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Williamsport City Council OKs sports complex plan

City Council approved a lot consolidation and land development plan by Williamsport Ballpark Inc. for a seven-field athletic complex on Rose Street.

The lot consolidation combines two parcels to create 28.4 acres at the site which was the former city trash dump at 2 Rose St.

The 5-0 vote allows the landholding entity of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce to develop the facility for baseball and softball games, including 415 parking spaces.

Voting were Council President Randall J. Allison, Adam Yoder, Dave Banks, Jon Mackey and Vincent Pulizzi. Liz Miele and Bonnie Katz were absent.

The city zoning hearing board granted a variance so the type of landscaping will not be the deep-rooted kind and the fields will be turf. The state Department of Environmental Protection does not permit the planting of trees on the site.

Yoder noted the attendance by Jason Fink, president and CEO of the chamber and said the project has been in the works for about a year and a half.

Yoder said he initially had questions regarding the development.

The project is taxable and will provide the city with business privilege taxes and because of its prior use as a defunct city dump there was not much other land use for the site, Yoder said.

Yoder considered this a great opportunity for the city, in conjunction with the chamber and a benefit to the city and larger community.

Yoder said he hoped that this complex could be used as a catalyst to expand development on the nearby Maynard Street corridor.

Pulizzi said he also initially asked about the impact the ballpark would have and the potential uses of the land.

Pulizzi thanked Fink for meeting with him and Yoder privately to go over the positive impact the facility will have on the city and region.

President Randall J. Allison seconded those comments.

He said it fits in with what city officials are looking for from the East End to the West End in terms of development.

Allison said it is also an example of what will set the stage for people who want to develop and who are ready to develop in Williamsport.

The project received a financial boost with a $2 million state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant from the Office of Budget.

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