Council holds off on hiring grant writer

PAT FRIDGEN

Greencastle Borough Council delayed hiring a grant writer until it had more information on whether grants were really available. Ginny Lays, president of The Write Group, Inc. submitted a proposal for professional services at the request of councilman Duane Kinzer. Her work would be conducted for Greencastle Downtown Inc. through the borough.

She asked for $2,500 up front, and $2,500 when the last of two proposals was sent in. The projects would be prioritized by GDI, a nonprofit organization formed in 2010.

Kinzer has advocated obtaining funding for decorative crosswalks on Center Square and possibly at Baltimore Street intersections. The price ranged from $15,000 to $22,000. Borough manager Kenneth Womack was leery of spending $2,500 without assurance that funds were actually available. He knew some funding streams were active, but applicants had to be very competitive. The initial fee was a large chunk of what might be received, especially if the grant needed a match.

Council members agreed, and Womack was directed to ask Lays for concrete information on sources of funding. He said another option was to pay her on an hourly basis.

Finish his term

Paul Schemel announced that he would not be running for re-election in the spring primary. He encouraged citizens to file and serve the community. Mayor Bob Eberly commented, "I hate to see you go. You bring a lot to the table."

Other business

The board accepted the resignation of Ben Thomas Jr. as local Emergency Management Coordinator. Thomas notified them that he was out of the area four days of the week and would be unable to respond to emergency call-outs. Craig Myers was appointed in his stead.

Schemel and Womack were appointed to represent the borough in negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with the police department. The current agreement expires Dec. 31.

President Charles Eckstine was designated the official voting delegate to the 100th General Assembly of Boroughs annual meeting April 10 to 13 in Hershey.

Schemel alerted council of PennDOT requiring various approvals for community events that take place on state roads. They included gettting permits three weeks in advance and holding the Commonwealth harmless. The regulations would affect parades, the Christmas tree lighting ceremony and Old Home Week activities, among others. "They are a bit draconian," said Schemel of the stipulations.

Citizen Warren Miller asked what the borough was doing about the rat problem in the trailer park next to Industrial Pallet Corp. on North Carlisle Street. He had trapped several under his home.

Myers had already talked to other residents and inspected the area, aware that the source of the visitors could be from the pallet company or other places.

"We're talking rats bigger than possums," he said.

With baseball season approaching, he wanted the critters eliminated before children were playing in the adjacent fields, and food would be left lying around. Womack promised to try to find the cause of the problem.

Joel Fridgen, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, updated council on plans for Skirmish on the Square April 7 to 10 in downtown Greencastle. The event was the kickoff for the Civil War Sesquicentennial in Pennsylvania. Up to 60 Living History participants will camp on the grounds of the Allison-Antrim Museum, and 40 residents will be able to get involved with different roles during the re-enactments near Center Square.

Citizen Robert Wertime asked the borough to purchase signs for fire police if they didn't have enough manpower at any particular incident.