Another financial piece of a puzzle to analyze what can be done to redevelop and better use a section of the city known as the Old City is likely to be approved Thursday by City Council.
Old City, bounded by Market Street in the west, Lycoming College in the north, the West Branch of the Susquehanna River to the south and Chatham Street on the east, was subject of discussion Tuesday by the city finance committee which gave a positive recommendation for council to approve a $25,000 grant agreement between the city and the state Department of Community and Economic Development.
"The city's been notified it is recipient of a municipal assistance program grant from the department toward the Old City project. The financial commitment, to date, includes $25,000 from the city, $25,000 from the grant and $25,000 commitment by Lycoming College.
"Lycoming College is delighted that the Department of Community and Economic Development has approved the application for a planning grant for the redevelopment of Old City," said Kent Trachte, president of Lycoming College.
"I also want to reaffirm the college's commitment of $25,000 toward the cost of this project," he said. "We are very pleased to see this idea moving forward."
In addition, Trachte said the college's board of trustees and himself were pleased that Mayor Gabriel J. Campana and City Council also have established the East Third Street Gateway Revitalization Commission.
The college looks forward to both the revitalization of East Third Street, and the redevelopment of Old City, said Trachte, who is a member of the commission looking at East Third Street gateway improvements.
"I am really grateful to the department for seeing the value in this project and committing that money to help make the study as comprehensive as possible," said Councilman Randall J. Allison. "We are expecting some exciting things and good ideas.
Allison thanked Kim Wheeler, lead Lycoming County planner, for her attention to the project.
The next phase will consist of reviewing bids to hire a consulting firm to assess existing conditions, followed by a marketing analysis and visioning and scenario building session using community stakeholders to create a master plan of redevelopment.