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Williamsport plans for year ahead

Town has plenty of projects in the pipeline

Town has plenty of projects in the pipeline

January 16, 2008|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

WILLIAMSPORT - A six-phase sewer system upgrade estimated at $12 million is one of the top projects in the pipeline in Williamsport this year.

Mayor James G. McCleaf II said the first few phases might be within the town's reach, but not the entire project.

"The reality is we'll never get all of it done," he said.

The 2008 agenda also includes plans to refurbish the Springfield barn and finish a road going through Byron Memorial Park.

Another top issue is hiring a clerk/treasurer to replace James R. Castle, who resigned last year.

"That's probably my number-one priority for the year," McCleaf said.

The first phase of the sewer rehabilitation project, which includes replacing service lines and manholes, is estimated to cost $870,000, according to documents summarizing the work.

The town received $400,000 in state funding to help with that phase, McCleaf said.

Councilman Earle R. Pereschuk Sr. said the town is trying to get more state money for the entire project. "That's all in the making," he said.

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Also in the works is an electronic upgrade of water meters, to make reading them easier and more accurate, said Pereschuk, who oversees the town's water and sewer operations.

McCleaf said he expects state and county funding cuts to force the town to "tighten" its overall budget.

"We really have to be watching our dimes and dollars," Assistant Mayor Monty R. Jones added.

Jones said the town has received a county permit to finish the road through the park, which he considers a top project this year.

Councilman Anthony Drury said the town expects work on the Springfield tenant house, which burned in a fire, to be finished by the summer.

The Springfield barn, which houses the town museum, also will be refurbished - possibly with help from a state bond bill, if money is available, he said.

Councilman Jeff Cline said federal grants will help the town plant trees and bushes. In addition, money raised by the Williamsport Rotary will pay for playground equipment.

Councilwoman Gloria J. Bitner, who oversees the town's pool operations, said two of her goals are putting in steps for people with handicaps and fixing the bottom of the baby pool, which had a crack in it.

Councilman James C. Kalbfleisch said no major electrical projects are planned.

"I just hope everything works out and that we can work together for the betterment of the town," he said.

Along that line, Cline said one of his goals is to get along better with other town officials, particularly McCleaf, after a rocky 2007.

"I see both of us extending our hands and renewing our friendship," Cline said.

"It's always good to work together," said Jones, who also has clashed with Cline, "but people have to be honest and upfront to do that."

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