Ben Thomas Jr.
Mayor of Greencastle
Ben Thomas Jr.

So how’s your summer going? Hot for sure, but it is July. Some of my side porch sittin’ has moved to the back yard with shade under a maple tree and a nice summer breeze. It was a beautiful Fourth of July weekend. As we walk or drive around Greencastle, we are reminded about the freedoms we enjoy by viewing the veterans’ banners lining our community. Thank you all for your service in assuring our independence!  

Many of us remember growing up without air conditioning. A fan and open windows worked wonders! I hope your summer is a good one.

I just want to thank you for being a support system to family, friends and strangers during this COVID-19 thing that’s in the news every day. It’s good to see church parking lots with cars in them. From the evening noise over the weekend, the local fireworks store must have made a fortune along with the commonwealth earning the sales tax.

I’m so tired of singing "Happy Birthday" twice when I wash my hands to prevent C-19. I must be 2,000 years old now for as many times that I sang "Happy Birthday." The good news is I’m out of the boot from my ankle reconstruction surgery in early March. I actually took a bicycle ride on Saturday. Oh, did that feel good! 

Council recently held two public work sessions regarding the stormwater topic with the borough receiving the five-year waiver from MS4 in mid-May. This was received based on two necessary criteria in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection regulations: 1) Population-based criteria under 10,000 people? Yes; 2) Are there any impaired discharge streams (BOD, sediment, pathogens, oil and grease and/or nutrients in the borough?) No! Waiver granted. Staff, council and concerned citizens are aware we must be vigilant regarding this waiver over the next five years so it may continue, hopefully, permanently.    

I presented my recommendations to council at the second workshop last Tuesday, June 30. You can read The Mayor’s Report and my recommendations on the borough’s website:


By the time you read this council will have decided on how to proceed with the stormwater management funds received last year. One of my recommendations is an inter-municipal construction project where we build the Besore Library rain garden instead of going through the bidding and prevailing wage labor rate process. I believe this will save you, the taxpayer, and could be a great community partnership project with municipalities and the school district. I’ve been involved with several similar projects over the decades. We can have good history repeat itself.

Thanks to the 20-plus citizens who attended the meetings and thanks to the Rescue Hose Company for use of the multi-purpose room at the fire station. 

With permission of the Echo Pilot, I started authoring this weekly column at the beginning of COVID-19 and the disaster declaration in Greencastle, in Pennsylvania and in the United States. I appreciate the many comments received. I’ll move to every other week for my reports to you. Keep up your comments as it inspires me to continue informing our citizens. Keep up your good work with your support system to our citizens and business community.

Get outside and enjoy the good ole summertime! I’ll see you in beautiful Greencastle.