A number of resolutions were approved by the Greenfield Village Council at its meeting on Tuesday that allow city manager Todd Wilkin to pursue multiple grants that would help fund projects near the industrial park.
Three of the five resolutions passed on Tuesday seek funding through various channels for the Mill Street and North Washington Street intersection area that would allow for street paving, curb construction, sidewalk and gutter construction, road widening, and water/sewer line replacement.
The area has seen its fair share of flooding, and Wilkin previously stressed the importance of the intersection as it is essentially the entrance to the South Central Ohio Industrial Park, which was recently authenticated by the state, a distinction that makes the industrial park more visible to businesses seeking just such a location.
Council chair Phil Clyburn later in the meeting thanked everyone that was involved in the process to get the park certified, an endeavor that began more than two years ago.
“It’s really a major thing for Greenfield,” he said.
Wilkin reported Tuesday that he has already had meetings in regard to the park’s expansion.
A site plan for the 180-acre industrial park can be viewed on the “Industry” page of the village’s website at greenfieldohio.net.
A fourth resolution will allow Wilkin to apply, through the Highland County Commissioners, for a state-funded Neighborhood Revitalization Program grant that would benefit a low-income housing complex near Mitchell Park by replacing and repairing a bike trail from the complex to the park, providing new playground equipment “at or near” the housing complex, and installing new curbs and sidewalks.
Prior to council voting on the legislation, Wilkin said he “will aggressively go after” these grants with the permission of council.
The grant opportunities were discussed in a special council meeting last week, and the resulting legislation prepared thereafter for this week’s meeting. All passed council unopposed.
A final piece of legislation passed by council permits the village administration to move forward with the purchase of a new bar screen for the
waste water treatment plant. Wilkin said the current bar screen is old and has “had findings against it” in the last two EPA inspections.
It will cost the village $75,000, he said, but a new one typically costs about $120,000. Wilkin said Greenfield is able to purchase the new bar screen at the discounted amount because it was ordered by another municipality, but that municipality did not go through with the purchase. The bar screen has never been used, he said, and is a perfect fit for the Greenfield plant.
Wilkin, as in previous meetings, reiterated the administration’s intentions to enforce ordinances already in place pertaining to nuisance and blighted properties.
“I truly believe that if we clean up our image, Greenfield will attract new businesses and residents,” he said. “There are 336 vacant buildings” in the village. “That’s a lot of opportunity. We would like that to be positive opportunity.”
On another matter, council member Chris Borreson asked Wilkin if he had seen the new speed limit signs, one on Seventh Street and two on west Jefferson Street.
Wilkin did see them, he said, and has already contacted ODOT about the signs that the village was not notified about. He said that while the signs are very near the village limits, one, maybe two of the signs are in the village limits, and the village would prefer to keep the posted speed limit in those areas to 35 mph instead of the now-posted 40 mph.
Wilkin said if a response is not had from ODOT, the village will commence with putting the appropriate 35 mph signs back in place on the signposts that are within the village limits.
In other business, the ordinance committee will meet on Friday, and one of the things it will discuss will be a previously proposed alcohol permit allowing groups to serve and sell alcohol on public property.
The matter was brought to council in a previous meeting by Greenfield Rotary Club President Andrew Surritt, who supplied council members with a draft of a policy that would allow the “dispensing and/or consumption of alcohol on public property in limited circumstances that do not impair the public interests.” It is something Surritt brought before the council last year, but nothing ever came of that.
Some discussion had between council members on Tuesday included limiting the area to where such a thing could be held, considering what all elements would need to be included in a policy of this nature, and what sort of charge should or would be associated with a village-issued permit.
Council members are hoping to hash out the details in Friday’s ordinance meeting so that law director Brian Zets can have legislation put together and ready to be voted on by the next regular meeting of council on June 5.
On another matter, Wilkin reported that a couple weeks ago the village began fixing potholes and that they “hope to continue the blitz” in the coming weeks. He asked that residents report potholes to the village offices by calling 937-981-3500.
Additionally, residents needing old tires picked up for disposal should also contact the village Wilkin said.
Through a grant, Greenfield was able to offer a tire disposal program during McClain High School’s most recent community service day. Wilkin said city workers and students picked up about 400 tires that day, but the grant allows for more than that. The city manager Tuesday said he was giving residents a “friendly reminder” that they have one more chance for old tires to be picked up for disposal. Anyone interested should contact the city offices, he said.
Wilkin gave a “huge thank you” to the approximately 500 McClain students and staff who participated in the beautifying efforts of the annual community service day.
The Greenfield Village Council meets in regular session on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers on the first floor of the City Building.
Angela Shepherd is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.