The clock tower of the Greenfield City Building is pictured. It is about to have a much-needed renovation with the help of community support. (Angela Shepherd.)
The clock tower of the Greenfield City Building is pictured. It is about to have a much-needed renovation with the help of community support. (Angela Shepherd.)
By Angela Shepherd
Village of Greenfield


The heart of the Greenfield community has been evident with recent events.

The needed renovation of the clock tower was one of the things that City Manager Todd Wilkin touched on in his report to council at the Tuesday, May 19 meeting.

That the renovation of the iconic city building structure is funded is a testament to Greenfield’s citizens and love for the community, he said.

The Greenfield Foundation, comprised of a group of local citizens, approached the village about the foundation donating $10,000 toward the renovation of the clock tower. A local family has also indicated they would like to help financially with the project. In addition to that, a long-time tax that expired last year which was solely for city building maintenance has a balance of about $20,000. That money can only be used on the city building, nowhere else.

The village is hoping to be able to coordinate the clock tower renovation with the new roof project, which is slated to begin in the next two to three weeks, weather permitting. The city building’s roof has been in need of replacement, and last year council approved legislation to get that done. Skyline Roofing will be doing the work, Wilkin said, but that doesn’t include the clock tower. The $13,000 quote for the clock tower came from a company that only does that sort of work. That number does not include the $6,000 fee for a lift to reach the structure. It also does not include the painting and shingles on the structure, but the administration is working on getting those numbers.

That most of the funding for the renovation of this Greenfield icon has been volunteered by community members is a mark of Greenfield and its people, the city manager said.

Wilkin extended that to the outpouring of support that has occurred since McClain senior Madison Bell disappeared on Sunday, May 17.

The city manager has been out every day in the searches for Bell that have been going on since Sunday evening.

“To see all those people,” out there to help – the hundreds of people that have turned out to search on foot, in vehicles, on four-wheelers, and even on horseback – “that’s the Greenfield community,” he said.

“It just paints the picture of how we feel about our youth, about our community,” he said.

The city manager thanked Rescue 101 and its efforts in leading the daily searches, the community for its time and efforts in the search and in donations to make sure the searchers are fed and hydrated, the Greenfield Police Department, and all the law enforcement agencies involved for coming together to help find Bell.

• As Tuesday’s meeting began, council member Mark Branham, on behalf of the Bell family, thanked the community for the outpouring of love and every kind of support that has gone into the search for Bell.

In other matters, the village-organized cruise-in to honor the 2020 graduates is on Thursday, May 21 beginning at 6 p.m. Seniors participating are to be at the Community Action (old Shopko/Pamida) parking lot no later than 5:50 p.m. The precession will begin at 6 p.m. with WVNU announcing seniors over the airwaves. Those participating are not to exit their vehicles at any time. All of the information for the event is available on the Village of Greenfield, Ohio Facebook page.

Wilkin said the village is excited about the event. “Who knows, maybe it’s a new tradition.”

On the matter of finances, the village has been projecting a 20-percent decrease in revenue due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Greenfield’s currently steady financial position can be attributed to last year’s carryover of nearly $300,000.

According to council member Eric Borsini in his finance committee report to council, the village financial situation would look a lot different if it weren’t for that carryover.

Borsini also discussed the village’s halting non-essential expenditures until a more informed decision can be made after the July 15 tax deadline. But he also touched on an essential need, that of sewer system inflow and infiltration (I & I).

As previously reported, a study from earlier in the year confirmed the village has an incredible issue with I & I. In a normal day, approximately 400,000 gallons of water are pumped out to the village, but about 1.1 million gallons are being treated. So even during a normal day, there are I & I issues. These issues are compounded during a rain event, and the amount of water getting treated typically rises to around 1.6 million gallons.

Borsini reported that the village will be meeting with Stantec Consulting Services to determine what area to tackle next in remedying the problem. If the situation is not dealt with, the EPA will force Greenifeld to increase the capacity of its system, which would result in an increase in water and sewer bills.

On the matter of non-essential expenditures being on hold, Wilkin noted that decisions on paving will have to wait until after the July 15 tax deadline. While paving was a part of the this year’s budget, everything has been upended with the arrival of the coronavirus and the subsequent crippled economy. So even though financially Greenfield is doing alright at present, more time and information is needed to know if the financial situation will remain stable.

The city manager also discussed the village’s decision to cancel the summer youth league. He said that the numbers of kids signed up just weren’t there. Additionally, the guidelines for such activities – like no spitting, no sunflower seed chewing, no gum, observed social distancing, and masks to be worn by players – were just not feasible for the one village-appointed person to monitor. He said if an association of community members were willing to take it on and run the youth league, then they could. The village would mow the park, provide the insurance, and open the restrooms. It was noted that there is the opportunity for those wanting to play to combine with other leagues in neighboring areas who have also fallen short on their numbers.

The next regular session of the Greenfield Village Council is scheduled for June 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers located on the third floor of the city building. For information and updates, go to greenfieldohio.net or the Village of Greenfield, Ohio Facebook page.