Pond at Greenfield's industrial park discussed; citizens and businesses recognized; 2024 budget passed

12-18-23 Football COM
The McClain Football team and coaching staff are the December citizens of the month. Tigers who were able to make the meeting are pictured, along with council members and the city manager, are pictured at the Dec. 18 meeting. (Photo by Angela Shepherd)

12-18-23 Christmas business

usinesses winners were recognized for this year's Christmas decorating contest. Pictured on Dec. 18 are (l-r) council members Cory Taylor and Mery Ellen McMurry, Lisa Boyd of Grind House Cafe (3rd place), city manager Todd Wilkin, Mike and Deanna Seely -- with Brynlee and Penelope Pryor -- of Seely Portraits (2nd place), Kelli Uhrig and Robert Arthurs of Small Town Fitness (1st place), and council members Phil Clyburn and Jessalynn Hunter. (Photo by Angela Shepherd)

12-18-23 Christmas home

John and Krista Simmons are pictured on Dec. 18 with (l-r) city manager Todd Wilkin and council members Cory Taylor, Mary Ellen McMurry, Jessalynn Hunter, and Phil Clyburn. (Photo by Angela Shepherd)

12-18-23 council

Council members (l-r) Mary Ellen McMurry, Cory Taylor, Phil Clyburn, and Jessalynn Hunter are pictured during the Dec. 18 meeting. Council member Brenda Losey was absent from the meeting. (Photo by Angela Shepherd)


By Angela Shepherd
Village of Greenfield

The pond at the industrial park has been a matter of discussion lately; at least the removal of it has.

According to city manager Todd Wilkin in his report to Greenfield council members at council’s regular meeting on Dec. 18, it’s an old cattle pond that was built decades ago and has become so choked up with vegetation that it’s only about a foot and a half deep. Also, it is right in the middle of open land and “it serves no purpose to future development.”

Recently, a company came to the South Central Ohio Industrial Park, Wilkin said, and was very interested in the location, but wanted to build right where the pond is, which presents a problem. It’s something that Wilkin said is preventing Greenfield from being the first choice.

The efforts to get rid of the pond have been arduous, Wilkin said, but the village is working with the Ohio EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers on the matter. He said the village hopes to receive a jurisdictional determination so that they can fill the pond quickly. 

WIlkin also reported that the railroad project, which was initially awarded about three years ago and was expected to begin this year, is now due to begin in the spring. This follows communication from the Indiana and Ohio Railway (IORY) and Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC), who recently qualified and selected the lowest and best of nine bidders on the project. 

The project will upgrade Greenfield’s 29-mile rail. Wilkin said the goal is to get the rail back to a 25 mile per hour rail, versus its current 10 mile per hour rating, lease it to a rail operator, and possibly attract rail excursions. 

In other meeting matters, businesses and citizens were recognized. 

The whole of the McClain football team, including the coaching staff, have been named as December’s citizens of the month. As Wilkin made the announcement, he said the recognition comes because of the hard work the team put in to make it to the school’s first-ever playoff. Not only is the achievement worth recognizing, but how the team represented its school and community is to be commended. 

December’s employee of the month is police officer Benjamin Bales, who is recognized for his efforts that led to finding a missing 2-year-old autistic child and returning the child to safety.

Other awards for the evening included all things Christmas. Firstly, the winner for the home decorating contest is 422 S. Second St., the home of John and Krista Simmons. 

Also announced were the business decorating winners. Those are: first place, Small Town FItness; second place, Seely Portraits; and third place, Grind House Cafe. 

Finance director Gary Lewis presented November’s financial report, which included month-to-date revenue - $437,753; month-to-date expense - $ 318,474; year-to-date revenue - $5.50 million; year-to-date expense - $3.31 million; and a general fund balance as of Nov. 30, 2023 of $804,263. 

On other financial matters, council passed the 2024 budget. This comes after council reviews and revisions over recent weeks. Anyone wanting to see the budget may request a copy at the village offices. 

Near the conclusion of the meeting, council chair Phil Clyburn thanked Jessalynn Hunter for her service on council, to which she replied that it had been a pleasure. 

The three newly-elected council members will be sworn in prior to the next regular meeting of the Greenfield council in 2024.

It has been a pleasure working with all of you this year,” Clyburn said, adding that he believes the village is “on the right track on a lot of things.”

Council members bestowed a wish for a safe and happy Christmas and New Year’s to all in attendance. 

An organizational meeting will be held after the first of the year, though the date and time is yet to be determined. 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.

12-18-23 422 S. Second - 2023
422 S. Second St. is pictured lighting up the night. The home of John and Krista Simmons is this year's winner of the Christmas home decorating contest. (Photo courtesy of Susan Howland)

12-18-23 Seely1

Seely Portraits at 427 Jefferson St. is second place in this year's business Christmas decorating contest. (Photo courtesy of Susan Howland)

12-18-23 SmallTown2

The first place winner in this year's business Christmas decorating contest is Small Town Fitness, located at 403 Jefferson St. (Photo courtesy of Susan Howland)

12-18-23 GrindHouse

The Grind House Cafe at 1010 Jefferson St. placed third in this year's business Christmas decorating contest. (Photo courtesy of Susan Howland)