County supports lake, Brush Run restoration

Project would improve water quality

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County commissioners are supporting a developing project that calls for streambank restoration measures along portions of Brush Run above the lake at Lakemont Park.

The county owns Lakemont Park and surrounding grounds that would be affected by the proposed work.

“We’re not looking for a commitment of funds from the County of Blair,” Blair County Conservation District Director Donna Fisher advised commissioners at their weekly meeting Tuesday.

But with the commissioners’ support, Fisher said the conservation district can initiate some design work and move forward with seeking a state Growing Greener grant, as well as a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Commissioners Bruce Erb and Terry Tomassetti voted in favor of Fisher’s request that will result in the county generating supportive letters.

Fellow Commissioner Ted Beam Jr. was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

Fisher said the conservation district and the Intergovernmental Storm­water Committee, an organization created and supported by 11 governing bodies — 10 municipalities and the county — to address state stormwater mandates, are initiating the proposed project to improve water quality and reduce sediment carried into Brush Run and into the lake at Lakemont Park.

There are portions of the lake that may be no more than 4 inches deep, Fisher said.

Streambank restoration work has been recognized as a successful way of introducing measures that reduce a stream’s velocity and offer some directional control.

Green infrastructure options also could be explored as part of this project, Fisher told commissioners, referring to the use of vegetation, soils and other elements on nearby properties. The goal would be to improve stormwater quality before it gets into Brush Run.

Green infrastructure options could be considered, Fisher said, within the amusement ride area of Lakemont Park, which remains closed for renovations. And it could be considered for the nearby buildings and structures, possibly on the roof of Galactic Ice, she said.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.