Hotel headed for demolition


Greenfield’s Elliott Hotel may finally get demolished after a cost-sharing agreement was reached between the village and the county’s land bank.

Legislation was approved by Greenfield council members at the council’s regular meeting on Monday allowing a cost-sharing agreement between the Highland County Land Reutilization Corporation (aka land bank) and the village to together handle the cost to demolish the Elliott Hotel.

The building has sat fenced off and in ruin since being partially demolished more than a year ago after the chimney collapsed into a side wall making that part of the structure unstable.

This comes after council last September approved $80,000 for the demolition of the hotel, in case an agreement could not be reached with the land bank based on a memorandum of understanding that the land bank, at the time, Greenfield City Manager Todd Wilkin said, was not being upheld.

Wilkin said demolition will hopefully get started next month.

In other business, water rate increases will go into effect next month. The legislation first came before council in November and was passed earlier this month after the required three readings. Wilkin explained that the water rate has not increased for some time, but the water and sewer funds each year get smaller because costs increase each year and there hasn’t been an increase in revenue to offset that.

There will be more information on the rate increase distributed soon, which will include a letter mailed to all residents.

In other matters, a group that for years has helped make Greenfield a better place was recognized Monday.

The members of G3 (Grow Greater Greenfield) are this month’s citizens of the month. The organization has been a big part of making Greenfield better for many years.

G3 has “been able to do things that we as a government can’t do because we aren’t built for that,” Wilkin said in introducing the group. “Let’s see this positive movement continue.”

The group’s president, Heidi Arrington, spoke about how G3 has been “paramount” to her experience in Greenfield, especially when she was new to the community.

There are lots of volunteer opportunities with G3 for those wanting to be involved in the community. It’s a group of volunteers that come together to make a difference, Arrington said. Anyone interested can go to Grow Greater Greenfield’s Facebook page to find out about upcoming events and how to contact the organization.

Another recognition of the meeting was employee of the month for January. Three employees are the recipients of the recognition — Justin Sword, Charles Davis and Jarrod Kessler. They were each nominated by police chief Jeremiah Oyer for their handling of a leak earlier this month that required the three men to get into a hole full of cold water and cold mud to address the situation.

Their determination to do the job before them was displayed, Wilkin said, and the village is grateful for their dedication to the community.

In his report to council, Wilkin addressed blighted properties in town, stating that several are currently being placed or will soon be placed into receivership with the Greenfield Community Improvement Corporation, a process that is long and arduous, but also the most effective way currently to remove the blighted properties. Wilkin did not detail the properties, but other properties in town have gone through the process in recent years.

As previously reported, the village partnered with the Montrose Group to help with economic development. One of the first projects is working on the Rural Industrial Park Loan application. Wilkin said there is a builder and potential investors who want to build a building in the industrial park, and the Montrose Group will be able to further the possibility by helping the village with the application, capital stack and strategy.

The group will also help with a Vibrant Communities grant, which allows for the renovation of an existing structure that can act as a catalyst in the community. The structure must house an anchor commercial tenant, a co-working space, and have a residential space. Wilkin said the village believes it has a “great project” to submit for the grant.

The city manager also discussed electric aggregation. He said it has been brought to the attention of the village that a company called IGS is making its way through town and asking residents for their electric bills. It’s caused confusion and even some alarm, but Wilkin said that any time someone is at your door and a resident suspects they might be misrepresenting who they are, call the village and you will be directed to the proper channel.

Additionally, anyone having questions about their electric bill or interested in the electric aggregation program can call Art Deininger of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio at 216-548-7936.

Horizon will begin installing new equipment and fiber in town soon, Wilkin said. As part of this, new telephone poles will be installed in some places. The poles are not in addition to poles already in place, but will replace worn, dilapidated ones.

Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the village of Greenfield.

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