Greencastle Borough Council organizes for 2012; oaths taken

PAT FRIDGEN

The newest members of Greencastle Borough Council took the oath of office Tuesday night and were welcomed to the panel by their peers. Wade Burkholder, Frank Webster and James Farley were sworn in by Magisterial District Judge Duane Cunningham Jan. 3. They were voted into office Nov. 8 in the municipal election. Farley had served since last January when he was appointed to fill a one-year vacancy. Burkholder and Webster had also expressed interest in the position. The trio will now serve for four years.

Officers were elected for a two-year term during the organizational meeting. Charles Eckstine remained as president and Harry Foley remained vice president. Supporting them in the leadership roles were Craig Myers, Matt Smith, Farley, Webster and Burkholder.

Eckstine expressed his appreciation for the results. "As you know, I run a rather informal meeting. The important thing is to cover all the issues and make the decisions."

Council reappointed members to Greencastle boards and commissions. They were Thomas Pensinger, Civil Service Commission, six years through 2017; Jason Gerhart, water and sewer authorities, five years, 2016; Jack Irwin, Shade Tree Commission, five years, 2016; Ralph Burdick and Guy Camp, Planning Commission, four years, 2015; Gregory Overcash, Zoning Hearing Board, three years, 2014; and John Easton, Vacancy Board, one year, 2012.

Eckstine said he would make committee assignments later.

Actions

Council adopted an ordinance to raise sewer rates from $5 to $6 per thousand gallons, with the minimum quarterly rates going up from $45 to $54.

A hearing was set for Monday, Feb. 6 at Grace United Church of Christ for public comment on zoning changes to parts of West Baltimore Street and West Franklin Street. It will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Three ordinances related to floodplains were passed in accordance with FEMA regulations. Borough manager Kenneth Womack said Greencastle had only one small section of land subject to flooding, which was west of West Franklin Street.

A request submitted by Frederick Seibert and Associates on behalf of Tower Bank was approved. It was for a waiver for a formal land development plan to expand drive thru facilities and make parking area improvements at 40 Center Square.

Council members were happy to begin receiving board packets via email. Borough staff noted that it had already saved $400 a year by eliminating packets for certain employees and the press, since they could run 50 pages per person. The information was sent to them electronically instead. If council could also receive the packets that way, the borough would save again as much money. It would come from the reduction in printing materials and ceasing personal packet delivery to their doors by an employee. The board said they would print at home or save the information on flash drives, or bring a laptop to the meetings.

Eckstine said he had received many positive comments about the downtown lights during Heritage Christmas, especially the new snowflakes.