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Water projects to be treated with $1.4M in grants

A growing list of clean-water projects is closer to being addressed after the Lycoming County commissioners approved two grants, bringing funding up to $1,429,217.

A coordination and planning grant will allow the county to seek additional funding to support salaries for employees coordinating the projects, Shannon Rossman, county planning and community development director, told the commissioners Tuesday.

Lycoming County had received a pass-through grant of $100,000 last year, with half going to Northumberland County and half to Lycoming. The same type of grant will be sought this year, Rossman said.

The implementation grant will fund eight projects defined in a clean streams action plan.The projects are ready to go and can be completed in a 12-month timeframe, she said.

“Some are going to be coordinated by the county Conservation District, some will be coordinated by Trout Unlimited. There’s a couple in there that are MS4-related community projects that will all provide clean water pollution control measures,” Rossman said.

The funding will pass through the county to the entities that are actually coordinating the projects, she added.

“We are not going to be doing any of the coordination for the projects. We’re just coordinating the grant funds. We’ll also be working with other projects in the future to plan for additional implementation plans,” Rossman said.

The projects and leaders listed in the county’s plan are:

• The Spring Garden Hunting Club stream and habitat restoration project–work on Blockhouse Creek, Trout Unlimited

• Cover crop incentive project–to do agricultural best management practices, Lycoming County Conservation District

• Purchase of a second no-till drill that is larger that current one. This will provide additional no-till options for rentals for county farmers. No till reduces runoff and sediment, Conservation District program.

• Pine Run stream restoration project in Woodward Township, Conservation District.

• A stormwater infiltration project, Williamsport Municipal Water Authority, which spearheads the MS4 projects for the city. The project will increase stormwater infiltration.

• Bennett Run stream restoration in Fairfield Township.

• Bottle Run stream restoration project in Old Lycoming Township.

• Janet Hock Road drainage improvement project in Penn Township, a Conservation District project which is part of dirt and gravel road project to improve drainage and to reduce runoff.

“The benefit for us doing the Clean Water Action Plan for the county and the benefit for us applying for the implementation grants is that this is coming out of non-county dollars because we participated to access those funds,” Rossman said.

“When we clean up our water that ultimately ends up down in the Chesapeake Bay, we clean up our own water here, too,” Commissioner Rick Mirabito said.

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