Tuesday’s meeting of the Greenfield Village Council included the recognition of a resident and an employee for what they do for the Greenfield community, and also included hope from the city manager for unity in the country.
Tonia McLanahan was recognized as January’s Citizen of the Month. It was nearly 32 years ago that she founded the New Directions youth ministry in Greenfield, where she currently serves as its director. Among that achievement, McLanahan has also taught at the Greenfield schools and Christian Union Bible College in years past, and is involved in the Greenfield Area Christian Center.
While city manager Todd Wilkin said he could continue to report on the good things McLanahan has done, and continues to do, but he would be speaking for the rest of the evening. “She is a great member of our community, and we are fortunate to have her as a citizen,” he said.
“I am very honored,” McLanahan said, adding that the award was unexpected.
Greenfield Police Chief Jeremiah Oyer was named as January’s Employee of the Month for “an exceptional year directing and leading the Greenfield Police Department,” Wilkin said.
Amid the pandemic and its challenges, Oyer has worked countless hours to cover shifts and help ensure the department is operating to its fullest. Additionally, Oyer has taken charge of efforts related to several blighted homes in the village that have been condemned, Wilkin said.
“I appreciate his efforts and want to recognize him for his dedication to our community,” Wilkin said.
The city manager reported that he recently learned that the annual McDonald’s Classic, a youth basketball tournament hosted by the Tiger Youth Basketball Organization that brings thousands of people to Greenfield in February, has been cancelled for now. However, he said organizers are hoping, if the coming months bring any reprieve from the pandemic, to hold a three-on-three tournament during the annual Greene Countrie Towne Festival, held the third weekend of July.
In other business, Wilkin spoke about a significant rain event recently that caused flooding in the low-lying Sycamore Glen area on the northwest side of town. It is a recurring problem and one the village wants to remedy. While the village is exploring the possibility of a retention system to slow the water to the area during a rain event, residents of the area have been sent letters regarding a meeting on the matter to offer their input.
In concluding his report to council, Wilkin noted that the council meetings seem to fall around significant events, as November’s first meeting was on Election Day and Tuesday’s meeting came the day before the inauguration of a new president amid times of unrest and uncertainty.
He spoke about how thought seems to have shifted through the years from thinking about what is best for the nation to thinking instead “what is best for me,” and that fueled the nations’s problems. He said he believes everyone has a personal responsibility to themself and each other, to the government, and to God, and that praying for the nation and national leaders, state and local leaders, are steps that can lead to unity.
“Greenfied has always had a great group of individuals who work hard to promote personal responsibilities to the community,” Wilkin said. “I am incredibly thankful to work for and represent such a great community.”
On other matters, legislation having its first reading Tuesday was for Carloyn Snodgrass to be assistant finance director and assistant to the water department effective Feb. 18. Other legislation named Gary Lewis as finance director effective Feb. 18. Council received both pieces of legislation. They will each go through two more readings before council votes to approve them or not.
Other legislation that was read a third time and approved included two infrastructure projects, one for water and the other for sewer. The legislation for both allows the city manager to move forward with the preparation of plans and specifications with Stantec Consulting Services, Inc., the preparation of bid documents, and the administering of the bid process.
Also having its final reading was the new zoning code, which has been under revision for a couple years. The revised ordinance was approved by council, with council chair Phil Clyburn stating that it should be reviewed annually to properly keep it up-to-date.
Clyburn also provided an update about the Scenic Waterway designation of Paint Creek, which, once approved, will be the largest in the state, he said.
The effort has been ongoing and is part of the destination tourism component of Greenfield’s economic development plan. Clyburn said contributions from the Greenfield Eagles and the Greenfield Foundation helped get needed studies accomplished. He will update council as the designation nears.
Additionally, Clyburn congratulated G3’s Deisgn Committee, which spearheaded the efforts to see Greenfield’s downtown designated a historic district. While the distinction from the state came last year, the group recently learned that the district is also officially to be recognized nationally.
“Both good, positive steps for our community,” Clyburn said.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the village of Greenfield.