Elliott Hotel to finally be demolished; village getting new fiber optic lines
Sherry Parker, office manager of the village's administrative offices, is the February Employee of the Month. She has been with the village for more than two years and her work in the office, while rarely seen by the public, is vital to the public and the village employees. (Photo by Angela Shepherd)
By Angela Shepherd
Village of Greenfield
After a long wait, a Greenfield landmark that for years sat vacant and untouched, and that despite efforts in recent years was unable to be saved, will finally be coming down.
The demolition process on the Elliott Hotel is scheduled to begin within the week, Greenfield City Manager Todd Wilkin reported to the village council in its regular meeting Monday, Feb. 27.
The process will start with the structural shoring of the building to the north to ensure its integrity. Following that, the demolition of the Elliott will begin.
The ability to move forward with the demolition comes after a cost-sharing agreement was approved last month by the Greenfield council between the Highland County Land Reutilization Corporation and the village.
The Elliott Hotel opened more than 130 years ago, and walking through the building when it was in the hands of the previous owner who envisioned its rebirth, it was easy to see how it once was. The efforts of recent years to not only save the building, but reimagine it into something once again beautiful, were just not enough.
About a year and a half ago, the chimney collapsed into a side wall, making that part of the structure unstable. A partial demolition followed to make the area safer. Since then, the building has sat fenced off and in ruin.
During the upcoming demolition, bricks free of things like plaster will be kept separated during the demolition and stacked on a skid. The plan is to put them up for sale to the public once the project is complete. The basement area of the hotel will be filled in, and the whole area is to be seeded and covered in straw, preparing for that corner of Washington and Mirabeau streets to be a green space for now.
In other meeting news, award announcements were made at Monday’s meeting and included citizen of the month and employee of the month.
The citizen of the month is former Greenfield City Manager and former Highland County Court/Madison Township Court Administrator Ron Coffey, whom Wilkin called “a valuable asset to our community.” Coffey devotes so much of his time to many projects in and around Greenfield, and the community is better for it.
The employee of the month is Sherry Parker, the office manager of the village offices. She has been with the village for more than two years and her work in the office, while rarely seen by the public, is vital to the public and the village employees.
In other business, residents can expect a different look to their water and sewer bill in the next billing cycle. The postcard bills that have been used for years are finally being changed to a letter invoice that will come to each home with a convenient return envelope. This change has been years in the making and has taken so long, Wilkin said, because of having to work with several third-party entities to get it accomplished.
The city manager in his report also highlighted several meetings that have been attended over the last month.
These highlights included possible grant funding through the OPWC (Ohio Public Works Commission) for infrastructure improvements on a portion of Fourth Street. The plan is to improve infrastructure on more of Fourth Street in phases as the grant opportunities arise to fund additional phases. That area of town has had tremendous I & I (inflow and infiltration) issues, but improvements on Mill Street, Fifth Street and now Fayette Street are remedying those problems in that area.
Wilkin also highlighted an OVRDC (Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission) caucus where available grants and application timelines were discussed. Also stemming from this is the village putting together a large EDA (Economic Development Administration) grant application that would take care of I & I issues on Jefferson Street, add an additional water tower at the industrial park and add a new well, which is capable of producing more water than several of the village’s older wells – all things that would increase capacity and enable growth, Wilkin said.
The city manager also said the village has been approved for a grant that will allow for an additional tornado siren to be placed on the south side of town, which will expand the coverage area for warning residents.
Other meetings highlighted were the Workforce Leadership Council and the Highland County Business Advisory Council, where the workforce development program, ACCESS, was recognized with a ribbon cutting and celebration, Wilkin said. Additionally, three local students who have been placed into jobs through the program were celebrated.
On another matter, Wilkin said the village has received many calls asking about the village’s water and air quality. These questions have followed the well-publicized train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio earlier this month that released hazardous materials into the environment.
A video by Wilkin addressing these concerns can be found on the village’s Facebook page.
In other business, JP West of Horizon spoke to council regarding the company’s placement of fiber optic lines in the village. It’s a project that was first announced more than a year ago and that has recently begun. This is of no cost to the village. This project will help ensure reliable internet for residents and businesses.
Finance director Gary Lewis reported February’s ending finances, which were: month-to-date revenue - $264,347; month-to-date expense - $65,718; year-to-date revenue - $625,449; year-to-date expense - $247,912; and a general fund balance as of Feb. 28 of $602,041.
• March 2 - Mitchell Park Youth Sports League (MPYSL) summer league signups end March 2. Go to the organization’s Facebook page for sign-up information.
• March 4 - Grow Greater Greenfield’s Souper Bowl at the First Baptist Church, 250 Lafayette St. Several local organizations are making soups for the event. The cost is $20 per person and includes soups, drinks and dessert, entertainment and a hand-thrown pottery bowl. Go to Grow Greater Greenfield’s Facebook page for more information.
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.
Ron Coffey (left) is the February Citizen of the Month. The former city manager and former Madison Township Court administrator devotes much of his time volunteering with various Greenfield organizations. (Photo by Sherry Parker)