Senator helps in push to restore toll house

April 14, 1999

HANCOCK - U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., is asking the Maryland Historical Trust to help with a push by the town of Hancock to restore a National Pike Road Toll House to its original appearance.

The house is on the west edge of Hancock on Md. 144. The toll house, built in 1820, was used to collect tolls from travelers on the road.

In the letter, discussed at Wednesday's meeting of the Hancock mayor and Town Council, Sarbanes stated support for a town request for a $40,000 grant from the state historical trust.

"If funded, this landmark would be protected from being destroyed by vandalism, malicious destruction, fire or old age," Sarbanes wrote.

"Our U.S. senator is behind us all the way," Mayor Daniel Murphy said.

Murphy said the Hancock Historical Society is working with the town government on the push to return the build to its original look. The building has been altered in recent years, Murphy said.


The building's owner has offered to deed the property to the town if it is used for historical purposes, he said.

Council considers closing park after dark

HANCOCK - Due to an act of vandalism Monday in Hancock's Widmeyer Park, the Hancock Town Council is considering closing the park when it gets dark.

Currently the park closes at 10 p.m.

If the park has to close early because of a vandal then "it is a sad day in this town," Councilman Darwin Mills said.

A West Virginia youth is a suspect in Monday's vandalism, which caused more than $500 damage to the Lion's Pavilion, said Hancock Police Sgt. Shawn Tasker. The pavilion was built in 1992.

Police believe the crime happened at night. Shelves were ripped out, a socket was torn out and a towel dispenser was burned, among other problems.

"Senseless vandalism is always senseless," Mayor Daniel Murphy said.

Council adopts new animal ordnance

HANCOCK - Following public hearings, the Hancock Town Council on Wednesday adopted an updated animal and fowl ordnance and a vehicle on sidewalk ordinance.

The vote was 4-0 on the animal ordnance and 3-1 on the sidewalk ordnance, with Councilman Greg Yost opposed. Councilman Roy "Randy" Pittman did not attend the meeting.

The animal ordnance makes a few minor changes to the current law, such as regulating the cleanup after animals on town sidewalks and parks, Mayor Daniel Murphy said.

The town's ordnance is similar to the county animal ordnance, he said.

The other ordnance prohibits "bicycles, skateboards, roller skates, 'in-line skates' and other human-powered vehicles" on all sidewalks in the town.

At the first reading of the ordnance, last month, resident William Mills asked how the ordnance would affect drivers who plow snow off town sidewalks.

Councilman David D. Smith said he sometimes uses his 4-by-4 truck on town sidewalks to plow snow.

The council considered amending the ordnance to allow snowplows during heavy weathers.

The ordnances become effective May 5.

Budget hearing set for May 12

HANCOCK - Hancock Town Manager Louis O. Close said there will be a public hearing on the town's fiscal 2000 budget at 8:30 p.m. May 12.

The Hancock Town Council also will go over the budget during its April 28 morning meeting

- Scott Butki

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