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‘Affordable’ washed out by flood wall

“These are the regulations that kill businesses in Pennsylvania.”

So said Lycoming County Commissioner Scott Metzger recently when he and fellow commissioners spoke of their frustration over a requirement of which they just learned to move the office of District Judge William Solomon.

Already the county spent $245,000 to purchase the property, which has experienced minor flooding in the past.

They used county crews to raze a house and garage on it and plan to renovate another structure for the district judge offices.

Now they are told by Old Lycoming Township officials, after doing what they believed was due diligence, that because the new site is in a flood zone, they need to build a flood wall.

But wait a second.

It’s an existing structure.

They believed the property’s status in a flood zone was grandfathered in.

Furthermore, they say their options were limited. The new office must be in the existing magisterial district, offer parking and be purchased at an affordable price.

The flood wall, with which they plan to move forward, is estimated to cost $180,000.

So much for that affordable pricetag.

Yes, the taxpayers should be outraged, as Commissioner Tony Mussare suggested.

We’re not sure who dropped the ball here, but it seems unfair that one existing building must be protected suddenly by a new flood wall when others around it are not. Won’t that just push more water to neighboring properties?

As we see it, flood waters present an equal-opportunity threat.

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