Dauphin County and Harrisburg officials continue sinkhole funding discussions

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Dauphin County and Harrisburg city officials are still discussing issues with the city's sinkholes.

During a County Commissioners meeting, Mayor Eric Papenfuse talked about the 14th Street sinkholes and relief funding to fix them. The county and the city have disputed whether the application for that funding is complete. Harrisburg has to prove that the sinkholes are related to 2011's Tropical Storm Lee to receive the money.

A letter was presented to commissioners by city engineer Mark Wayne that he says has evidence detail how the storm helped cause a sinkhole, which caused a water main break on the street. Officials say excess rainfall in the storm also caused erosion on the ground.

"We're sort of on uncharted territory," Mayor Papenfuse said. "The commissioners said themselves; this isn't like your normal disaster relief where you can see the impact immediately in the pictures, this is something that happened after the fact. The limestone was weakened by the storm, the sinkholes came years later."

Commissioners also heard from residents about the sinkhole issues.

Observation of this issue is necessary because the county could be required to repay the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development if audited.

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