Company seeking feedback for Muncy Resiliency project
MUNCY – Workshops breaking out in sessions culminated the Muncy Resiliency open project meeting after a thirty minute introduction by John Mizerak, an Economic Development Program Manager with Tetra-Tech. Held on Monday, April 9 at Myers Elementary School in Muncy, a town hall public meeting introduced some local sponsors and the planning development company hired through Lycoming County and the Muncy Borough.
“This is a kickoff for some feedback,” Mizerak said. His company is known for addressing issues in infrastructure, resource management, energy, water and the environment. The regional office for the consulting and engineering firm is in Harrisburg.
The Muncy Resiliency project has been a community planning effort since 2016. Mizerak introduced five project areas to focus on for immediate feedback. “We are an action-oriented place towards projects,” he said.
The group areas are: Quality of Life, Housing, Storm Water Management and Green Infrastructure, Economic Resilience, and the Corner of Water & Main Streets. Maps were placed on tables in the school’s cafeteria and multi-purpose room for each interactive project session.
Mizerak gravitated toward a holistic approach, focusing not just on flooding but more on the natural and cultural resources that will add community benefits.
Benefits involve not just the borough of Muncy, but the entire Muncy community and surrounding townships. Initial funding is through the Department of Economic Development, with matching funds to be raised in order to “build a coalition for success.”
“The common theme is investment and to move projects forward,” Mizerak said. “There’s a lot of buzz about this project in Harrisburg,” he said. Other waterway communities will look at Muncy as one of the “best planned practices.” Year to year action plans will be developed by 2019 with a planned process of prioritization and cost analysis. Partnering with the county and based on regulations and feasibility studies, Tetra Tech will produce a detailed strategy of timelines and a building coalition of outside partners.
Remediation of the old Opera House is still a possibility as a “center for excellence for community resilience.” Looking for input, Mizerak said to keep options open for public use of the space. Look for ways to control flooding. Another public meeting will be set for early fall to reveal the starting projects.
Ed Feigles suggested looking at remediation for the stream bed of Glade Run. “Seventy percent of stormwater flows into Glade Run,” he said.
Deborah Karaban from Muncy said she moved to Muncy four years ago and would like to have more outdoor activities like the outdoor symphony orchestra concert held in late summer. “We love this town, love the trees. We feel safe here, and we don’t want to feel like we’re losing everything.”
Under housing category, another resident felt the rents were too high. Another suggested more parking areas, and some thought more specialty stores would be nice such as a brew pub or a book store in the downtown area for economic resilience. Further suggestions included more outdoor spaces with park like settings for more curb appeal and another “canopy of trees along North Main Street would be nice too.” Other recommendations were a dinner theater, flea market and community center.
A local advisory committee is in place with several representatives from Muncy organizations and the community. More information can be found on the Muncy borough website.