Official calls for levee answer
The levee recertification, stormwater management upgrades and pollution reduction mandates is likely to require a regional cost-sharing approach.
“It’s the only viable solution,” said Steven W. Cappelli, chairman of the Williamsport Municipal Water Authority and borough manager of South Williamsport.
Two viable options exist: Create a new county flood hazard mitigation authority or broaden the charter and articles of incorporation of an existing legal entity under Williamsport Municipal Water and Sanitary Authority or Lycoming County Water and Sanitary Authority, he said.
“The regional scale should not be dismissed as an ancillary function of this authority,” Cappelli said, adding “enormous” regulatory costs are involved.
In fact, officials have been told recertification of the levee is estimated at $16 million, if completed in the next five years, and for upgrades to stormwater management systems, $20 million.
This “dictates” those in charge develop a regional cost-sharing resolution, Cappelli said.
Councilman Randall J. Allison said that is the purpose of the city working with the county and state and federal lawmakers.
Mayor Gabriel J. Campana said he agrees with the regional approach to finding funding.
“I agree that we should be looking to regionalizing,” Councilwoman Bonnie Katz said.
Katz, who serves on the public works committee, said for cities and townships to flourish, “we must start going in that direction.”
Limited grants are given out, she said.
“If more than one entity is going after the same funding someone is going to lose,” Katz said.
“Williamsport is the hub of the county and it so makes sense to work together … we have to forget about who is chief and do what is best for everyone.”