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Hancock readying Capital Improvement Plan

The City of Hancock’s Planning Committee met Monday night, with the focus on recruiting at least one member to be a part of the policy group to complete a Capital Improvement Plan. The need for such a group dates back to a 2008 law, but up to this point it has been done on an informal basis only. Five of the nine planning committee members were present at the meeting and Susan Burack said she would volunteer for the role. The plan is meant to be a roadmap on how to fund large infrastructure projects like sewer replacements and road repairs. Hancock is currently in the process of refinancing roughly $500,000 in 2008 bonds, expected to save the city tens of thousands of dollars. That kind of activity would also fall under the purview of the plan.

City Manager Mary Babcock spoke about the survey available at the city’s website on an updated logo. So far, the response rate is strong, she says.

Rickard: “Any idea how many people have responded?” Babcock: “Fifty. That’s actually pretty good. We did the recreation survey that we emailed, and mailed everyone a copy, and we had 190 of those. We’re pretty happy with the response so far.

Babcock says the city is hoping to improve interest in the Spruce Haven lots, located near UP Health System Portage hospital at the intersection of Campus Drive and Portage Drive. 

We have 13 lots up there that are still for sale. I have a realtor working on a market assessment. There’s been little movement since I’ve been here. There’s been only one home built up there.

The lots have utilities supplied to the property lines. The hope is that if they can be listed with an agent and sold, the city could parlay those revenues into developing a new site that is zoned residential.

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