GREENVILLE – Although a lot of things in Darke County come to a screeching halt when the fair arrives, Greenville’s city government keeps marching on. Greenville City Council held a regular meeting on Tuesday and may have finally decided how to proceed with sidewalk repairs.
For the past several months, Mayor Steve Willman and the city’s administration has been pushing the issue of sidewalk repair. A council meeting in May and a community meeting in June laid out the groundwork for what the administration wanted to accomplish.
The city is separated into 10 phases with the first phase taking place in 2020. Property owners in the areas inside Walnut on the west, Tecumseh on the east, East Water Street on the north to Fifth Street on the south are in the first phase. If the homeowner chooses not to perform the work, the city will hire a contractor to repair the sidewalks. The resident will have an opportunity to pay for the project, but if they don’t it will be assessed to their property taxes to be paid over a period of five years. An administration fee from the city and county for the assessment would be included.
On Tuesday, council narrowly approved an ordinance establishing the regulations to determine if a sidewalk is in need of repair. As pointed out by Council President John Burkett, the ordinance provides an opportunity to appeal to the Greenville County Safety Committee if the sidewalk is determined to be in disrepair.
With Councilman Leon Roger absent from the meeting, the vote ended in a 3-3 tie, which gave President Burkett the opportunity to cast the deciding vote. “The chair votes yes,” said Burkett. Joining Burkett in voting in the affirmative were Jeff Whitaker, Doug Wright and Doug Schmidt. Voting against were Clarence Godwin, John Hensley and Dori Howdieshell.
Council approved the use of street department workers to help revitalize the Rotary Park in downtown Greenville. The little-used park may soon see a few more people enjoying the green space once the facelift is completed. The Rotary Park is located just off the Public Square and is nestled behind the Moc Shop/Act 1 Realty and Final Bow studios. Volunteers recently painted the walls and removed brush from the park. Crysta Bloomingdale, executive director of Main Street Greenville, explained they want to do more to enhance the park, which would include the installation of shade sails, picnic tables and LED lighting. The street department would be responsible for ripping out concrete, digging holes for shade sails posts and creating and electrical tap for the lighting in this city-owned park. Main Street Greenville is seeking a grant and doing fundraising to finish the project.
Jeff Francis, IT manager for the city, shared the cost of airing council meetings on GPAT may soon be going up. There is no longer a requirement for Spectrum to provide a local channel and at anytime they could institute a $500 a month connection fee. GPAT is currently operated by Greenville City Schools and the IMTV class. They have sponsors signed up through May 2020. Francis estimated the cost to the city, even without the connection fee, to approach $71,000. The city could also choose to live-stream meetings on its You Tube channel at a projected cost of $2,750 over the next five years.
Contact Editor Ryan Berry at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 569-0066. Read more news, features and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.