Agreement could mean Greenfield building can finally be demolished; G3 recognized for work in community; water rate increase to come next month
Pictured (l-r) are council members Cory Taylor, Mary Ellen McMurry, and Phil Clyburn, G3 members Steve Pearce, April Molloy, Heidi Arrington, Tom Schluep, and Merleen VanDyke, city manager Todd Wilkin, council members Brenda Losey and Jessalynn Hunter, and G3 member Stuart McNeil. Photo by Angela Shepherd
By Angela Shepherd
Village of Greenfield
Legislation was approved by Greenfield council members at the council’s regular meeting on Monday Jan. 23 allowing a cost-sharing agreement between the Highland County Land Reutilization Corporation and the village to together handle the cost to demolish the Elliott Hotel.
The building has sat fenced off and in ruin since being partially demolished more than a year ago after the chimney collapsed into a side wall making that part of the structure unstable.
This comes after council last September approved $80,000 for the demolition of the hotel, in case an agreement could not be reached with the county’s land bank based on a memorandum of understanding that the land bank, at the time, Wilkin said, was not being upheld.
Now that an agreement has been reached, Wilkin said demolition will hopefully get started next month.
In other business, water rate changes will be going into effect next month. The legislation first came before council in November and was passed earlier this month after the required three readings. Wilkin explained that the water rate has not increased for some time, but the water and sewer funds each year get smaller and smaller because costs increase each year and there hasn’t been an increase in revenue to offset that.
There will be more information on this distributed very soon, which will include a letter mailed to all residents.
In other matters, a group that for years has helped make Greenfield a better place was recognized Monday Jan. 23 at the Greenfield council meeting.
The members of G3 (Grow Greater Greenfield) are this month’s citizens of the month. The organization, in one way or another, has been a big part of making Greenfield better for many years.
G3 has “been able to do things that we as a government can’t do because we aren’t built for that,” city manager Todd Wilkin said in his introduction of the group.
“Let’s see this positive movement continue” that G3 has helped generate through the years, he said.
The group’s president, Heidi Arrington spoke about how G3 has been “paramount” to her experience in Greenfield, especially when she was new to the community.
There are lots of volunteer opportunities with G3 for those wanting to be involved in the community. It’s just a group of volunteers that come together to make a difference, Arrington said. “G3 is a great way to participate in the community.”
Anyone interested can go to Grow Greater Greenfield’s Facebook page to find out about upcoming events and how to contact the organization.
Another recognition of the meeting was employee of the month for January. Three employees, actually, are the recipient of the recognition, and they are Justin Sword, Charles Davis, and Jarrod Kessler. They were each nominated by police chief Jeremiah Oyer for their handling of a leak earlier this month that required the three men to get into a hole full of cold water and cold mud to address the situation, something that requires some determination in the cold of January.
Their determination to do the job before them was displayed, Wilkin said, and the village is grateful for the dedication to the community of these employees.
In other business, Wilkin in his report briefly addressed blighted properties in town, stating that several are currently being placed or will soon be placed into receivership with the Greenfield Community Improvement Corporation (CIC), a process that is long and arduous, but also the most effective way currently to remove the blighted properties. Wilkin did not detail which properties; however, other properties in town have gone through this process in recent years, which has benefited the community.
As previously reported, the village partnered with the Montrose Group to help with economic development. One of the first projects with the group is working on the RIPL (Rural Industrial Park Loan) application. Wilkin said there is a builder and potential investors who want to build a speculative building in the industrial park, and the Montrose Group will be able to further this possibility by helping the village with the application, capital stock, and strategy.
The group will also help with the Vibrant Communities grant, which allows for the renovation of an existing structure that can act as a catalyst in the community. The structure must house an anchor commercial tenant, a co-working space, and have a residential space. Wilkin said the village believes it has a “great project” to submit for this grant.
The city manager also discussed electric aggregation. He said it has been brought to the attention of the village that a company called IGS, but indicating they work for AES, is making its way through town and asking residents for their electric bills. It’s caused confusion and even some alarm, but Wilkin said that any time someone is at your door and a resident suspects they might be misrepresenting who they are, call the village and you will be directed to the proper channel.
Additionally, anyone having questions about their electric bill or interested in the electric aggregation program may call Art Deininger or the PUCO (Public Utilities Commission of Ohio) at 216-548-7936.
Horizon will begin installing its new equipment and fiber in town soon, Wilkin said. As part of this, new telephone poles will be installed in some places. These poles are not in addition to poles already in place, but the new poles will replace worn, dilapidated ones.
Finance director Gary Lewis reported December’s ending finances, which were: month-to-date revenue - $347,463; month-to-date expense - $470,882; year-to-date revenue - $4.89 million; year-to-date expense - $3.24 million; and a general fund balance as of Dec. 31, 2022 of $738,760.
Lewis also recommended during his report amending the village’s ordinance regarding trash in an effort to more clearly define the rules. His suggested additions will go to committee for review.
For information and updates, go to greenfieldohio.net or the Village of Greenfield, Ohio Facebook page. The village offices may be reached by calling 937-981-3500.
To stay informed about what’s going on, you can also connect to the community calendar which can be accessed by a QR code that can be found on the website, the village’s Facebook page, and various locations throughout town.
Greenfield council member (l-r) Cory Taylor, Mary Ellen McMurry, Phil Clyburn, Jessalyn Hunter, and Brenda Losey are pictured during Monday's meeting. Photo by Angela Shepherd