Residence inn addition on City Council agenda today

City Council is expected tonight to review a certificate of appropriateness request by a hotlelier who seeks to build an addition to the Residence Inn at 150 W. Church St.

Chartwell Hotels, owned by George Tsunis, wantsx to put an addition on the existing hotel, but during its last meeting council asked for the architect to redesign an entrance to face West Third Street. Council tabled the matter until tonight’s meeting.

Councilman Derek Slaughter was among those who said he would support an entrance that was more welcoming and facing Third Street.

Early indications are the hotel general manager Jennifer Losey did what council required, according to Joseph Gerardi, city codes administrator.

The addition onto the building includes a design with a rear stairtower and a grander entrance with a canopy and glass facing West Third Street, Gerardi said.

The certificate received a positive recommendation from the city planning commission.

Thus far, the design and compliance of the city zoning laws indicate the proposed addition should move another step closer toward construction, Gerardi said.

Penn Strategies Inc., the city economic development consulting firm, is expected to provide council with a quarterly update on progress to seek funding for various projects.

Jason Fitzgerald, company president, said his intention is to brief council on the funding streams available toward recertification of the levee and flood-mitigation efforts on Grafius Run.

Recently, Fitzgerald told the Sun-Gazette he and city officials have begun to distribute surveys to residents living in the Grafius Run watershed north of High Street to Highland Terrace. The surveys are an attempt to find out first-hand from residents how much property damage over the past 10 years has been caused by flooding of Grafius Run.

The property loss tallies will be among a report to be provided to state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, for possible inclusion in the state 2019 capital projects budget for Gov. Tom Wolf or whoever is governor at the time to sign, Fitzgerald said.

The state Department of Community and Economic Development has recommended the project include municipal partner, Loyalsock Township, and to work with the state Department of Environmental Protection, Fitzgerald said.

Partnerships and a team and regional approach are what City Council and the administration have wanted to increase the potential for funding that can provide not only short-term but long-term solutions to the flooding of Grafius Run, which has taken its toll on residents and businesses in that part of the city for decades, he said.

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