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Air conditioning debuts at Hancock Town Council meeting

August 12, 2010|By DON AINES

HANCOCK -- The outside temperature was still above 90 degrees as Wednesday night's Hancock Town Council meeting was about to begin, but the meeting room was comfortably cool with the building's new heating and air-conditioning system up and running.

In July, the council approved a contract for the $14,100 system, which Town Manager David Smith last month predicted would be installed by fall. At the time, Mayor Daniel Murphy joked that the building might have air conditioning by winter.

"This is the first time we've had air conditioning in here in all the time I've been a councilman and mayor," Murphy said. That has been about 18 years, he said.

The council meets in the gymnasium of the community center, which also has a stage. That space will be used as the town's performing arts center in the future, Smith said last month. The heating and air conditioning is part of a $110,000 project, which will include a new sound system, lighting and seating, he said.

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The project is being funded with a combination of grants and money from the Washington County Commissioners and Community Partnership of Washington County, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Appalachian Regional Council and the town, Smith said in July.

The performing arts center's electrical system has also been upgraded to handle the additional load from the new heating and air-conditioning system, and the lighting and sound systems to be installed later, Smith said.

The town also has received authorization to proceed with renovation of the playground adjacent to the community center, Smith said. Last month, he announced the town had been approved for a $24,000 Maryland Department of Natural Resources Community Parks and Playgrounds grant for the project.

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