Actions by Greencastle Borough Council

Shawn Hardy

Greencastle Borough Council had a packed agenda at its meeting last week. Items include:

Council approved a resolution to ban parking along both sides of South Carlisle Street near the townhouse complex from U.S. 11 to the access road to the back of the old Strait Manufacturing property from Aug. 9 to Oct. 11.

The parked cars create visibility issues and other problems, according to Borough Manager Eden Ratliff.

Councilman Charles Eckstine said he went to the complex early one morning and counted 52 vacant spots in its off-street parking lot. One resident told Eckstine some people leave cars parked on the street for months.

Leah Harclerode, a member of the homeowners association board, said residents will be sent a letter informing them about the on-street parking ban and encouraging them to use the parking lot.

On a 4-1 vote, council passed a motion to have the police department do one hour of foot patrols every day.

Councilman Duane Kinzer, who made the motion, said he wants to see more foot patrols. Frank Webster, Charles Eckstine and James Farley also voted in favor of the motion, while Matthew Smith dissented.

“I do the best I can, but there are days it’s not doable,” said Police Chief John Phillippy.

Ben Thomas Jr. of South Washington Street, a former borough police officer, said that he started walking a beat 38 years ago, but times have changed.

He said priorities need to be established or an officer working alone may have to decide whether to do a foot patrol or follow up on a domestic dispute.

Kinzer said he does recognize the chief’s discretion in establishing priorities.

Phillippy reported a busy couple of weeks with the discovery of a meth lab in an apartment in downtown Greencastle and robberies at Family Dollar and M&T Bank.

“The legwork involved in these is extensive,” he said, adding the response from the Pennsylvania State Police lab team was very helpful in handling the meth lab.

Officer Keith Russell and the K-9 Rony were involved in five narcotics searches in the last two months that resulted in two heroin-related arrests.

In addition, Rony had “an amazingly successful track in Mercersburg at their bank robbery.” The M&T Bank in Mercersburg was robbed the day after the bank robbery in Greencastle.

Several residents of the Baumgardner Drive, Edward Drive and Walter Avenue expressed concern about the possibility of a house being built on a small lot in the area.

Borough Manager Eden Ratliff said he issued a building permit in error without knowing the history of the undersized tract that does not meet the minimum lot size requirement and has since revoked the permit. If the property owner appeals the decision, a hearing will be held.

Council President Frank Webster reported that a gun was stolen from his unlocked car.

“Much as we love this community we need to keep our vehicles and properties locked,” Webster said.