Williamsport briefs

January 11, 2012

WILLIAMSPORT — Rate-hike request affecting electricity budget

The town of Williamsport is over budget on two accounts related to its electricity system.

Town resident Chris Grimes questioned the expenses on Tuesday as the town council reviewed its monthly budget statement.

Legal fees for the electric system are $24,175.82 so far this fiscal year, compared to $1,500 that was budgeted, the statement shows.

Consulting for the electricity was at $52,432.08, while $25,000 was budgeted.

Edward Kuczynski, the town’s attorney, said the higher expenses are connected to Williamsport’s request with the Maryland Public Service Commission to increase the town’s retail electric rate for the first time in more than 30 years.

The town is paying a law firm and a consultant that specialize in that type of work.

Even though the increases “might look shocking,” the work was needed, Kuczynski said. The town also is redoing its tariff, he said.


Donnie Stotelmyer, the town’s clerk/treasurer, said the Office of the People’s Counsel, an advocate for Maryland’s utility customers, submitted more than 100 questions for the town to answer, then it asked more questions.

County bike race seeks town’s help

The town has been asked to help with the 2012 Tour of Washington County bicycle stage race in Williamsport on June 17.

Joe Jefferson, a race organizer, asked in a letter if the town could donate money from its share of Washington County’s hotel-motel tax.

Jefferson submitted a rough budget that showed $5,840 in expenses for the stage race.

Mayor James C. McCleaf II suggested that since the stage race is part of the Tour of Washington County, the county should donate some its share of hotel-motel tax revenue, instead of the town donating from its share.

Councilwoman Maya Haines said she wanted to know how much revenue the race takes in, not just the expenses.

New town meter reader approved

Andy Albertson has been approved as Williamsport’s new meter reader.

The Williamsport Town Council voted Monday night to give Albertson the part-time job, replacing Eddie French.

Mayor James G. McCleaf II said French held the position for about six months, then left to move into a house his son bought him in Columbia, Md.

Albertson told the mayor and town council that he is a family man who is involved in the community and volunteers his time.

From the audience, town resident Chris Grimes asked if the job had been advertised. McCleaf said it had not.

10,000 vehicles visit Christmas display

About 10,000 vehicles passed through Byron Memorial Park in Williamsport to see the recent monthlong display of Christmas lights, Clerk/Treasurer Donnie Stotelmyer said Monday.

There is no fee to see the lights, but donations were collected.

Town employee Charles Brown said three children who helped collect donations deserve credit: his daughter, Makenzie Brown; Mikey Munson; and Grayson McCleaf, the son of town Mayor James G. McCleaf II.

— Andrew Schotz

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