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Notice of Early Public Review of Proposed Activities in a Wetland City of Reading

by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development CDBG 2023

Notice of Early Public Review of Proposed Activities in a Wetland City of Reading

To: All interested agencies, groups, and individuals

This is to give notice that the City of Reading has conducted an evaluation as required by Executive Order 11990, particularly sections 2 and 5 in accordance with US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations at 24 CFR 55.20 Subpart C Procedures for Making Determinations on Wetlands Management, to determine the potential effect that its activity in the wetlands will have on the human environment for the 2023 Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) under Grant B-23-MC-42-0031 for the proposed project located at City Park, Washington St. and N. 11th St., in the City of Reading, Berks County.

The City proposes the following project located within a wetland: City Park Pond Rehabilitation – Replacement of the pond liner and reinstallation of a perimeter wall similar to the historic structure. The project will increase the water depth in the pond to 3+ feet throughout to ensure the exclusion of volunteer cattails. The project will also include the installation of a float switch to fill the pond with potable public water as needed and the installation of a recirculating pump to operate the pond’s fountains for aeration.

There are three primary purposes for this notice. First, people who may be affected by activities in wetlands and those who have an interest in the protection of the natural environment should be given an opportunity to express their concerns and provide information about these areas. Second, an adequate public notice program can be an important public educational tool. The dissemination of information about wetlands can facilitate and enhance federal efforts to reduce the risks associated with the occupancy and modification of these special areas. Third, as a matter of fairness, when the federal government determines it will participate in actions taking place in floodplains, it must inform those who may be put at greater or continued risk.

Written comments must be received by the City of Reading at the following address on or before March 18, 2024: Attention: Neil Nemeth, Community Development Specialist, City Hall, Community Development Department, 815 Washington St., Reading, PA  19601-3690. Comments may also be submitted via email at [email protected]  on or before March 18, 2024.

The City invites all interested persons to participate in the decision whether to assist this proposed project to take place in a wetland.  Besides its publication in this paper, this notice is being distributed to community groups and public agencies. Written comments regarding this issue should be received by the City no later than 15 days after publication of this notice in order to be considered in its decision-making process.

Issues raised during the course of the review will be integrated into the decision-making process. The City anticipates completing its review by March 19, 2024. A notice describing the findings and public explanation of its decision will be published in this paper on March 20, 2024. A seven-day period will be permitted for the public to offer comments on the decision.