Levee grant must be viewed soon

City officials are expected to review a $376,810 grant application for the rehabilitation of the levee cross pipes later this month.

They only have until the end of the month, according to Jason Fitzgerald, president of Penn Strategies Inc., of Harrisburg, the city economic development consulting firm.

A proposed resolution must be approved by council by May 31, 2019 in order to meet the grant deadline, Fitzgerald said.

The grant would be with the Commonwealth Financing Authority, he said.

While there is a required 15 percent local match, that requirement has been met by the city paying for the attached engineering document, he said.

Bids will be going out for the first stage of repairs necessary after inspection of the levee, the relief wells in June, and cross pipe work is the next step.

Storm and wastewater travel through these pipes through the levee to the river.

“We just keep chipping away at the costs associated with the levee,” he said. The costs are estimated at nearly $14 million, he said.

South Williamsport also must replace relief wells on its part of the levee system, officials from Wood, engineering firm, said.

A proposed grant for the South Williamsport side is $495,193, which Penn Strategies also is work on for no charge, Fitzgerald said.

“It’s in the interest of the city for the entire levee to be repaired,” Fitzgerald said.

The levee recertification is needed to prevent residents protected by the levee from paying flood insurance.

It also will strengthen the levee for years to come.

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