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Hancock residents get break on bills

December 11, 2008|By DAVE MCMILLION

HANCOCK -- Hancock Town Council members decided Wednesday night to give town residents an early Christmas present - a break on their sanitation bill.

Town council member Tony McCusker suggested giving the break based in part on the town's healthy financial picture.

After some discussion, council members unanimously agreed to give residents a "free pass" on their upcoming $35 sanitation bill, which is for garbage pickup.

The break will add up to what would have been about $27,000 in revenue for Hancock, town officials said.

Mayor Daniel Murphy said he thought McCusker's idea was a good one in light of the tough economy. He said no such break has been given in his 12 years as mayor.

"We've got good people in our community," Murphy said Thursday. Despite some town residents being "economically stressed" and living on fixed incomes, they pay their bills and "very few of them complain about it," Murphy said.

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Government operations are small, and town workers have become skilled at running it efficiently, Murphy said. One way that has been possible is through technology, which has allowed town government to operate with fewer worker hours, Murphy said.

The town also has been able to built up reserve money in accounts to help pay for unanticipated emergencies. The sanitation fund is one of the areas that has reserve money, Murphy said.

The sanitation bill is included in a bill for water and sewer service.

When the bills become due starting in January, town residents will see a total bill that will be $35 lower than usual, Murphy said.

Murphy said town officials are considering sending a notice to the town's estimated 750 residents explaining to them why their upcoming sanitation, water and sewer bill will be lower.

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