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Weaver wants to bring in desirable business

March 13, 2009|By TIM SHEA

HANCOCK -- The Town of Hancock, which has lost three major employers in the past 15 years, has hired a part-time marketing director who hopes to help revitalize the town.

T.R. Weaver Sr., who has a lead-based paint testing business at 920 W. Washington St. in Hagerstown, said his job will involve economic development and promoting the town.

"I'm trying to get together with as many key people in Hancock as possible to get their feel for what's needed," Weaver said. "I want to help create something that will be desirable and will be welcomed by the town."

Weaver's hiring was prompted by a recommendation by the town's Community Revitalization Committee.

"In times like this, you need to expand economic development instead of retreating," said David Smith, Hancock town manager and a member of the revitalization committee. "We felt it was a pertinent use of tax dollars to do this."

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Weaver, 54, worked with a local property management company for 20 years, and was active in both residential and commercial development. Some of his work involved properties in Hancock.

"I was offered (the job) because of my background, the people I know and my general overall connections," Weaver said.

Hancock has lost more than 800 manufacturing jobs with the closings of Rayloc in 2008, Fleetwood Travel Trailers in 2005 and London Fog in 1994.

Part of Weaver's job will involve attracting businesses to the former Fleetwood facility at 35 South St. The Town of Hancock, which bought the facility in the middle of 2008 for $900,000, is managing the property and marketing it to smaller industries.

"(The Fleetwood building) is functional and is in a marketable condition," Weaver said. "It's a most opportune time to bring in new businesses."

Hoffman Joinery, a high-end cabinetmaker on Main Street in Hancock that is owned by Chris Hoffman, agreed this week to be the first tenant in the Fleetwood building. Hoffman will move his business into a 7,000-square-foot space in the more than 125,000-square-foot facility.

Neither Weaver nor the town would disclose how much Weaver will be paid, but Weaver said they "reached an agreement that I'm quite happy with."

"Hancock is a town with a lot of good people," Weaver said. "We're in a survival mode, but it's also a prime time to relocate."

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