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Willliamsport briefs

January 09, 2012

Town passes new ordinance regarding vehicular weight

WILLIAMSPORT — The town has repealed its previous ordinance regulating vehicular weight and passed a new one, making minor changes.

Mayor James G. McCleaf II said one change was setting a standard weight for certain vehicles based on their vehicle identification number, rather than weighing them.

The new ordinance prohibits trucks with a gross vehicle weight of at least 26,000 pounds from traveling along Conococheague Street between Potomac Street and Sunset Avenue.

The ordinance states that frequent heavy-truck traffic through the town wears down and tears up the streets.

Certain vehicles, such as emergency vehicles and school buses, are exempt from the ordinance.

A violation can lead to a fine of as much as $500. The fine would drop to $100 if it is paid within 30 days.

Sheriff’s office responds to 125 complaints in Williamsport in December

WILLIAMSPORT — The Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to 125 complaints in Williamsport in December under a resident deputy agreement.

One person was arrested, according to a summary shared with the Williamsport Town Council on Monday.

Five citations and 11 warnings were issued.

The town gave a plaque to Deputy 1st Class Carl Witmer, who is assigned to the town, for his work organizing a Dec. 22 Christmas dinner for needy families.

Witmer thanked Donnie Stotelmyer, the town’s clerk/treasurer, for helping with the event.

Witmer wrote in a letter to the town that 13 families received “gifts and happiness.”

Extra food was donated to the Holly Place group home for senior citizens in Hagerstown.

Use of park for religious activities questioned

WILLIAMSPORT — Town resident Walter Williams asked town officials on Monday if religious and political activities are prohibited at Byron Memorial Park. Williams said former Mayor John W. Slayman told him that.

The question came up in light of a request by Rehoboth United Methodist Church, which wants to hold a public worship service in the park on Mother’s Day.

The town council didn’t act on the request Monday because of a question about a possible conflict with another event.

After reviewing the deed for the property, Edward Kuczynski, the town’s attorney, said he couldn’t find such a restriction.

On constitutional grounds, the town shouldn’t allow certain political or religious groups to use the park and not others, so the easiest solution is not to allow any of the groups to use it, Kuczynski said.

Town resident James T. Jewell said a ban on events with religious connections could be problematic and cost the town money, noting that weddings could fit that category.

Councilwoman Maya Haines agreed that the town has to be careful with its policy, since a “public demonic worship service” could be held in the park if other religious services are allowed.

Sixth-grader requests funds for leadership conference

WILLIAMSPORT — Springfield Middle School sixth-grader Dalton Blundell asked the town on Monday if it could help pay his expenses to the National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C.

Dalton listed some of his academic and athletic successes, and said the training would help him be a leader in school and sports.

In recent years, the town has turned down requests by individuals for similar fundraising efforts, although none of the elected officials brought that up Monday.

Councilwoman Maya Haines said she was impressed with Dalton’s presentation.

“I think we should take it under consideration,” she said.

Councilwoman Joan E. Knode suggested that Dalton ask local fraternal organizations if they could help.

Dalton’s mother, Dina Blundell, said the four-day leadership program at the end of February will cost $1,500, including a hotel stay and meals.

— Andrew Schotz

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