Ceremony declared a success

December 03, 1992|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

New Windsor Councilwoman Rebecca H. Harman came into the town's monthly meeting last night greeted by accolades from her fellow council members for organizing the annual holiday program and tree-lighting ceremony.

But Ms. Harman's warm reception cooled slightly when she asked the council whether the city would pay a sewer bill she incurred when one of the town lines plugged, causing sewage and debris to back up into her basement.

"A root or something got caught in the town's line, and this black gook came into my drain and into the shower in my basement," Ms. Harman said as she showed the council a $175 plumber's bill she received for having the sewer lines checked at her Maple Street home.

"I've been having these problems for about six years, but I'll leave the decision about whether to pay up to you all," Ms. Harman said.

Connie Anders, another Maple Street resident, said she experienced similar problems.

The remaining council members turned down Ms. Harman's request, however, stating that while they will try to solve the backup problems in the future, it would not be a good idea for the town to pay for "people's private lines," as Councilman Kenneth Green said.

But the sewer discussion couldn't dampen the council's spirit after its members had joined more than 150 people in the cold night air to celebrate the season.

"We just wanted to get as many people out and involved in the holiday as possible," said Ms. Harman.

Mayor James C. Carlisle greeted the crowd and signaled for the lighting of the decorated tree on the corner of routes 75 and 31.

The tree was planted more than 20 years ago by Town Clerk Richard Warehime when his family owned the land.

The 30-minute program, which consisted mainly of musical performances by church groups, also featured Julia Cairns, of the town's heritage committee, reading "Just Before Christmas" by Eugene Field, a poet whose daughter married New Windsor native William Engler.

"I wanted to read something that connected the town's history with the spirit of the season," said Ms. Cairns. She added that she remembers playing with the Mr. Field's grandson when the family lived on Main Street.

Ms. Harman led a candle-lighting ceremony, and June Keck of St. Paul's United Methodist Church led the crowd in Christmas carols.

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