Expansion of business district on council agenda

It is City Council’s first meeting of 2019 tonight and it is expected to be one where council looks closely at the benefits of expanding the Central Business District and adding more trees to the city landscape.

Among the agenda items includes council’s possible final step to assist a downtown developer restart construction on a building he owns that he wants to turn into a restaurant.

Council has a second and final reading of an ordinance for a zoning map amendment that would expand the Central Business District.

The district would include the building owned by Herman Logue at the corner of West Third and Hepburn streets. The map shows the district would go west on West Third and Second streets to include Center Place and that helps the owner of Farrington Place, according to Gary Knarr, city zoning administrator.

Most importantly, according to Mayor Gabriel J. Campana, the ordinance will permit Logue and other businesses in it not to be concerned with parking requirements because there are none in the Central Business District.

That was the hold-up for the developer, Campana said. Logue can continue to renovate the building and turn it into another destination in Williamsport, Campana said.

In another agenda item, the council will review a grant for about $8,281 that will be used toward purchasing trees that will be replanted in April at key locations along the Pathway to Health and in various places such as Brandon Park and along city streets.

The grant, known as TreeVitalize, was approved by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Council also reviews a collective bargaining agreement between the city and the city employees Local 2674. Highlights of the contract include it lasting until 2021, a 2.5 percent salary increase and employee contributions consistent with at-will and public works department employees, said Megan Dayoff, city human resources director.

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