Committee looks at potential park, greenspace

For the first time as part of the East Third Street/Old City Gateway Project, the city is moving closer to establishing a greenspace and the envisioned Russell Inn Heritage Park at East Third and Mulberry streets.

On Tuesday, City Council’s finance committee reviewed the concept of the park with a historic flair with William E. Nichols Jr., city finance director.

It will be conceptual model of the former inn that served as one of the first important buildings in Williamsport history, Nichols said.

Additionally, the park may be designed to include benches, boards or panels — with information about the historic neighborhoods of Williamsport, such as Little Italy and areas where Germans and Polish immigrants made their homes.

The resolution will be voted on Thursday by council and if approved head to the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Nichols said.

The committee gave a positive recommendation to award a $5.2 million contract to Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. as it starts the initial phase of East Third Street/Old City Gateway revitalization near Lycoming College. It includes a realigned area at Franklin Street and adding a two-way type of boulevard on Basin Street, along with streetscape and design enhancements, Nichols said.

Councilwoman Liz Miele, committee chairwoman, asked Nichols about the specific amount of grants, match requirements and funding that is secured for the project.

Williamsport Municipal Water and Sanitary Authority also has a part in providing new water and sanitary lines and the state Department of Transportation is completing reconstruction of a portion of East Third Street.