Greencastle residents want junk cleaned up

PAT FRIDGEN
Renters and homeowners along South Carlisle, South Jefferson, and East Franklin streets would like a trash problem addressed. The question brought before Borough Council Monday was how best to tackle the issue.

The neighbors are sick of the trash, and asked Greencastle Borough Council to do something about it. Four residents attended the June 6 meeting to see what could be done about abandoned sofas, TVs, rugs and debris in the area of East Franklin Street, and the Elm and Spruce alleys. Lori Facchina, a member of the borough Beautification Committee, suggested the borough pay $275 for a dumpster for 10 days. Most of the offending properties were rentals owned by the same landlord, but Facchina said the renters didn't like the mess either, and had asked for help.

"The area is an eyesore and has been a big problem for a while," she said.

Facchina, Taylor Camerer and the others thought the piles of junk came from renters moving out, and outsiders who brought in their unwanted items.

Council president Charles Eckstine was apprehensive of using taxpayer money to clean up after one person, convinced the dumping could become an ongoing problem. He assured the citizens the borough was aware of the problem and had been filing citations.

Facchina then said the Beautification Committee, wanted to landscape three of the Welcome to Greencastle signs, and the fourth one was already being tended by private parties. The cost would range from $270 to $570. The matter will be addressed in depth in July, after the committee meets again with borough manager Kenneth Womack to consider external issues.

Intersection improvement

Paul Schemel referenced a Pennsylvania law on intermunicipal cooperation, since Antrim Towship expressed interest in contributing to the U.S.11/Route 16 intersection improvement but didn't know if it was legal. Schemel said each municipality could pass an ordinance, "not a big deal," and that opened the door for funding. The procedure was used in many situations.

Eckstine had just sent a letter to PennDOT urging the project to continue even if the borough did not have the rights-of-way obtained by a July 21 deadline. He wrote that in 2008 Rep. Todd Rock and borough officials had met with PennDOT in Harrisburg on the local responsibilities. Then last March Greencastle discovered it had to follow PennDOT procedures and regulations on getting the ROW for the three additional right turn lanes.

"Some of the properties to be acquired would most likely be worth less than the cost of the required appraisals and reviews," he stated in the letter.

Therefore, Eckstine wanted PennDOT to ensure that the project would not stall. Greencastle had already spent $160,000 and committed over $270,000 for the project design.

Other business

Council discussed the 2008 draft of the joint Comprehensive Plan, covering the borough, Antrim Township and the school district. The Planning Commission had looked it over and offered suggested changes. As Planning Commission chairman and resident, Ed Wine shared his perspective on one major component, a bypass road to get traffic out of the downtown. He wanted a long-term vision, using Grindstone Hill Road to the south, but not sure where to the north, to keep trucks off of residential streets. Councilman Duane Kinzer and Womack supported the use of Moss Spring and Walter avenues as routes for the locals to take shortcuts. Other changes the board wanted on the plan related to certain zoning guidelines and historic accounts that weren't quite accurate.  

Kinzer, Schemel, Eckstine, Harry Foley, James Farley and Matt Smith approved an intent to award a contract to D & D Construction, Greencastle, for handicap accessibility ramps and curb and sidewalk replacement along Madison Street at a cost of $82,242. The price would be covered by a Franklin County Community Development Block Grant.

Mayor Robert Eberly credited Antrim Township with its recent donation to the Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library and said Besore would become an even more valuable entity if the school district had to cut services in its libraries during the budget crunch.

"The school is doing a fantastic job with the money they have. We can't keep cutting back since the schools are the main attraction for people to come here."

Eckstine expressed frustration with attendance by council member Craig Myers, who had missed many committee meetings and some council meetings. He needed Myers' input on issues or would have to make changes to the committee assignments.

Abandoned lumber and a sofa are shielded by overgrown weeds along an alley. The borough is going after a property owner violating the nuisance ordinance.