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Greencastle Borough Council briefs

August 03, 2009

Greencastle wants feedback on strategic plan

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- The Greencastle Borough Council is looking for public comment during August on its five-year strategic plan.

In a unanimous vote Monday evening, the council agreed to put the plan on display at Borough Hall and on the borough Web site for the next 30 days.

The council drafted the plan after residents commented on their vision for the town's future at a town hall meeting in April.

Approximately 30 residents attended the meeting and voiced ideas for addressing borough issues, including sidewalks, traffic and recreation.

The plan outlines seven specific goals to be tackled through collaborative government during the coming years.

Topping the list of goals was improving traffic circulation and reducing heavy truck traffic in town.

Also on the list were two goals the borough said Monday it hopes to fast-track before the plan goes into effect in 2010.

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Councilwoman Michele Emmett suggested the borough begin drafting a clear sidewalk and curb policy as soon as possible.

The borough lacks a clear and cohesive sidewalk plan, Councilman Harry Foley said previously. He suggested the borough council meet for a workshop to flesh out a policy that would be fair and effective.

Also on the council's list of goals is formation of a borough beautification committee this year.

Council President Charlie Eckstine said he is seeking about six residents for the committee. He suggested several people on Monday, but said he would like interested residents to volunteer for the committee.

A beautification committee would ideally investigate a downtown revitalization program and identify key projects and activities that would preserve the unique sense of community throughout Greencastle.

Greencastle officials explore options to fund school officer

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- Greencastle Borough Councilman Harry Foley said the suggestion of hiring a school resource officer for the Greencastle-Antrim School District was well-received last Wednesday at a private meeting of local officials.

Elected and appointed officials from the Borough of Greencastle, Antrim Township and the Greencastle-Antrim School District met to discuss the idea.

Foley said everyone present at the meeting made positive comments about the idea, which was identified as an expensive endeavor.

The borough police department applied for two grants to fund the position, Chief John Phillippy said.

A three-year, $190,000 grant was denied by they state.

The second, a $260,000 grant for two years of funding including equipment, will be awarded to applicants in late September, he said.

Assuming the Greencastle Police Department is not awarded grant funding, the officials present on Wednesday said they would be willing to discuss with their boards funding the position by dividing the cost in thirds.

Borough Manager Ken Womack estimated that the position would cost approximately $75,000 per year.

Mayor Robert Eberly said everyone present was only speaking for themselves, not the entities they represent.

He also said concerns were raised about the impact of splitting the cost on each entity.

Councilman Paul Schemel said each board will discuss and decide whether to draft a proposal to fund the position.

-- Kate S. Alexander

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