Ben Thomas
Mayor of Greencastle
Ben Thomas

I know what your thinking! I wrote that I’d author articles every two weeks and they’re still appearing every week. Yes indeed ... that’s what I stated. There’s just so much to write about and I so appreciate the many comments about my writings, so here you go!

I often write about supporting our Greencastle area businesses. They need our support now more than ever. Here we go, Gov. Wolf! Restaurants are now down to 25% occupancy by his July 15 (tax day) order. How can anyone support their overhead costs that don’t go down to 25% or maybe the governor should just order all other costs to decrease by 75% as well. 

Here’s something that might help! The Franklin County commissioners are using federal CARES Act funds for a Small Business Recovery Grant program. Funds up to $50,000 can provide working capital and building retrofit projects. Applications will be available Aug. 6 through Aug. 14 via the commissioners office, chambers of commerce or the Franklin County Area Development Corp.  

Although Greencastle has received an MS4 waiver for five years, I continue to work on behalf of municipalities (including my work place) to obtain a “stay” on proceeding forward with these unfair and unfunded regulations. I’ve contacted U.S. Congressman John Joyce's office requesting enabling federal legislation placing at least a two year stay on the federal mandate, if not abolishing the current mandates. Many municipalities are facing financial difficulty due to reduced tax revenues caused by COVID-19’s economic challenges. Now is not the time to mandate additional municipal expenses that will not show quantifiable results for environmental stewardship. 

I encourage you to join me in tracking what’s happening with this MS4 thing. Pa. Dept. of Environmental Protection’s website has lots of information that is easily accessible. I also subscribe to the (Chesapeake) Bay Journal which is a free publication full of interesting articles. The current edition writes about a notice of intent to sue the Federal Environmental Protection Agency for its failure to require Pennsylvania and New York to have Chesapeake Bay cleanup goals and results by 2025. Stay tuned. Just make them reasonable, quantifiable and affordable on a regional scale and I’d be a happy camper.

So that’s enough for now. Enjoy summer, support one another and I’ll see you on the porch.