Council approves extra spending at crosswalks

Shawn Hardy news@echo-pilot.com
The intersection at Baltimore and Allison streets in Greencastle is one of two where rapid flashing beacons are scheduled to be installed to improve pedestrian safety. (SHAWN HARDY/ECHO PILOT)

Greencastle Borough Council members took action at a special meeting last week to advance a pedestrian safety project, pending additional funding from the Greencastle-Antrim School District.

Council voted Thursday to both award a $75,000 contract to Wyoming Electric and Signal to install rapid flashing beacons at two East Baltimore Street intersections and to pay an additional $10,531.64 on top of the $5,459.68 already matched for the project. Both are contingent on the school district also contributing an additional $10,531.64.

The project was on the school board agenda for last Thursday, but that meeting was cancelled because of a lack of a quorum, with many members away due to the Easter holiday.

“I cannot confirm the district will pay half since no official action has been taken by the board," said Dr. Kendra Trail, superintendent. "However, I am extremely hopeful the board will support this issue at the May 2nd board meeting since it revolves around student safety.”

The borough and the school board joined forces several years ago to apply for a Green Light-Go grant to improve safety in the Baltimore Street crosswalks at Linden Avenue and Allison Street.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation grant for $43,677 was awarded in May 2017, with the $10,000-plus local match split between the borough and the school district. The paperwork process took a long time then only bid received to install the beacons was $20,000 over budget.

The Green Light-Go money must be spent by Dec. 31, 2019, according to the policy briefing prepared by Borough Manager Eden Ratliff.

"The Green Light-Go project in the Borough of Greencastle has earned much public attention in the community," Ratliff wrote in recommending the additional expenditure. "Citizens inquire often about the status of the project and both the Borough and GASD note it as a needed pedestrian safety enhancement for the downtown. The targeted areas see much commercial truck traffic and pedestrian traffic with it serving as a main thoroughfare for school walkers."

In other action at the special meeting, council members agreed to move forward with the process of hiring two additional full-time police officers for the Greencastle Police Department. Candidates have been identified by the civil service commission, screening is continuing and they could be hired at the May 6 council meeting.