Blighted and nuisance properties continue to be a focus of the Greenfield administration, with two houses being razed recently and another about to be.
City manager Todd Wilkin reported Tuesday at the village council meeting that burned-out structures on Short Dickey and Spring Street have been demolished and clean-up is underway. A third property on Waddell Street is in the process of coming down.
In these cases, Wilkin said, the homes had burned and the properties were left abandoned posing not only a health risk, but harming neighbors’ peace and property values.
This behavior “is not acceptable,” Wilkin said, adding that the village continues to work on other properties throughout Greenfield that include not only burned-out structures and other structures that “are a blight on our beautiful town,” but homes that are a source of repeated felonious activity.
On that matter, council reported an appeal letter received from Kellis Smith regarding several of his properties that are known for felonious activity and come with a stack of police reports from calls through the years on those properties.
Those properties, six of them in an area known as “felony alley,” are ones the administration is moving to condemn because they are a “significant blight” on the community.
Wilkin said Ohio law is clear in that continued felonious activity at a property is a blight to the community, and it is on that basis that the village is acting under the approval of law director Brian Zets. The law requires the village to inform the property owner of the intent to condemn the properties. The property owner can appeal, and Smith is. The matter will come to a council vote.
Council members will be able to view the police reports and the properties over the next couple weeks. A public hearing is set for Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 6 p.m.when Smith may present his side to council.
In other business, Keith Hart, owner/operator of Robbins Village Florist, was honored with a proclamation for 40 years of serving the Greenfield community. The document proclaimed Oct. 7 as Robbin’s Village Florist Day.
Hart received many congratulations from council members, some of them speaking about their years-long experiences with the shop.
“Greenfield has been really good to me,” Hart said.
On other matters, Wilkin reported that the three locations at Sixth Street, Spring Street and Lyndon Avenue were recently paved. While municipal spending was hindered this year due to the pandemic, Wilkin said there are plans to do considerably more paving next year.
The city manager reported that police officer Jay Beatty, who was recognized as Greenfield’s August Employee of the Month, has also been recognized by the Highland County Prosecutor’s Office as the Officer of the Quarter.
Also reported was that the Verdin Bell Company is set to begin work on the City Hall clock tower this week. By the weekend, Wilkin said, all four faces of the clock tower should be reading the same time for the first time in a long time. Wilkin thanked the Greenfield Foundation and the McNeil family “for their generosity and care” to help fund the work on the clock tower.
Council chair Phil Clyburn extended his gratitude to Jay Beatty, Keith Hart and Sandy Kelly (Kelly organized last weekend’s food truck festival in Greenfield). “It’s nice to have people adding to the community and working for the betterment of our community,” he said.
— Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. to noon is Clean-up Day in Greenfield at South Washington Street near the railroad tracks. The event is not for household trash, but rather for larger items. Additionally, this service is for residents only, not contractor or business trash. Paint is allowed, but must be dry, whether in the can or on cardboard. Batteries, tires or items containing Freon will not be allowed. Pick-up is available for the elderly and disabled by calling 937-981-3500 by Oct. 9.
— Oct. 24 — G3 is having a pumpkin carving contest with winners receiving cash prizes. Voting/judging will be done downtown and will begin at 6 p.m. More information is to be posted soon on the Grow Greater Greenfield Facebook page.
— Oct. 29 from 6-8 p.m. is Beggar’s Night.
— Leaf pickup will begin in November. A schedule will be released in the coming weeks.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the village of Greenfield.