Teams in county to help flood victims

Teams from the U.S. Small Business Administration are in the county ready to help flood victims who need loan assistance, according to public safety officials.

John Yingling, director of the Lycoming County Public Safety Department, told county commissioners Tuesday morning that teams from the administration arrived at the Lysock Complex on County Farm Road at 10 a.m. on Tuesday and will be there from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m on Saturday. Their last day will be on Dec. 8.

The new assistance comes shortly after a disaster declaration was sent to the administration by Gov. Tom Wolf when it was determined that the Oct. 21 flash flood incurred over $33 million in damage, over $16 million of it in Lycoming County. He added that the number likely will increase as damage estimates continue to flow in.

The teams will assist residents and businesses with loan applications and answering questions about the disaster loan program. Low-interest loans of up to $200,000 are available for homeowners to make repairs or replace damaged real-estate. Small businesses and nonprofits can borrow up to $2 million to restore damaged or destroyed buildings inventory and equipment.

In other business, the commissioners considered approval of real estate refunds to four properties owners who lost buildings to the flood.

They also considered a refund to May Department Stores for an appeal involving Macy’s Department Store, owned by May. According to Brooke E. Wright, chief assessor for the county, an appeal for the store to be exempt was approved three years prior, but the county was not notified until recently and now must refund $29,705 for taxes.

The commissioners will vote on these and other items during their 10 a.m. Thursday meeting.

The commissioners present were Rick Mirabito and Tony Mussare. Jack McKernan was absent.