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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, Dec. 5, 1984, edition of the Press & Journal

Posted 12/5/18

Small businesses may overcome electric shock

Small home business owners in the borough may notice a decrease in their electric bills if a proposed ordinance concerning the elimination of demand …

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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, Dec. 5, 1984, edition of the Press & Journal


Small businesses may overcome electric shock

Small home business owners in the borough may notice a decrease in their electric bills if a proposed ordinance concerning the elimination of demand meters from small in-home businesses is approved by Borough Council.

The topic was discussed by council following three consecutive pleas from Frey Avenue residents Charles and Sandy Benson to look into the costs involved with demand meters in small businesses.

The Bensons originally came before council requesting equal treatment for all in-home businesses. Both Mr. and Mrs. Benson spoke at recent council meetings charging that at least one operator of a small business was allegedly cheating the borough by running a business in her home without paying demand meter rates.

Mrs. Benson runs a beauty shop in the Frey Manor area and explained to council that since 1982, when her demand meter was installed by the borough, she has been paying for electrical use of her home and business at the higher demand meter rates.

Her concern was that another woman in her area who Benson reports also runs a beauty parlor, allegedly does so without paying the demand meter rates.

After investigating the issue, the borough officials said they had insufficient evidence to take any action against the alleged violator, but did say they felt the demand meter issue deserved further attention. Council members discussed the issue and admitted that most knew of borough residents who ran small in-home businesses and felt that they paid an unfair amount for their electrical usage.

According to the Bensons, if the wiring in the businessperson’s home was such that the business and personal usage could not be separated, the customer would be charged demand meter rates for all usage. Such was the case for the Bensons, who said they noted about a $60 increase in electric charges each month.

They were especially frustrated when they said some people could get away without demand meter rates and still run a business.

Residents move home rather than send it to dump

On Thursday, Nov. 29, Mary Hamman watched as workers moved her house from its scenic riverside lot to a lot just around the corner.

“It’s better than going to the dump,” she sighed, adding, “and it’s still in the family.”

Hamman’s son, Cliff Bailey, had purchased the house for $18,000 from the Dauphin County Redevelopment Authority after years of court battles by the Hammans and Baileys to keep their Susquehanna Street properties.

The authority, acting under the right of eminent domain, ordered Jack and Mary Hamman’s home and a house next door belonging to Cliff Bailey cleared from a stretch of land designated “public open space” in the Paul T. Leicht Urban Renewal Project of 1973.

The house’s new site is at Catherine Street and Swatara Avenue. Bailey said he and his family will live in the house.

The Hammans are now living in Royalton. Bailey’s Susquehanna Street house will be demolished.

Contractor Francis I. Gerrick of Littlestown and his crew moved the Hammans’ home. The structure was elevated on wheels and pulled by a cable attached to a piece of heavy equipment.

Along the route, workers laid planks under the wheels to avoid tearing up ground and to protect the house should a wheel pass over an old septic system and the house would sink into the earth.

Utility wires were taken down, and poles and trees in the way were removed. Gerrick said the house will be left in place over its newly dug basement until a new foundation is completed by masons.

The house-moving will cost Bailey about $10,000, Gerrick said. Before digging Bailey’s new basement last month, Gerrick said of Bailey, “If something happened that he could bring it back here, he would bring it back. He told me that. He said, ‘I’ll stop you at any phase you’re at and bring it right back if they allow me to.’ ”

The process which resulted in the clearing away of the Hammans’ and Baileys’ homes began with the Agnes flood of 1972. According to Borough Grants Administrator Joiann Galiano, the Paul T. Leicht Urban Renewal Project, which followed the flood, contained designation of the area where the Hammans and Baileys lived as “public open space.”

Tear gas routs armed man who threatened to shoot police

A 29-year-old Royalton resident was routed from his Canal Street apartment Saturday morning by police after he threatened to shoot anyone who tried to dislodge him.

Royalton Borough Chief of Police William Eynon Jr. reported to the Press & Journal that police were forced to fire two canisters of tear gas at the apartment before the man ran out of the building toward waiting police officers.

Eynon said the man, apparently distraught after an argument with his live-in companion, forced the woman out and barricaded himself inside the apartment with his 16-month-old daughter. The Royalton police chief said he was intoxicated and threatened to shoot police officers who arrived at the residence.

Eynon said he used a police loud speaker unit to attempt to persuade him to surrender. When that failed, Eynon said, tear gas canisters were fired at a window of the apartment and the building was soon engulfed in a cloud of the offending gas.

The man ran from the building moments later, Eynon said, but he emerged without his daughter or the .30-06 rifle with which he had threatened police. Two police officers wearing gas masks entered the apartment and rescued the daughter.

The suspect was arraigned before District Justice William Heckman. Charges include six counts of reckless endangerment and five counts of making terroristic threats.

Hot buys

• Magnavox 25-inch color television, $529.95. Magnavox VCR, $374.95. Home Video Center, 51 S. Market St., Elizabethtown.

• Christmas trees, over 500 to chose from. $17.92. Cigarettes, 89 cents. Smith’s Gas Mart, 2nd Street, Highspire.

• Storewide inventory sale, 25 percent off women’s, men’s and children’s shoes, sneakers and boots. Miller Hess Shoe Factory Outlet, 10 S. Union St., Middletown.

Other headlines

• Ordinance would require borough supervisors to live in town

• Air Force, DER outline plan to keep clean water flowing from HIA wells

• Tractor-trailer ransacked; $1,400 cash, equipment gone