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City rescue plan work session upcoming

The city is planning another work session to go over possible allocation of the $25.5 million in American Rescue Plan funds Williamsport is entitled to at 7 p.m. Jan. 31 at the Trade and Transit II and on remote.

The city has received $12.7 million and anticipates a similar amount in the spring, Mayor Derek Slaughter said.

The city administration and City Council have been narrowing down what they consider to be priorities and eligible projects for the use of the funding. The city has until 2024 to allocate and 2026 to spend the funds.

Ideas have been brought up such as the financing for a land bank, the improvement of baseball fields at the city-owned Brandon Park, splash parks, levee work, arts and entertainment, housing and business development and retention, improved technology for more efficiency and transparency and public safety improvements for the police and fire departments.

Council and the administration also are looking at what projects may be able to receive state or federal grant money and those that would be best to put the rescue plan funds into.

Slaughter said the work sessions and the survey online on the city website are helping the city officials to keep their promise not to nickel and dime away the funds but to pursue the best use of the transformational amount of funding available to the city.

Slaughter said the amount of rescue funds is equivalent to about what the annual city budgets each year. The most recent budget is $28.6 million, so it is almost all of that.

In other business, the council approved a janitorial service contract with Choice Carpet Cleaners for the city public works building and Trade and Transit Centres I and II.

Choice Carpet Cleaners will clean the public works building at 1500 W. Third St. for a rate of $30 per day Monday, Wednesday and Friday, according to Scott Livermore, public works director. The rate for the transit facilities is $90 per day and is Monday through Friday, he said.

A street line paving agreement was approved for Mid-Atlantic. It is $6,248 more because of additional linear feet of painting required, Livermore said. The additional cost will be taken from a prior year liquid fuels surplus.

A certificate of appropriateness was approved for Tim and Sandra Butters owners of a planned restaurant at 454 Pine St. They will have a canopy in the front entrance. An open pergola and fenced in area will be in the front and there will be small outdoor seating in a rear dining area.

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