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Grants on levee, city block upgrades under review

About $700,000 in state government grant applications for the levee and neighborhood improvement will be reviewed tonight by City Council.

A $500,000 grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development to be submitted by Lycoming County on behalf of Williamsport and South Williamsport for levee repairs is before the council.

The grant is meant to help to cover part of the overall cost of $1.1 million to rehabilitate cross pipe drainage system in the levee.

It was one of the deficiencies identified as part of the certification process, said Adam Winder, city general manager of streets and parks department.

Penn Strategies helped to assist in the application process for the H2O PA grant through the Commonwealth Financing Authority, he said.

The county is submitting the grant on behalf of the municipalities, Winder said.

There is no match requirement, so it received a positive recommendation from the city finance committee.

In another grant application request, a $200,000 Pennsylvania Housing Affordable Rehabilitation and Enhancement fund grant application, money that comes from natural gas impact fees, will to be presented by city community development department on behalf of the projects in the Park Avenue neighborhood, said Stephanie Young, city community development director.

Young said that 30 percent of the grant must be those meeting 50 percent of median income of $33,350 a year. There about 77 percent rental properties in the area, so Young said that will likely be met. The area near UPMC Susquehanna, bordered by Rural Avenue on the north, Campbell Street on the west, Hepburn Street on the east and Little League Boulevard on the south is due for a makeover after the hospital, River Valley Transit and city have invested in a consulting company reviewing its potential with citizens and stakeholders.

The area has already seen a revitalization with a new restaurant at Park Avenue and Walnut Street, Mayor Gabriel J. Campana told the Sun-Gazette.

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