New courts get praise, new businesses on the horizon?

­­­ by Geoff Fox

The new pickleball and basketball courts in Widmeyer Park have become a new center of activity to the point the town has purchased equipment for pickleball equipment so people who don’t have the proper equipment can still use the courts.

Town Manager Mike Faith said the equipment is available to rent at Town Hall, however there is a deposit to use them.

“We’re going to do a $25 deposit, so you give us $25 and when you bring the stuff back, you get your money back,” Faith said.

Councilman David Kerns added the new basketball poles could be adjusted and can be lowered and raised as needed.

“It’s a real good thing they are adjustable,” he said. “The kids seem to like it.”

Kerns noted the rims are not kept down for the older kids, “that’s not the intent of it.”

The poles are kept at a height of 10 feet unless there is someone there who can keep an eye on them.

Councilman Josh McCusker said there are people at the court every day.

Councilman Josh McCusker played pickleball during National Night Out on August 1. McCusker said there were a lot of kids and adults using the courts during the annual event.

Kerns said as they were still drilling holes for the pickleball courts when a five-on-five game started up, even without the lines being painted.

“I think what we’ re doing is a good thing,” Kerns said.

Another group began using the pickleball courts while Kerns was painting lines on the courts.

Kerns told his fellow officials the people were on their way to Chambersburg to use the courts there, but after being told of the ones in Hancock, they decided to use those, telling Kerns they’ d be back.

“Hopefully it will be used like we want it to be used,” he said.

McCusker said he had used the pickleball courts during National Night Out.

“There were a lot of kids and a lot of adults, including myself, enjoying that,” McCusker said.

McCusker also thanked Kerns for his work on the two courts. McCusker was leading the meeting as President of Council in place of Mayor Roland Lanehart, Jr. who was not in attendance.

Possible new investments coming to Hancock

Faith told town officials there is the potential for new investors looking to bring new businesses to Hancock.

Faith did not disclose what those businesses were or what type of business they’d be bringing to Hancock.

Faith said he had talked to Ivan Lanier of Greenwell Consulting and Senator Mike McKay who told him of those possible investors.

There are things the town has to look into in bringing these businesses to town and state funding to help entice the businesses to come.

“Some of these applications may require a letter of support from the Town of Hancock,” Faith said. He had already drafted a letter and read to the mayor.

In the letter, Faith said anyone who would want to come to town and invest and improve in the town, the town would write a letter of support if they would be applying for state of federal money.

“The town wouldn’ t be financing any of this. It would be coming from other coffers,” Faith said.

Possible issue with hydrant

A fire hydrant near Hancock Middle-Senior High School may be causing filling issues for the fire department.

The hydrant in question was not filling tankers as quickly as it should and when told during the meeting, Faith admitted it was the first time he had heard about it.

Officer Shawn Faith told officials he had stopped to see what they were doing and firefighters at the hydrant told him the hydrant was pumping enough water to fill the engine.

It took nine minutes to fill an engine someone told town officials.

“I don’t know if it’s a hydrant problem or… it should not be a pressure problem,” Kerns said. “Not there.”

Kerns added the water line in that area had just been replaced with a 10-inch line.

New location for Christmas tree?

Kerns proposed a possible new, permanent placement for the town’s Christmas tree this winter and it’ s not in the places it has been in the past.

The possible placement would see it in Widmeyer Park by the sidewalk where Hancock High School once stood.

Kerns said he has been kicking around the idea and thinks the live tree should be planted in the park.

As the tree gets bigger, Kerns said the town could buy more lights to decorate the tree.

His first proposed location would be the entrance area of the old high school off Main Street where two large pine trees currently sit.

In previous years, the tree has been located in Joseph Hancock Park and also the parking lot on Fulton Street.

It would keep it out of the main park area, but Kerns added when it is lit up, “everybody going up and down Main Street is going to see it.”

Kerns admitted it was just a thought and it was up to his fellow town officials to decide.

He said he just thinks they should get someone to come in and plant one, even if it is 15 or 18 feet tall this year, it will continue to grow.

McCusker said the spot would be perfect if they continue to have a festival around that time of year for the lighting of the tree.

Kerns also noted in previous years, there had been luminary bags lit along Park Road during the Christmas season and if done again, it would make the scene brighter.

He even suggested decorating the park for the season with businesses and churches taking on that task.

No decision about moving forward with the idea was made during the meeting.