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County commissioners welcome grant for levee

Lycoming County commissioners happily embraced news of the $5.6 million allocation for Williamsport levee reconstruction work during their meeting Tuesday.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Administration, they said, came as the result of a collective effort among communities and public officials at different levels of government.

“It’s a lot of work by many people,” Commissioner Rick Mirabito said. “We have a great working group of municipalities.”

Commissioner Scott Metzger agreed.

“There were a lot of players involved,” he said. “It’s a huge, huge accomplishment.”

The grant, targeted for levee work along Lycoming Creek near Bowman Field and requiring a $1.4 million match, will repair a structurally deficient I-wall in the levee.

Commissioners noted local officials lobbied the federal government hard for funding.

“It’s a critical need in Lycoming County,” Commissioner Tony Mussare said.

Metzger said an improved levee is important too for local economic development.

Mirabito noted that the levee work is just the start to getting under way other projects for mitigating and preventing flooding in the county.

In other matters, commissioners approved application for a $297,172 Emergency Management Performance Grant to offset costs for Department of Public Safety personnel salaries and benefits.

Commissioners approved an amendment to an agreement with HRI Inc. to extend the project until March 31 for rehabilitation work of County Farm Road.

Also at the meeting, commissioners approved:

• Purchase of a hydraulic hammer and accessories from Highway Equipment and Supply Co. for the county landfill at a cost of $126,860.

• An amendment with West Branch Drug & Alcohol Commission to extend the agreement at no additional cost for drug and alcohol treatment at the county prison.

• Participation by Resource Management Services in the state Department of Environmental Protection Pick-up Pennsylvania 2020 Program.

Commissioners will meet 10 a.m. Thursday at Executive Plaza, 330 Pine St., Williamsport.

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