Hoping to avoid the run-down conditions like those at the former Municipal Electric Light Plant in Hagerstown, Williamsport Mayor James G. McCleaf II said Monday night that the R. Paul Smith Power Station should not be allowed to become an eyesore after it is shut down.
FirstEnergy announced last month it will close the plant along the Potomac River by Sept. 1. McCleaf said during a Williamsport Town Council meeting that he wants to make sure the plant is properly closed down.
Although McCleaf said he does not want to see the plant become an “eyesore forever and ever and ever,” he declined to say after the meeting what he would like to see happen to the plant.
“I want to see what ‘retirement’ means, and we’ll go from there,” McCleaf said, referring to the word FirstEnergy officials used to describe the planned shutdown of the plant.
McCleaf said he wants to have a meeting with U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and Ben Cardin, D-Md., and U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md.
Town officials also want to have a representative from FirstEnergy at the meeting, Williamsport Town Clerk Donnie Stotlemyer said.
The former Municipal Electric Light Plan near Municipal Stadium has been idle for years and has fallen into a state of deterioration.
FirstEnergy announced Jan. 26 that it will close the R. Paul Smith Power Station because of the cost of complying with federal environmental regulations that go into effect in 2015.
The plant is one of six older, coal-fired power plants in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio that FirstEnergy will close, citing theU.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards and other environmental regulations, according to a company news release.
The plant has about 40 full-time employees who might consider other job opportunities within the company, officials have said.