Five key strategic areas of focus — fiscal health; economic vitality; smart, customer-focused government; community engagement; and a safe and resilient community — have been developed to guide Village of Greenfield staff in their daily routines, City Manager Todd Wilkin said in his 2018 yearly report Tuesday to village council.
“The core of Greenfield’s mission is to provide the best quality of life and environment in which our residents and businesses can thrive,” Wilkin said in prepared statement he shared with The Times-Gazette. “…Without such strategic direction, our goals would merely be wishful thinking.”
Wilkin said 2018 was a transitional year for Greenfield with the retirement of former City Manager Ron Coffey in March and Wilkin taking his place in April.
He said the village’s work force currently consists of 32 employees — three in waste water treatment; two in water treatment; two in the meter department; four in streets/railroad; two water office; one finance office; two administrative office; 13 in the police department, including one chief, three sergeants, six patrolmen and three dispatchers; one public service director; and one city manager.
The village also utilizes seasonal workers, community service workers, Jobs and Family Service workers, and workers from other agencies to help in times of need, Wilkin said.
The village developed an economic plan, Wilkin said, that has three major economic components for the betterment of Greenfield: downtown revitalization, destination tourism, and an industrial development focus area.
“These three areas of economic development hold tremendous promise for enhancing Greenfield’s future,” the report said.
Following are some of the other key points from the report, which can be viewed in full www.greenfieldohio.net.
Destination tourism — Wikin said the city plans to use Paint Creek and a trail in Felson Park to attract visitors to the area.
Industrial Development — “Our industrial park, South Central Ohio Industrial Park, was officially authenticated by Jobs Ohio in 2018. …The industrial park will attract businesses to Greenfield to start or expand their operations. We had a few site visits to our park last year, and we are hopeful for many more visits in 2019,” the report said.
Downtown Revitalization — “An evaluation by Heritage Ohio (Ohio’s official Main Street and historic preservation program) identified the original integrity of the buildings in Greenfield’s downtown area as one of the best assets for revitalization of the area. In 2018, we had the opportunity to work with the Council of Development Finance Agency. … They were highly impressed with our historic downtown and urged us to partner with local entrepreneurs to build out the second and third floors of the buildings to provide high-end apartments/condos,” the report said.
Grants — “We applied for over $1.9M of grants last year and we were awarded over $1.4M that will be used to improve failing infrastructure, which includes curbs and gutters, sanitary waste water, storm water, water mains, streets and sidewalks. We were also awarded $16K for improvements at Mitchell Park…,” the report said.
Police Department — “We had two dispatchers resign from their position,which allowed us the opportunity to hire two certified police officers to fill those positions as dispatchers. This allows us the versatility of having more police officers available if the occasion arises. We were able to make several changes to our jail and accommodate more inmates from neighboring jurisdictions. We have several contracts with agencies outside of our county that pay for their inmates to be housed within our jail. …The jail income serves as an additional revenue to the general fund… We were able to lease-to-purchase two new police cruisers and equip our department with tasers to help them enforce the law and enhance their personal safety,”the report said.
There were also improvements made within the water and sewer department, building department and in building and property maintenance, according to the report.
It said a yard waste site was opened at the waste water treatment plant to allow citizens to remove unwanted yard waste, tree branches, and Christmas trees from their property, and that the site will reopen in April for spring cleanup and will remain open until November.
“We made several changes throughout the year at the cemetery and believe we have found the winning combination,” the report said. “We have contracted with Wade Shriver of Down Home Services to mow and maintain our cemetery and have just recently hired him to perform the opening and closing for internments. With these changes in mind, we also purchased cemetery software that will now keep all of our records online while allowing for any family member to see where their loved one is located within the cemetery. …We have plans to start making improvements at the cemetery as many individuals use the cemetery as a park. We have plans to rebuild the chapel, creating a meeting room and necessary restrooms.”
The report mentions G3 and other community, social and volunteer groups that provided countless hours of volunteerism toward the betterment of Greenfield. It also said village officials have started meeting with area industrial leaders.
During the past year the groundwork was laid for goals the village plans to achieve in 2019, the report said.
In wrapping up his report, Wilkin wrote, “We will be working toward many new opportunities, but want to focus our attention on what will bring prosperity and growth to Greenfield. We will develop and promote our South Central Ohio Industrial Park, which includes the necessary infrastructure to attract businesses to locate within our park. We will actively seek grants and funding opportunities to help us build the sewer, water and road infrastructure. While developing the industrial park, we need to attract spec builders to construct the necessary buildings needed to show potential business partners. It is our goal to build great partnerships with all of our local businesses.
“Our focus will not only be on attracting new business to Greenfield, but equally on helping our current businesses to thrive and grow. Our parks will continue to be a priority for us. We will continue to develop our parks system into a regional attraction so people will drive to participate at Mitchell and Felson parks. We have the opportunity to establish a door to the natural beauty the Paint Creek region has to offer from hunting, hiking, bicycling, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and beyond.
“We will establish a five-year Capital Improvement Plan to identify the path necessary to improve our water, sewer, streets, storm and sidewalks systems. Once the five-year plan is completed and implemented, we will be able to properly plan the future improvements for our community. As a community we also need to identify our deficiencies…
“In conclusion, I have enjoyed my first year as city manager and thank village council for giving me this opportunity. The citizens and businesses of Greenfield have been a valuable inspiration for me on a daily basis to provide the best common sense approach to local governance.”