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Williamsport employees to cut back on their hours

December 02, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

All nine employees of the Town of Williamsport will be required to take five furlough days and work 35-hour weeks to help offset a $110,000 loss in state highway funds.

Councilman Monty Jones asked the Washington County Commissioners during a joint meeting on Tuesday to do all they could to convince state lawmakers in Annapolis to restore the funding.

He said officials need the money to maintain three highways - Md. 63, Md. 68 and U.S. 11 - that run through town.

"We've found a way to get by without the money, but we'll have less services," Jones said after the meeting. "Hopefully, we won't have a bad winter."

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The State Highway Administration money was used, in part, to pay for lighting and snow removal.

Mayor James G. McCleaf II said after the meeting that the furloughs and reduced work weeks would last until June 30, which is the end of the fiscal year.

He said town officials made other small budget cuts, but employees would shoulder a majority of the burden. In addition to the furloughs and reduced work weeks, town employees had their 401(k) matches reduced from 2-to-1 to 1-to-1.

By asking the employees to take concessions, town officials were able to avoid layoffs, McCleaf said.

"We wanted to keep people employed," he said. "We wanted to have ourselves in a good fiscal place. We're being very careful what we spend. There are no frills."

Town Clerk Donnie Stotelmyer said during a telephone interview Tuesday night that employees were asked by town officials to take the concessions, which kicked in about a month ago.

The employees agreed to the concessions to avoid layoffs, Stotelmyer said.

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