Williamsport briefs

June 13, 2007|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Bitner replaces Deal on council

WILLIAMSPORT - Gloria J. Bitner was sworn in as a councilwoman again on Monday, filling a seat vacated by Nelson F. Deal.

Deal resigned from the council last week because of health problems.

Mayor James G. McCleaf II asked Bitner to replace Deal. On Monday, the rest of the council unanimously approved the appointment.

Bitner served on the council for 14 years, but didn't run for re-election in March.

Deal's term expires in 2009.

Sheriff's department contract approved

WILLIAMSPORT - The Washington County Sheriff's Department will continue supplying the town with resident deputies for at least one more year.

On Monday, the Williamsport Town Council unanimously approved a contract with the sheriff's department. The contract goes into effect on July 1 and automatically renews each year, extending a current agreement.


The town will pay the salaries of two deputies - $43,118 for one, $36,304 for the other - as well as overtime, benefits and the cost of fuel.

The town's total cost for the coming fiscal year will be $103,184, according to the contract.

The sheriff's department agreed to provide a uniformed deputy for a minimum of 40 hours per week.

Town resident Kenton Lafferty blasted the town's approval of the contract, which he called "vague" and "one-sided" in the sheriff's department favor.

He noted that his criticism about the sheriff's department is nothing new. "Since 1984, I've been complaining," he said.

Assistant Mayor Monty R. Jones said the sheriff's department isn't perfect, but its service has improved and the town needs the deputies.

Car show fundraiser proceeds top $6,000

WILLIAMSPORT - A car show organized by town employees netted the town $6,283, Councilman Jeff Cline said Monday.

The event was a fundraiser to buy new lights for the town's Christmas display in Byron Memorial Park, he said.

Delegate shares highlights of year

WILLIAMSPORT - Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington, on Monday shared highlights of the 2007 Maryland General Assembly session with Williamsport's mayor and town council.

McKee, whose district includes Williamsport, said 2,480 bills were introduced and 798 passed both houses.

He touched on some of the major issues that came up, such as slots and a smoking ban, and said the General Assembly likely will return to Annapolis in the fall for a special session on tax and revenue proposals.

Sheriff's department reports arrests

WILLIAMSPORT - The Washington County Sheriff's Department's resident deputies responded to 191 complaints in the town in April, according to a report presented at Monday's Williamsport Town Council meeting.

The deputies arrested six people during the month, including two juveniles. They gave out three speeding tickets, 19 other citations and one parking ticket.

One person was charged with driving while intoxicated or under the influence.

In May, resident deputies responded to 163 calls in the town.

They arrested two people, both adults.

They issued 10 speeding tickets, one other citation and one parking ticket.

Allied Waste Services wins trash hauling bid

WILLIAMSPORT - Allied Waste Services of Hagerstown was chosen on Monday to continue hauling trash in Williamsport.

Allied Waste Services' bid of $285,464 for three years was the lowest submitted for the work.

The other two bids were $328,285 by Key Sanitation of Frederick, Md., and $491,450 by Apple Valley Waste Service of Martinsburg, W.Va., according to copies of the bids.

Town Clerk/Treasurer James R. Castle told the council on Monday the town budgeted $134,000 for trash service in the coming year, but the estimated actual cost, based on the low bid, will be about $120,000.

The Williamsport Town Council unanimously approved the contract.

Boy Scouts get OK to camp in park

WILLIAMSPORT - Boy Scouts will be allowed to camp in Byron Memorial Park, the Williamsport Town Council decided on Monday.

The council approved the measure 5-1.

Councilman Jeff Cline voted no. He said he had a lot of questions, such as whether fees should be charged and curfews should be imposed.

Assistant Mayor Monty R. Jones voted in favor, saying that the park could be considered a home for the Scouts, who do a lot of work for the town there.

Last month, the council discussed whether to ban all camping at the park. Mayor James G. McCleaf said the town had received a request to let 500 bicyclists who will be riding through the county stay in the park.

"I think that we need to keep it as a Scouting-unit type of situation," Jones said Monday.

The council later addressed at least some of Cline's questions by unanimously passing guidelines for the Scouts' use of the park.

The guidelines included: The Scouts had to stay in their designated area after 10 p.m., leave the next morning by 8 a.m. and remove their trash.

They would be charged $50 to use a pavilion, but there would be no charge if they only use the grass.

Jones said he would cover the pavilion charge for a local group of Scouts this year.

The council maintained its right to review each request.

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