(Berlin, Md.) - When Berlin's energy consultant failed to let the town know about a peak in electricity usage, the town didn't turn on its generators. That mistake cost almost $500,000.00 that the town needs to recoup.

Councilman Thom Gulyas said "My biggest problem is they've waited almost a year to let the council know what was going on."

The town is now having residents help foot the bill by way of a slight increase in utility rates to be spread out over the next few years.

It's a decision that was made by Mayor Gee Williams and Town Administrator Laura Allen.

When asked why the council was not included in the decision making process she said "The challenge came in the month of December. We were unable to have a council meeting and given the nature of the situation it had been advised to me by a legal counsel that we meet with the council in executive session which means behind closed doors."

She went on to say January 11, 2016 was the first opportunity for a closed meeting and the issue was then discussed with the council.

Administrator Allen and Councilman Thom Gulyas both agree the town's consultant is responsible for the mistake of missing the peak. Councilman Gulyas said "When that happens we're supposed to be notified and booth and associates, for whatever reason did not make that notification."

When asked if there is any recourse against the consultant he said "I would assume that Booth and Associates would have some sort of professional liability insurance to cover something like this."

Laura Allen said it's like that the town would pursue some type of legal action against Booth and Associates "but it's hard to tell at this point exactly what we are going to do but we are looking at our options."