Progress continues in downtown Greenfield; community members recognized
Winners of the Halloween storefront decorating contest were recognized at Tuesday's council meeting. Pictured (l-r) are council members Phil Clyburn, Eric Borsini, and Brenda Losey, Keith Hart of Robbins Village Florist, Krista Kerr of Black Cat Tattoo, city manager Todd Wilkin, Craig Campbell of C&C Barber Shop, Eric Zint of Corner Pharmacy (Zint's children Zoe and Zac are with him), and council member Amie Ernst. (Photo by Angela Shepherd)
Carol and Keith Grate are pictured with (l-r) council members Phil Clyburn, Eric Borsini, and Brenda Losey, city manager Todd Wilkin, and council member Amie Ernst. The Grates were the winners of the Halloween Home decorating contest. (Photo by Angela Shepherd)
Mark and Christye Leasure of the Waddell Company are pictured with (l-r) council members Phil Clyburn, Eric Borsini, and Brenda Losey, city manager Todd Wilkin, and council member Amie Ernst. The Leasures were presented a proclamation in appreciation for Waddell's long history and involvement in the Greenfield community. (Photo by Angela Shepherd)
Pat and Elaine Hays, October's citizens of the month, are pictured with (l-r) council members Phil Clyburn, Eric Borsini, and Brenda Losey, city manager Todd Wilkin, and council member Amie Ernst. (Photo by Angela Shepherd)
By Angela Shepherd
Village of Greenfield
Changes have been happening in Greenfield’s downtown and the progress continues, as evidenced in the city manager’s report to council and recognitions made during the October 19, 2021 village council meeting.
City Manager Todd Wilkin during his update to council said a report was recently provided from Jason Duff, founder of Small Nation, a group of small business owners in Bellefontaine that together transformed its downtown. The report stems from Small Nation’s visit this summer to Greenfield’s downtown and provides a number of recommendations. Some of the renderings from the report, and with the permission of the property owners, have been shared on the village’s Facebook page in recent days and have received “overwhelmingly positive” comments.
“We have created a buzz for downtown,” WIlkin said, adding that the community needs to continue in that positive direction. He asked council members to review the recommendations in the report and offer their thoughts so that the village can keep moving forward.
This has been in conjunction with Greenfield’s revitalization project, which has seen work beginning on several properties downtown that have received grants through the Facade Improvement Program.
As reported last month, Greenfield in September awarded grants to more than a dozen downtown building owners as part of its newly-implemented Facade Improvement Program to help fuel the revitalization of the village’s historic downtown.
Decorating contest winners
Relating to downtown matters, three of the recognitions made Tuesday evening were regarding the winners of the Halloween decorating contest for downtown businesses. The top three winners were recognized at Tuesday’s meeting.
First place went to Robbins Village Florist. In the daytime the storefront reveals lots of spooky tidbits, but at night it takes on a whole new level of Halloween fun with the purple lights and candles flickering.
Second place went to collaborators C&C Barber Shop, Home Run Insurance, and Black Cat Tattoo. The creepy carnival-themed decorations were in front of all three businesses until judging was completed. The decorations were taken down to protect and preserve them, but the creepy carnival will return for next week’s Halloween activities.
Third place went to Corner Pharmacy and its ghoulish display in the windows, which is eerie enough, but pass by there after the sun goes down and you’ll see glowing eyes peering from those ghastly faces.
Waddell Company recognized
Other recognitions included presenting Mark and Christye Leasure of the Waddell Company a proclamation showing appreciation for the company’s long history in the Greenfield community.
Mark Leasure, after receiving the proclamation, said they have “certainly enjoyed being a part of the community.
“Unfortunately, the economic circumstances” have facilitated the move for all GMi companies to come under one roof at the Lebanon facility, he said. It was previously reported that Waddell’s move to Lebanon will be done over a year’s time. GMi has been Waddell’s parent company since 1986.
Wilkin said Greenfield appreciates the company and its strong history and presence in the community. It’s all meant a lot to Greenfield. The city manager noted that people tend to think only of the museum-quality display cases made at Waddell, but there have been so many other products, too.
Began in 1887, the Waddell Company has produced many innovative products through its long history that includes not only the display cases, but also coffee grinders, cash registers, cigar cases, and egg testers. Many Waddell Company pieces are on display at the Greenfield Historical Society.
“We hope to keep the legacy alive,” Mark Leasure said, adding they intend to donate more items to the historical society and to continue to display historical Waddell pieces at the Lebanon facility. He said they do not intend to be strangers to the Greenfield community even after the move is complete.
Citizens of the month
The Citizen-of-the-Month Award was also given, and there were two of them for the month of October with the recipients being Pat and Elaine Hays. Wilkin said the couple were nominated by another citizen “for their commitment and outpouring of love to the community.” Wilkin thanked them for their “compassionate hearts,” adding that their dedication to the town is greatly appreciated and has not gone unnoticed.
Home decorating contest
Keith and Carol Grate were recognized as the winners of the Halloween Home Decorating Contest. Their address is at 659 Franklin Drive and is especially spooky at night with green lights illuminating the terrifying trimmings.
Employee of the month
October’s employee of the month is Justin Sword, who began in the street department, worked his way up, and then moved on to the wastewater treatment plant where he worked hard to quickly obtain his class one licensing. Sword is the one who runs the camera through the sewer lines, which has helped the village target issues within the infrastructure.
“We appreciate his dedication to the village,” Wilkin said. “He has really stepped up to serve the community.”
Tree plan being developed
In other matters, Wilkin reported that the Greenfield Tree Commission, along with ODNR, is working to make a tree plan for the village, specifically at the cemetery where there are many dead and decaying trees that need to be removed. What and where to plant trees back will also be a part of the developing plan.
“As we know, many individuals use the cemetery as a park and place of sanctuary. We want to continue making improvements to the cemetery, including the tree plan and redevelopment of the chapel,” Wilkin said. The city manager also mentioned that a memorial tree program is also in development, and details on that will be provided once they are solidified.
On a related matter, council adopted a resolution of support for the village’s participation in the Urban Canopy Restoration Program which directs Wilkin to prepare a letter of support for the grant application and commits up to $3,000 in matching funds should the state grant be awarded. This grant would go a long way to helping to rid the cemetery of decaying trees, eradicating an invasive species identified at the cemetery, and to replant species that will thrive in the space.
G3 Oktoberfest praised
Oktoberfest, which was held on Oct. 16, saw an excellent turnout for the event, though Wilkin joked most everyone probably came for the annual Doxie Derby, the very-well attended event that sees local dachshund dogs race each other. But the city manager also talked about this year’s hay wagon ride along the bike trail, and how the village is thinking about how to expand that into a haunted hayride, if possible.
Before the open session concluded, council chair Phil Clyburn thanked G3 for their efforts on Oktoberfest, the historical society for the recent Ghost Walk, and all the citizen’s recognized during the meeting. “These are the things that make our town a community, and we appreciate it very much.”
Oct. 23 - Tire Rodeo - 9 a.m. to noon - this event is free to the community. Old tires can be brought to the area by the railroad tracks between south Washington and Second streets. If anyone needs assistance getting tires to the drop-off point, the McClain Cadet Corps will help. Just call the village office before Friday, Oct. 22 at 937-981-3500.
Oct. 26 - Halloween Parade - line-up starts at 5 p.m. at colonnades, and parade begins at 6 p.m.
Oct. 28 - Beggar’s Night - 6-8 p.m.
Nov. 6 - Greene Countrie Towne Holiday Shopping Trail - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. - the event will include craft shows at two churches on each end of town, open houses at many shops and businesses in and around Greenfield, crafters and vendors in the city building courtyard, and food trucks on south Washington Street. See the Facebook event page of the same name for more information.
Remember to check the community calendar on the village’s website to keep up with upcoming events.
Greenfield Village Council meets the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers on the third floor of the city building. 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.
Pictured at Tuesday's council meeting are (l-r) Eric Borsini, Phil Clyburn, Brenda Losey, and Amie Ernst. (Photo by Angela Shepherd)