Two recent events show mixed bag of state support
The city of Williamsport was not among those receiving any of the recent $100 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grants from the state. That puts on hold plans to replace seats in Bowman Field with a $1.2 million state grant. There are still more grant announcements scheduled the rest of the year and the city could yet receive the grant. To be clear, the city needs to keep Bowman Field viable and modern with the improvements it is making, including a $2.3 million grandstand deck addition that is ongoing. The recent announcement of the state grants that did not include the city was followed a week or so later by some discouraging news from Gov. Tom Wolf regarding financial help for people victimized by localized flooding. The governor said that although the flooding was severe it was too localized to qualify for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Fortunately, the governor changed course last week and declared four counties, including Lycoming and Sullivan, disaster areas, which amounts to a request for funding assistance through FEMA. The Oct. 21 flash flooding resulted in an estimated $33.2 million in property damage. Prior to Wolf’s announcement last week, we were connecting these two supposedly disparate dots – worthy objects for funding support – and wondering out loud if the top leadership in Harrisburg cares for our region the way it does others that have carried greater elective support. We don’t mind being proven wrong, but feel like there has to be a voice pointing out how rural Pennsylvania, our region included, seems to not be a top priority very often. We are heartened by the governor’s change of heart on the disaster declaration for our region and hopeful funding for the Bowman Field work will be reconsidered by those overseeing the state grant application.
A technical computer error resulted in some misspellings in Sunday’s oped colums. We apologize