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Lycoming County seeks funds to prepare industrial sites for gas industry

October 15, 2010

The Lycoming County commissioners are seeking federal funding that could be used to prepare brownfields - or underused industrial sites - in the City of Williamsport and Borough of Montoursville for use by the natural gas industry.

The commissioners Thursday approved an application to the federal Environmental Protection Agency for a $600,000 grant designed to clean up brownfield sites in the two municipalities and prepare them for re-use.

Marcellus Shale-related companies are moving into many of the available industrial sites in the area and more sites are needed to accommodate the demand, according to Kurt Hausammann Jr., director of the county Department of Planning and Community Development.

The money will be used to prepare several sites in each municipality, he said.

The commissioners approved receipt of a $250,000 U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Service - or "COPS" - grant to be used to upgrade the county's computer servers.

The upgrade includes the installation of virtual ware, software and hardware designed to provide the county with a backup operations network should there be a disaster at the county courthouse where the county servers are located.

The equipment will allow county operations to continue seamlessly in the event of a disaster, John Yingling, director of the county Department of Public Safety said.

The commissioners approved an agreement with heavy equipment dealer Cleveland Brothers to perform maintenance on the county landfill's co-generation plant engines.

The agreement calls for the company to perform maintenance on one engine in November and another engine in January, said landfill Operations Manager David Bonus. The agreement calls for the company to be paid up to $547,000 for its work.

The commissioners approved subrecipient agreements with the West Branch Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission that will allow two state Department of Public Welfare grants - for $736,000 and $239,000 - to be used by the commission.

The agreements outline the parameters under which the commission will use the funding.

The commissioners also approved an agreement with the YWCA for a $75,000 state Department of Community and Economic Development Emergency Shelter Grant.

The grant will be used to help fund the YWCA's Liberty House program, according to county Grants Administrator Mya Toon.

A contract with engineering firm Pysher and Associates was approved by the commissioners.

The contract calls for the company to be paid up to $25,000 a year over four years to provide quality assurance consulting for the county's risk map update initiative, said county Hazard Mitigation Planner John Lavelle.

Risk maps are used by planners to show where hazards such as flooding likely are to occur.

The company was chosen because of its experience with hydrology and developing risk maps, Lavelle said.



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