The Lycoming County Water and Sewer Authority has approved an inflationary wage increase for its employees, acknowledging that they are operating with a reduced staff of 22 full-time workers while operating four sewage systems, three water systems, supporting separately four municipal partners and managing two MS4 stormwater permits.
“The systems we operate and maintain are spread across Lycoming County and require a significant amount of institutional, technical and industry knowledge,” said Christine Weigle, executive director of the Authority. “Without our employees, we would not be able to fulfill our mission.
“With labor shortages coupled with rapidly rising inflation, unprecedented action was needed to recognize the value of our employees while striving to be competitive in our industry,” she added.
The board approved the inflationary increase of $2 an hour per employee at its June meeting.
They also allowed the pass-through cost for a sewer at the Eck’s Run project site, located behind CVS Plaza in South Williamsport. The borough will ultimately assume the cost of the work, estimated at $79,199, which will be carried out by Masters Excavating, LLC.
The change of work directive to allow masters to do the job is dependent on approval from South Williamsport.
“When we started this project the Public Works sewer crew wanted to try and fix the problem they were having there, but it’s more work than they can handle and the work has to be done before we do our job”, Weigle said.
“There is a lot of diversion pumping in this area. It’s deep, you need trench boxes,” she says.
Weigle said that by speaking with legal counsel for the authority, the borough of South Williamsport could use US bailout funds for the project.
“It’s a great example of a positive partnership we have with South Williamsport in that we can add that to our contract and pass that cost on to South Williamsport,” she says.
An emergency water main repair at a site along Highway 15 in Armstrong Township has been approved by council. The work will be done by Charles J. Mertes, electrical and mechanical contractor, at a cost of $8,200.
Erin Threet, assistant vice president of Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc., told the board that the authority’s sewage treatment plant, collection and transportation systems were down. “very good order and well maintained,” following an inspection by HRG.
The next board meeting will be at 6:00 p.m. on July 6 at their board room, 380 Old Cement Road, Montoursville.