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Hancock County creating “one-stop” website

Many times visitors or new residents of Hancock County do not know where to look for information about Hancock County. A person from 300 miles away visiting Jeffreys Cliff may not know where to eat in Hancock County after hiking the trails.  A new resident may not know where to take his or her vehicle for repairs, what social services exist in the county or what events take place each month.

To help answer these questions, a coalition of several entities banded together to create a website for the county called ‘Hancock is Home.’

“It is a one-stop shop for Hancock County,” Hancock County Judge/Executive Johnny “Chic” Roberts said. “If you need any information about Hancock County, you should be able to get it on this website.”

Hancock County Library Director Tina Snyder said she and Judge Roberts started talking about the website in late 2019, and in early 2020 invited 16 different entities to participate in a focus group about the website.

The group discussed if they thought the county needed such a website, if it would be utilized by the community, what the site would look like and what kind of information the website needed to contain.
“We knew multiple heads are better than one when you are trying to come up with something like this,” Snyder said.

Snyder said the goal of the website is to contain all of the information a person needs to know about Hancock County. In addition to containing information about the county, Snyder said they hope business, churches, government, the schools and other entities sign on to the website and provide links for people to follow.

For example, if a person from out of county, or even from out of state, gains employment in one of the factories, they can visit this website to find out about housing in the county, both homes available for sale, or places available for rent. The possibilities are endless for the website.

“It allows people outside of our community to see what we have to offer,” Roberts said. “We know what we have. We want other people to see what we have. We are excited to get the website started.”
Snyder said the website will include multiple tabs to help people find needed information. The tabs include a home page, a community calendar, doing business here, shopping here, living here, working here and playing here.

“If somebody wanted to know where to go to pay their water bill, there would be a link on there that they could pay their water bill, or find out information about it,” Snyder said.

The six entities that partnered together to finance and create the website are Hancock County Chamber of Commerce, Hancock County Tourism Commission, Hancock County Fiscal Court, Hancock County Public Library, Hancock County Industrial Foundation and Hancock County Schools. Wade Gaynor, a member of the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce spoke highly of the website and its benefits to the county.

“We’re excited for the new website and all it will provide the community,” Gaynor said. “We believe this website will enhance the image of the county while also providing a place to find any information folks may need.
“Whether someone is moving into the county, wanting to start a new business or looking for employment—this website is the place to go.”

Gaynor also said Pat Emery created a logo for the county to use to brand the county.
“This logo will give a fresh look and energy to the county that we’re very excited about,” Gaynor said.

Roberts and Snyder said they do not plan for the website to be a static one where nothing changes. Snyder said there will be a person monitoring the website constantly to make the changes to the website.

For example, Snyder said the site includes a community calendar. People wanting to add an event to the calendar need to email information to the website Hancock is Home. The person monitoring the site then takes the information from the email, adds it to the calendar, and then sends a confirmation email back.

In addition, Judge Roberts said he expects the website to change over time as people discover information the site needs to contain.
“The website will evolve,” Roberts said.

By Ralph Dickerson

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