by GEOFF FOX
Money committed to the town’s new well was to be awarded earlier this month by the Rural Council of Maryland.
The grant was awarded for $62,000.
Town Manager Joe Gilbert said he has a bid for the reports of the town’s water system, however the contract couldn’t be awarded until after the grant was approved.
Town officials voted unanimously to award the contract for the preliminary engineering report/engineering report to Barton & Loguidice.
With the town’s match portion coming from the money for the well, Gilbert said he has arranged for a town-wide leak audit that would find any leaks throughout the entire system and where everything is underground.
Right now, on average, the town is losing about 8,000 gallons of water per month, Gilbert said.
That’s the difference of what comes out of the well and what is run through meters.
Gilbert also said the USDA usually doesn’t fund multiple projects to one municipality a year, however this year Hancock will be funded for another project.
If there are unallocated funds at the end of the year, Hancock’s request would be resubmitted and it was approved at the end of July, Gilbert said.
This year, the applications for the construction for the both the whole system and wastewater system will be submitted.
The town is now two years ahead of schedule, Gilbert said.
Kirkwood septic on hold
Gilbert said he is still waiting for a bid from a contractor for a septic system in Kirkwood Park.
If needed, Gilbert said he got permission from Washington County to hold off on construction and keep the money with no penalty, and then resubmit to Project Open Space for just engineering design up to $100,000.
The septic system, more than likely depending on what the county and other officials say, would be out of the floodplain and also wherever those officials tell the contractor to put it.
The current restroom facility there does not meet requirements.
Census numbers up
Amy Gillespie of Hancock Works! said numbers of those in town who have responded to the census is trending upwards.
Gillespie said the recent numbers have Hancock at a 60.5% response, which is up from 59.7% last month.
The increase is credited to the increase in getting letting people know about the census through talking points and signage.
Last year, when collection data was complete, Gillespie said the total was 70.2%.
“We’re still behind,” she said. “We’re not where we need to be, but we’re headed in the right direction.”
Gillespie has been offering residents help with completing the census at the Hancock Works! office in Town Hall.
The U.S. Census is required by the Constitution every 10 years to county how many people are living in the U.S. and in what areas. Census figures help determine representation in the U.S. Congress, and federal funding for a wide number of government projects to serve residents.