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Council decides to close youth center

December 11, 2003|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

The Hancock Town Council on Wednesday voted to shut down the Hancock Youth Center effective next month, citing a lack of support from parents who send their children to the facility.

The center, located at 56 West Main St., opened in March 2002.

"Parents don't seem to want to be involved with their kids," Mayor Daniel A. Murphy said.

Murphy made the motion to close the center.

Hancock Youth Center officials in the summer created a rule that required parents to serve as chaperones for two hours per month if their children attend the center.

Hancock Councilman Greg Yost said in July that some parents balked at the volunteer requirement.

One of the main goals of the center was to act as a safe haven where children could participate in activities that included pool, Ping-Pong and other games, rather than hanging out in the streets and getting involved in crime.

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The center primarily was funded by grants from the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention awarded to the Hancock Police Department.

Residents and civic groups also donated time and money.

Hancock resident Richard Murray, who won about $8 million in the state lottery years ago, paid $400 a month toward the rental cost of the building over a certain period.

Murphy thanked the loyal volunteers who tried to make the center successful.

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