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Power bills upset some Williamsport residents

April 15, 2004|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

WILLIAMSPORT - Town resident James T. Jewell presented the mayor and Town Council with a request to form an electricity cost review committee.

The written request says the committee's purpose would be to "let the people make an informed decision ... to continue with the present system by which the town buys and resells the power, or to consider an outside source."

The town's electricity customers can nominate themselves for the committee. Twelve names would be chosen at random to serve, followed by six alternates.

The committee would issue a report in 90 days.

Jewell said he was simply the messenger, representing other people upset with their bills.

During last month's Town Council meeting, several people complained about increased electricity costs.

Councilman James G. McCleaf II, the chairman of the town's electric committee, said then that costs fluctuated after the town switched from Allegheny Power to Dominion Energy Marketing as its electricity source last year.

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He said the town's transmission lines, which are being upgraded, are part of the problem.

At the end of Monday's meeting, McCleaf said the request for a committee was puzzling. Four people have called him with questions, he said, but no one has time to hear him out.

"I'll go to their homes," he said. "There's nothing else I can do. I can explain it if they give me the opportunity."

McCleaf said the town's next chance to apply to stabilize its rates will be in June.

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