Greenfield Village Council mindful of Election Day during Nov. 3 meeting
By Angela Shepherd
Village of Greenfield
As polls were closing on Tuesday, Nov. 3, the Greenfield Village Council was beginning its regular meeting. That this was Election Day was not lost on those present.
Councilman Eric Borsini offered the opening prayer, asking for God’s guidance for leaders and voters, as well as for council as it goes about the business of governing the community.
In his report, City Manager Todd Wilkin noted that no matter the outcome of the election, certain things remained true like the love of community being something that makes Greenfield great and everyone realizing that the matters of the village – picking up trash, fixing potholes, paving streets, or rebuilding infrastructure – has nothing to do with being a Democrat or Republican, but rather everything to do with caring about the community and working for its good and the good of its citizens.
“I want to ask the community to continue to pray for our nation, pray for our community, and please continue to pray for this administration as we strive to do what is best for Greenfield,” Wilkin said. “We realize we will make mistakes, we’re human; but if we all continue to strive for betterment together, our opportunities and achievements will be endless.”
HVAC and LED upgrades
In other business, legislation was approved for a new HVAC system at the city building, and the retrofit of interior and exterior lights to LED. At council’s last meeting in October, the HVAC system was discussed and its constant need for maintenance due to age and some components not working at all. Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds will cover a majority of the cost of the HVAC system being upgraded, according to the legislation.
As previously discussed, the matter of the system was said to be eligible for CARES Act funds available to the village as the system working correctly is imperative for proper ventilation, especially during a pandemic.
In discussion, Wilkin said the LED lighting upgrade will save on energy costs, and the upgrades performed to the HVAC system will save on the constant maintenance costs for the current system.
On the related matter of energy, council member Mark Branham asked Wilkin if there had been any consideration for solar farms in the area.
Likewise, council member Brenda Losey asked Wilkin about wind energy in the village, an idea that was fostered under previous city manager Betty Bishop.
In both cases, Wilkin said it’s a matter of, under the current technology, Greenfield not being able to keep up with the buyback. However, as technology improves, both forms of energy production are not only absolutely a consideration, but a goal.
It is something the administration has been monitoring and will continue to monitor, and when the time is right to act, Wilkin said, it will be brought to council.
Wilkin reported that the 2021 budget is coming along, and said there are many projects that the village hopes to complete next year, which include significant water and sewer infrastructure work, paving, curbs and gutters, and money to continue to remove blighted properties.
Joan Murphy is decorating contest winner
On another matter, the winner of the Halloween decorating contest was announced. The property chosen was 527 Edgewood Ave, the home of Joan Murphy. She was recognized at the council meeting.
Wilkin said the administration was “very thankful” for her decorating efforts, adding that it is hoped the contest will be a catalyst for the coming years with more and more homes decorating for the holiday.
Village employee Sherry Parker photographed Murphy in costume at her home last week. Murphy told council she dresses up and decorates each year “for the kids. I’m a big kid myself.”
On the matter of Halloween, Wilkin said he wasn’t happy about moving Beggar’s Night this year from the originally planned date due to weather. However, the weather on Saturday was much better, he said, “and we are thankful the kids had an opportunity to act normal for a few hours while trick-or-treating.”
Businessman notes local progress
A Greenfield businessman spoke to council about his love of Greenfield and his belief that the village is progressing in the right direction in undoing years of neglected and decaying properties.
His appearance before council stems from a hearing in October regarding council’s consideration of the condemnation of several properties in an area known as "Felony Alley" and known for the felonious activity happening at the homes. The properties belong to one local landlord. That October hearing was continued, and a new hearing date is yet to be set.
He said he wanted council members to know that council moving in the direction of doing what is right for the good of the village means something, and has everything to do with Greenfield continuing on its forward path of undoing years of decay. He said it was council’s duty, everyone’s duty, to work for the “betterment of the community as a whole,” even if that means that the right thing is hard to do.
Finance director Carolyn Snodgrass presented October’s preliminary numbers. Those are: month-to-date revenue - $515,483; month-to-date expense - $550,820; year-to-date revenue - $4.21 million; year-to-date expense - $3.82 million; and a general fund balance as of Oct. 31, 2020 of $434,442.
Council member Kyle Barr said he saw a Simmons Paving truck fixing a rough alley near his home. The village didn’t pay for it, and he doesn’t know who did. Regardless, he wanted to thank whoever was responsible for making the alley better.
Councilman Eric Borsini also expressed thanks to residents for their Halloween participation and helping Beggar’s Night be a joy for all.
Council chair Phil Clyburn thanked the street department for their work to clear leaves from gutters during Thursday’s constant rain ensuring streets stayed clear of standing water.
Second Cleanup Day set for Nov. 7
A second Cleanup Day is scheduled for Nov. 7 from 9 a.m. to noon at South Washington Street near the railroad tracks. The event is not for household trash, but rather for larger items. 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 Nov. 6. Additionally, the village is requesting that those planning to bring items call the village office at the number above to preregister.
Village contact information
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, firstname.lastname@example.org; Public Service Director Gary Lewis, email@example.com; Finance Director Carolyn Snodgrass, firstname.lastname@example.org; Council Clerk Roberta Karnes, email@example.com, and for Building and Permits or cemetery, email Sherry Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org. To reach the Water and Sewer Department, call 937-981-2082, email Bev Giffin at email@example.com, or Kathy Patton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Greenfield Village Council meets in regular session the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers on the third floor of the city building. For information and updates, go to greenfieldohio.net or to the Village of Greenfield, Ohio Facebook page.
The home of Joan Murphy at 527 Edgewood Ave. was chosen as the winner of the Halloween decorating contest for 2020. She was recognized at the Nov. 3 council meeting and is pictured here with her plaque, alongside council members and the city manager. (Photo by Angela Shepherd)