by Geoff Fox
A grant from the USDA may allow town officials to purchase two new vehicles for the Hancock Police Department.
Officials voted unanimously to approve the grant application.
The new vehicles would be Chevrolet Tahoes, which would replace the two pickups.
The only vehicles available are the Tahoes as Ford stopped making the Interceptor last year, Mayor Tim Smith said.
In talking to the company, Smith said the cost, with discounts, would be $46,456. General Motors gives a $5,000 discount, he added, and the USDA grant is $7,525.
If the town bought two new vehicles, the cost would be $25,000 and the USDA would pay the other 75%.
The new vehicles would be four-wheel drive and have better in town
gas mileage than the Dodge trucks currently use.
If the town doesn’t get the two vehicles now, the next shipment through the dealer wouldn’t be available until June.
Smith said the Pennsylvania State Police are looking at the same vehicles through the same dealer and could possibly take all 115 vehicles on the lot.
Main Street property
Town officials are in the process of negotiating the purchase of a property on Main Street that has been home to a longtime restaurant.
Officials are putting the contract together to purchase 77 West Main Street, which would be the former Weaver’s Restaurant, and the parking lot across the street.
An ordinance to buy the building was introduced during the special meeting on March 23, and if the final ordinance would pass during the April 11 meeting. It would become effective 28 days later.
According to the contract, the property would have to be purchased within 30 days of that effective date.
Smith said the property would be sold as is, which would include the contents of the building.
Mayor Smith said the temporary trash company who was collecting trash while the town received bids for a new contract “bit off more than they could chew” and are not equipped to tackle the town’s needs.
There was probably two hours of trash that still needed picked up, Smith said, so Public Works took the town’s dump truck and filled it in about 20 minutes.
Smith said the mayor of Berkeley Springs loaned Hancock their trash truck so long as the town paid for the truck to dump the trash and if anything happened to the truck.
“That was the quickest route other than leaving trash sit out,” Smith said.
That took around two hours to finish the job.
Faith called a trash company in Cumberland to do a temporary coverage until a bid is awarded.
The town was working with the previous company without a contract because it takes time to solicit bids and get them back.
A request for bids went out last year and the town only received one bid.
“That doesn’t serve the taxpayers to only get one bid,” Faith said.
The town then put the contract out to bid again to get more competition and a better break for taxpayers.
The town was in the predicament where they needed trash picked up. They couldn’t wait for the bids to come back and hope Apple Valley didn’t raise the cost.
The cost for the temporary company is about the same as what the town was paying Apple Valley for their contract.