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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Cut likely for business electric rates

BERLIN — Town business could see a cut to their expenses sooner than anticipated, according to Town Administrator Tony Carson. For the last few months he and his staff, along with Dwight Davis of engineering company Booth and Associates, have been working on a proposal to cut commercial electric rates.
When Carson told the council about the process in July, he warned that getting a rate reduction hearing form the Public Service Commission (PSC) was a lengthy process and suggested the town move as quickly as possible with the proposal so it wasn’t too far down the hearings list. 
Over the last few months, after the plan received an endorsement from the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, it has come to light that getting a reduction is easier than asking for an increase, according to Carson. He said he received word this week that the reduction hearing has been “fast-tracked” by the PSC.
All that is left now is for town staff to complete the evidence that shows the cut will be a long-term one.
The council also this week directed Police Chief Arnold Downing to begin working with the Maryland State Highway Authority to better mark off parking lines along Main Street.
Mayor Gee Williams said he worried that the Town lost parking opportunities because of the lack of demarcated spaces.
He said the police have been tracking whether the two-hour parking rules are being observed and asked Downing to report on the results.
“We’re not having issues Downtown with parking,” Downing said.
Williams added that several business owners have been reminded that it is in their interest not to park along Main Street and that they have been, for the most part, compliant. 
Before approaching the SHA, Carson suggested the staff would be well served to see how many spaces the town can legally add. 
He warned that the state rules might actually give them less spaces for parking if lines were added than if the lines were left out.