Hopefully, DEP’s recent tour of run will support a fix
Patrick McDonnell, state Department of Environmental Protection secretary, recently toured Grafius Run.
He got an audience of more than 60 residents who told him tales of what the flood magnet does during most heavy rain storms and sustained downpours.
He boosted morale, he brought hope, expressed an understanding of the problem and acknowledged its priority with the state.
Unfortunately, it will take more than that to solve a problem that has inflicted damage on the lower Vallamont section of Willliamsport for decades.
It will take action by the Wolf administration and the Legislature. Translated, that means bigtime money.
Williamsport City Council has been informed that $1.1 million has been placed in the state’s capital projects fund for Grafius Run work. And McDonnell said Grafius Run is at the top of the stormwater project priority list.
We hope so, because $1.1 million won’t solve the problem.
Lots of solutions have been tried, all geared to keeping the run at the bottom of the hill at the Loyalsock/Williamsport boundary clear of debris during heavy rains. There have been varying degrees of success, but serious stormwater runoff problems and heavy residential flooding are the most frequent results.
We get the sense that something structural must be done in that area to divert the water and debris to a safe place. And that takes time and planning and engineering and construction. And money. Lots of it.
Our own local lawmakers and city officials already know that and have made dozens of appeals over the years.
Hopefully, McDonnell’s tour gave him the eyeball realization of just how real and serious the problem is, an assessment that will catapult Grafius Run into a more favorable priority when it comes to state support.
Visits are appreciated.
The city and residents in the Grafius Run rifle scope need results.