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Williamsport: Levee repair work can continue amid assessment

SUN-GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Williamsport City Council and the United States Army have coordinated an agreement for an accelerated levee system evaluation.

“As everyone knows, we’ve been working on the levee for a number of years now and we are now at a point where we are finally ready to move forward with an agreement between the Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Williamsport,” said Mayor Derek Slaughter.

The city continues to work on various levee repairs with partners across all levels of government, and officials have confirmed the risk assessment can occur simultaneously.

The assessment cost is a 50/50 split between the Army Corps of Engineers and the city.

“It will be somewhere in the vicinity of $480,000 for each of us,” Slaughter said.

Councilman Eric Beiter acknowledged recently expressing discontent with another risk assessment being performed; knowing the assessment could occur simultaneously to the ongoing repairs, without impacting the timeline of the certification process, eased his mind, he said.

“It is in our favor that we continue to fix what we know we need to have fixed,” agreed Councilman Randall J. Allison. “It’s good to keep that as our target.”

Slaughter added Col. Estee S. Pinchasin, Army Corps of Engineers commander, plans to be in the city sometime this month.

“We are first in their queue,” he said.

In another matter, council announced the United States Air Force is investing in Williamsport youth by committing $9,500 toward new basketball hoops in Memorial, Youngs Woods and Shaw Place parks.

“Investing in our youth is a mutually beneficial partnership,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Master Leo Knight-Inglesby.

The agreement is “no strings attached,” Slaughter said, but the Air Force emblem and website, airforce.com, will color the backboards of the new hoops.

In other business, City Council approved an agreement between Lycoming College and the Bureau of Police for a community survey project gauging the perception of police. The purpose is to help the bureau to identify its strengths and weaknesses and to compile the information to provide better service to the community, said police Chief Justin Snyder.

Councilwoman Liz Miele asked whether the police will take part in the distribution to the community of the survey; officials said college students and staff will handle the legwork.

The data should be prepared for the police administration to view by the summer of 2023.

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