Special Greenfield park project proposed to council; financial report provides insight into restrictions of various funds

2-20-24 council

Life Scout Jenna Jenkins speaks to Greenfield council members at the Feb. 20 meeting regarding a potential Eagle project for her, a dog park at Mitchell Park. (Photo by Angela Shepherd)

By Angela Shepherd
Village of Greenfield

A proposal for a dog park was brought to the Greenfield council at its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20 as the possible project of a Boy Scouts of America Life Scout.

Greenfield eighth grader Jenna Jenkins proposed the dog park for her Eagle project, and the plan to handle the cost and materials of the project is through donations, she said. 

If it’s approved, Jenkins said she would get started immediately on donations, and with a goal of completing the dog park before the start of next school year. For this she said she would have lots of help including fellow Troop 7495 members, family, and people from her other activities. 

Jenkins is hoping to install the dog park west of the skate park at Mitchell Park. She provided a map of the area with descriptions of the plans to each council member. She proposed the fenced-in dog park to include separate areas for larger and smaller dogs along with pooch-friendly things like splash pools, a bridge, and tire tunnels. For the humans, things like benches, trash cans, and an information board are part of the plans.

She said her project is “based on the happiness of dogs” and she wants to provide a safe place for dogs to run around with other canines and have fun. 

Council member Mary Ellen McMurry said the matter would go to the recreation committee for review before coming back before council. 

In other meeting business, part of finance director Gary Lewis’s monthly report to council included a statement of cash position and a bank report, both of which show $3.79 million in the bank but that are dispersed across various funds. Lewis went on to provide a “quick snapshot” of the fund structure to help those listening understand that while $3.79 million may be showing in the bank across the various funds, most of the funds are restricted and can only be used in specific ways.

He explained that the basic structure includes three types of funds. 

There are restricted funds, like the Street Fund, the Drug Law Enforcement Fund, and the various funds for the cemetery, he said. These come from various sources, but can only be used for specific purposes, Lewis said. Money can be transferred from other funds into these restricted funds, but once in the restricted funds money can only be used for specific things and typically cannot be transferred out without the approval of the common pleas court.

Another type is enterprise funds, Lewis said, “which stand or fall by the revenue they produce and the expenses they incur.” Money can be transferred to enterprise funds, but is most often required to be paid back to the originating fund unless council votes otherwise. Examples of village enterprise funds are the water and sewer funds. 

The most flexible are the general funds, Lewis said. Money is generated into these funds in several ways, the finance director said. Money in these funds can also be transferred into other funds via legislative approval.

Lewis also provided the financial report for the month of January, which included the following: month-to-date revenue – $378,313; month-to-date expense – $274,305; year-to-date revenue – $378,313; year-to-date expense – $274,305; and a general fund balance as of Jan. 31, 2024 of $548,768.

In other business, the employee of the month is auxiliary police officer Dave Johnson.

Legislation coming before council included an ordinance for a hotel/motel tax. The ordinance will be reviewed by council before going on to further readings. 

A resolution was approved allowing the city manager to contact RITA (Regional Income Tax Agency) regarding the waiving of penalties and interest for previous tax years for the Paint Creek Joint Fire/EMS DIstrict. According to Lewis and council member Cory Taylor, the district has paid its taxes, but incurred penalties due to an issue with the billing.

Lewis also reported to council that the village has been awarded a $300,000 urban forestry grant through the department of natural resources. The grant will allow for things like removing trees that present a hazard, the planting of new trees, and the overall rejuvenation of a healthy urban canopy. 

Council chair Phil Clyburn and city manager Todd Wilkin were absent from the Feb. 20 meeting. 

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.