W’sport city council approves treasurer, riverwalk grant
The city of Williamsport has a new treasurer, Kevin Mackey, following approval by City Council Thursday night.
Council previously held interviews with Mackey and Shawn Arroyo, the latter who withdrew.
Mackey, who is not a relation to Councilman Jon Mackey, will replace outgoing treasurer Nicholas Grimes, who has served as treasurer since 2015, submitted his letter of resignation on April 15, and accepted a job offer at Keystone Central School District.
In the prior interview with council, Mackey said he was qualified and eager to learn the ins and outs of the treasurer’s department.
It will be a year and a half before voters decide on who will be the next city treasurer in a general election.
WAVES agreement sealed
Council approved a resolution authorizing a memorandum of understanding between the city and Williamsport WAVES Swim Team for use of the pool at Memorial Park. This is an ongoing agreement that was updated after legal review by the solicitor regarding issues of insurance, membership and contribution to the city.
Riverwalk connector grant application
Council authorized the city to seek funding from the Greenways, Trails, & Recreation Program (GTRP) for the ongoing Basin Street Riverwalk connector project. The grant for $96,900 requires a $17,100 match. It would provide funding for the project — a connection of sidewalks and pathways for pedestrian/bicyclists to access the Susquehanna Riverwalk. This is for a portion from Interstate 180 ramp to the riverwalk, said Jon Sander, city engineer.
Councilman Randall J. Allison said this is a long-standing desired improvement to the riverwalk, to give safer access, and said in the public works committee it would help with tourism by providing a safe and direct access from downtown businesses and those in the East Third Street Old City Gateway Redevelopment area to the riverwalk.
The project has support from the city, county and Lycoming College — all of which share in that vision for connectivity and safer pedestrian access to the walking path.
Councilman Eric Beiter said he frequently parked his car and walked across the railroad tracks to access the riverwalk. He asked how will those using it be ensured they are safe crossing the railroad grade. Sander said the final design will be part of another stage of plans working together with individuals from SEDA-Council of Governments and its Joint Rail Authority, along with input from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, necessary for a permit attached to the levee.
Councilwoman Liz Miele agreed with pursuing the grant but noted it was not quite enough money to complete the project. It is an estimate performed by an engineering firm, Larson Design Group, Sander said. If additional money is needed the city may be able to use American Rescue Plan Act funds for recreation purposes, Sander said.
Bandshell final design tabled
Council tabled a resolution awarding final design services to Gannett Fleming for the Brandon Park Bandshell.
Michael Snyder, vice president of the firm, said he would go back and look at the questions council had including the overall scope of work that would include an interior wheelchair accessible lift and humidity mitigation. The proposal was $41,000 and the city has $280,000 to spend on construction. The bandshell needs structural repair such as roof replacement, mortar and brick, structural stage strengthening and accessibility upgrades to the bathrooms.
Snyder said the final design included architectural, mechanical and electrical to bring the facility up to code.
“Given our limited funding we are trying to understand the full scope of work,” Miele said.
Allison agreed, saying his concern is that since the project was envisioned years ago the cost of labor and material has increased.
He suggested the city would need an estimate on each component of the project.
As an example, what would it cost to design and add a vertical accessible lift? Would that be $20,000 or $100,000?
Sander also is looking for those more concrete aspects. “I assumed the cost estimate on construction was part of the final design,” Sander said.
Councilman Vince Pulizzi recommended tabling the resolution because there were too many questions on scope of design and construction.
Safety trailer purchase request granted
Council approved a resolution authorizing the city to award purchase of a traffic control safety trailer that meets state Department of Transportation regulations as presented by Scott Livermore, director of city department of public works.
A new equipped trailer price was $26,000 so Livermore said he found a new trailer for $4,700 and separate traffic cones and barricades for special events and emergencies for $13,200.
The savings was nearly $7,000 and the project does not exceed the $19,000 as proposed. Purchase using American Rescue Plan funds was reviewed by UHY, city ARPA advisor. The 7,000 listed on the purchase document proposal was its weight not miles logged, a subject Livermore was asked to review at the public works committee when noticed by Pulizzi. The trailer is new.
Other action by council included approving:
• A resolution awarding the aggregate bids
• Resolution to amend a resolution authorizing the purchase agreement with Glick Fire Equipment. The city Bureau of Fire has placed an order for three apparatus – two fire engines and a ladder equipped with a pump at $3.3 million. Purchases will be through American Rescue Plan and Community Block Grants.
• Resolution to amend the contract between the city and SEDA-Council of Governments.
• Demolition at 723 Sheridan St. for Bryan and Katie Coffey. The couple owns the property next store, said Joe Gerardi, city codes administrator. This property is vacant and was put on a blighted list in December. Intention is to raze and rebuild usable support building in a residential zone.
• Certificate of Appropriateness – 128 East Third St. Carl and Pamela Crouse. Walls are leaning out and the owners wish to remove the roof and provide brick panels, paint the building and ensure roof cornice is to look tight against the building.
• Certificates of Appropriateness – 932 W. Third St. Property renovation plan (Withdrawn from the demolition for Mirabito Properties Inc.).
The next regularly scheduled Council meeting will be held on June 9 at 7 p.m., Trade and Transit II, 144 W. Third St. 3rd Floor, and online.