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Area schools approve safety plans for reopening

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Each Monday, the Sun-Gazette summarizes major votes of the past week and, more specifically, how our locally elected and appointed officials voted on each matter. Watch for it each Monday in the Sun-Gazette.)

Locally elected and appointed officials voted on the following matters in the past two weeks:

Federal

• The U.S. House voted Wednesday on legislation to provide federal funding to national parks infrastructure and grants for community parks, trails, boat launches and sports fields. The funding will come from federal offshore gas and oil revenues. U.S. Rep. Fred Keller, R-Kreamer, voted no. U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Howard, voted yes. The legislation passed 310-107. The legislation was passed by the Senate in June and now will go to President Donald Trump.

• The U.S. House voted Wednesday on legislation to restore $255 million in funding for historically Black colleges and universities and other minority serving institutions. Keller and Thompson both voted no. The bill passed 231-184.

• The U.S. House voted Friday on an appropriations bill for the U.S. Department of State. Keller and Thompson both voted no. The bill passed 224-189.

• The Senate passed an appropriations bill Thursday to allocate funding to the U.S. Department of Defense and to defense-related projects by the U.S. Department of Energy. Both U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, and U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Zionsville, voted yes. The bill passed 86-14.

State

• The House recently voted 115-86 in favor of a constitutional amendment limiting the length of future emergency disaster declarations made by the governor unless an extension is approved by the General Assembly. Under current law, a governor’s emergency declaration can last up to 90 days and be renewed by the governor indefinitely. The bill would limit the emergency declaration to 21 days unless the General Assembly approved a longer duration. State Reps. Garth Everett, R-Muncy, and Jeff Wheeland, R-Loyalsock Township voted yes.

• The House recently voted 116-85 in favor of a bill that would move counties to a green plus phase of business reopenings. The legislation empowers community leaders to relieve their communities of COVID-19 restrictions based on the specific circumstances of their counties. The bill would allow a county to pass a resolution designating it as being in the green phase of reopening after being in the yellow phase of reopening for at least 21 days. State Reps. Garth Everett, R-Muncy, and Jeff Wheeland, R-Loyalsock Township, voted yes.

County

• Lycoming County commissioners voted 3-0 to hire Alyssa M. Henry as hazard reduction planner and Austin Dailey as transportation planner on July 14. Scott Metzger, Rick Mirabito and Tony Mussare each voted yes.

• Lycoming County commissioners approved federal Community Development Block grants totaling nearly $150,000 for four local agencies providing services during the pandemic. Receiving grants were: STEP Supportive Housing Program, $55,000; American Rescue Workers, $55,000; North Central Sight Services, $19,776 and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, $19,776.

Municipal

• The Woodward Township Supervisors amended their Act 13 budget to add $43,662.39 in allocated funds from the gas industry to their budget in an in-person meeting on July 15. The supervisors also agreed to Hammaker East’s tar and chip bid totalling $176,659 for both seal coating and surface treatment.

• On July 14, the Old Lycoming Township Supervisors unanimously approved the 2020 paving bids for $220,193.60 from Recon Construction Services for the paving of Mahaffey Lane and Princeton Avenue. In addition to that, the supervisors applied and approved their application to receive county aid liquid fuels funding for the above paving project totaling $6,411. The township’s 2004 Ambulance vehicle has been sold on Municibid for $5,500. Supervisors also approved a 12-month contract with Codes Inc. to help with commercial needs and to help certify in-house codes officers.

• Jersey Shore Borough Council unanimously approved the county aid for liquid fuels application in an in-person meeting on July 13. The funding will be used for the 2020 paving project for the borough.

• South Williamsport Borough Council voted on July 13 to approve Community Development Block Grant funding of $117,213 to address stormwater problems.

• City Council voted 5-0-2 to approve a $2 million state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Projects grant for the Pajama Factory for parking, roof and heating and air conditioning improvement costs. Council President Randall J. Allison and Councilman Adam Yoder abstained due to conflicts of interest.

School Districts

• The Williamsport Area School District approved the district’s health and safety plan which will facilitate a safe return to school next month. The district offered an overview of the plan which provides for three options for students — in-person education, a hybrid of in-person and remote learning, and completely remote learning. The district is also finishing its plan to become a one-to-one district, which would ensure that every student has a device available for remote learning.

• The East Lycoming School District approved its health and safety plan during a virtual meeting attended by over 200 people. Michael Pawlik, superintendent, said that during the call in period of the meeting, parents were most concerned about if schools in the district would be able to open safely next month and wanted to know what sanitization precautions were being taken.

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