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Secrets building to remain empty

December 15, 2005|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

HANCOCK - The Secrets building at 48 W. Main Street will be empty for some time due to extensive problems with the building that prompted a Washington County building inspector and Maryland State fire marshal to condemn the building Nov. 23, Town Manager David Smith said during Wednesday's town and council meeting.

"It's not going to be a quick fix, and we're probably going to be dealing with a blighted property for quite some time," Smith said.

Hancock Police Chief Steven L. McCarty said a Hancock police officer responding to a call at the building on Nov. 20 discovered safety issues at the building and advised one of the residents on how to lodge a complaint with the authorities. A county building inspector examined the building on Nov. 23 and found numerous issues, including fire and electrical hazards, McCarty said.

Smith said residents of the building were able to find alternate lodging and the town secured the building after it was condemned. Smith said someone cut city-installed locks off the building sometime after it was condemned, and several of the apartments were burglarized, though residents had an opportunity to remove their possessions. The town installed a second, and more secure, set of locks after the break-in, Smith said.

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