FLOOD INSURANCE CONCERNS
County and state officials, business and homeowners met last evening at the Pennsylvania College of Technology to discuss a recent act which could have far reaching effects on property owners across the area that live in the flood plain. A public meeting was held last night to discuss the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act which has raised flood insurance rates by thousands of dollars a year for property owners. Officials heard last night that the increases could cause property values to plummet, and cause owners to just walk away from their properties as they will not be able to afford the insurance. State and local officials say they are pushing to overturn the act and allow for more affordable insurance.
TWO CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT
Two area men were recently arraigned on sexual assault charges. 25 year old Anthony Snyder and 18 year old Jordan Walters were charged last month with the sexual assault on teen girls which occurred at their residence in Fairfield Township back on November 7th. Walter reportedly had sexual relations with a 14 year old and Snyder with a 15 year old. Charges were originally filed by Muncy police but had to be re-filed by state police because of where the alleged acts took place. Walters has had his preliminary hearing and is free on $40,000 dollars bail. Snyder is incarcerated in Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $40,000 dollars bail.
COUNTY BUDGET ON AGENDA
Lycoming County Commissioners are expected today to approve the county’s 2014 budget plan. The $98.9 million dollar spending plan has increased by about $87,000 dollars since commissioners gave preliminary approval last month with the county adding costs to cover a deputy sheriff and capital projects. The tax millage rate will stay the same at 4.75 mills. It will be the 10th consecutive year that the county has not instituted a property tax increase on property owners.
HOME IMPROVEMENT FUNDING
During their meeting today, Lycoming County Commissioners are expected to approve a $350,000 dollar home improvement plan for the Brodart Neighborhood Improvement program. $300,000 dollars would be set aside for housing rehabilitation for homes in that Williamsport neighborhood. That would include various physical improvements inside and out. The remaining $50,000 dollars for Habitat for Humanity for improvements such as landscaping, repairs, painting and other improvements.
CHILD ABUSE BILLS ON GOVERNOR’S DESK
5 bills changing the way the state of Pennsylvania looks at child abuse have been sent to Governor Tom Corbett’s desk for his signature. The bills, passed in the state senate are part of a 20 or so bill package of wide ranging changes to the state’s child abuse laws which were ordered done in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal. Among those bills is one that would expand the definition of who investigators can consider a potential perpetrator of child abuse to include relatives as well as coaches or people who are in contact with children through community programs or activities. Another bill is expected to pass in the state house in the next few days and head to the governor’s desk as well.
NEW BUDGET IN TOWNSHIP
Old Lycoming Township has their new budget in place. Township Supervisors the other night passed a $3,256,061 dollar balanced budget which will not contain a tax increase for property owners. Those working within the township and who earn at least $12,000 dollars a year will see an annual $52 dollar levy as part of a local services tax. The money will be put towards emergency services in the township.
Some 400 community volunteers were honored yesterday by the Lycoming County United Way during the organization’s annual Volunteer Appreciation event at the Holiday Inn. Three local middle school students were recognized for their essays during as part of the annual essay contest. The Williamsport Sun Gazette received the Community Engagement award for their annual support. 5 longtime volunteers were given Valiant Volunteer Awards for the various work they do with the United Way and its community partners, and the annual Douglas Shangraw Award was actually given to his parents, Robert and Charlene Shangraw for their continued efforts with the Lycoming County United Way.
STUDENTS HELP OUT WITH FUNDRAISING
Students in the Williamsport Area School District are coming through to help with the future of the athletic complex at the Williamsport Area High School. Students were asked to be the change last month as part of the Return to Glory fundraising campaign and in a two week period of time, the kindergarten through eighth grade buildings collected $,070 dollars. High school students are currently collecting their loose change to add towards the $3.5 million dollar goal. It’s hope the students will raise more than $17,000 dollars or 1.1 miles worth of quarters which is the distance from the bottom to the top of the hill on the road to the high school.