City approves transferring stormwater system to authority

City Council agreed Thursday to transfer the city stormwater management system to the Williamsport Sanitary Authority.

“This is a major step but not the final step,” said Council President Jonathan Williamson.

The process several years in the making must get final approval from the sanitary authority.

The proposed transfer takes out a $675,000 request by the city administration to be reimbursed for the work done on the stormwater system installed in the William Street redevelopment and for the Kohl’s department store project.

The agreement covers whatever materials are below the ground. It does not take into effect property above-ground, according to Councilman Don Noviello, of the public works committee.

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana said it is best for the system to be transferred to the authority, because it has the means to create a stormwater authority that can levee fees.

The stage for setting up fees would be later in the process, he said.

An earlier version of the agreement indicated the fees would be necessary for the authority to maintain and make necessary fixes.

The fees, if they are approved in the future, would be attached to water and sewer bills.

Campana also told council the upcoming budget requires him to find ways to increase city revenue.

Ideas the mayor has come up with include selling underused city property, gaining revenue through economic development and adding revenue from valid user-agreements from the Williamsport Municipal Water Authority.

“I have asked city staff to take on extra responsibilities as all of us have helped to reduce costs,” Campana said. “I believe it is time for individuals that do business with the city to tighten their belts as well when responding to our needs.”

Insurance, engineering, architecture, heating, air conditioning and construction management companies, lobbying consultants and legal services will be required to respond in a competitive request for proposals. “(They have to go through the process) if they want to do business with the city,” Campana said.