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Hancock voters approve Meetinghouse renovation

HANCOCK — Town Meeting voters approved plans to renovate the Meetinghouse by a 171-36 margin on Saturday.

More than 200 voters turned out at the Town Meeting Saturday at the fire station.

Because of the vote, next year’s Town Meeting will be held in the newly renovated Meetinghouse, said Dennis Rossiter, a member of the Hancock Meetinghouse Restoration Committee.

The bond article that approves the town raise up to $985,000 for the project needed two-thirds of the vote to pass, Rossiter said.

“We needed 66 percent of the attendees and we got 82 percent. So it was pretty strong support,” he said. “What we will do now that it’s approved, we will refurbish the lower level of the Meetinghouse and use it as a town hall.”

Rossiter said he doesn’t expect the Select Board to borrow the entire $985,000. The project was initially estimated to cost about $1,160,000, but because of donations and negotiations with Keene contractor MacMillin Co., the cost for the town would be about $624,000, he said.

Work on the project is expected to start next month and is expected to be completed in the fall.

“We’re pretty much ready to go and we think it will be ready in the fall,” Rossiter said. “It’s amazing the building has been there since 1851. The slate roof is still there.”

Along with replacing the slate roof, the building will be repainted, the windows replaced, new heating and electricity is to be installed and a chairlift to carry wheelchairs up the stairs to the second floor where the Hancock Congregational Church is located will be added.

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