TIOGA COUNTY, Pa. (WETM) – The flooding issue in Tioga County has taken a seat front and center as one of the top issues county commissioners want to address. Officials have made strides in confronting the problem, and Governor Tom Wolf has taken notice.
Tioga County Commissioner, Erick Coolidge, says it needs to be addressed differently, after years of flood victims continuing to be impacted by high-water events. Commissioner Coolidge wrote an open letter insisting on the urgency for preventative measures at flooding sites… a letter Governor Tom Wolf took notice of.
“I was very taken aback because I was invited to have a conversation with Governor Wolf about this issue…He took the content of the letter and shared that there were aspects in that letter that he would support,” said Coolidge.
In the letter, Coolidge suggests that it should be easier to obtain a permit for flood prevention infrastructure.
“Instead of six, seven weeks…it should be three or four days…Here’s your permit, but do it like this. and we’ll do it responsibly,” Coolidge.
Coolidge says so far, they have been reactive rather than proactive in handling flooding issues.
“I will predict, that if we do what I suggest is proactive rather than reactive, we’ll save millions of dollars,” said Coolidge.
Just this past summer, “We lost a bridge, and it’s gonna take almost $300,000 to take the bridge down…and then if we put another bridge back, that’s $2 million to be considered,” said Coolidge.
Had they been proactive, money could have been spent on preventative measures. Rather than reactive, and spending much more money to fix and replace the bridge
Coolidge said during their discussion Governor Wolf had ideas of a funding committee and that there are plans on further discussing the matter.