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Pollution-cutting plan halted pending review

City Council’s public works committee held off Tuesday on giving a recommendation on a proposed agreement between the city and Loyalsock Township for a joint Chesapeake Bay Pollution Reduction Plan.

“I think we need to speak to Larson Design Group,” said Councilman Don Noviello.

Noviello and Councilwoman Bonnie Katz wouldn’t move ahead with a positive recommendation for council on Thursday until it reviews the plan more.

The committee is looking for equal share in any costs in the agreement before moving ahead, according to Katz.

Two officials with the Williamsport Municipal Water and Sanitary Authority were asked by Katz whether they had any concerns regarding the agreement with the township.

The officials would not respond on the record, hinting there are details to iron out.

Meanwhile, the city stormwater management system is on the verge of transfer to the Williamsport Sanitary Authority, which is reviewing final details on the proposal.

The transfer is a good idea because the city doesn’t have the equipment or staff to repair the stormwater systems, officials say.

The authority also can assess a fee to non-profits the city can’t, according to Katz.

Those details have yet to be announced by the authority.

The authority also can better separate the stormwater from sanitary water systems, said Adam Winder, general manager of the city streets and parks department.

Several of the key members of the department, including two union representatives, were given assurance their jobs were protected by council.

Concerns have been expressed as the agreement, now three years in the making, made city employees who are in charge of pump stations and flood control, catch basin cleaning and other issues related to maintaining the above-ground portion of the stormwater management system fear for their job security, Winder said.

“We have your backs,” Noviello said.

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