Greenfield’s budget for 2022 was approved last month by village council members. The approximately $5.8 million budget can seem quite complicated, but the administration is hoping to explain it a bit to help the citizens understand more of how the finances are allocated.
The budget itself is broken into different funds. In the general fund, which is budgeted at approximately City Hall, law director and building department.
The police budget is bolstered by the existence of another fund which comes from a percentage of income tax revenue, a measure approved some years ago by citizens, city manager Todd Wilkin said. The whole of the police department budget will allow the village to keep staffing at its budgeted and intended capacity. There is also money allotted that will allow for the continued work to get drugs off the streets. While things like salaries, uniforms, insurance, pensions and equipment are covered within the whole of the police department’s budget, it also accounts for continued officer training, something that Wilkin stressed is incredibly important.
Street maintenance and repair has its own section of the budget, which amounts to $558,780 for 2022. It covers things like salaries and other employee-related matters, equipment and operating supplies, among other things. Paving is covered there, too, and for the coming year $127,000 is budgeted for paving. Last year, according to Wilkin, approximately $99,000 was spent on paving.
A street curb project is in the budget for North Washington Street that will prepare the curbs for ODOT’s paving of the street. The village is responsible for the curb preparation for the project, but other paving work done this year will be based on the Capital Improvement Plan and choosing streets that don’t have significant infrastructure issues beneath them.
The water and sewer departments, which account for more than $2 million of the whole village’s budget, are each funded through their own budget sections. The line items therein cover everything from employee provisions — things like salaries, uniforms and insurance — to operational expenses like operating supplies and equipment.
The railroad fund accounts for things like utilities and maintenance, but this year also includes the village’s share — just over $120,000 — of the upcoming grant-funded, multi-million dollar railroad improvement, which will see much-needed repairs and upgrades on Greenfield’s line, which will improve the reliability and experience of the industries that use the line.
There’s a park fund, which encompasses everything to do with Greenfield’s parks, including the bike trail. It includes grant monies for parks development, including a planned trail connecting Felson and Mitchell parks, and the activities of the Mitchell Park Youth Sports League.
While the village ran the youth sports leagues for years, a group of volunteers that have taken the leagues are in charge of a nonprofit that runs the baseball and softball programs as well as flag football. Wilkin said the youth sports leagues are “viable and well-functioning,” and he was excited about what the group is doing. “I am so happy we’ve had volunteers step up and take it and run with it because the nonprofit will do so much more and do so much better than we could ever manage,” he said.
This year, the plan is for the group to lease the park from the village, thereby allowing it more eligibility for grant dollars. The village will retain responsibility for insurance and electricity at the park.
A City Hall improvement fund in the budget includes window replacement this year. That money, Wilkin said, has come directly from revenue from the county for it’s lease of the second floor court. The new, maintenance-free windows will replace old, single-paned windows.
Other items covered in the budget include things like economic development, which is a portion of the intake from a levy approved a couple years ago, the rest of which funds City Building needs. The economic development monies can cover things like the downtown facade improvement program and its management and anything regarding the industrial park, like advertising or other things that could attract potential business to Greenfield.
In the property maintenance fund, there’s money budgeted for things like mowing and/or cleaning up properties, and dealing with dilapidated structures, which at this point includes the former Elliott Hotel. That structure that partially collapsed last year has been quit-claim deeded to the village and there are plans to demolish the structure and develop that corner.
This year there is some money, a total of $4,000, allotted across the Tree Commission, Planning Commission and the Design Review Board. The groups can use the funds for things like attending trainings so that they may be better equipped to serve the village and its citizens. In the case of the Tree Commission, funds may also be used to plant trees.
If anyone would like to see the budget in its entirety or has questions regarding the budget, you can come to the third floor of the City Building during normal business hours, call the village offices at 937-981-3500, or email finance director Gary Lewis at [email protected]
Greenfield Village Council meets twice a month in the council chambers on the third floor of the City Building. The first meeting of the month is, for now, set to be more of a work session with the second meeting being one where legislation is presented and voted on. The meetings are public. For information and updates, go to greenfieldohio.net and the village of Greenfield, Ohio Facebook page.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the village of Greenfield.