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Council votes to transfer money to Community Betterment Fund

January 30, 2002

Council votes to transfer money to Community Betterment Fund



The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to transfer another $400,000 from the City Light Fund to the city's Community Betterment Fund, which is used to pay for items such as the annual subsidy for the ice rink.

Since the 1996-97 fiscal year, the Light Fund has given $400,000 a year - $2 million in total - to the Community Betterment Fund.

Money in the Light Fund comes from the electric bills paid to the City Light Department.

City officials have described the money transfer as similar to a dividend payment that a corporation pays to stockholders.

"Unfortunately not every city taxpayer is a City Light customer so not every city taxpayer is benefiting from the lower City Light (electricity) rates. But every taxpayer can benefit with this (transfer)," City Finance Director Al Martin has said.

The Maryland Public Service Commission, which regulates electric rates, allows the city to make this transfer, he said.

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The roughly 17,000 City Light customers are all within the city's 1947 boundary. City Light purchases electricity wholesale from Allegheny Energy and distributes it to customers.

About 1,700 electric customers in Hagerstown are served directly by Allegheny Energy.

- Dan Kulin

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