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Utility relief available for Hagerstown residents

February 22, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- More than $20,000 is available through the Washington County Community Action Council to help City of Hagerstown residents pay their utility bills.

Debbie Wasilius, director of finance for the CAC, said $20,998 was raised Dec. 20 during a city-sponsored Utility Relief Benefit Concert at The Maryland Theatre. Since then, only a few people have filed for assistance, she said.

Help is available to city residents who are income-eligible or cannot afford to pay their utility bill because of an unexpected expense, such as a vehicle repair, said Karen Giffin, city community affairs director.

The program offers as much as $200 of assistance per household, Giffin said. The money will not be issued directly to the applicant, but to the utility company.

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The Utility Relief Benefit Concert was spearheaded by Councilwomen Penny M. Nigh and Alesia Parson-McBean. Featured performers at the event included the Williamsport High School SophistiCats and opera singer William Clarence Marshall III, who sang numbers from the musical "Porgy and Bess."

Members of Hagerstown Professional Firefighters Local 1605 donated $5,000 to the cause, and organizers charged $10 per ticket and accepted nonperishable food items for local food banks.

People who want to apply for assistance may call the CAC at 301-797-4161 or stop by the CAC office at 101 Summit Ave. in Hagerstown.

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