Members of Greenfield council this week engaged in discussion with residents requesting alley closures and with interested parties in regard to opening a block of Second Street to two-way traffic.
On the matter of Second Street, it’s been suggested by Greenfield Police Chief Tim Hester and Public Service Director Brian Smith that a traffic study should be conducted before any changes are considered, according to council member Bob Bergstrom. He said that “significant changes” in the flow of traffic shouldn’t be done without a professional consultation that would be able to address any safety concerns.
But councilman Chris Borreson objected to the village potentially spending up to $10,000 for a traffic study, arguing that his own professional experiences with the Ohio Department of Transportation qualify him as an appropriate person to consult on the matter of the one-block area between Jefferson and Mirabeau streets.
Borreson said he’s looked the area over himself, taken measurements, assessed signage, and determined that the width of the street is appropriate, the fire hydrant placement correct, and parking spaces mostly as they should be. He said that aside from having to change one parking spot, the only thing the city would have to do is place signs indicating that current one-way traffic would be open to two-way traffic.
Legislation on the matter was up for a second reading at the meeting, with only Bergstrom voting no on receiving the legislation. There was no vote from council member Bill Redenbaugh as he was absent from this week’s meeting.
The matter is to be discussed further at council’s next meeting, council chair Betty Jackman said. The legislation will be up for its second reading at that time.
Shari Royse-Bellar and Debra Crago, both of the Desha Company through which the Greenfield Subway is owned, and Highland County Community Action Director Julia Wise, previously appeared before council in favor of the section of Second Street being open to two-way traffic versus the current one-way traffic.
The parties have interests in the immediate area and have previously discussed safety concerns as one reason for proposing the change.
Also to be discussed further at the next regular meeting, set for Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m., is a request from Marty and J.J. Roberts to close undeveloped alleys that are unused by traffic and abut their self-storage business on Beatty Street.
J. J. Roberts said that vacating the alleys would allow her to put up a “nice fence,” which in turn would give the business owners the ability “to control” their property from the issues arising from the alleyways, which she said included trash and kids damaging locks on units at the self-storage facility.
The Robertses provided photos to council members for review of the area in question.
Jackman invited them to return to the next meeting for further discussion. The time would also allow for looking into what utilities are present in the immediate area of the alleyways, council members said.
In other business, city manager Ron Coffey nominated Neil Decker to fill the post of Glenn “Chachi” Penwell, who recently resigned from the recreation commission.
Coffey said the village has one more vacancy on the commission to fill, but he has “a few leads” on that.
Coffey said the village’s tree commission recently hosted Richard Cundiff of Cundiff Tree Care, who offered suggestions for native species of trees that would work for downtown Greenfield.
The city manager said the commission hopes to be able to recommend two types of trees for planting to be considered by the Downtown Design Review Board in time enough to secure grant money to fund the project and get trees planted this month.
Coffey said grant money is available through the Elks organization, adding that he appreciates the organization’s “interest in beautifying Greenfield and Highland County.”
The tree commission meets the third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. in the council chambers on the first floor of the city building. Meetings are open to anyone wanting to attend.
On another matter, Coffey said the next Community Wide Yard Sale has been set for Sept. 11-12 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. More information can be found on the Greenfield Community Wide Yard Sale Facebook page.
Also, upcoming is the fall clean-up day, which is scheduled for Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Coffey said that the setup will be the same as in the past with a dumpster provided near the railroad across from the Waddell Company on South Washington Street. More information will be provided as the time draws nearer, Coffey said.
On financial matters, Greenfield Finance Director Carolyn Snodgrass reported preliminary totals as follows: August month-to-date expense, $904,682; August month-to-date revenue, $1.35 million; year-to-date expense for 2015, $4.36 million; year-to-date revenue for 2015, $4.50 million. The general fund balance as of Aug. 31 was reported as $386,616.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.