news, William E. Nichols Jr., city finance director and general manager of River Valley Transit, is expected to present an agreement between the city and Lycoming County in conjunction with the River Valley Transit’s compressed natural gas fueling facility project. A grand opening of the facility, for use by the general public, is tentatively scheduled for May, Nichols told the city finance committee.

In an update on the city’s Pathway to Health Phase II portion, John Grado, city engineer and director of community and economic development, will present a request to apply for a $1 million grant for improvements in Phase II of the Pathway to Health. The improvements would be for traffic signals and downtown streetscape work on the portion of the Pathway to Health on Maynard Street, from First Street north to Third Street and from Third Street east to Campbell Street, including a small portal on Maynard Street signifying entrance into the city’s Historic District. The portal probably would be at Maynard Alley, close to Second Street.

Lycoming County is expected to provide $50,000 from its natural gas impact fee funds toward the pathway and the city’s part of the match is $112,500. The local match is $162,500.

In an update on the Hepburn Street railroad crossing to access a parking lot for those using the Susquehanna River Walk, Grado also is expected to present a resolution request regarding road realignment and trail head contract awarded previously to Mid-State Paving Co. The work entails a two-land access road leading to a parking area for accessing the Susquehanna Riverwalk and closing off the entrance at the city’s pump station off Hepburn Street. The SEDA-Council of Governments Joint Rail Authority is hiring a separate contractor to build a crossing with flashing lights at the railroad tracks 150 feet east of the entrance point and the county is to complete the parking area, with gravel that is seal coated, Grado said.