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Pine Square developers can go for $1M grant

Williamsport City Council approved the city acting as a pass-through entity for a developer seeking a $1 million grant application for a state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant from the Office of Budget for the Pine Square improvement project.

Tony Ecker and his wife, Katie, received approval of a resolution of the City of Williamsport authorizing the submission of an application for funding to the commonwealth for the grant.

The vote was 5-0 with councilwoman Bonnie Katz and councilman John Mackey absent.

Ecker told the council that his goal was to finish what he and his partners started in 2012.

The couple is working with Penn Strategies Inc. on the grant and may hear by the October time frame if successful. Penn Strategies is a economic development consulting firm working on numerous projects in the city and region.

The square or courtyard at 343 Pine St. has several unfinished areas the grant money would help to complete, including an accessible and safe courtyard and entrance off Laurel Street along with a stage.

Councilwoman Liz Miele noted this is the first step and Council President Adam Yoder thanked the couple for their investment.

“We are grateful for people like you,” Yoder said.

American Rescue Plan fund transfer

Joseph Pawlak, city interim finance director, worked on and requested an amendment of an ordinance, to take $105,000 in various American Rescue Plan fund accounts and transfer it to compliance to pay for a contract approved for UHY Advisors, a company that is assisting the city in meeting compliance and regulations for allocating and spending ARPA funds.

The approval was for taking $15,000 from economic development; $25,000 from the public works and $65,000 from recreation to put into a compliance line item.

More closure as River Valley Transit becomes an authority

Council passed three resolutions toward the completion of the separation of the city and River Valley Transit as it becomes an authority on July 1:

• Approved a resolution to accept an assignment agreement between RVTA and the city.

• Authorized transfer River Valley Transit vehicles to RVTA.

• Granted transfer of funds from River Valley Transit to RVTA.

Council approved a certificate of appropriateness for 427 W. Third St. The owner plans to add burgundy metal siding; however, it does not appear to be the primary exterior metal building material.

An ordinance regulating building design in the central business district said metal should not be the primary exterior of building material but that metal can be used as accent or trim to the buildings.

The next council meeting is at 7 p.m. July 7. The meetings are live at Trade and Transit II, 144 W. Third St., and online on Zoom on YouTube.

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