Monster power bill for little league

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Mystery bill for $865.97

AMHERST – A mysterious power bill has caused confusion and some hardship for the local little league.

“Yes, I’m having a problem with (Nova Scotia Power),” said Art “Sonny” Foster, treasurer for the league, which plays out of two baseball diamonds behind the Amherst Fire Department. (Disclosure: The editor of this newspaper, Darrell Cole, is president of the league.)

Foster clarified it was the league having the problem: a power bill of $865.97 for the period between January and March. Last year’s bill for the same period was about $120, he said. Kilowatt-hour consumption last year was eight; this year it was 96.

The treasurer has no explanation for why so much power was apparently used. In fact, he suspects it wasn’t, and thinks some kind of computer error or misreading of the meter is to blame.

“We take these types of concerns very seriously,” said NSP spokesperson Neera Ritcey.

The power company arranged for a second reading, which they claimed confirmed the accuracy of the first reading. Ritcey pointed out that bills before and after the anomaly were in the correct range, which she felt lends credence to the meter working properly.

“We have done our due diligence,” she said.

Foster is baffled. He said even in the summer, when coolers and fridges are operating, the bill is typically $300 or $400. He said the clubhouse is shut during the winter: appliances are unplugged, and even the external outlets are disabled. The only drain on power should be some external lights. He said the building is checked daily for security breaches and it was snowed in.

“I don’t know how,” he said, when asked if it was possible someone had illegally hacked into the electrical feed.

The treasurer floated the idea the meter might have been struck by lightning or shorted out. Multiple calls to NSP to clear up the issue didn’t change the bill.

The league doesn’t charge players to participate. All leadership is offered on a volunteer basis. About 250 kids are participating this year. He called the bill “a lot of money” – money he said wouldn’t be available for the children.

Ritcey said NSP wants to work with the league. One option she mentioned was cutting power to the building completely for next winter.

The elevated bill stands. It’s been paid by the league. But Ritcey said NSP doesn’t want the monetary loss to impact the season.

“We will be reaching out to (the league),” she said.

The spokesperson didn’t release details of what would be offered, but hinted it could be a monetary donation.

eric.sparling@tc.tc

@ADNsparling

Organizations: Nova Scotia Power, Amherst Fire Department

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  • Concerned
    June 27, 2013 - 09:06

    I agree with Bell. Why are we as tax payers in the town dishing out $10,000 to support Jr. Hockey. The executive decided to overpay for a coach, that they couldn't afford. I haven't heard of any money going to any other sports like baseball. Town picking Favorites as usual. Surprise...Surprise...

  • Andrew
    June 27, 2013 - 07:53

    KNOW IT ALL... "Nothing is free for the Rams they pay through the nose for everything". Of course they do, they are a FOR PROFIT business entity. How much do you pay for a Rams game? Right. Now, how much do you pay for watching a little league game? Right. How much do the Rams get paid for working as hockey players versus how much do 9-12 year olds make for playing LL baseball. The fact is, NSPI is being stupid and should cancel the bill OR refund the money as a corporate donation for community goodwill.

  • jen
    June 27, 2013 - 07:39

    Perhaps "know it all" has never been on the lower income ladder. Little League and Sonny Foster, have made it possible for those children to be able to play in a sport. Not all families can afford to go to Rambler games let alone be able to afford to let their children play sports. In stead of looking down from your ivory castle , pass along some of those "coffers" of your own.

  • get a clue
    June 27, 2013 - 07:16

    Well Know it all......Baseball is the ONE thing in this town that you don't have to pay out the nose to play. ( Like hockey which my son does have the pleasure of playing cost 350.00 plus the cost of gear and that price is always raising and that was Timbits). Soccor is 80.00 plus gear...Baseball...nada..for most familes that live in this town it is the only sport their children can play simply because they can't afford the price of the others. The staff at the field know that it is important for ALL kids to play sports, they focus more on building their skills and teaching them to have fun then lining their pockets with money.

  • know it all
    June 26, 2013 - 17:31

    well Bell Rams generate thousands of dollars to the stadium ( town coffers ) and 95% of George Bakers coffers ( canteen ) where little league O , Why aren't the parents charged a minimal fee for the season for baseball - nothing is free for the Rams they pay through the nose for everything

  • Bell
    June 26, 2013 - 15:34

    Why doesn't the Town of Amherst help with the "bill"... .support hockey{$10,000} ...support baseball??