Mitchell Park has seen some improvements over the course of the last year, and will see some more since Greenfield has been awarded a grant for just that.
Greenfield City Manager Todd Wilkin said at Tuesday’s council meeting that more than $16,000 has been “conditionally approved” through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources NatureWorks grant program. He said things can get started at the park once all the paperwork is done.
“Thank you to everyone who helped make this a success,” Wilkin said.
As part of previous improvement plans, the park’s parking lot was paved last year, and this year volunteers have worked to demolish old dugouts and build new ones, all with donated materials.
The grant money, according to Greenfield’s website, www.greenfieldohio.net, says that the $16,063 in grant funds will be spent on things like new fencing, removing a sand area, and relocating and replacing the playground.
According to the information posted, Hillsboro will also receive a NatureWorks grant for more than $15,000 for “phase 1 construction of a new trail named the Moberly Branch Connector.”
Also on Tuesday, Wendi Van Buren, a regional urban forester with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, presented Greenfield with a plaque commemorating the village’s distinction of being a Tree City USA in 2017 for the fourth straight year.
“It is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees,” according to arborday.org.
To qualify, communities must meet “four core standards of sound urban forestry management,” the website says.
Greenfield is one of 250 communities around Ohio, with 45 in southwest Ohio, to have the distinction of Tree City USA, Van Buren said. The program is made possible through the partnership of the Arbor Day Foundation and state foresters.
Greenfield’s tree commission is currently preparing its submission to be considered a Tree City USA community for 2018, and the commission is already making plans for 2019, Wilkin said.
Wilkin reported that the Greenfield Historical Society (GHS) will hold a brief ceremony at 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 11 at the World War I memorial in the courtyard of the City Building. Greenfield will join with other communities, organizations, and individuals across the nation at that hour to commemorate the centennial of the armistice that ended World War I by tolling bells 21 times as part of the national Bells of Peace.
The public is invited to attend and participate, or participate from home by ringing a bell from their front porch, according to the GHS website.
Also as part of his report, Wilkin expressed his gratitude to the members of the Greenfield Police Department for their “hard work and dedication” to the safety of the village and its residents.
“Arrests are up,” he said. And, for the month of October the department is billing for more than $8,000 for housing other county’s inmates, a part of what Wilkin called “forward-thinking changes” happening in the department.
On another matter relating to Greenfield parks, Wilkin reported that the village is meeting with a design company regarding the development of Felson Park. He said there will be a couple of public meetings, which will be announced when they are set, so residents can weigh in on the matter.
In other matters, legislation had its first reading regarding a critical infrastructure grant that would replace “failing storm sewers and gutters” on Fifth Street from Mill Street to Evans Street, according to the legislation.
It is slated as an emergency measure because the application deadline for the grant is next week. But, in order for the rule of three readings to be suspended so the matter can come to an immediate vote, two-thirds of the council needs to be able to vote. On Tuesday, council members Chris Borreson and Mark Clyburn were not present, so the resolution could only be received.
Likewise, another resolution written as an emergency is for the hiring to full-time employment of Andrea McKeever as a patrol officer with the police department, with that full-time employment set to begin next week.
As the required number of council members were not present, a special council meeting was set for Thursday at 4:30 p.m. so that council can vote first on whether to suspend the rule of three readings for each resolution, and if so, then vote on the adoption of the pieces of legislation.
Wilkin said in his report that the yard waste site will not be open in November and December, but will open in early January so that residents can dispose of Christmas trees.
Greenfield Village Council meets in regular session twice monthly on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. Meetings are held in the council chambers on the first floor of the City Building and begin at 7:30 p.m.
Angela Shepherd is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.