Revising and updating a plan centered on economic development in Greenfield got rolling with community meetings a couple of years ago. Officials say much ground has been covered since then, and another community meeting is set to take place next week, where anyone interested can review the plan.
City manager Ron Coffey reported at Wednesday’s meeting of the Greenfield Village Council that the “plan” meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. March 13 at the Grain & Hay building, 103 S. McArthur Way.
Coffey said the plan “identifies three areas of economic focus” which include industrial development, destination tourism, and downtown revitalization.
Myra Moss of the Ohio State University Extension offices and economic development consultant Bill Grunkemeyer, who have been working with local residents on revising of the original plan from the very beginning, will be facilitating next week’s meeting, Coffey said.
He said a number of subjects are included in the plan, not just the three mentioned. The idea of the plan has always been about playing to Greenfield’s strengths and making the village shine, he said.
In his report, Coffey said, “It’s believed that successful economic development and growth in Greenfield can best occur if many groups and individuals get behind this plan, support the efforts of our council, and public officials’ efforts to improve our town, and, in general, stay involved and work together.”
Coffey added, “Hopefully (the plan) will do more than collect dust on a shelf,” and he hoped that everyone continued to work together “to make Greenfield all that it can be.”
In other business, the village received a letter from Vectren outlining the gas company’s intention to file an application with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) for increased rates, its first such request in more than a decade, according to the letter. The request for a rate increase, if approved by the PUCO, “would increase the annual bill of a typical homeowner by approximately $7 per month.”
As previously reported, the village received a less-detailed letter from Vectren in January in regard to a “proposed recovery of costs” that it intended to file with the PUCO.
The most recent letter also states that along with the rate increase request, Vectren is asking for approval of an alternative rate plan that will include a multi-family housing pilot program, SFV (straight fixed variable) design, energy adjustments at the time of billing, and a distribution replacement rider.
Among other projects, Vectren has, since 2009, been replacing steel natural gas lines with high-density plastic across the state, including Greenfield.
Coffey also reported that the ordinance committee recently met with a man “who wants to bring skill gaming” to Greenfield.
According to previous, brief discussion among council members, the obstacle for those wanting to have a place of skilled gaming in Greenfield is the amount of the fees contained in a previously-passed ordinance regarding skilled gaming, which at the time had been set higher to discourage such places of business. But council appears to have changed its position on the matter, as the discussion centered on lowering the fees.
Coffey said law director Brian Zets is working on the requested modifications to be made to the previously-approved ordinance.
Finance director Carolyn Snodgrass reported February’s preliminary numbers as: month-to-date expense, $192,273; month-to-date revenue, $295,734; year-to-date expense, $450,027; year-to-date revenue, $590,209; and a general fund balance as of Feb. 28, 2018 as $221,680.
The Greenfield Village Council meets in regular session the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers on the first floor of the City Building. The meetings are open to the public.