SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The Lycoming County Water and Sewer Authority approved a new stormwater management plan.
South Williamsport, Duboistown, and the Waste and Sewer Authority are helping reduce pollution flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. But there’s a price, and homeowners will have to pay it.
South Williamsport Borough was the last to sign the stormwater agreement, just last night. Now the communities will keep the water clean flowing into the Chesapeake Bay.
South Williamsport and Duboistown will work together to prevent dirt and chemicals from flowing into the stormwater, and downstream. They have until February of 2024 to achieve this goal.
“The world isn’t what it used to be in terms of just trying to capture stormwater run-off and carry it away. The infrastructure is aged,” Christine Weigle, Executive Director of the Lycoming County Water and Sewer Authority said.
“It was pretty much a no-brainer for us when we all started talking. Why not partner together so that we could work together to resolve the same problem we’re having and save some costs and share some costs in some projects,” said Duboistown Borough Manager Ann Baker.
Baker says working with South Williamsport will be a huge leap forward in tackling the stormwater management needs.
“It’s not been an easy road to follow but I think at the end of the day by collaborating jointly by cost-sharing and by finding one location where we can do one best management practice project to satisfy the permits of both communities,” said South Williamsport Borough Manager Steve Capelli.
Capelli has already identified two natural swales in South Williamsport.
“A bioswale will then become basically a retention pond allowing stormwater to be captured, evaporate, seepage into the ground as opposed to migrating to the river and that’s what we’re up against. We need to send less stormwater in the river,” Capelli said.
The cost of the swales could add up to $1.4 million. That cost will be paid partly by property owners. A stormwater fee will be implemented by July on anyone who pays a water and sewer bill. Property owners will have to pay anywhere between $8 and $10 in South Williamsport and $13 in Duboistown.
“Well like any tax, you’re not in favor of anything but I know these things are mandated,” said Fred Curchoe, a resident of South Williamsport.
Now that the partnership has been formalized, they have to resubmit their Bay reduction plan to the DEP for approval and essentially prove there is a long-term partnership for these projects.