The Village of Greenfield is looking to move ahead with plans for development at Felson Park, City Manager Todd Wilkin said at this week’s council meeting.
Wilkin said the village recently applied for a NatureWorks grant for more than $20,000 that would allow for a pavilion to be built and also establish the location for future restrooms.
“We have many activities that are ongoing and many ideas that are being planned at Felson Park,” Wilkin said, adding that restrooms there are necessary to promote even more opportunities at the park. “We have also written a letter and will be submitting a map to the historical society regarding a proposed trail that will connect Front Street to the bike trail through Felson Park, and also connect the Grain and Hay building with the Travelers Rest Building.”
The Grain and Hay and Travelers Rest building belong to the Greenfield Historical Society.
As previously reported, the village has other ideas for Felson Park that include natural playground equipment that can withstand the park’s occasional flooding as well as an amphitheater built into the hillside.
On another matter, council members discussed Greenfield’s recent income tax levy of which 75 percent would be for operational, maintenance, and repair expenses associated with the City Building and 25 percent for implementing the village’s economic development plan, which was unanimously adopted by council last year.
According to Council Chair Phil Clyburn, every vote was hand-counted following the levy’s initial tie for the May special election and a subsequent count of provisional votes, which left the matter still tied. He said all state laws and timelines were observed on the recount that resulted in the levy passing by one vote.
On another matter, Wilkin said that a recent posting for a police sergeant’s exam yielded two sign-ups with one person later withdrawing. Since it is not a competitive exam, Wilkin said, the village will promote patrolman Michael Fryor to the post effective June 22. The city manager said he and Police Chief Jeremiah Oyer interviewed Fryor last week and “feel he is a good candidate for this position.”
“With these changes, the chief is actively interviewing and searching for candidates to fill the vacancies left within our department,” Wilkin said. “We are also looking into re-establishing the position of lieutenant within the department. We are not looking to hire an additional person, but rather promote an individual from a sergeant position to lieutenant. This will create a position that will help with the efficiencies of the police department.”
June 22 is the last day for Sgt. Gary Schraw before he retires.
“We want to thank Mr. Schraw for his many years of service and we wish him the best in retirement,” Wilkin said.
Wilkin also reported that Greenfield’s farmer’s market opened this week. It will be set up around the City Building every Thursday throughout the summer.
“We are excited to have them located here in the downtown area as we believe this will attract more foot traffic and participation in our historical downtown,” he said.
The city manager said that the village was meeting with a structural engineer regarding the clock tower on the City Building.
“There are a few water leaks and structural issues that need to be addressed,” he said. The village will “lean on the expertise of a structural engineer to guide us through the process” of addressing the issues.
“I will keep council aware of the outcome of this meeting and the needed repairs as I fear this may become expensive,” Wilkin said.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the Village of Greenfield.