Millions of grant dollars funding Greenfield improvements
Pictured (l-r) are Greenfield's council members Mary Ellen McMurry, Cory Taylor, Phil Clyburn, Carlos Ooten, and Brenda Losey during the Jan. 22 meeting. (Phone by Angela Shepherd)
Coach Drew Hamilton, on behalf of the McClain girls track team, accepted the citizen of the month award recognizing the team members for their achievements and their representation of their community. Hamilton is pictured at Monday's Greenfield council meeting with (l-r) council members Phil Clyburn, Mary Ellen McMurry, Cory Taylor, and Brenda Losey, city manager Todd Wilkin, and council member Carlos Ooten. (Photo by Angela Shepherd)
Members of the McClain girls track and field team are pictured at the high school. The team has been recognized by the village of Greenfield for its accomplishments and its representation of the school and community. (Submitted photo)
By Angela Shepherd
Village of Greenfield
More than $10 million of grant funding have been secured for the Greenfield community over the last couple years and have funded numerous projects across the village.
An update on a lot of these projects was given by city manager Todd Wilkin at the Jan. 22 council meeting.
Sewer and water infrastructure, streets, and the railroad – these are all aging things in Greenfield that have been and continue to be improved upon, and for the most part by way of grants, which are tax dollars coming back into the community.
The infrastructure work on Fourth Street is very nearly done and follows the completion of the same sort of work on Fayette Street last year. Both of these projects saw the much-needed repair and replacement of failing infrastructure and the addition of gutters, sidewalks, and fresh pavement. Both of these projects were largely funded by grant dollars through the Ohio Public Works Commission (OWPC) and supplemented with zero- and low-interest loans.
Phase One water line replacement is currently underway throughout town, Wilkin said. This work includes replacing several water mains, valves, fire hydrants, and service lines. This is funded through a 50/50 grant and loan through the Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA).
The flood abatement work at Sycamore Circle is nearing completion. It is a Community Block Development Grant (CDBG) project overseen by the Highland County Commissioners office.
The new tornado sirens have been installed – one at the practice field and the other off of Pine Street. Both were funded through grant money.
The sidewalk and pedestrian bridge project on the west side of town will be going out to bid soon, Wilkin said. The project funding is in large part through an Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) grant.
The railroad project was initially awarded about three years ago and was expected to begin last year. The project was bid last fall and the goal of the Indiana and Ohio Railway (IORY) and the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) is for work to commence in the spring.
The project will upgrade Greenfield’s 29-mile rail to a 25 mile-per-hour rating which will continue to support the jobs and businesses – Adient, Candle-Lite, and Huhtamaki – that use the line as well as the ancillary businesses and subsequent jobs that supply those businesses. More than $3 million in grants, as well as local contributions through partnerships, are funding this project.
While not an exhaustive list, it’s a good representation of what is getting accomplished in the village. All in all, Wilkin said, more than $10 million in grant money have been brought into the Greenfield community the last couple years to facilitate these needed projects which affect every resident and every business that calls Greenfield home.
Council chair Phil Clyburn spoke of his gratitude to the administration for going after these grant dollars which fund projects that support and improve the lives of residents and can attract new businesses.
In other meeting business, Coach Drew Hamilton, on behalf of the McClain girls track team, accepted the citizen of the month award recognizing the team members for their achievements and their representation of their community. This team achieved the first-ever district title for McClain girls track and field and has represented McClain and the Greenfield community well, Wilkin said.
Also receiving acknowledgement was police chief Jeremiah Oyer as January’s employee of the month. Oyer is recognized for his dedication to the police department and the employees he leads. Wilkin said that it is through Oyer’s dedication that he continues to prove his love for the Greenfield community.
Other updates during the meeting included buildings. Masonry work is set to begin at the building that was directly attached to the Elliott Hotel, Wilkin said. Also, blighted properties throughout town are progressing toward resolution.
Two properties on Fifth Street have been approved by the court to go out for bid, Wilkin said. Additionally, three other parcels – on McClain Avenue, Pine Street, and Lafayette – are making progress through the process toward becoming viable properties again, finance director Gary Lewis said.
In his report to council, Lewis said the village is looking forward to a good year with the continued infrastructure improvements, paving, regular maintenance, and the acquisition in some areas of technology that would improve services. He also emphasized that the village must concentrate on business retention and development and put real effort into affordable housing.
In December’s financial report, Lewis reported the following: month-to-date revenue - $403,836; month-to-date expense - $426,510; year-to-date revenue - $5.92 million; year-to-date expense - $3.74 million; and a general fund balance as of Dec. 31, 2023 of $780,827.
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. Meetings are streamed live on Facebook when possible. 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.