Hughesville Borough to discuss erosion with DEP next week

HUGHESVILLE — Flooding and erosion were on the minds of Hughesville Borough Council Monday night.

The borough still is waiting to hear about the status of emergency funding to repair sections of Muncy Creek, said Council President Walter Reed.

The creek bank has eroded “dirt up to our pump house,” Reed said.

The creek is “encroaching” on the Race Street pump house, said Councilman Dan Cale, who added that the town has “lost 60 to 75 feet at the bank.”

The other pump house, which is along Route 220, previously received an emergency permit for repairs.

Council fears that erosion may cause the loss of one, or both, pump houses.

The town “has been trying to get some help,” Reed said, but all that can be done is to apply for grants. “There is nothing out there to protect things.”

The loss of a pump house would be a loss of “several million dollars worth of investment,” he said.

In that case, Cale said, what “could have been a $200,000 project” in prevention becomes “a $2 million project or more.”

When the borough began examining the erosion issues, the cost to repair was about “$150,000 or $200,000 and now we’re well above that,” said Councilman Andrew Mook, to “put in the (nearly) 100 feet (of creek bank) we lost.”

At 10 a.m. Sept. 5, council will meet with an engineer and staff from the state Department of Environmental Protection “to work on the next steps,” Cale said.

In other business, the council decided to table whether to give $250 to the Beckoning Cat Project.

Kerry Perry, executive director of the Beckoning Cat Project, explained the goal of the project during the April 23 council meeting: to capture feral cats, have them spayed or neutered, given shots and released back in the wild.

This helps to control feral cat colonies by preventing the animals from reproducing, Perry said.

It costs $67 to have a cat spayed or neutered, but if the borough donates $25 per cat, the project could match the remaining costs, Perry said.

The $250 donation would aid in spaying or neutering 10 cats.

Councilman Andrew Mook said there “definitely is a problem in town.”

Reed agreed, but said while the project may solve the problem of one cat, he did not think it would solve it for several feral cats.

Councilman Jerry Daughtery asked if it could be done once so council could see the results, but the matter was tabled until the borough solicitor could comment.

The water authority oversees issues with water main breaks and water billing for the township and the borough, according to board Secretary Gail Kocher.

Only Mook voted against the resolution. He declined to comment on his vote.

Also in attendance in addition to Reed, Cale, Mook and Daughtery were Councilman Todd McCowan and Councilwoman Brenda Smith. Mayor Rick Smith was absent.

The next borough council meeting is 7 p.m. Sept. 10 at Hughesville Borough Hall, 147 S. Fifth St.

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