During their Tuesday evening meeting, the Old Lycoming supervisors and township Manager Robert Whitford addressed citizen concerns about cleaning up Lycoming Creek.
In February and March, workers cut down brush, which had grown up in the creek, in an attempt to clear the creek bed, make the banks easier to mow and improve the flow of the stream.
However, the project was stalled before workers could clear out the newly cut debris, due to regulations from the state Department of Environmental Protection.
"When the project began, we had permission from the DEP to go in and clean up the stream bed. That person who gave us permission is no longer with the DEP," Whitford said.
"Now, we've been told we will need a small project permit and may have to hire an engineer before we can remove the brush we cut," he added.
The township hopes to remove larger pieces of debris from the creek and smooth out the stream bed.
However, on its website, the department maintains that an improperly cleaned stream can lead to larger problems down the road. Gravel bars will reform if water flow is not adjusted to compensate for the new stream bed. Experts are needed to oversee stream cleaning activities because an improperly cleared stream bed actually can encourage flooding.
However, applying for a permit and hiring an engineer will take time. Meanwhile, those who live near the creek are forced to stare at a stream filled with cut brush.
"This has turned into an eyesore," said one resident who lives along Cottage Avenue.
"I think I speak for everyone who lives on my road when I say that we want to get that brush cleared out as soon as possible. Otherwise it will just grow right back up again," he added.
"We're trying to do the right thing and get the debris cleared out of there," Whitford said.
"But now we're stuck with this potential cost of hiring an engineer to oversee the project," he added.
It has yet to be determined what the cost of hiring an engineer will be.
Whitford explained that even though the project is on hold for now, the progress thus far has been beneficial to the area.
"We're still further ahead than we were. Having the brush cut out of there lets the water flow through rather than having the brush act like a net and catch debris," Whitford said.
According to Whitford, a work crew will be assigned to the area as soon as all the necessary permits have been obtained. He hopes to have the project finished before the end of the year.