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Fire apparatus amendment given early nod, while hold put on resolution on WAVES

City Council’s finance committee gave a positive recommendation for a resolution to amend a resolution authorizing the purchase agreement with Glick Fire Equipment for the Williamsport Bureau of Fire.

Deputy Fire Chief Keith Lucas addressed the committee questions. The cost amendment was for the ladder aerial truck which is being equipped with a tank and pump making the cost $1.7 million, making the overall purchase of the apparatus, including two fire engines and the aerial ladder truck $3.3 million. Costs are covered by portions of the city’s nearly $25.5 American Rescue Plan and use of Community Development Block Grant funds.

It essentially was an amendment that noted the additional $86,000 to $100,000 to add the pump to the aerial, according to Councilwoman Liz Miele, committee chair.

Toward that end, council approved a resolution to amend the contract between the city and SEDA-Council of Governments, as presented by August Skip Memmi, director of the city department of community and economic development.

The amendment was for additional services, created by the departure of two former employees who understood the issues of how to get the three pieces of fire apparatus in place, following regulations under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

It is a cost of $1,100 to have the paperwork completed by the SEDA-Council of Governments, which has the expertise. The administrative cost is expected to be paid for through a Community Development Block Grant, Memmi said.

The work involves closing out CDBG contract years of 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 and moving those funds into CDBG year 2020 and then reallocating the remaining funds from 22020 to 2021 to pay for the acquisition of the fire apparatus, Memmi said. The work includes submitting the paperwork to HUD and proper advertising.

“That’s a substantial amount of work for a fee that does not seem so egregious,” Miele said.

“Given the cost I think the benefit is there,” Councilman Eric Beiter said.

WAVES resolution receives ‘no

recommendation’ as more clarity needed

The committee gave no recommendation to a resolution authorizing a memorandum of understanding between the city and Williamsport WAVES Swim Team, as presented by Mayor Derek Slaughter.

The agreement, which has been in place for a number of years, is going to require a review of terms and clarity on fees.

The pool at Memorial Park was closed in 2020 due to the COVID protocols and in 2021 due to structure repair needs to fix a major water leak and update the pool, which is slated to open soon.

“The swim team would like to return to the pool,” Slaughter said, adding the memorandum of understanding was reviewed by the city solicitor who added an insurance matter.

This year, too, each WAVEs member is to purchase a seasonal pool pass.

Additionally, the city public works department is exploring adding a cement slab so that a storage shed may be located on the pool grounds.

A possibility exists of the Williamsport Area High School donating a small shed for storage for city and swim team utilization, but that would be a matter to be decided by council, Slaughter said.

Looking over the resolution, Miele said she recalled there was a small fee charged for use of the pool by the team in the past and that the city received a portion of the registration cost.

“Was there a fee, was it a flat amount or how was it structured?” Miele asked.

“I wonder if they were thinking if that was intended to take the place of fees,” Councilman Randall J. Allison said, regarding the pool pass purchases.

The details will be among the issues the council wanted to clear up for the meeting and it gave the resolution “no recommendation.”

New city employee welcomed

Jermae Drummond was introduced as deputy director of the city department of community and economic development.

Allison welcomed Drummond, saying he looks forward to her input and help on various issues the city is dealing with.

Beiter said Drummond is a great addition to the city, and Miele added she is excited to have Drummond in community development.

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