Hancock briefs

February 12, 2004|by TARA REILLY

Cost of sewer service may rise

HANCOCK - Hancock Mayor Daniel A. Murphy on Wednesday told the Town Council and residents that customers of the town's sewer service may be paying an additional $30 a year on their bills under a proposal before state lawmakers.

Gov. Robert Ehrlich has proposed a charge of $2.50 a month on sewer bills statewide, with the revenue going toward the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay.

The money generated would help municipalities pay for a program that would reduce the amount of nutrient pollution that runs from sewer systems into the bay.

Murphy received an update on the fee proposal and other state issues that may affect Hancock at a meeting in Annapolis.


He said that it would take a while before Hancock would see any of that money, because it would go to areas with larger systems first.

"We will not see any of that money for at least two years," Murphy said.

Murphy also said sewer systems cause only 20 percent of the pollution going to the bay, while septic systems produce a larger amount.

Murphy said the state also is considering several options to help make up for some of its deficit, including slot machines, raising vehicle registration fees and giving municipalities the authority to levy certain taxes.

Police Department calls are reported

HANCOCK - The Hancock Police Department received 78 calls for service in January, Police Chief Donald Gossage told the Town Council at a meeting Wednesday.

The department had six criminal cases, consisting of one theft, two automobile thefts, an attempted armed robbery, a burglary and an assault, Gossage said.

The department also issued 104 parking citations and made three adult arrests.

Gossage said Hancock police have cut back on issuing parking tickets because of snow piled against meters.

He said the police don't want people to "break their necks" trying to put money in the meters.

During his report, Gossage thanked the town's Public Works Departments for their efforts in clearing snow from the roads.

"In fact, our streets were better than the interstates," Gossage said.

Ethics Commission may be disolved

HANCOCK - The Hancock Ethics Commission may be dissolved if Washington County agrees to handle future ethics probes for the town.

Hancock Ethics Commission Chairman Donald Corbett asked the Town Council at Wednesday's meeting to dissolve the commission, citing the cost to the town to hold ethics hearings and make decisions.

Corbett said the commission's Dec. 15, 2003 hearing, the only hearing the commission has held, has cost the town more than $4,000 in legal fees.

Hancock resident Edward L. James requested that the commission decide whether Town Manager Larry Logan violated town law when he wrote a Jan. 25, 2003 letter criticizing Councilman Darwin Mills, who was running for mayor. The commission ruled that Logan violated town law.

The Town Council voted to dissolve the ethics commission if the Washington County Ethics Commission will hear future Hancock ethics inquires.

"I think it would be to the benefit to the town of Hancock," Corbett said.

Allegheny Power commended on work

HANCOCK - Allegheny Power received kudos from Hancock Town Manager Larry Logan at Wednesday's Town Council meeting.

Logan said Allegheny Power responded promptly to a power outage in parts of the town Friday.

Snow emergency parking targeted

Motorists parked along several public roads in Hancock may soon have to move their vehicles when a snow emergency plan is declared in Washington County or face a fine.

The Town Council said Wednesday it is considering adopting an ordinance that would require the cars to be moved.

The law would be in effect until four hours after the Washington County snow emergency plan has been lifted, according to the proposed ordinance.

When the plan is in effect, no parking would be allowed along Main Street, Pennsylvania Avenue from Canal Street to Sensel Road, High Street from Church Street to Route 522 and Church Street from High Street to Main Street.

Car owners would be able to move their vehicles to the Canal parking lot located near Canal Street William Street and Taney Street and the Rails to Trails Lot located off South Church Street and Canal Street, the proposed ordinance states.

Violators of the ordinance may face a $100 fine and be responsible for the costs of the car being moved or towed by the town, according to the proposed ordinance.

The Town Council said it will review the ordinance and make changes if necessary.

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