Greenfield’s newly-launched downtown facade improvement program will move forward, even with less money than what was initially expected, according to Greenfield City Manager Todd Wilkin at Tuesday’s council meeting.
The plan has been to fund the program with American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds, which were initially supposed to be nearly $900,000, but have since been cut by the state to $477,000, according to Wilkin.
He said the state decided to allocate funds differently for municipalities below a population of 50,000 by funnelling some money to townships. Directions on how the money can be spent are very specific, he said, and Madison Township has no wastewater projects, township police or other things that would fall under the rules for spending the funds. Wilkin said he plans to discuss this with the Madison Township trustees and partner with them to help spend the money downtown.
Even with less dollars available than previously planned, Wilkin said the village is moving forward with the program. Once applications are turned in and reviewed, he said the requests may add up to a lot more than what will be available, but he added that there will be an idea of the work that is wanted and then it’s time for him to get to work to find the funding sources to make it happen.
The applications for the downtown facade improvement program are on Facebook, the village’s website, and on the third-floor lobby of the City Building. The deadline for applications to be turned in is July 9.
In other business, the much-anticipated hiring event scheduled for July 1 had to be canceled due to rain, but it has been rescheduled for July 23.
From 9 a.m. to noon on July 23, local businesses will be set up in the City Building courtyard. Three downtown businesses — Corner Pharmacy, Hometown Diner and Catch 22 — will be conducting interviews in their businesses.
“We are doing our best to support our local businesses who need employees,” Wilkin said previously. “We want to help those who are needing a job see what is available right here.”
If people need transportation, steel-toed shoes, or specific tools or certifications, they can visit the Highland County Economic Development table during the hiring event and possibly get that help through Workforce READi, a grant program through Growing Rural Independence Together (GRIT). These services are also available to those who are already employed and are in need of assistance to stay employed.
For more information regarding the Workforce READi program, contact Highland County Economic Development Director Julie Bolender by calling 937-661-3010 or 937-763-3073, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wilkin reported that the water department’s hours are changing from closing at 5 p.m. to closing at 4:30 p.m. starting next week. The office will continue to open at 8 a.m. through the week. The reason for the closing-time change, he said, is to give the staff the needed time to reconcile things for the day.
Also reported was that the village has hired three local youth workers that will be working with the village through the summer. It’s a program through Ohio Means Jobs, Wilkin said, and that organization pays the youth workers’ wages.
Wilkin’s report also included the ongoing inflow and infiltration issues with Greenfield’s infrastructure. He noted that the village continues to treat far more water than what is pumped out. The village remains focused on fixing the infrastructure and continues to investigate to discover the causes so that the issues can be resolved.
In recent weeks, the village has circulated surveys on Facebook in an effort to improve how Greenfield’s government works for its residents. Without feedback, Wilkin said previously, the administration doesn’t know where improvement is needed. Surveys will continue to be posted on the Village of Greenfield, Ohio Facebook page. Residents are encouraged to respond. Additionally, use of the suggestion box in the first-floor lobby of the City Building is encouraged.
As a reminder, the suggestion box is in the first-floor lobby by the elevator. The public is encouraged to use it for suggestions, complaints, nominations for employee of the month, citizen of the month, Home & Garden Award nominations, and other award suggestions.
It all can be done anonymously. Suggestions may also be given by calling the village offices or by email.
On Tuesday, the Most Patriotic Home Award was given to Faitha and Danny Shelton of 916 Jefferson St.
July 9 — Deadline for downtown facade improvement program application.
July 13 — Tea with Todd at Catch 22 from noon to 1 p.m. Join him in person or on Facebook live.
July 16-18 — Greene Countrie Towne Festival. Go to the festival’s Facebook page or greenfieldrotary.org for more information.
July 23 – Hiring event in downtown Greenfield at the City Building courtyard.
Greenfield Village Council meets the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in council chambers on the third floor of the City Building. When possible, the meetings are also live-streamed on the village’s Facebook page. For information and updates, go to greenfieldohio.net or the Village of Greenfield, Ohio Facebook page.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the village of Greenfield.