WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — After several years of concern over Williamsport’s levee system, plans are underway for making improvements. The city’s mayor tells Eyewitness News about their progress and what’s being done to repair those problem areas.

For more than ten years, Williamsport’s levee system’s problems have posed a risk to those living nearby.

“It obviously protects a large amount of commercial, residential, and industrial properties. We cannot afford to have their flood insurance go through to the roof, so this is why this is at the top of our list,” said Williamsport Mayor, Derek Slaughter.

The levee was built in the ’50s and runs along Lycoming Creek and over to the Susquehanna River. This month Mayor Derek Slaughter met with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Baltimore to continue working to identify areas that need repair.

“The risk assessment takes 12 to 18 months and as far as the work that we’re going to do, we’re working on that right now. We hope to complete a good portion of that you know over the next year or two as well,” said Mayor Slaughter.

The city has already begun repairing the pump stations and the levee embankment.

“And we’re exploring the possibility of a levee authority, which would generate its own revenue, it would be self-sustainable and allow the levee to be maintained,” Mayor Slaughter explained.

For now, Mayor Slaughter says they will continue to hold meetings with the Army Corps and other agencies to get as much done as possible within these next 18 months.

“We meet quarterly, it will continue to make progress until it’s recertified and accredited,” said Mayor Slaughter.

An assessment review will take place within the next 12 to 18 months and in the meantime, Mayor Slaughter says they will continue to make repairs as they wait for the results.