Antrim Township supervisors agreed Tuesday night to the creation of a joint investigative committee to explore the idea of merging the township and the Borough of Greencastle, but the four supervisors at the meeting all said the move has very little chance of success.

They’ve all heard strong reactions from township residents, including one who told Supervisor Pat Heraty, “I think the only thing the borough wants to merge with is our bank account.”

However, supervisors indicated productive ideas could be generated by the committee.

“Even if we don’t join, the committee may come up with things for the betterment of the community,” said Supervisor John Alleman.

Heraty agreed that good things could come out of the discussions without changing the structure of the municipalities.

Everyone “would like a more cohesive community,” Heraty said.

Exploring the concept of a merger came out of the borough’s community development committee meeting last month. Borough Manager Eden Ratliff explained that the idea is something he’s heard mentioned by different councilmen at different times.

Last week, council approved the committee on a 7-1 vote, with Charles Eckstine opposed, and Tuesday night, supervisors followed suit 4-0, with Rick Baer absent.

“The end result might be we end up where we are now, but a group of people representing both communities will have looked at it,” said Brad Graham, township administrator.

Graham and Ratliff came up with guidelines for a 10-member committee made up of one member each from:

n Antrim Township Municipal Authority

n Greencastle Area, Franklin County, Water Authority

n Antrim Township government (Graham)

n Borough of Greencastle government (Ratliff)

n Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce

n Greencastle-Antrim Development Corp.

n A township resident not affiliated with either local government

n A borough resident not affiliated with either local government

n Rescue Hose Co.

n Greencastle-Antrim School District

It would probably meet monthly for a year.

Whatever the committee recommends is non-binding and would ultimately have to go voters as a ballot referendum.

Supervisor Fred Young said everyone he’s talked to has been against a merger and if it were to ever come up as a referendum, it would fail.

Supervisor Chad Murray said he has had many unpleasant conversations since mention of the merger committee came out in newspaper articles, people are upset and see no benefits for township residents.

References were made previously unsuccessful attempts at cooperation between the township and borough, including the water and sewer systems.

Al Jimick, who served as a township supervisor about 20 years ago, spoke to the board and recalled a meeting set up by the late lawmaker Terry Punt and “the borough had no time for us.”

He later said, “If it doesn’t benefit the township, I wouldn’t vote for it.”

Asked for his opinion, Jordan Manahan, the board’s student representative, said, “I would need to know the concrete benefits for the township.”

Some of Tuesday’s discussion also concerned staffing. Young noted he read that one councilman said he would only be in favor of a merger if it meant no employees would lose their jobs.

“That’s a way to make it fail out of the gates,” Young said, explaining that in the real world, if businesses merge they look to improve efficiency in area like staffing.

Policing and the associated costs were also mentioned, since the borough has its own police force, while the township is served by Pennsylvania State Police.

After the meeting, Graham said he and Ratliff will get together and start looking for volunteers to serve on the committee. Any township resident who is interested can call the township office at 717-597-3818.