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      Improvements on the way for downtown Hancock

      Reshaping downtown Hancockâ?|that was the goal of over 40 business owners who came together to talk about improvements and upgrades to the downtown and surrounding area.

      This reshaping has been in planning for several years, and it is finally beginning to take off.

      â??The whole idea is to get everyone to come together collaboratively and work together to do what we can to improve our town and improve the services,â?? said Stephan Olsson, President of Wickley Agency.

      This event was sponsored by the Hancock Business and Professionals Association and the Downtown Development Authority.

      Over 300 people were surveyed, and results found that almost half of the respondents felt downtown Hancock is not an attractive place. So, during the meeting, five different task forces were discussed.

      â??Our streetscapes and faÃade, what we do for the way our town looks and the way our business community looks; the business mix, attraction and marketing of how we market our town and how we attract businesses to be here,â?? Olsson said.

      There will also be task forces that focus on more development, like a possible downtown skating rink, where the old middle school used to be and improvements to Hancockâ??s waterfront.

      "Itâ??s going to help the town. Itâ??s going to help the tax payers. Old buildings and old businesses that are vacant, storefronts arenâ??t paying the taxes, and they donâ??t have people working there that arenâ??t paying taxes, so itâ??s going to help out the city,â?? said Michael Lahti, real estate developer.

      Those on the task forces want Hancock to be a destination of choice for everyone, and residents can expect to see some major changes this summer.