Hancock briefs

March 09, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Illegal autos, utilities targeted in crackdown

HANCOCK - The town is planning to crack down on residents with unregistered vehicles and improper water and sewer connections.

Town Manager David Smith discussed both efforts at Wednesday's town council meeting.

Hancock allows residents to have no more than one unregistered vehicle on a property. If there is one, it must be stored so it can't be seen.

The fine is $50 per day per vehicle, he said.

Smith said there probably are about 20 vehicles in the town violating the ordinance.

"It's just an effort to clean the town up," he said. "Some of those vehicles have been sitting there for years."

Smith said Town Hall has a list of companies that will tow vehicles at no charge.

For illegal residential water and sewer users, an amnesty period started on Wednesday.

Smith estimated that 6 to 20 people are using water and sewer service without paying for the hookup.


As an example, he mentioned a property where a garage has been turned into an apartment, and the apartment is sharing the house's water and sewer service.

The town has ordered that all work to fix violations be done by Aug. 15.

During the amnesty period, the cost of hooking into the system will be cut in half. Smith said the normal fee is $5,000 for a new water or sewer user.

In addition, customers pay an equivalent dwelling unit, or EDU, charge based on 250 gallons used per day. Smith was not sure of the EDU charge Wednesday night.

The town has asked violators to call Town Hall within 45 days to schedule work for a hookup.

Police getting Tasers

HANCOCK - The town has purchased four Taser weapons for its four police officers.

Town Manager David Smith said the weapons cost about $800 apiece. They were shipped this week and should arrive any day, he said.

The weapon shoots metal probes into a person, then jolts them, disabling their central nervous system.

Chief Steven McCarty said they are more efficient than pepper spray, which is in the air and can affect people other than those for whom it was intended.

Hancock Police will have to go through target training. Also, as part of their training, each officer must be shot by a Taser weapon, he said.

Locally, the Washington County Sheriff's Department and Hagerstown Police use Tasers.

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