Anyone who has driven through downtown Greenfield in the last week has seen the work going on at the City Building and the associated heavy equipment being used for the roof replacement.
The progress of the roof was touched on by Greenfield City Manager Todd Wilkin in his report to council at its regular meeting this week. He said the company doing the work, Skyline Roofing, is taking great care to protect the historic building while they do the roof work.
The much-needed work on the roof, which was approved by council last year, should be completed over the coming weeks, with some work on the clock tower beginning in the next couple weeks. Further restoration of the iconic clock tower is expected to follow.
As Wilkin previously reported, the Greenfield Foundation has donated $10,000 for the renovation of the clock tower and a local family has also offered financial support to the project.
In other business, Wilkin reported that the gateway meter-reading system, which was ordered by the village more than a year ago, has arrived and is ready to be installed.
The system will allow for real-time observance of water usage and the village will be able to see when a leak is occurring, and do something about it, rather than having to wait for the typical end-of-the-month meter read.
Wilkin said setting everything up will consist of the gateways being strategically placed across the village so that the main receiver, to be placed at the City Building, will be able to take meter readings twice a day to monitor water usage and more readily recognize when a leak is happening and thereby be able to address it quickly.
About 95 percent of all the meters in the village are radio-read meters, which the gateway system will read. Wilkin said residents will not see an increase in their water and sewer bills because of the installation of the system.
Council members discussed complaints about pedestrians nearly being hit by motorists not obeying crosswalk laws. To help remind motorists of the law to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, signs have been placed at several crosswalks in town.
In other business, a plan is being developed for issues with inflow and infiltration (I & I), something that council members have heard a lot about in recent months, and something council member Mark Branham asked about Tuesday.
Wilkin said the administration is looking at McClain Avenue and Mirabeau Street with the same sort of work in mind as what was done with the recently-completed Mill Street project — improvement of the water and sewer infrastructure, and new sidewalks, curbs, and gutters.
Making the improvements on those two streets could potentially eliminate 585,000 gallons of I & I during a rain event, Wilkin said, which is significant.
Cameras are in those trouble areas now to help determine the extent of what needs to be remedied. Right now the administration continues to work on the plan and potential funding sources, which ultimately will affect the scope of the project.
As previously reported, a study from earlier in the year confirmed the village has an incredible issue with I & I. In a normal day, approximately 400,000 gallons of water are pumped out to the village, but about 1.1 million gallons are being treated. These issues are compounded during a rain event, and the amount of water getting treated typically rises to around 1.6 million gallons.
Wilkin also reported that a cloud-based cemetery database should be available within the next couple weeks. It is something that anyone would be able to access to find a particular grave.
Even though this is set to go live soon, Wilkin said there is a lot of “cleanup” that will still need to be completed and will take some time.
While the administration and volunteers have spent much time trying to sort through records, there is more to be done, which will include physically documenting, both on paper and by photo, every grave and its position at the cemetery. The record keeping and grave positioning through the years has not always been done the same way, which is why there is a need to sort things out.
“We’ll need an army of volunteers to get this done,” Wilkin said.
On another matter, council chair Phil Clyburn thanked council member Eric Borsini and others who helped organize the senior cruise-in that was held on May 21 to recognize the graduating class of 2020.
“I think we may have started a new tradition,” said Wilkin, who noted that despite the rain, there was an excellent turnout not only of seniors, but of residents.
The city manager also briefly discussed the restrictions still in place due to COVID-19 and the cancellations of beloved events. He reminded all, though, that in Greenfield “we live in a recreational playground.” Go out and enjoy the creek, the bike path, the hiking — all the nature that the area has to offer, he said.
It was also reported that audio and visual equipment will soon be installed in the new council chambers on the third floor of the City Building, which also means that the meetings will once again be available on GCTV. The equipment is expected to be in place by council’s next meeting.
The village offices continue to be closed to the public. To contact cWilkin, email him at email@example.com.
To contact the village offices call 937-981-3500. To reach the water department call 937-981-2082.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the village of Greenfield.