Borough updates nuisance ordinance

PAT FRIDGEN

Greencastle borough council amended the nuisance ordinance Monday night, with one comment from resident Harry Myers.

The changes to the ordinance resulted after review by the Community Development Committee working on a Five Year Strategic Plan. The amendment allowed council to appoint the borough manager as chief code enforcement officer, cleaned up language to more closely match accepted definitions for property maintenance, added improper drainage as a nuisance, and set the timeframes for compliance.

Myers was concerned that the banning of furniture on front porches and where trash cans could be stored overstepped council's bounds.

Borough manager Kenneth Womack said the ordinance specified it applied only to furniture designed for indoor use, and Harry Foley added that upholstered furniture kept outdoors only invited infestation.

Womack said most residents preferred trash bins be out of sight except on pickup day and the borough received plenty of complaints on nuisances.

"We worked on this really hard," he said. "We want the authority we need. It's not about involving ourselves incessantly with residents. This should help us."

Financial help for Heritage Christmas was also approved. Chamber of Commerce executive director Joel Fridgen had submitted a letter asking for a contribution to cover half the cost for lighting and maintaining the Christmas tree on Center Square. President Charles Eckstine said the borough always got credit for the tree, but the expense went to the chamber.

Matt Smith commented, "We kind of owe it to them."

The others agreed and authorized donating $1,300 towards the tree.

Other business

Council signed up with the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs for legal assistance in negotiating with Comcast through the Cable-Telecom Alliance of Municipalities. For $200, Womack said the help making sure Greencastle received all due fees from its franchise agreement was worth it.

Paul Schemel reported that on behalf of the Public Safety Committee, he had discussed the Washington Street/Leitersburg Street intersection with traffic engineers. They expected that PennDOT would likely require a signal due to the intermittent traffic, but might allow a four-way stop for up to five years. A traffic study would cost $1,000 to $2,500. The committee decided not to pursue a change but to continue to monitor the intersection.

He said police had cited one person for riding a bicycle on the sidewalk downtown, and urged residents to only use the streets.