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Williamsport briefs

May 16, 2007

Munson talks about session, slots



WILLIAMSPORT - State Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, said Monday that this year's Maryland General Assembly session was a good one, but it set up a strong likelihood of tax increases next year.

Munson, speaking at a Williamsport Town Council meeting, said he also expects the state to legalize slot machines, a move he supports, to help make up for a structural budget deficit next year.

Calling Munson "a good friend of Williamsport," Councilman Jeff Cline presented the senator with a picture of playground equipment that was purchased using state money.




Council debates ban on camping in park



WILLIAMSPORT - The Williamsport Town Council debated Monday whether to ban camping at Byron Memorial Park.

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Mayor James G. McCleaf II said the discussion was prompted by a request to let 500 bicyclists riding through Washington County stay at the park in June.

Last month, council members voted not to allow camping at the park.

McCleaf said he brought up the issue again because Boy Scout troops often are looking for a safe place to camp.

Assistant Mayor Monty R. Jones recommended the council decide on each request as it comes in.

Councilman James C. Kalbfleisch asked if the town could limit use by the type of organization.

Deciding case-by-case is OK, but prohibiting certain types of groups is not, Town Attorney Edward Kuczynski said.

Councilman Jeff Cline said he wants to see regulations for using the park before choosing a policy. As more travelers hear about the town and its amenities, "we're going to be besieged" with requests, Cline said.

Councilman Anthony T. Drury suggested telling groups that they can use Riverbottom Park instead of Byron Memorial Park.




Students read their competition essays



WILLIAMSPORT - A Williamsport Elementary School student was a district finalist in the annual "If I Were Mayor, I Would..." state essay contest.

The student, Morgan Welch, read her essay at Monday's Williamsport Town Council meeting, as did four other students from the school - Omiete Erekosima, Brandon Taylor, Sheehan Clipp and Jessica Coffman.

According to Maryland Municipal League, five finalists are chosen in each district in the state and one is picked as the winner. Welch was a finalist in Washington County.

Councilman Jeff Cline said Washington County had another record-breaking year for participation in the fourth-grade essay contest, which is sponsored by the Maryland Municipal League and the Maryland Mayors' Association.

This year's essay theme focused on how to educate young people about municipal government and get them involved.




Students seek OK to paint drain warnings



WILLIAMSPORT - Students and parents from Williamsport Elementary Magnet School for Math, Science and Technology have asked the town for permission to paint warnings on storm drains.

A letter from the students and their teacher says the warnings - "Chesapeake Bay drainage" and "Don't Dump" - would remind people that dumping chemicals into storm drains hurts aquatic life.




Youth panel idea is being studied



WILLIAMSPORT - Councilman Jeff Cline said he is working on a proposal for a Neighborhood Youth Panel that would decide on penalties for young people who get in trouble in the community.

He said he has talked to the mayor of Rising Sun, Md., which has a similar panel.




Employees' car show raises funds



WILLIAMSPORT - Town employees raised close to $6,000 through a car show at Byron Memorial Park last weekend, Clerk/Treasurer James R. Castle said Monday.

Les Guessford, the town's foreman, and Bobby Talhelm of the public works department, organized the show to raise money for Williamsport's annual Christmas lights display in the park.

All of the town's employees volunteered their time during Saturday's show, Mayor James G. McCleaf II reported at the show.

"I've never seen the town employees work together so good," he said Monday.

"I never felt more proud to be a resident of the town," Councilman Jeff Cline said, adding that Williamsport is "experiencing a wave of volunteerism."




Funds raised for July 4 festivities



WILLIAMSPORT - About $6,300 was raised in three weeks for the town's annual July 4 celebration, Councilman Jeff Cline said Monday.

The celebration will include a fire department pancake breakfast, a 5-kilometer run, live music and fireworks, he said.




Four trash-hauling bids are listed



WILLIAMSPORT - Four companies submitted trash-hauling contract bids to the town by Monday's deadline.

The bids for trash, recycling and yard waste were:

· $285,464 from Allied Waste Services of Hagers-town

· $328,285 from Key Sanitation of Frederick, Md.

· $491,450 from Apple Valley Waste of Martinsburg, W.Va.

They also bid for bulk trash service.

Blue Ridge Sales Inc./Greenscape Trash & Lawn Service of Williamsport bid only on the yard waste and bulk trash services.

The Williamsport Town Council plans to review the bids, which were configured in different ways, next month.




Council rejects bids for work at park



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