Looking Back: Franklin County’s history Sept 4th

Franklin County’s history

Take a look back at Franklin County’s history through news and photos that appeared in local newspapers 25, 50, and 100 years ago on Sept 4th.

25 Years Ago

September 4, 1996 –  Wednesday

Residents near grain company appeal to council

“Dust, noise anger neighbors”

About 20 Greencastle residents appealed to Borough Council on Tuesday night for help in reducing the dust and noise from a grain marketing business.  

They’ve endured numerous infringements, they said, since PACMA Inc. moved in five years ago.

PACMA (Pennsylvania Agriculture Commodity Marketing Association) is at 69 Leitersburg St., 20 to 50 feet east of their homes.

Mike Orndorff, PACMA president, Palmyra, told Borough Manager Ken Myers he plans to put in an 8-foot-high, 240-foot-wide wall between the business and homes on South Carlisle Street.  He also told Myers on Tuesday he will build a structure to house the grain bins.

Orndorff says Conrail owns the ground, and he needs its approval to make improvements.  

The South Carlisle Street residents aren’t optimistic.

“We’ve been hearing about this for a few years.” said Joel Decker, 424 S. Carlisle St., whose home is 50 feet from PACMA. “We need to see some action.”

 PACMA hasn’t violated the borough’s zoning ordinance, said Council President Barbara Bock.  However, the company hasn’t put in screening, which is required of industrial and commercial businesses to shield residential neighborhoods.  This can be a fence, trees or a wall, Myers said.

“We can keep after them to put up a fence,” Bock said. “Other than that, there’s nothing we can do.”  

The borough sent Orndorff a notice Aug. 20 put in screening.  If it’s not done in a reasonable time, Myers said, PACMA could be fined $500 per day.  

Myers didn’t define a reasonable amount of time.

The resident gave council a petition with 25 signatures listing their complaints, including:

  • Noise keeps them indoors, knocks pictures off their walls and forces them to often wear earplugs.  The noise, similar to a jackhammer, is from a vibrator that shakes rail cars to empty grain into holding bins.
  • Dust from the grain being dumped into bins and trucks penetrates closed windows and doors.  It’s on furniture, floors, blankets, sheets and on dishes in cupboards.
  • Odor comes from wet grain lying on the tracks.  
  • Groundhogs, rats, birds, maggots and flies feed on the spilled grain.

“We don’t know what to do,” Decker said.  “We no longer can enjoy our own properties.”

PACMA brings in corn, wheat, soybeans and barley on rail cars on Conrail tracks.   The grain is dumped into holding bins until it’s sold to farmers. Tractor-trailers, about 15 a day, deliver it.

“I know there’s a lot of dust,” said Dave Barnhart, PACMA’s Greencastle manager.  “We really can’t help that right now. Everything is out in the open.”

Evelyn Tracy, 417 S. Carlisle St., said PACMA representatives should live there to see what it’s like; their windows rattling, pictures turning sideways and fine-powdered dust everywhere.

“We keep a towel at the door to wipe our shoes before we come in the house,” she said.

“This isn’t living,” said Rita Sanders, 418 S. Carlisle St.  “No one should live like this.”

“A lot of people here are elderly and many have health problems,” Decker said.  “All of this is making their lives worse.  Long-term solutions aren’t good enough.”

50 Years Ago

September 4, 1971 – Thursday

“VFW Honor Guard Performs Rites”

The honor guard of Charles Nitterhouse Post 1599, Veterans of Foreign Wars, provided military graveside rites for Charles Albert Laye Friday at Mt. Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Landisburg.

Mr. Laye was a Vietnam veteran and holder of two Silver Stars, one Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

 Led by Capt. Ralph Knott, the honor guard was composed of Samuel Truett, colors, Jake McGowan, Edwin Laing, Willard Weikel, Raymond Laubs and Gerald Rosenberry, firing squad, and Jack Barger, bugler.

EDITOR’S NOTES: Charles Laye was born on April 12, 1949 and died on August 30, 1971.  His address was in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania on Central Avenue.  He was living at the time of his death in Chambersburg. 

He was a SP4 in the 26 Ord Co. in the Army and served in Vietnam.  Charles’ mother was Gertrude V. Finkenbinder who passed away in January of 2006, at the age of 92.  Charles had a sister, Virginia and two brothers James and Jesse. 

100 Years Ago

September 4, 1921 – Sunday

Waynesboro to vote on spending $250,000 to buy water works”

Waynesboro voters will have the opportunity on election day, Tuesday, November 8, to vote on the question of whether or not they favor the assumption by the borough of a bonded indebtedness of $250,000, the money to be used for purchasing, acquiring, maintaining and operating the water company.  

An ordinance covering this matter was presented to. council at its regular meeting last evening by Borough Attorney Hoke, who was accompanied to the meeting by Attorney Walter K-Sharpe of Chambersburg.

 Since the adoption of this plan will bring the bonded indebtedness of the town near to the 10 percent mark, which is the largest debt of this character a borough may assume, it will require that three-fifths of the voters’ favor the measure.   Up to 7% indebtedness one-half the voters, or a majority, may decide, but over 7% requires three-fifths in favor.

This action will bring to an end, one way or the other,  a controversy which has been in the public mind and eye for a number of years. Recently the public service commission of the, state of Pennsylvania has set a price on the plant of the water company and granted the borough permission to purchase.  So far as the borough is concerned there is nothing more to do except secure the permission of the citizens to close the deal.


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