There is a lot of uncertainty for everyone right now, learning to adapt to a new normal for the time being. This is not just true for individuals, families and the businesses, but for the village administration, too.
Greenfield City Manager Todd Wilkin said the role of the city manager during an unprecedented time such as the current situation spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic is to ensure that the village continues to have clean drinking water, that waste water continues to be treated, and the safety of the citizenry with a police department operating at full capacity.
Additionally, Wilkin is part of a conference call meeting with the Highland County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) every morning. That daily meeting includes all county entities and is their opportunity to receive updates and ask questions.
The city manger is also part of a daily call each afternoon with Adena Greenfield Medical Center and is working alongside the hospital as it develops a local “surge plan” for the anticipated rise in coronavirus illnesses.
Wilkin said he has also become part of a weekly conference call meeting with other city managers and mayors in southern Ohio. Each Thursday they discuss how each is handling things under the current circumstances.
On April 2, the group also had a call with Senator Sherrod Brown and a conference Friday included Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted. With the governor’s office, Wilkin said there was a question asked about guidance on health departments being able to provide the zip code of those confirmed to have coronavirus. He is awaiting an answer from the governor’s office.
The City Building remains closed to the public, with the exception of the first and third floor lobbies. The court on the second floor is operating, but on a limited basis. If anyone has questions about court dates and current procedures, call the court office at 937-981-2139. If anyone has questions about probation reporting, contact your probation office.
The regularly-scheduled village council meeting on April 7 will go on as planned, but in a different format that Wilkin said will only be permissible during the pandemic that has forced a change in how things are safely carried out.
For Tuesday’s meeting, a limited amount of council members will be in the council chambers, while all other council members, the city manager, and the council clerk join in from their respective homes via a virtual meeting system. The meeting will be aired on G3-TV.
Earlier this year, Wilkin launched Lunch with the City Manager, where once a month the public is invited to join him at a local establishment and ask him questions and get updates on village matters. As that type of meeting is not possible at the present time, Wilkin held March’s lunch via Facebook Live and said there was a good turnout with a lot of good questions. While the interaction was meant to be once a month, the current situation may warrant more opportunities for the public to ask Wilkin questions. He said he is considering doing another one in the coming week to answer any questions from the public. The meetings may be held more frequently if needed. Watch the village’s Facebook page for updates.
With the village offices closed to the public, residents can pay their water and sewer bills by phone by calling 937-981-2082, online through a link on the village’s website at greenfieldohio.net, by dropping your payment off in either the drop box on the first floor of the City Building or in the drop box in the alley behind the City Building, or by setting up a recurring payment from a bank account with the water department.
If there is other business to be handled with the village offices, call at 937-981-3500.
For building department correspondence, email Holly Ellinger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions about council meetings and/or committee meetings, email Roberta Karnes at email@example.com.
To contact Wilkin, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forms for things like youth league, permit applications, ACH forms, and contractor registrations can be picked up in the lobby of the third floor.
Youth league status is still unknown, but registration forms are still being accepted and are located in the third floor lobby.
Forms and payments may be dropped in the water/sewer department drop boxes mentioned above.
All city employees typically working in the city offices are now working remotely. Voice messages are checked often. Do not hesitate to call the city offices or to send an email.
If someone has concerns about their health, they should call their health care provider and explain the situation. If people go to the emergency room, they could be exposing others to illness and the hospital will not test a person without them meeting the COVID-19 criteria. There are numbers available for people to contact to ask questions and seek guidance if they are sick. Those are: the Ohio Department of Health at 833-427-5634; the Highland County Health Department at 937-393-1941; and the Adena COVID-19 hotline at 740-542-7233.
For Greenfield updates and information, go to greenfieldohio.net, or the village of Greenfield, Ohio Facebook page.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the village of Greenfield.