Funding for projects at Bowman Field approved

Bowman Field in Williamsport on Thursday April 25, 2019. KAREN VIBERT-KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette

City Council awarded another phase of Bowman Field construction Thursday night. The work to begin is an expanded media box, umpire room, visitor locker rooms, a boiler and pump house. The press box should be completed by the time the Williamsport Crosscutters start their season in mid-June.

The contracts were for TurnKey Construction Inc., $328,100, for general contracting; K.C. Larson Inc., $78,300 for plumbing; Bechdel Plumbing and Heating and Air Conditioning, $33,350; and TurnKey Electric Inc., $65,940 for electric service.

Half of the cost is paid for using a $1.2 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Projects grant, according to Councilwoman Bonnie Katz. Among these is $200,000 from a Bowman Field account.

There were some questions regarding the account posed by Councilman Derek Slaughter, who said he did not recall the account included in a budget 2019.

Slaughter asked if the account has generated any expenditures.

“Not that I can think of,” William E. Nichols Jr., city finance director, said.

The administration ensures that revenues go into the account, Nichols said. “There’s a mechanism in place for council to review that monthly. It’s not our responsibility.”

Councilwoman Liz Miele said there are certain funds that fall into a gray area that are neither through the controller or finance office. The information gets in the audit and several types of funds are set aside by action of council and money set aside by administration is a separate item.

“It’s restricted use,” Joseph Pawlak, city budget and fiscal officer said of the baseball stadium account.

“The Bowman Field capital fund is an assigned account that would be seen in the audit,” said Council President Jonathan Williamson. “It would be summarized and not broken down the way that could be seen in through the controller’s office,” he said.

Slaughter said “for transparency purposes it would help to see a breakout for the account, so we know what is in them and so we can see, even if we are not doing any expenditures out of them.”

“This important project would not have happened without the support of Gov. Tom Wolf and state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township,” said Jason Fitzgerald, president of Penn Strategies Inc., the city economic development consulting firm.