Greenfield City Manager Todd Wilkin reported at Wednesday’s council meeting that despite seeing a more than $100,000 loss in revenue due to the pandemic, the village has been able to continue its same services to the community. However, due to the pandemic-related revenue loss and uncertainty of the full impact on finances, expenditures, such as uniform allowances and paving, continue to be on hold.
Wilkin said there has been much discussion about CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) money and how to spend it. Greenfield, he said, is eligible for $104,000, and its money that may only be spent on things impacted by the pandemic and will be audited separately by the state to ensure proper spending.
He said there have been several municipalities that have partnered with schools, counties and local businesses to come up with plans to make sure the money goes to those who need it. Other ideas have been shared, but Wilkin said he believes the administration should work on ways to help residents that may need assistance.
If residents would like to share their ideas regarding how CARES Act funds may be used to help those who need it, feel free to share them with Wilkin. He can be reached at 937-981-3500 or by email at [email protected]
On other financial matters, council approved the tax budget, something that is required by law and will be sent for review to Highland County Auditor Bill Fawley. Anyone wanting to view the tax budget should contact the city offices at 937-981-3500.
In his report to council, Wilkin said the administration has been “swamped” over the last couple weeks with opportunities for the village. He said he has dealt with two potential businesses that are trying to locate in Greenfield and has been working to determine the cost and time associated with building a spec building at the industrial park to making a build-to-suit facility for a new company.
Wilkin reported that he has learned of an loan option for local businesses at a 2 percent rate. The loans can be for working capital, expansion, or business-related expenses, he said, and can be obtained through the OVRDC (Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission) and Appalachian Growth Capital. For more information, contact Wilkin.
The city manager also reported that Adient has the capability to make foot-operated sanitizing stations and is making several for the school district. Adient is also making one for each floor of the City Building. If any local businesses are interested in the stations or would like more information, contact Adient Plant Manager Bryan Thompson by email at [email protected]
Also reported was that trains will be now run on Tuesdays and Fridays, a change from the previous Tuesdays and Thursdays.
In recent months, the village administration has implemented ways to recognize citizens and employees for their efforts in supporting the community. At Tuesday’s regular village council meeting, three awards were announced.
The first was the Home and Garden Award for the summer of 2020. The home of Carl and Amy Storer at 418 Dickey Ave. was chosen. According to Wilkin, there were several nominations and a volunteer group of people chose the winner. The award was the idea of Susan Howland, Wilkin said, and Howland personally made the door-hanger award that was given to the Storers on Tuesday.
The pride in their property is evident, Wilkin said. When a property is lovingly cared for, “It can be infectious,” he said, “and can lift up a whole neighborhood.”
The Citizen of the Month Award was given to a group of citizens — G3’s design committee that took on the task of getting Greenfield’s downtown declared a historic district. Those committee members are Lynn Counter, Grace Ehlers, Doug Karnes, Steve Pearce, Wendy Royse, Tom Schluep, Susan Thompson and Connie Clyburn.
The project took a couple years and a lot of time and effort, something the village administration is grateful for, Wilkin said.
“It was a lot of hard work,” Clyburn said, “but we had a lot of fun doing it, too.”
The designation provides an opportunity for the revitalization of downtown as eligible buildings can receive 45 percent in tax credits on renovations.
Another award announced Tuesday was the Employee of the Month. It went to Jay Beatty, who has been with the police department for more than a year. Wilkin said Beatty was nominated by several citizens and the village wanted to recognize him for “his dedication and care to his community.”
Nominations, other ideas for ways to recognize citizens, and thoughts and ideas regarding the village can be anonymously shared in the suggestion box located just outside the elevator on the third floor of the City Building.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the village of Greenfield.