Greencastle wants a quieter main street

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot

Last week Greencastle Borough Council switched gears on an agenda item, which sought PennDOT authorization for an engine-brake-retarder prohibition throughout town. That had been the recommendation of the Public Safety Committee after extensive discussion of the matter. It had been visited periodically since 2014.

Borough manager Susan Armstrong asked for a vote from council members Charles Eckstine, Frank Webster Jr., Duane Kinzer, Matt Smith, James Farley and Larry Faight. Craig Myers was absent.

"We're recommending the (noise) study be borough-wide," said committee member Eckstine. Only PennDOT had the power to make the restriction, and Greencastle would be responsible to pay for and erect the signs notifying the public.

However, Eckstine personally was not in favor of the ban. Late model trucks were quieter due to computerized technology. Baltimore Street/Route 16 was peppered with 44 signs from Center Square to Shady Grove and he wondered who would notice even more signs. And enforcement of a "jake brake" ban would be difficult.

Farley agreed, and added that part of the noise problem was modified mufflers on regular vehicles. He asked Kinzer, who lived on Baltimore Street, how bad the problem was.

Kinzer and residents Wade Burkholder and Roger Johnston assured them the noise was disturbing.

Johnston said a complication was drivers exceeding the speed limit because they knew they could pull the brakes at the hill near Besore Library.

"I support the retarder prohibition," he said.

Council hoped the brakes could just be restricted the full length of Baltimore Street. That was the only source of complaints. They voted unanimously to ask PennDOT to allow the brakes ban on the main thoroughfare.

Armstrong was investigating where PennDOT would require signage.

Another driveway

The board approved a subdivision plan on behalf of George and Mary Lou Miller and Greencastle Area Franklin County Water Authority for property at 249 N. Linden Ave. GAFCWA had budgeted to obtain 1.6 acres adjacent to the water plant.

On March 28 Planning and Zoning Commission members Ed Wine, Ralph Burdick, Guy Camp and Jim Thomas recommended approving the request. Armstrong, also manager of the authority, told them, “GAFCWA has no plans for expansion at this time, but when opportunities such as this arise, it is prudent to pursue them.”

Armstrong told borough council the land would provide a second access to the plant, and was useful for additional security. Solicitors for Greencastle and GAFCWA had reviewed the documents. As part of the agreement, in negotiations for two years, the authority also had right of first refusal for a small building lot and an option to purchase an even smaller lot in the future.

In other business, council members endorsed a letter of support for The Archaeological Conservancy for its Ebbert Spring Archaeological Preserve and Heritage Park project. The request was made by Andrew Stout, Conservancy regional director, in his pursuit of DCNR grant monies to help pay for the property.