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Hancock Town Council briefs

December 09, 2009|By HEATHER KEELS

Hancock to be more conservative in salting roads



HANCOCK -- Hancock's public works staff will take a more conservative approach to salting roads this winter due to a change in state policy that requires the town to pay to replenish the salt it uses, Hancock Town Manager David Smith said Wednesday.

In the past, the Maryland State Highway Administration has provided salt for the town at no charge, but a new policy requires the town to pay to replace any salt it uses at a cost of $75 per ton, Smith said.

At the town's previous usage rate, that could add up to more than $2,500 for some storms, he said.

Smith said the town would still make safety a priority, but would try to be smarter about how it uses the salt, concentrating on intersections and hills.

During Tuesday night's storm, the town used only one truckload of salt, he said.

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Hancock Arts Council seeking acts for variety show



HANCOCK -- The Hancock Arts Council is seeking acts for its annual variety show, scheduled for Jan. 16, Arts Council chairman Sinclair Hamilton said Wednesday.

The variety show is held in the auditorium of the Town Hall and Community Center.

Hamilton said several acts have signed up, but organizers are seeking more. A broad range of talents is welcome, from musical acts to bird calls, he said.

"I'm sure there are a lot of special talents out in the community," Hamilton said. "We can use them. I just wanted to let you know there's still time."

Washington County Administrator makes presentation about tax structure proposal



HANCOCK -- Washington County Administrator Gregory B. Murray visited Hancock Wednesday night to make a presentation about a planned change in the county's tax structure for municipal residents.

The change would institute a tax differential in which residents of Hagerstown and the county's towns would pay a lower tax rate than residents of unincorporated areas.

Both groups pay the same county tax rate, but the county returns some of municipal residents' taxes to the municipal governments in the form of a rebate to compensate for services duplicated by the municipalities, such as police services.

As a result of the change, towns may opt to raise their tax rates to make up for the loss of the rebate, Murray said. However, he stressed that residents should not view that change as a tax increase, but as a shift in who collects that portion of their taxes from the county to the town.

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