City Council to review charter commission, gateway

City Council is expected to hear from the chairman of the Williamsport Charter Commission today, as he explains more about a recommendation of a City Council-manager form of government for voters to consider in the Nov. 6 general election.

Fred Holland, who served as chairman of the committee, is expected to go over the charter and some aspects of how the seven members on the commission reached a final report and recommendation for a ballot question.

The commission is one of two study groups that were elected last November to study the city charter and reach a conclusion as to what they believed to be the best form of city government.

The charter commission was limited to looking at the optional third-class city law, while the city Government Study Commission reached its draft recommendation for a council-manager form of government and added Home Rule Law into the mix.

Council also is expected to review a memorandum of understanding proposed between the city and Lycoming College on the college’s new southern entrance gateway.

The proposal will go over land development and funding sources that were obtained to make the project at Basin and Franklin streets and along Basin Street a reality, according to William E. Nichols Jr., city finance director.

Dr. Kent Trachte, college president, is expected to give a presentation involving the realigning of Franklin Street, and Nichols will be there to discuss the design of Basin Street, which will be made into a two-way boulevard between East Fourth and East Third streets.

Council also looks at an amendment to the “disturbing the peace” ordinance regarding fireworks use.

The recent change in state fireworks law led to numerous complaints registered with city police and a proposed change in the time the more powerful fireworks can be discharged, according to city Police Chief David J. Young.

The state law permits more powerful fireworks, some of which provide almost as much size and scope as those in professional shows.

The new regulation, if approved by council tonight, will provide for purchase and use of the fireworks from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the weekend before July 4 and through the following calendar weekend. The fireworks can begin on the Friday that falls before July 4, according to police.

The other acceptable time is from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, police said.

Council is expected to review a proposal to have a city police officer serve part-time as a school resource officer in the middle school at the Williamsport Area School District.

“It would put an officer in the school about 20 hours a week,” Mayor Gabriel J. Campana said.

Council may look at a proposal by the state Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a study on Grafius Run to begin a flood-mitigation project.

Council meets at 7:30 p.m. in chambers at City Hall.

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