Greenfield City Manager Todd Wilkin is launching a meeting format that will allow residents to join him once a month for lunch, he told Greenfield Village Council members at their first regular meeting of the new year on Tuesday.
Wilkin said it will give residents the opportunity to get caught up on efforts of the village, offer their own thoughts and ideas, and talk about things with Wilkin in a less formal setting than a council meeting.
The first lunch is set for Friday, Jan. 17 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Big City Pizza.
While the city manager will attempt to set the lunches for the third Friday of every month, all future meeting dates, times, and places will be posted to the village’s Facebook page and website.
In updating council members, Wilkin reported that the Greenfield CIC (Community Improvement Corporation) is requesting bids for 719 Spring St., a formerly blighted property the village worked through courts to acquire. The bids are due on Jan. 28 on the third floor of the City Building.
Two open houses are set for the property, one on Jan. 10 from noon to 2 p.m. and another on Jan. 18 from noon until 2 p.m. Information has been posted on the village’s Facebook page, Zillow, and website.
A proposal form is available with the Facebook post and on the village’s website. It may be may be dropped off or mailed to Greenfield CIC c/o City Manager, 300 Jefferson St., Greenfield, Ohio 45123.
Greenfield’s CIC, established in 1963 and the oldest in Highland County, has the ability to acquire, sell and fix-up properties — things that are beyond the village itself to do.
The process is long and arduous, but the village continues to work through code enforcement efforts to improve or remove blighted properties across the village.
A brochure has been developed for the Community Reinvestment Area (CRA), a tax-abatement program. It has been distributed to several realtors, bankers and residents to inform the public what a CRA is.
In 2018, council voted to expand the CRA boundaries to encompass all of the current corporation limits. WIlkin said that means that anyone investing over $2,500 into their home through renovations is eligible for a real estate tax abatement on the amount of the improvements.
The brochure is accessible on the village’s website and Facebook page.
“This is a great tool that everyone in Greenfield needs to be aware of and utilizing,” Wilkin said previously.
Resident Steve Fligor spoke to council members about Greenfield as home, and the village’s culture perpetuated by the people that call Greenfield home. He talked about the improvements that have and are taking place and positive changes in housing and crime, both things that are still a high priority.
He also spoke about Greenfield’s unique culture and being proud of that, and the importance of everyone working within the culture to accomplish long-term goals.
“We are proud of our blue jeans, pickup trucks, school, hospital, churches, New Directions, Mitchell Park and family-focused community where your neighbor is your doctor, lawyer, electrician, local police officer, the folks you work with, and your kid’s best friend,” Fligor wrote in a letter distributed to council members.
Wilkin reported that the village has applied to the state of Ohio for state capital money through representative Shane Wilkin. The request is for $200,000 for a trail at Mitchell Park around the pond, and then a connector trail over to a bike trail near Felson Park.
He said that in the past the state has been “very favorable to recreational pathways.”
A grant through the Ohio State Resource Network has been awarded to the village to help with technical assistance to help grow the village’s economy.
The total costs to the village will be $12,500, Wilkin said, while the grant will pay $37,500. The grant will assist with economic development matters like advisory committee coordination and facilitation, downtown strategy development, and community engagement.
Greenfield Village Council meets in regular session the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers on the third floor of the City Building.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the village of Greenfield.