HAGERSTOWN -- Allegheny Power System Inc., an electric utility holding company that serves 1.4 million customers, including 188,000 in Western Maryland, will relocate its New York City headquarters to Washington County by late 1996, company officials said yesterday.
The move will mean the relocation of "fewer than 20 workers," primarily senior management officials and management personnel, said Donald L. Whipp, a spokesman for Allegheny Power System Inc.
The company's three subsidiaries serve a 29,000-square-mile area that includes parts of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
The company will relocate to existing space in the 114,000-square-foot headquarters of Potomac Edison Co., one of its subsidiaries.
The office, located just outside Hagerstown city limits, houses about 300 of that utility's 1,100 employees, said Cyndi Shoop, a spokeswoman for Potomac Edison.
Mr. Whipp said he could not say whether the move would mean the relocation of other jobs to Washington County.
Even so, county officials hailed the company's move.
"We're ecstatic," said Dick Palmer, director of the Economic Development Commission for Hagerstown-Washington County.
"Allegheny Power is a Fortune 500 company and that gives us a lot of prestige and clout for future marketing purposes."
Allegheny Power officials had been looking to relocate closer to customers and chose Hagerstown because of its proximity to regulatory agencies in its service area, Mr. Whipp said.
The company has been headquartered in New York about 70 years, he said.
"Hagerstown is really a central location," Mr. Whipp said.
"Its proximity to Baltimore, Richmond, Harrisburg and Washington make it the logical choice. And we already have a building there and space in the building to accommodate the people who will be moving," he said.
The bulk of Allegheny Power System's 6,000 employees work at West Penn Power Co. facilities in Greensburg, Pa.
West Penn is the largest of Allegheny's three subsidiaries and employs about 2,000 workers.
The company's other subsidiary is the Monongahela Power Company in Fairmont, W.Va.