Greenfield continues battling blight

By Angela Shepherd

Village of Greenfield

Blighted and nuisance properties continue to be a focus of the Greenfield administration, with two houses being razed recently and another about to be.

At the Greenfield Village Council meeting Oct. 6, City Manager Todd Wilkin reported that burned-out structures on Short Dickey and Spring Street have been demolished and clean-up is underway. A third property on Waddell Street is in the process of coming down.

In these cases, Wilkin said, the homes had burned and the properties were left abandoned posing not only a health risk, but harming neighbors’ peace and property values.

This behavior “is not acceptable,” Wilkin said, and the village continues to work on other properties throughout Greenfield that includes not only burned-out structures and other structures that “are a blight on our beautiful town,” but also homes that are a source of repeated felonious activity.

On that matter, council reported an appeal letter received from Kellis Smith regarding several of his properties that are known for felonious activity and come with a stack of police reports from calls through the years on those properties. 

Those properties, six of them and in an area known as “felony alley,” are ones that the administration is moving to condemn as they are a “significant blight" on the community.

Wilkin said Ohio law is clear in that continued felonious activity at a property is a blight to the community, and it is on that basis by which the village is acting under the approval of law director Brian Zets. The law requires the village to inform the property owner of the intent to condemn the properties, to which the property owner can appeal, which Smith is. The matter will come to a council vote.

Council members will be able to view the police reports and the properties over the next couple weeks. A public hearing is set for Tuesday Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. in which Smith may present his side to council. 

Proclamation honors Robbins Village Florist

In other business, Keith Hart, owner and operator of Robbins Village Florist, was honored with a proclamation for 40 years of serving the Greenfield community. The document proclaims Oct. 7, 2020 as Robbins Village Florist Day.

Hart received many congratulations from council members, some of them speaking about their own years-long experiences with the shop.

Greenfield has been really good to me,” Hart said. 

Paving completed

On other matters, Wilkin reported that the three locations at Sixth Street, Spring Street, and Lyndon Avenue receiving paving recently are complete. While municipal spending was hindered this year due to the pandemic, Wilkin said there are plans to do considerably more paving next year. 

The city manager reported that police officer Jay Beatty, who was recognized as Greenfield’s August employee-of-the-month, has also been recognized by the Highland County Prosecutor’s Office as the Officer of the Quarter.

Clock tower to be repaired

Also reported was that the Verdin Bell company is set to begin work on the clock tower later this week. By the weekend, Wilkin said, all four faces of the clock tower should be reading the same time for the first time in a long time. Wilkin thanked the Greenfield Foundation and the McNeil family “for their generosity and care” to help fund the work on the clock tower. 

Finance director Carolyn Snodgrass presented September’s preliminary numbers. Those are: month-to-date revenue - $504,693; month-to-date expense - $326,715; year-to-date revenue - $3.7 million; year-to-date expense - $3.27 million; and a general fund balance as of Set. 30, 2020 of $432,144. The revenue numbers for this report include the addition of CARES Act funds, which will be spent only on things impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Council chair Phil Clyburn extended his gratitude to Jay Beatty, Keith Hart, and Sandy Kelly (Kelly organized this past weekend’s food truck festival in Greenfield). “It’s nice to have people adding to the community,” he said, and “working for the betterment of our community.”

Upcoming:

-- Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. to noon is Clean-up Day in Greenfield at South Washington Street near the railroad tracks. The event is not for household trash, but rather for larger items. Additionally, this service is for residents only, not contractor or business trash. Paint is allowed, but must be dry, whether in the can or on cardboard. Batteries, tires, or items containing freon will not be allowed. Pick-up is available for the elderly and disabled by calling 937-981-3500 by Oct. 9. 

-- Oct. 24 - G3 is having a pumpkin carving contest with winners receiving cash prizes. Voting/judging will be done downtown and will begin at 6 p.m. More information is to be posted soon on the Grow Greater Greenfield Facebook page.

-- Oct. 29 from 6-8 p.m. is Beggar’s Night. 

-- Leaf pickup will begin in November. A schedule will be released in the coming weeks so that residents can prepare. 

As a reminder, the city offices on the third floor remain closed to the public at this time. To reach the office by phone, call 937-981-3500, or reach the following by email: City Manager Todd Wilkin,citymanager@greenfieldohio.netglewis@greenfieldohio.net; Finance Director Carolyn Snodgrass, csnodgrass@greenfieldohio.net; Council Clerk Roberta Karnes, rkarnes@greenfieldohio.net, and for Building and Permits or cemetery, email Sherry Parker at sparker@greenfieldohio.net. To reach the Water and Sewer Department, call 937-981-2082, email Bev Giffin at bgiffin@greenfieldohio.net, or Kathy Patton at kpatton@greenfieldohio.net

10-06-20 Hart, council
Keith Hart, owner and operator of Robbins Village Florist, was honored with a proclamation from the Greenfield Council 
Oct. 6 honoring his 40 years of service to the community. Pictured (l-r) are council members Eric Borsini and Kyle Barr, council chair Phil Clyburn, Hart, and council members Brenda Losey and Mark Branham. (Photo by Angela Shepherd)

 10-6-20 council

Greenfield Council members (clockwise from left) Kyle Barr, Eric Borsini, Phil Clyburn, Mark Branham, and Brenda Losey are pictured during the Oct. 6 meeting. (Photo by Angela Shepherd)