Greencastle Borough Council Monday night approved the 2019 budget that keeps the property tax rate at 15 mills.

The spending plan had only minor changes from the preliminary budget approved last month and the general fund for next year is $1,839,230.

Key expenditures for next year include the addition of two full-time patrolmen for the police department. Technically, one position that has been vacant for several years will be filled and another position added.

"There are times when we don't have police coverage. Your life means more to me than anything we can talk about. That's why we're doing this," said Councilman Larry Faight.

Council authorized the civil service commission to advertise and begin testing of full-time police officer candidates.

"This inclusion reflects the ever-increasing call volume the police department is experiencing along with the visibility of illegal controlled substances in the borough," according to budget information presented in November by Borough Manager Eden Ratliff.

Among the notable calls in November was one where a lone officer responded to a reported overdose, found two people unconscious, administered Narcan and provided aid until EMS arrived, Police Chief John Phillippy said in his report.

He also talked about four juveniles found after breaking into a home on East Franklin Street, who also reportedly stole a vehicle in the borough and were involved in about dozen incidents of theft and vandalism in Antrim Township.

An officer, alone in answering a call for domestic violence, was bit by the family dog, the second line-of-duty injury in the department in recent months, Phillippy said.

 Also Monday 

Councilman Duane Kinzer talked about his experience with a parking meter problem and said it is not the image Greencastle wants for its downtown.

He said the meter would not accept his quarter and he reported the problem, but in the meantime he received a ticket.

Kinzer said he was told that when the meter was inspected if it was found to have a problem, he won't have to pay the ticket.

"That implies I'm lying," said Kinzer, who was told a few days later there was nothing wrong with the meter.

"This doesn't help our downtown ... it's easy to go to the mall," according to Kinzer, who also said he thinks $10 is a lot for a parking ticket.

In preparation for the security and accessibility project at borough hall, staff members are getting ready to relocate to the meeting room. During the four- to six-week project expected to begin in January, borough meetings will be held at the Rescue Hose Co. on South Washington Street. Lorraine Hohl, finance and human resources manager, will become assistant borough manager effective Jan. 1, 2019, with a contract running through Dec. 31, 2021. Council members heard a concern from Robert Wertime about Pennsylvania Department of Transportation plows throwing snow on sidewalks that have already been cleared by residents. His Leitersburg Street sidewalk was clear for students to walk to school the morning after the November snowstorm, but a plow covered it with snow and the students had to walk in the street.

Borough staff members have already been in contact with PennDOT and the public facilities committee will also take up the problem.