Williamsport briefs

May 12, 2004|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Dinner out helps fight poverty in Kentucky

WILLIAMSPORT - A trip to an area restaurant this month will not only cure the diner's hunger but could also help volunteer work crews from Rehoboth United Methodist Church ease poverty for families in Kentucky later this summer.

Twenty percent of the bill for anyone eating at Uno's Chicago Grill at the Centre at Hagerstown on Tuesday, May 18, will be donated to the Appalachia Service Project, which will welcome the home repair volunteers in mid-July, said David Hixson, a team member who will be making his second trip this summer.

To qualify, log on to the church Web site at rehoboth, download and print out a certificate to take to the restaurant on May 18.

Food bank needs money and food donations

WILLIAMSPORT - While the Williamsport Food Bank volunteers are grateful for the free use of a 1,500-square-foot space in the Bowman strip mall for the next nine months, they want people to know there is still a need for donations of both money and food items during that period.


Mary Anna Kline, the food bank director, said supplies are getting sparse, and canned and boxed foods and other types of nonperishables are needed.

The food bank opened its doors at 10210 Gov. Lane Blvd., just south of the Harley-Davidson store, on March 29, Kline said. Once renovations are complete at Zion Lutheran Church in Williamsport, the operation will move back into larger quarters there.

During the transition, Bowman Development Corp. is also picking up all overhead costs, Kline said.

When the work is completed, the food bank will move into what is now the social room and kitchen, both of which are street level in the back of the church building next door. Kline said that will expand the storage, refrigeration and office space for the food bank.

Zion Lutheran, which is at 35 W. Potomac St., has for 30 years provided the space and utilities to the food bank at no cost and will continue to do so.

Between 75 and 80 Williamsport-area families are served by the food bank each month.

The food bank is open from 9 a.m. to noon Mondays and Thursdays for pick-ups and drop-offs. Checks for the purchase of perishable food items and bulk supplies can be made out to the Williamsport Food Bank or the Williamsport Ministerium with a note in the memo designating "food bank."

Mayor rejects idea of new electric committee

WILLIAMSPORT - Mayor John W. Slayman on Monday rejected an idea to form a new grass-roots committee to look at electricity service in town.

Last month, resident James T. Jewell proposed forming a 12-person committee, with six alternates, to study why electric bills are so high and whether the town should continue as an electricity supplier.

"I don't think we need any more committees, believe me," Slayman said, noting that the Town Council already has an electric committee.

Referring to the idea of having 18 people serve as committee members or alternates, he said, "That is out of the question. ... That's more than you got in the whole doggone town, as far as the council is concerned."

Councilman Monty R. Jones agreed that the committee was not a good idea. However, he encouraged citizens to get together to study the situation, then recommend ideas to the council.

In March, town residents pressed the council for an explanation of increasing electricity bills.

Councilman James G. McCleaf II, chairman of the town's electric committee, said at the time that costs fluctuated when the town switched from Allegheny Power as a source to Dominion Energy Marketing.

The town has a different energy transmission system but is upgrading it, which would eliminate some of the expenses, McCleaf said.

Mayor given approval to sign trash contract

WILLIAMSPORT - Town Council members on Monday voted to have Mayor John W. Slayman sign a new contract with BFI for trash collection.

The council voted 4-2 for the contract in April. Monday's vote authorizing Slayman to sign the deal was unanimous.

Last month, the council considered bids from six companies.

Clerk/Treasurer Bonnie J. Errico said then that she asked for assistance because it was her first time putting together trash removal bid specifications, but no one helped. As a result, each bid was in a different form.

Blue Ridge Inc. of Hagers- town, which is also known as Greenscape Trash Removal and Lawn Service, submitted the lowest bid, at $312,000 for three years.

However, council members decided to accept BFI's bid after eliminating yard waste collection, lowering the estimate from $312,501.60 to $275,961.60 for three years.

Councilwoman Roxann Long and Assistant Mayor Walter W. Tracy Jr. voted "no" in April. Long said the arbitrary reduction in the contract estimate was unfair to the other bidders.

BFI's current contract to collect trash in Williamsport expires July 1.

Incomplete financial report tabled by council

WILLIAMSPORT - The town's monthly financial report, which usually gets boilerplate approval from the town council, was tabled Monday because it was incomplete.

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