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Capital projects talk includes safety building, flood protection

Williamsport and Lycoming County could have a public safety building with $10 million included in Gov. Tom Wolf’s capital projects 2021 budget, City Council learned Thursday night.

The $10 million, which would be 75 percent of the estimated $15 million complex cost, was put in next year’s state capital budget.

Councilwoman Bonnie Katz, chairwoman of the city public safety committee, said the budgeted money is for the complex that jointly could house county-city law enforcement, a coroner’s office and other space for public safety professionals.

Katz’ enthusiasm was tempered somewhat.

“We don’t have that money,” Councilwoman Liz Miele said. “Not that it isn’t a project we are not working on, but because it appears in the capital project budget does not mean it will come to fruition.”

Another capital project includes mitigating flooding of Grafius Run. A $4.5 million project may be able to be built by the state Department of Environmental Protection, Councilman Vincent Pulizzi said.

“It is a project on everyone’s mind,” said Joseph Pawlak, city interim finance director.

Under storm sewers, which include separation of storm sewers, the Chesapeake Bay pollution reduction, and Grafius Run the city capital projects budget is proposed at $4.69 million for the first year and $325,000 in the second year.

The majority of funding is related to Grafius Run and the possible DEP project to help alleviate flood risk in the neighborhoods.

“It was not a grant application to be rejected or rewarded,” Miele said of the Grafius Run project. “The Grafius Run earmark might be moving through the process in the state, as Penn Strategies was assisting the city initially on that process,” she said.

Flood control expenses also included categories of structural repairs at the pump stations and equipment there, drainage systems and the recertification of the levee.

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