THE GREENCASTLE MAYOR'S REPORT: Spring Public Safety Education Campaign

Greencastle Mayor Ben Thomas Jr.

Oops! Two weeks a go I made a mistake writing about liquid fuel funding for Greencastle-Antrim. More on that in just a minute. Meanwhile, it’s March Madness for this cold, blustery Sunday afternoon as I enjoy a beautiful view from the family room. Can’t wait to do some front porch sittin’. We just fixed some hot tea to enjoy after some snow shoveling activity. So, grab a cup of coffee or tea and take a break and join me as we revisit fuel tax funding, some spring safety measures and more!

Greencastle Mayor Ben Thomas Jr.

I’m pleased to report that my mistake was to the good for Greencastle and Antrim Township. I listed the 2022 PennDOT allocations that only included 20% of the actual numbers. According to the PennDOT Bureau of municipal services website, Greencastle’s actual allocation are $122,889 and Antrim’s will be $623,209. Both are estimates. These funds should have landed in their liquid fuels (restricted) accounts on March 1. Two weeks ago I reported 20% of those amounts. That’s because 20% may be used to purchase capital road maintenance equipment. That’s where the $24,578 and $124,642 figures came from. All of these funds are audited by the commonwealth.

We’ll see what happens with liquid fuel taxes as some in the federal government would like to see the 18 cents per gallon temporarily suspended and a portion of the Pa. gas tax of approximately 58 cents per gallon reduced due to what we all are paying at the pump along with inflation (rising costs on everything). We’ll stay tuned.

THE MAYOR'S REPORT: Paying for road work

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Meanwhile, we sprang forward with our time and spring arrives this coming weekend! So, so exciting. With spring’s arrival I ask for your help to join Greencastle Police and the mayor with our Spring Public Safety Education Campaign. What can you do? In the original 1950 movie “Cheaper by the Dozen” the mom, dad and 12 children would have family meetings. What a great idea! Have a family meeting and discuss spring/summer safety.

Here’s some safety information to discuss at your family meeting courtesy of Greencastle Police. Lock your vehicles, outbuildings and home. Communities experience thefts from motor vehicle, most of which are unlocked. Thieves look for opportunities. Unlocked doors make it easy. If you see or hear something suspicious, call 911 immediately. One alert citizen, who heard grinding sounds in the middle of the night, called 911 several weeks ago. One person was arrested for theft of a catalytic converter. These are hot items right now due to the precious metals. If you see or hear something suspicious, again, call 911 immediately. Consider mounted motion sensor porch/outdoor lighting. Also consider installing outdoor digital cameras and recorders if you can afford to do so.

I remember back in the 1980s we were having a series of thefts from vehicles. I was surprised by the number of purses and wallets that were stolen. Arrests were subsequently made. The purses and wallets had been tossed in a Dumpster and were gone. Police do a lot of reports and documentation. One thing that cannot be documented is when you prevent crime by performing our suggested preventive measures.

Pedestrians have the right of way at marked crosswalks, but in the interest of safety should still look before crossing the street.

Pedestrian and traffic safety measures are so important. With warmer weather, more citizens are out walking. That is great to see as I observe folks drive to town to walk. Thank you for doing so. Remember, pedestrians have the right of way when showing their intent to cross at a marked crosswalk. Pedestrians ... look, look, look before crossing. Use the flashing lights on East Baltimore Street at two locations (Linden Avenue and Allison Street).

More and more motor vehicle crashes are caused by distracted drivers. As I write so often, put down that phone.

Obeying the speed limit contributes to the safety of everyone.

Greencastle Police patrols have been performing traffic safety enforcement of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code that will continue. North Carlisle Street has been repaved and East Madison Street has been ordained no parking on the east curb. Please observe the posted speed limits for everyone’s safety.

One side of East Madison Street in Greencastle has been ordained 'No Parking.'

Seat belt use is the law so please buckle up. If you need a child car safety seat inspection, call Greencastle Police to make a safety inspection appointment.

Bicycles? Don’t let them lay in the yard or on the porch overnight. I again recall years ago investigating a rash of bicycle thefts. They were striping them for parts and throwing them along the railroad tracks just outside of town. They were ultimately arrested.

Leaving on vacation? Contact Greencastle Police and fill out a vacation notification form so patrol checks can be conducted at your residence. The form is also on the Greencastle website that can be completed and dropped at GPD.  

We are all in this together. Think spring; think safety. Oh yes …in the original movie Cheaper by the Dozen filmed in 1950, one of the boys always would make a motion to buy a dog. The father must have known parliamentary procedure because he would yell “motion out of order” and adjourned the family meeting. Don’t try this at home at your family meeting.

Congratulations is in order to Jack Shoemaker of Greencastle. Jack … ever since you were a child I admired your work ethic. The Feb. 22 Echo Pilot article shows that work ethic continues today. Greencastle is proud of you. Also, congratulations to GAHS Senior Nathan Kirkwood for your appointment to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland (Class of 2026). Have that confidence that G-A has instilled in you. Also, congratulations and my best wishes to the G-A girls’ varsity basketball team for a very successful season making it to district and sate play-offs.

I end by asking you for your thoughts and prayers for the children, men and women of Ukraine. It is unthinkable what they are going through as history repeats itself. Let’s help them however we can as food, water and medicine is in short supply.

It’s March Madness selection team time and my tea is cold. Next time I’ll write about Women’s History Month of March and what’s happening with MS4. So until I write again, think spring and join our Greencastle Police community safety team! We are certainly blessed.