Notes and Quotes for February 2018

By Mike Lewis
General contractor eciConstruction of Dillsburg, Pa., is about 50 percent finished with the addition to the Chambersburg (Pa.) Borough Hall, according to an update from the borough. The expected completion date is Oct. 1. When finished, the addition will house the borough’s utility departments — water, sewer, gas and electric — as well as support departments such as human resources, IT, finance and customer service. A new borough council chambers also will be included in the new construction. The total budgeted cost for the project is $9.75 million. The original Borough Hall dates to 1830 and survived the burning of Chambersburg during the Civil War.

Things seen and overheard around the region last month, compiled by reporter Mike Lewis:

 

‘Minimize the damage’

“Since the legislature has made its decision without regard to employers’ concerns, we will now ask for a delay in the effective date to give businesses time to prepare for the mandate. And we will continue working to find ways to minimize the damage the law will do to employers and their employees.”

 Christine Ross, president and CEO of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, after the General Assembly overrode Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of the paid sick leave bill. The chamber says that, while well-intended, the bill ignores business concerns about excessive fines, onerous administrative burdens, prohibitive costs to comply, unprecendented low thresholds for hours worked, and other threats.

Tourism numbers fall

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Tourism declined a bit in Washington County, Md., during November, according to hotel/motel taxes paid by lodging establishments.

Those businesses paid $138,448 for November, according to the latest report. That’s down from a revised figure of $200,986 for October and $141,457 in November 2016.

Landmark restaurant closes

FREDERICK, Md. — After more than a century in business, the landmark Barbara Fritchie Restaurant has closed.

The business had been open from 1910 to 2017, according to an announcement on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

According to the restaurant’s webpage, Barbara Fritchie was a Civil War heroine immortalized by John Greenleaf Whittier in his poem, “The Ballad of Barbara Fritchie,” for “defiantly waving her Union flag in the face of oncoming Confederate soldiers.”

‘They’ve had it’

“This is an old problem. This is nothing new. What is new is we’re seeing an increase in the number of women coming forward. They’ve had it.”

 Walter S. DeKeseredy, director of the Research Center on Violence and professor of sociology at West Virginia University, speaking about sexual harassment.

Paying for the holidays

Consumers who said they went into debt during the holidays racked up an average of $1,054 of debt, according to an annual survey conducted by MagnifyMoney.

That’s a 5 percent increase over last year.

When asked where the holiday debt came from, 68 percent of shoppers said credit cards were responsible, up 8 percent from 2016. Store cards were the reason for 17 percent of shoppers, and 9 percent used personal loans.

Five percent accumulated more than $5,000 in debt balances. And half of consumers said it will take more than three months to pay off that spending.