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Stream bank rehabilitation eyed for James Short Park

KAREN VIBERT-KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette Millers Run, next to James Short park in Loyalsock Township on Wednesday.

A $390,000 stream bank and stream rehabilitation project leading to James Short Park in Loyalsock Township may be possible should the township be successful in obtaining a state Department of Environmental Protection “Growing Greener” grant later this year.

The five township supervisors this week gave approval to the township administration, in partnership with the Williamsport Sanitary Authority, to apply for the $323,000 grant to pay costs associated with the design, permitting, construction and stabilization of the Miller’s Run waterway through the park.

A $57,000 cash match along with $10,000 of in-kind staffing service is a grant requirement.

The main purpose of the project will be to slow down the velocity of the stream and protect the banks from erosion, said Bill Burdett, township manager. The goal will be to create a situation where the banks are more gradually sloped so water can expand naturally into the park and slow the velocity down resulting in reduced erosion, he said.

It involves the proposed planting of vegetation such as shrubbery and trees to hold the new stream banks in place, he said.

Additionally, an outfall pipe that empties from Cameo Estates, a residential housing area, dumps into the park and creates a number of problems, Burdett said. The plan is to cut off the end of the pipe and build a basin below to remove the debris. The water will be run through what is called a rock energy dissipation system before it gets into the waterway, which also cleans out sediment, Burdett said.

Short Park will benefit, as will its users. The park is known for its Loyalsock Community Pool, a walking trail, three pavilions for rent, two softball fields that Little League and Loyalsock Township High School use and a baseball field that Little League uses. The park has a playground, volleyball, pickleball and tennis courts and a soccer field.

The stream runs along the pavilions and borders the park, said Shannon Lukowsky, township director of recreation and parks.

“If we are successful, it is probably going to be announced in December and then the township will hire and engineer to design and do the permit work,” Burdett said.

The design and permitting should take much of next year with a bid put out for construction possibly by late next year, Burdett said.

Construction might not begin until 2023 in the spring.

“The permitting process takes a while because any time you are working on a stream there is detailed permitting and design work and more regulations,” he said.

If that occurs, the conditions should improve downstream in terms of flooding and for long-term maintenance costs at the park with the reduction in the amount of bank erosion.

“It will make it more of a natural stream,” Burdett said.

Over the years, the stream had a lot of fill put in it and that created an unnatural stream channel, he said.

The stream bed and banks are steep on either side, he said.

These projects are part of a cost-sharing effort by the entities to reduce sediment and obtain permits as required by DEP under municipal separate storm water system regulation.

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