This year’s Greene Countrie Towne Festival is shaping up to be a larger affair than previous years, according to an organizer who spoke to Greenfield Village Council at Wednesday’s meeting.
Andrew Surritt, who will preside over the July 14-16 festival as the Greenfield Rotary Club president, said there will be a second entertainment stage set up on the east end of Jefferson Street; one of the scheduled acts, Absolute Journey Tribute, is known to draw a few thousand people to their shows; and there have already been more than 300 vendor applications downloaded from the festival’s recently-launched website – www.greenecountrietownefestival.org.
In addition to updating council members, Surritt also said that organizers are wanting to have a second beer garden during the festival near the second stage, but it would be on public property and, therefore, would require an act of council. Surritt provided suggestions, which he pulled from other communities’ legislation on things such as beer gardens on public property, in regard to any Greenfield legislation, should the council approve of a second beer garden.
The Rotary Club has operated a beer garden on private property during the festival for the last few years. But with the proposed second beer garden being on public property, Surritt said that was “a different animal” than the existing beer garden. As Surritt pointed out at the meeting, if the village allows the beer garden on public property during the festival, it would “set a precedent.” Surritt said legislation would help to ensure “a well-regulated event” and also set certain rules for such things in the future.
Council chairwoman Betty Jackman said law director Brian Zets would be consulted on the matter before proceeding.
For more information and updates about the festival, go to greenecountrietownefestival.org. Information about the festival and the Greenfield Rotary Club can also be found on the club’s website – greenfieldrotary.org.
In other business, city manager Ron Coffey reported that a recent community meeting, where members of Heritage Ohio were present, was well attended. In the meeting, which followed an assessment of the downtown Greenfield area, the 50 or so in attendance “engaged in a brainstorming session” where “some good ideas” were presented, he said.
The visit from Heritage Ohio is part of an ongoing grassroots effort began about a year ago after a group of local residents revisited an economic plan put together by the Greenfield administration in 2009 that was never really acted on. The effort’s goal is to encourage and support endeavors to grow Greenfield economically and culturally and improve the quality of life for all those who call Greenfield home.
According to Coffey, a Facebook page, Greenfield—It’s Your Town, has been created by the group.
The city manager also reported that he has been invited to attend the Appalachian Ohio State of the Region Conference in Athens in May. He said he will join a panel discussion about building economic resiliency with Greenfield’s contribution to that discussion being the village’s recruitment of Corvac Composites and the recently completed multi-million dollar railroad rehabilitation project, both “local successes” resulting from “collaborative efforts.”
A recent meeting with ODOT was about an upcoming paving project that will include Greenfield’s Jefferson Street. Coffey said the proposed start of the project is in early May with a completion at the end of August. He said he told the agency about the Greene Countrie Towne Festival set for July 14-16, and was informed that the agency would work with the village on that “to avoid conflicts.”
In other matters, Jackman said the village had received a communication about annual liquor license renewals. She said if anyone had any objections to the renewal of any liquor licenses to bring those objections to the attention of council immediately.
Greenfield Financial Director Carolyn Snodgrass provided the preliminary numbers for March 2017. Those are: month-to-date expense for March – $295,824; month-to-date revenue for March – $319,893; year-to-date expense – $748,746; year-to-date revenue – $910,822; and a general fund balance as of March 31 as $251,081.
The Greenfield Village Council meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in council chambers, located on the first floor of the City Building. The meetings are open to the public. To be placed on the agenda, call 937-981-3500.
Angela Shepherd is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.