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Williamsport owes state $26,500 for electricity surcharge

August 16, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

WILLIAMSPORT - The town failed to collect an electricity surcharge and forward it to the state for three years, Mayor James G. McCleaf II said Monday.

The town owes the state $26,500 for 2000 to 2003, when it didn't collect the surcharge, according to a memo by Clerk/Treasurer James R. Castle.

The Williamsport Town Council voted 5-0 on Monday to pay the state $6,625 a year for four years to make up for the debt.

Castle's memo says it would be difficult and expensive to try to retroactively charge customers, especially since some accounts have changed hands.

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Having the town's electricity consulting firm, Downes Associates of Salisbury, Md., try to negotiate a settlement would cost money, Town Attorney Edward Kuczynski said.

The Town of Williamsport bills customers for electricity that it obtains from Allegheny Energy Supply.

The town was supposed to collect an Electric Universal Service Program fee, which goes into a fund for low-income customers who need help paying bills, but did not for three years.

McCleaf said the state Public Service Commission, at some point, would fine the town up to $1,000 a day if it didn't pay the delinquent surcharge money.

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