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Borough signs off on Greencastle fire police liability deal

October 07, 2008|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The Greencastle Borough Council signed on to a Franklin County-wide agreement for insuring fire police, and also considered a request to earmark money for capital improvements at Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library.

For months, the council has discussed signing a special inter-local fire police agreement drafted by the Borough of Mercersburg, Pa., that would establish liability for fire police injured while on loan in another municipality.

Councilman Craig Myers said two years ago a fire policeman from Chambersburg, Pa., was injured while on the job in Mercersburg, sparking debate between Mercersburg and Chambersburg as to which workers' compensation policy would cover the injuries.

Mercersburg wanted to avoid another such debate so it put that responsibility in writing, he said.

Myers said the agreement holds the organization supplying aid responsible should one of its fire policeman be injured on the job in a neighboring municipality.

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"If, say, Antrim would send a fire policeman to help out at our Halloween parade and, God forbid, that person would be injured, under this agreement Antrim would be responsible for paying (workers' compensation benefits)," he said.

Greencastle unanimously voted to sign the agreement. Duane Kinzer and Paul Schemel were absent.

Chairman Charles Eckstine said the library asked the borough to enter uncharted territory and add it as a line item in the 2009 budget.

The Franklin County Library System funds the Besore Library and, according to the letter signed by Board President Kay Witmer, Besore Library sees very little of the tax money collected locally for libraries.

Councilman Harry Foley asked the board to hold off on the library's request until the library can provide an exact figure for how much money it needs and for what projects.

Witmer wrote that the library needs financial aid because the county system does not own the facility and its endowment trust cannot be used for capital improvements.

Among its needs are maintenance, insurance, security and upgrades, according to the letter.

The library operates on funding from county taxes, private donations and interest from its endowment trust, Witmer wrote.

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