Neighbor is worried about pallet company

Shawn Hardy

Mark Siner, who lives across North Carlisle Street from Industrial Pallet Corp., brought up fire concerns during the public comment portion of Monday's Greencastle Borough Council meeting.

He cited the company's recent "huge fire in Indiana."

That facility was "in the middle of nowhere. Ours is next to elderly in trailers. Why would we want that?" Siner asked.

Industrial zoning at the property dates back to the 1960s, Eden Ratliff, borough manager, explained.

The zoning was changed last year to mixed use which will not allow industry there in the future.

"You can't just kick them out, but the next company there will not be industrial," Councilman Steve Miller said.

Councilman James Farley said that when there were noise and dust complaints about two years ago, the owner came to council meetings and main improvements.

Siner said since smoking is no longer allowed at Jerome R. King Playground kids cross the street and hide among wooden pallets to smoke.

"All those elderly people are dead if there's a fire," Siner said, adding Industrial Pallet Corp. should be encouraged to move out. He said he is willing to help and "put my money where my mouth is."

"It's a nonconforming use. We can't dictate what they can do," said Mayor Ben Thomas Jr.

Thomas added that if the site is posted "no trespassing" and Siner sees people on the property smoking, he should call 911.

Councilman Duane Kinzer turned the tables on Siner and asked if he is part owner of the vacant property across from the post office at the corner of East Baltimore and Washington streets. When Siner said he is, Kinzer said the property looks bad, there is a hole in the fence that surrounds it and something should be done.

Other business 

  • Ratliff announced that Dave Nichols, public works manager, is retiring after 27 years with the borough.
  • Resident Larry Pittman asked about spending $6,900 for an engineer to look at a crack in the floor at the water treatment plant.

Ratliff confirmed that expenditure by the water authority and explained two significant pumps sit on the floor and a structural engineer was asked to evaluate the extent of the crack because it is large.

  • In light of July 4 celebrations, Thomas noted that Pennsylvania law has changed to expand the use of fireworks, but there are still provisions that govern their use in urban settings like Greencastle.

Fireworks may not be set off within 150 feet of an occupied structure, which precludes most of the borough.

Thomas also pointed out that in the United States last year there were 13,000 emergency room visits related to fireworks and eight deaths.