Support local restaurants, welcome new businesses

Ben Thomas Jr., Greencastle mayor
Greencastle Mayor Ben Thomas Jr.

Golly gee ... I have so much to write about on this gorgeous Sunday afternoon! So grab a cup of coffee or a spot of tea and join me for this family room fireside chat. I begin with a proclamation in support of our locally owned “mom and pop” restaurants. As I wrote in my last report, they are some of the most challenged businesses with commonwealth’s restrictions and shut downs. 

"I hereby proclaim the remainder of January and February, support our local restaurants in the greater Greencastle community." I encourage those that can financially support our mom and pop locations to order out or enjoy sit down meals at these locations. They don’t have drive-in windows so they need your “Customer Stimulus Package” to help them and their many workers that rely on that paycheck and tips. Many of these eateries have been here for decades and have supported our local economy all of those years. According to the National Restaurant Association, annual restaurant sales in the United States is $899 billion at one million locations employing 15.6 million. Fifth-one percent of the food dollar is from restaurants stocking their kitchen. Imagine how that supports agriculture and the men and women of all ages that work in this hospitality industry. Six in 10 adults at one time worked at a restaurant. Please, if you are able, support these establishments and their employees. Don’t forget your mask!

More:Tom Green knows more than 'water is wet' after 46 years in public works

More:THE MAYOR'S REPORT: Reflections on friends lost, local restaurants and more

I’m excited about the new businesses that have opened in Greencastle. Drive around and you’ll see their “open” signs. Stop in and say hello. There’s even rumors of more business coming to our town. I don’t pay attention to rumors until their plans are submitted for proper permitting or land development planning is under way. I support these new businesses and entrepreneurs as they add to our economy; provide employment; and support our tax base. As I’m involved with planning in central Adams County, a future Mayor’s Report will explain the planning process for subdivisions, land development plan submissions and permitting. I’ll explain the Pa. Municipalities Planning Code and municipal planning and subdivision ordinances; the appointed planning commission; stormwater; utilities; and elected officials reviews.

Wow! We’re one day closer to spring 2021 on March 20. Winter temperatures have been milder than normal ... so far. So what do you do for physical and mental exercise this time of year? If you’re able, bundle up and take a walk. Be it 100 feet or a few blocks, take that walk. Plan your springtime activities. As I wrote about a last year, plan your Victory Garden. Keep the phone calls coming to your family, friends, and neighbors. I enjoy watching the squirrels at play in the back yard. The grandchildren have nicknamed them “nuts.” Read a good book. Our Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library is a gem in our community. 

On Jan. 12, I attended the Rescue Hose Company’s reorganization meeting. Congratulations to the 2021 officers and thank you to those 2020 officers that have completed their terms. They are leading under very challenging times with COVID, increased call volumes that include providing emergency medical services for many varieties of calls. In 2020 EMS (emergency medical service) calls totaled 1,827 (a 7% increase from 2019). There were 551 fire and rescue responses by our members last year. The call volume for emergency calls has more than doubled since I served as EMS chief in the late 1970s and early 1980s. 

So what’s happening with the Chesapeake Bay and Pennsylvania? I’ll author an update for you in two weeks. Thanks for reading. My spot of tea needs warmed up. We are blessed!