Harrisburg city leaders seeking state help for sinkhole repairs

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Harrisburg City Council approved a resolution Tuesday as part of its effort to secure state funding to cover the emergency sinkhole repairs on North 4th Street and at a separate location near North 3rd and Woodbine streets.

The city is submitting a letter of no prejudice to PENNVEST, the state’s infrastructure investment authority, with the goal of receiving a low-interest loan or grant money. The city still will have to file a formal application.

City leaders are requesting $1.7 million, saying they don’t expect to receive the full amount.

Council President Wanda Williams said Tuesday the cost of repairs is $744,000. The city’s remaining public works budget for the year is about $400,000.

“There’s been 20 years of lack of maintenance on the sewer lines, so that’s where the problems have come from,” said Councilor Sandra Reid, who chairs the council’s public works committee.

Reid said there’s no clear timeline for when work will begin on the sinkhole at 3rd and Woodbine. The state funds would be for both projects, she said.

Meanwhile, work continues at North 4th Street, where Reid said the water line work is done. The sewer replacement is about 80 percent complete, she said. However, repaving the road won’t happen until April because that work requires warmer temperatures to complete.

For the city to be eligible for the loan, it must have its 2011 audit complete by May. The city has been behind on that work in recent years.

Should the city not receive the money being sought, Williams said she is working with the city’s receiver to secure alternate funding sources. She said crews still will go froward with repairs at 3rd and Woodbine one way or another.