Authorities prepared for Trump crowds to keep them busy

As Montoursville prepares for record-breaking crowds during President Donald Trump’s rally Monday, municipal and police officials have worked to make the event a smooth one.

Bus transportation will start at the former location of Sears in Lycoming Mall Circle, according to William E. Nichols Jr., general manager of River Valley Transit. Eighteen buses will start transporting people at 9 a.m. and 23 buses will be taking people back to the mall after the event. The buses will be handicap accessible.

In Montoursville, the entirety of Mill Street — which goes behind the Williamsport Regional Airport off of Broad Street — will be closed, and the 200 block of Jordan Avenue will be the designated area for protestors, according to Jeff Gyurina Chief of Montoursville police. No one will be able to pass the railroad tracks, which cross South Loyalsock Avenue.

The event has been a “nightmare” to set up, said Gyurina. “We knew an hour before the public knew, that’s how quick of a notice we got… I don’t know what to expect.”

The state police and Secret Service have provided great cooperation, he said.

“They’ve got a lot of manpower, they’ve got a lot of tools to use,” said Gyurina.

Law enforcement will be setting up perimeters, with the Secret Service operating on airport property, state police monitoring that border, and Montoursville police working outside of that.

Parking enforcement will be relaxed due to the volume of people, but tow trucks will be on standby if vehicles are blocking a resident’s driveway.

Protesters will have visible access to buses and vehicles coming in from their spot on Jordan Avenue, “As long as it’s peaceful,” Gyurina said.

“For how quick (President Trump is) going to be in and out of here — It’s only a couple hours … I’m hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst,” said Gyurina. “If you want to demonstrate, you’re welcome to demonstrate, just don’t break the law doing it.”

Unless resident’s are attending President Trump’s rally, Gyurina said, “It’s probably a good idea to find somewhere else to be that day unless you want to wait in line.”

Montoursville police recently notified the public that only clear plastic, factory filled water bottles are allowed into the event. No backpacks, bags or chairs will be allowed into the event, or stored on event property.

Ginny Gardner, Montoursville Borough secretary and treasurer, said the area’s municipal services will be on standby for the rally.

“The police department will be aware and if there’s any emergency, our street water project coordinator will be available by cell phone, immediately, if there’s an issue,” she said.

Extra trash cans will be placed along Broad Street as well.

“It’s going to be all new to us, and hopefully it’ll all work out,” said Gardner. “But I’m sure we’re we’re not going to have hit everything, because we don’t know what to anticipate.”