DEP given approval to study Grafius Run

City Council on Thursday approved a study of Grafius Run, which will be completed by state Department of Environmental Protection experts on flood mitigation.

The feasibility study was approved after a presentation by Mark Benner, city engineer, and Jason Fitzgerald, president of Penn Strategies, the city economic development consultant.

The department may be able to construct structural flood protection if it is proved economically justified, according to Benner.

Damage estimates going back through floods a decade ago are getting tabulated and studies are distributed to residents. It is estimated 250 property owners are affected, he said.

Loyalsock Township supervisors recently approved a similar resolution, according to Fitzgerald.

After the study, the department officials will explain what the project to mitigate flooding would entail.

The study does not cost the city nor does the construction. It would be done through a capital project budget.

The city is not committed to it until we hear about it, according to Councilman Joel Henderson.

It would not be a grant, but the value of the losses would be part of the calculation in the proposed capital projects budget, Fitzgerald said.

Previous information collected by the city streets and parks department can assist in the total, he said.

If the actual mitigation project is approved, the city mustn’t sit on its laurels and not budget for long-term maintenance costs, according to Councilwoman Liz Miele.

“I hope we have a Plan B and not put all our eggs in one basket,” said Councilman Randall J. Allison.