Finally, a decision about City Hall — now, it’s time to make it accessible
We have a recommendation, and it sounds like a solid plan after much discussion and study.
The recommendation from Joseph Gerardi, city codes administrator, to City Council’s Ad Hoc Committee for City Hall is to stay put.
Build a handicap accessible ramp and perform any other upgrades needed to meet Americans with Disabilities Act regulations. Explore construction of a public safety building to bring under one roof police, fire, codes and county coroner operations.
We appreciate the recommendation to make a historic building downtown continue to function as the seat of city government. We also appreciate that the committee did due diligence in exploring all options.
That said, the committee will take the recommendation to City Council for a final decision.
Once decided, the priority, according to committee chairman Adam Yoder, will be to meet ADA standards. This is overdue, but we believe the time spent doing the study was worth it.
We also are delighted to hear that the administration is ironing out details with the Community Theatre League about its use of space in the Trade and Transit I building.
The league has grown to provide programming for all generations here in Lycoming County.
Their location in the heart of downtown keeps them accessible in a well-lit, highly visible location with evening parking just across West Third Street.
It should be noted that the league pays the city rent for their lease and adds revenue to the city coffers.
Moving forward, the ad hoc committee may be tasked with exploring a public safety building.
That’s an important next step. And there’s a solid opportunity for the city and county to collaborate and share resources that will bring together multiple entities.
Partnerships among government agencies often help when seeking grant funding, and we believe a city-county partnership will go a long way toward making this facility happen while also solving a big problem for the county coroner who, like city police, badly needs more space.