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Mayor touts Hancock successes

January 10, 2001

Mayor touts Hancock successes



By SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer


HANCOCK - Hancock Mayor Daniel Murphy listed some of the town's accomplishments as part of Hancock's annual State of the Town address Wednesday.

"We've had a lot of successes and a lot of frustrations," he said. "But this evening I would like to share where we are and where we hope we will go."

The mayor presents the State of the Town of Hancock address at the start of each calendar year.

Murphy noted the makeup of the current council could change due to the Jan. 29 town election.

He is running unopposed for mayor but Councilmen Greg Yost and Darwin Mills face competition from challengers James Ward Sr. and John Norris. Norris and Ward attended Tuesday's meeting as did Mills and Yost.

"Hopefully the new council will keep ... our positive energy going," Murphy said.

Murphy told the nine-member audience of two major accomplishments:

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-- Construction of the 25-unit public housing project for seniors on the Monterey House hotel property. Construction is scheduled for completion this spring. After years of planning, it was great to see the project get moving, Murphy said.

"It is close to fruition as we speak," he said.

-- Construction of the gym at the at the Hancock Middle-Senior High School, which is on track to be completed this spring, Murphy said. Local residents helped fund it, as did Washington County and the Board of Education.

Murphy listed several ongoing projects:

-- Work on a 13-mile western extension of the Western Maryland Rail Trail will begin when winter ends and be completed by the end of the calendar year, Murphy said.

-- Streetscape Phase 2, which is set for construction when winter ends. It may take more than one year to complete, he said.

Streetscape is a state program to improve sidewalks and roads. The Streetscape work includes improving a .63-mile stretch of Main Street, from Church Street to the Park-n-Dine Restaurant at 189 E. Main St.

-- Buying six properties along West Main Street that were repeatedly damaged by floods. All six property owners agreed to take buyouts, he said.

-- The town is looking for a new use of the G.C. Murphy Building, which was donated to the town in July. The former department store at 42-50 W. Main St. has been empty since February 1997.

Other projects include repairing sidewalks damaged in the first phase of Streetscape and the construction of the Ford Access Road near Hancock, he said. The road will shorten the distance from Interstates 68 and 70 to the town's industrial area and provide access to property zoned for industrial and commercial development.

The town will continue with a push to soften local water, improve the town's sewer system and fix drainage problems, Murphy said.

The town also continues to work on improvements to a tollhouse near Hancock, he said.

This was also the year during which a monument to Hancock veterans at Widmeyer Park was dedicated.

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