Interim leader for Hughesville police picked

HUGHESVILLE – After a nearly hour-long executive session on Monday night, Borough Council approved elevating police Officer Rodney Smith to the position of temporary officer-in-charge.

Smith will oversee the police force under the supervision of Mayor Walter Reed, in place of Chief Jason Gill, who has been on workman’s compensation for about two months.

Smith, who has been on the borough force for 19 years and currently is the borough’s only full-time officer, will receive a 20-percent raise in his salary two weeks from today that will continue for as long as he is officer-in-charge.

Gill was hired in July 2010 at a salary of $43,500, five months after borough council fired Chief Richard Shearer.

The borough has $90,016 in its budget for full-time police wages in 2013.

In other business, Borough Secretary Sherry Young reported to council that she’s had a number of calls about higher water rates; council gave their approval to raising rates to an $18 base rate and $4.50 per 1,000 gallons in January.

“Everyone asked me, ‘did the rates go up?'” Young said, “and I said ‘yes,’ but I told them to ‘look at April’s bill’ and the raise should’ve been there. Consumption is up, too.”

Hughesville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bob Hanner came to the meeting to ask council for a letter of support in his department’s bid to host the 2017 Central District Volunteer Firefighters’ Convention, a three-day camping celebration that should bring at least 2,500 people in for the weekend.

“It’ll be our 125th year, and it’s also the 125th year for the Central District,” Hanner said. “It will be good for the fire department, a good fundraiser, and also bring in a bunch of money for the borough.”