Wins in fight against drugs reported at Greenfield council
K-9 Nitro of the Greenfield Police Department is the September Employee of the Month. The 20-month-old Czech shepherd has been with the department for about three months and is responsible for removing a sizable amount of drugs from the streets.
Local entertainer Sean Poole is the September Citizen of the Month for the way he represents Greenfield no matter where he performs. He is pictured at the Sept 18 meeting with (l-r) council members Phil Clyburn, Cory Taylor, Mary Ellen McMurry, Brenda Losey, and Jessalynn Hunter, along with City Manager Todd Wilkin. (Photos by Angela Shepherd.)
By Angela Shepherd
Village of Greenfield
Recent wins in the ongoing fight against drugs were a highlight in the city manager’s report to the Greenfield Village Council during its Monday, Sept. 18 meeting.
In City Manager Todd Wilkin’s report, he said that last week several people indicted on charges that include trafficking and possession were arrested as part of Operation Fetty Stop, an ongoing effort of the Highland County Task Force in partnership with law enforcement agencies throughout the county.
Additionally, Wilkin reported that drug-related arrests continue across Madison Township since the Greenfield Police Department gained jurisdiction over the township via a six-month contract with the trustees that began July 1.
The city manager noted that since GPD has the wider jurisdiction, it’s making it harder for those who would distribute illegal drugs in the area to do so.
Wilkin also reported that K-9 Nitro, who is handled by GPD Chief Jeremiah Oyer, was recently called in by the Ohio State Highway Patrol to search a vehicle on Interstate 71. The dog located narcotics that ultimately led to what Wilkin called “one of the largest drug busts” he had ever seen.
While Nitro has only been with the department for three months, his training is already paying off, and it is his work that has earned him employee of the month for September.
Wilkin thanked Oyer for his hard work in training Nitro, and noted that with this one arrest alone, the K-9 has more than paid for himself.
While Wilkin praised Nitro, he said he is “proud of all our officers.”
Nitro, who is around 20 months old, is from Czechoslovakia and is a Czech shepherd, also known as a Bohemian shepherd.
In the related matter of GPD’s coverage of Madison Township, Wilkin said 9-1-1 calls have yet to be transferred to GPD, but this will hopefully change soon as he is meeting with the sheriff this week and has contacted other agencies to discuss the issues regarding Greenfield getting its emergency calls.
In other business, Wilkin provided updates on village projects.
Ongoing projects include the northernmost portion of Fourth Street, which will include sewer and water replacement, as well as storm sewer, sidewalk, curbs, and new pavement. This project is slated to be completed in November.
The Power Plant Brownfield assessment is nearly complete, Wilkin said. This work has been funded through a $300,000 grant, but the project is only requiring about half of that so far. Wilkin said the village is seeking guidance from the state on whether the unused funds can be used for implementation of the structure, which could include demolition or renovation.
The flooding abatement project for Sycamore Circle is planned to be completed in November, Wilkin said. The Highland County Commissioner’s are monitoring this project as it is through the Community Block Development Grant (CDBG) program. Wilkin said there appears to be some change order work regarding trees, drainage, and failing culverts and embankments and meetings have been held with the engineer and contractor to discuss these.
The village has also been awarded Phase One Waterline Replacement which will include several water mains, service lines, fire hydrants, and valves throughout town. This project is currently out for bid.
The tornado siren at the practice field will soon be replaced with a new siren. An additional tornado siren will also be placed off Pine Street. This project will be starting soon.
It has been coming for awhile, but the sidewalk and pedestrian bridge project on the west side of town will be going out for bid soon, Wilkin said. The city manager said he had to complete training to be a “local let” partner. He said it’s something that has the potential to save the village thousands of dollars and can also help expedite the process. The city manager added that an additional grant has been awarded for this project to account for material cost increases since the initial grant award.
Wilkin said Greenfield is also “in the running” for two more grants for the Phase One Sewer Line Replacement Project. Additionally, the village plans to submit for another grant for design for a project for work to separate the sanitary sewer from the storm sewer along all of Jefferson Street. This will substantially reduce inflow and infiltration (I & I) in that area.
Another project that has been waiting for some time is the railroad improvement. It was initially awarded a couple years ago, but is now set to go out for bid this fall with construction start slated for the spring.
Wilkin also reported that an opt-out gas aggregation agreement has been signed securing pricing at .535 cents per cubic foot through March 2025.
The September Citizen of the Month is entertainer Sean Poole, who is an official nominee for the Josie Awards, Vocalist of the Year. Poole was nominated for the citizen of the month award for his “delightful representation of the Greenfield community,” Wilkin said. While Poole is well-known locally as well as beyond Greenfield, this Greenfield resident helps promote the village, which is “rich in musical roots and heritage,” Wilkin said, wherever he performs.
In other matters, council was presented a list of properties throughout the village with either long-unpaid water bills or properties where the village has had to perform property maintenance and clean up. The list must be certified by council through legislation before it can be sent to the Highland County Auditor so the amounts owed on each property can be placed as a special assessment.
Finance director Gary Lewis presented the finance report for the month of August. Those are: month-to-date revenue - $826,901; month-to-date expense - $363,784; year-to-date revenue - $4.08 million; year-to-date expense - $2.43; and a general fund balance as of Aug. 31 of $872,798.
Wilkin concluded his report with the plans for trick-or-treating in Greenfield. As beggar’s night is set by the county and is typically the last Thursday before Halloween, this year’s beggar’s night is likely on Oct. 26. On Oct. 24, the Halloween parade will be held in downtown Greenfield with the downtown trick-or-treat to follow.
Council member Mary Ellen McMurry reminded everyone that McClain’s homecoming is this coming Friday. She said lots of alumni band members are planning to perform with the marching band at the game, including herself.
The Greenfield council meets in regular session on the first and third Monday of each month at 4:45 p.m. in the council chambers on the third floor of the city building. When possible, meetings are streamed live on Facebook. For information and updates, go to greenfieldohio.net and the Village of Greenfield, Ohio Facebook page. The village offices may be reached by calling 937-981-3500.