UTILITY PROTECTION FROM SENATE BILL 275
According to State Senator Gene Yaw, in October, six Democrats, including two from the southeast corner of the state, joined all 28 Republicans and our chamber’s lone Independent to approve Senate Bill 275. The bill’s purpose is simple: it prevents Pennsylvania’s 2,500-plus municipalities from banning access to certain utilities, like natural gas or heating oil. This will preserve consumer access to affordable electricity, no matter where they live, and prevent a chaotic patchwork of regulations that ultimately undermine statewide environmental and energy policies.
JUST SAY NO … FOR NOW
The Montoursville Borough Council, in a unanimous vote, said no to signing an agreement with River Valley Transit, for now. Reasons were clear to the council, who faces upwards of a 50% increase in unexplained River Valley Costs. According to President of council, Eric Greenway, more information is necessary prior to handing off the increase to the taxpayers for bus service in Montoursville. As reported by Sun Gazette, RVT has plans of reaching out to Montoursville Borough Council. This issue will be revisited when the necessary information is received.
NEW TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY
A new transportation authority resolution is scheduled for the agenda tonight and the Williamsport City Council is expected to vote to authorize a public hearing pursuant to the formation of a new transportation authority. According to SUN Gazette, after the adverse opinion audit from 2019-2020 RVT, the formation of a transportation authority was discussed. Council previously approved the formation of a transit oversight committee that will consist of members of the administration, River Valley Transit, Williamsport Area Transportation Study and council.
A Williamsport woman had amended charges now including multiple counts of homicide, filed against her this morning. Marie Snyder appeared in front of District Judge William Solomon in Old Lycoming Township this morning for her preliminary hearing. According to SUN Gazette, homicide charges against Echo Butler will be filed. Michele Butler is also facing additional charges this morning. These charges are stemming from the disappearance and subsequent discovery of Snyder’s two daughters, Nicole and Jasmine Snyder, last year in Hepburn Township.
FOURTH STREET FACE LIFT
Resurfacing of Fourth Street in Williamsport, which is to include accessible ramps and curb cuts is scheduled for the upcoming construction season, according to state Department of Transportation and Williamsport city officials. PennDot District 3 spokeswoman, Maggie Baker, explained the project has an additional 69 accessible ramps, with milling and paving completion expected this construction year. As reported by SUN Gazette, the project began in summer and hopes are a completion by this fall with a price tag of $1.9 million.
LOCAL COVID-19 CASES
The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Thursday reported new COVID-19 cases. Clinton County reported 71 new cases. In Centre County 210 new cases were recorded. Lycoming County added 203. There were 109 new infections in Northumberland County, 45 in Union, 31 in Snyder and 21 in Montour. Tioga County added 29 new covid cases yesterday.
ADDITIONAL FELONY CHARGES
A Lewisburg man has additional felony charges in an ongoing case of physical abuse of a minor. Spencer C. Hackenberg, of Lewisburg, faces felony aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children in conjunction with two counts of misdemeanor simple assault. These charges are a result of the Nov. 18th case of Hackenberg striking a 9-year-old with a bat. Police said Hackenberg is in jail on $100,000 bail an earlier incident in December, when he struck a juvenile with a closed fist and held a knife to the child’s throat, according Daily Item. Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Rowe arraigned Hackenberg on the additional charges. Hackenberg will appear for a preliminary hearing in at a later date on the new charges.
PENNSYLVANIA HOMEOWNER ASSISTANCE FUND
Governor Tom Wolf announced the statewide launch of the Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund, or PAHAF, administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. PHFA’s plan for administration of the PAHAF has been approved by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. PAHAF applications will open to eligible Pennsylvania homeowners beginning February 1. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was awarded more than $350 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds through the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF). The fund supports Pennsylvania homeowners whose household income is at or below 150% of the area median income (AMI) that now must grapple with additional unforeseen financial hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. PAHAF will use these funds to provide eligible Pennsylvania homeowners with much-needed assistance to prevent and/or ease mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, displacement and utility disconnection.
PAHAF applications become available Feb. 1, it will be possible to complete them entirely online, eliminating the need for paper submissions and simplifying the process for applicants.
FINAL PAYMENT APPROVED
Lycoming County Water and Sewer Authority Board approved the final payment for Montoursville’s Church Alley sewer lateral project. According to Christine Weigle, executive director the approval is contingent on multiple ducks in a row. These include receipt of the signed pay application, a engineer final review of the video by the engineer, record drawings being received and the closeout paperwork. Also, the board approved $51,092 for expenses for the 2020 Capital Additions Project. Included here are the payments for the Church alley project and the outfall project portion of the Montoursville Regional Sewer System.
CONCEALED CLASSES IN LYCOMING COUNTY
Rep. Joe Hamm will be co-hosting three Concealed Carry Seminars.
Thursday, Jan. 27, from 6-8 p.m.
Old Lycoming Township Volunteer Fire Company
1600 Dewey Ave., Williamsport
Wednesday, Feb. 2, from 6-8 p.m.
Community Baptist Church
1853 State Route 87, Montoursville
Thursday, March 24, from 6-8 p.m.
Clinton Township Volunteer Fire Company
2311 Route 54 Highway, Montgomery
If you are interested in attending one of the seminars, please register at repwheeland.com/events.