With the end of the year comes the budget appropriations for the new year, and Greenfield council members approved the village’s nearly $6 million budget for 2022 at its last regular meeting of the year on Tuesday.
The total appropriations approved for the village for 2022 are $5.84 million.
While the carryover into the new year won’t be final until the end of this year, Lewis said it looks like it will be approximately $600,000.
Council member Eric Borsini, during his report on a finance committee meeting held last week where the budget received a final review, credited departments for staying within their appropriations throughout the year, which has allowed for the “healthy” carryover. That carryover, Borsini said, is a sort of cushion and will allow for flexibility, especially amid the uncertainties of the current economy.
In other business, award recipients were announced, beginning with the winners from two Christmas decorating contests — one for businesses and one for homes.
The home winner was chosen as 13578 Hillcrest Dr., the home of Jay Post. For years, Post has helped spread Christmas cheer with his lighted display synchronized to music. Finance director Gary Lewis, speaking for city manager Todd Wilkin, who was unable to attend the meeting, said the village is grateful for his hard work and the efforts that bring joy to so many.
The storefront decorating contest winner was Beautiful Chaos Boutique, owned by Ashely Karnes. Wilkin noted that while the storefront is attractive on its own, the addition of the Christmas decorations added to the beauty of downtown and was a testament to Karnes’ pride in her business and the community.
Julia Wise, executive director of the Highland County Community Action Organization, is December’s citizen of the month. Wise received the award because of her continued commitment to the Greenfield community.
December’s employee of the month was Justin Brewer, who has worked many years with the village, mostly as an equipment and vehicle mechanic, but also sometimes assisting with the wastewater treatment plant. More recently, Brewer has enrolled in the police academy and has been helping the police chief manage the special work detail of individuals serving the community for their court-ordered community service.
On a related matter, council chair Phil Clyburn remarked on the work of that special work detail, particularly at the cemetery, and specifically with a child’s gravestone that he said had likely been covered by brush for decades. He said the workers took the time to carefully clear the brush from the child’s stone and not damage it in the process.
As Tuesday’s meeting was the last one of the year, Wilkin, in his report through Lewis, thanked village council for its time and commitment to the village. He also thanked all village employees.
Wilkin noted a recent article he read that conveyed something worth considering for the local government as it works to serve Greenfield’s citizens. The idea he read about was that all decisions made at the municipal level “should be considered through a lens of civic pride.”
He said when considering a project or initiative to simply ask, “Will this make residents proud?”
Also, “Will it enhance appearances? Will it raise standards? Will it bolster the community’s image and identity? Will it foster a stronger sense of community? Will it increase engagement and ownership?
“If not, don’t do it,” he wrote, adding that no project is worth the time, money or effort if it does not improve the community in the areas that matter most.
In observance of Christmas and New Year’s Day, the village offices will be closed on Friday, Dec. 24 and Friday, Dec. 31, respectively.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the village of Greenfield.