Greenfield’s new city manager has plans for village improvement, including through grants and stepped-up ordinance enforcement on nuisance matters in regard to properties.
Todd Wilkin at Tuesday’s council meeting received approval from council members via resolution to pursue a NatureWorks grant through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The city manager said in his report that “we are in the midst of grant season,” and as such he outlined the hopes of applying for the grant. It is worth more than $31,000, he said, and would go toward improvements at Mitchell Park.
Later in the meeting, Wilkin, at the request of council chair Phil Clyburn, explained more about plans for improvements at the park, saying that it is “a community effort” and involves the village, the recreation commission, and the school, the latter of which Wilkin said also has money and in-kind labor and materials to add to the Mitchell Park improvement endeavors.
He said what has been discussed so far is new chain link fencing, new pathways, pavilion, restrooms, and a new playground.
With the grant application deadline being June 1, council passed the resolution to authorize Wilkin to apply for the grant as an emergency so it did not have to go through the typical three readings.
Wilkin also reported that he plans to pursue other grants with council’s approval in the near future that would address the area of North Washington Street and Mill Street which has no curbs and is susceptible to flooding. He said addressing issues there is important since it is essentially the entrance to Greenfield’s industrial park.
Other plans to improve the village, Wilkin said, include enforcing ordinances already on the books in regard to “noxious weeds and litter” on properties within the village. Property owners who don’t adhere to the laws in place will be held accountable, he said.
A grant applied for by former City Manager Ron Coffey and Greenfield staffer Holly Ellinger was awarded by the Highland County Commissioners last week, Wilkin said. It is for $4,500 for tire removal. On May 11, which is also the day of McClain High School’s community service day, residents can place tires that need discarding at their curb and city workers and students will pick them up, taking them to a location in town where a third party will remove them from the village.
Council vice-chair Chris Borreson asked Wilkin if there was a community-wide cleanup day scheduled yet, as they are typically held in the spring and fall. Wilkin said that a village-wide clean up would happen with the McClain students’ community service day, the ridding of tires, and the enforcing of nuisance ordinances.
But Borreson said that in years past the community-wide cleanup organized by the village was a chance for people who are already making efforts to keep their properties nice to discard items that a residential trash service likely won’t take from the curb.
Wilkin said, “I understand it now.” He said he did talk to Rumpke last week about the cleanup, and that while nothing has yet been established, he would “definitely” look into it more.
G3 members Connie Clyburn and Susan Thompson spoke to council about the group working with Heritage Ohio in its attempt to get a portion of Greenfield designated as a historical district on the National Register of Historic Places.
“Our proposed district is the area from McArthur Way on the east to Sixth Street on the west and Mirabeau Street on the south to Lafayette Street on the north,” according to information provided to council members.
Frank Quinn with Heritage Ohio will present an informational meeting at 6 p.m. on May 10 at the Grain & Hay building. Quinn will also be answering questions.
Connie Clyburn said she is hopeful the meeting will help to “dismiss any fears people might have” about how this sort of designation could affect what they can do with their buildings.
“We are hoping that all property owners within our proposed historic district, as well as anyone else interested in learning more about the National Register of Historic Places, will attend,” she said. Additionally, it was noted that a property 50 years old or older does not have to be within the proposed district to be listed on the National Register.
For questions and more information, contact Connie Clyburn by calling 513-600-7718 or call Susan Thompson at 937-981-7446.
On a G3-related matter, council approved a use agreement in regard to the Kelly Miller Circus using Felson Park on May 31 for two shows.
As previously reported, the circus will have no exotic animals, but will feature aerial acts, Russian Swing, quick-change magic, a Rola Bola balancing act, clowns, and more.
Greenfield Finance Director Carolyn Snodgrass reported the preliminary numbers for April as: month-to-date revenue – $431,387; month-to-date expense – $367,782; year-to-date revenue – $1.33 million; year-to-date expense – $1.05 million; and a general fund balance as of April 30, 2018 of $293,688.
Wilkin also reported that as the Daryle Unger & Peanut Memorial Kids Fishing Derby is set for June 2, the no-fishing signs will be going up at the Mitchell Park pond in preparation. He said it will be the 17th year for the popular event.
Prior to the meeting adjourning, Phil Clyburn requested a special meeting in order for council and Wilkin to discuss some of the upcoming grant opportunities for the village. That meeting was set for May 9 at 4 p.m. in council chambers.
The Greenfield Village Council meets in regular session on the first and third Tuesday 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.