Mar 10, 2013

Council discusses giving property to Greenville City Schools

BY RYAN BERRY 
MANAGING EDITOR 
GREENVILLE – Approximately 17-acres of the Greenville City Park may soon be turned over to the Greenville City School District. Greenville City Council heard a request from the school district for the property at its March 5 meeting.

The city-owned property that could be turned over includes Harmon Field, and fields north and west of the football stadium, including the parking lot and tennis court. The transfer would allow the school district to eventually upgrade the property. According to Jon McGreevey, director of administration services for Greenville City Schools, upgrades to Harmon Field could include new bleachers, score board, and field turf. He would like to see it be a show piece for the community. The school has already entered into partnerships with Wayne HealthCare and Good Samaritan and hopes to start working with the Light Foundation in order secure funding for some of the projects.

Superintendent Doug Fries noted the district does not have any immediate plans to change access to the property. Persons will still be able to use the track and the Greenville Youth Football League (GYFL) will continue to have use of the field north of Harmon Field. “We would continue to work with them (GYFL) or any other group,” he said.

Some of the council members suggested the school district clear up any “gray areas” by putting it in writing that the public will still be able to use these services. Leon Rogers said, “You need to express that nothing will change.”

Council expressed its interest in retaining storage and office space for the park district at Harmon Field.

Law Director Camille Baker reminded council that per the Ohio Revised Code, there cannot be a monetary transaction for the land. If the school moves and the land is no longer needed by the district, the deed would revert back to the city.

Giving the property to the school district is expected to save the city and park board money. The park board is responsible for maintenance and upkeep on most of the property that would be transferred. The school district is currently responsible for mowing Harmon Field.

Although not required, council will open its March 19 to public comment regarding the proposed transaction. Council President John Burkett suggested the law director work with school district after the next meeting to work out the details and get the transfer completed as quickly as possible.

In other business, council:

* approved the distribution of community funds - $14,600 for Darke County Visitors Bureau; $10,325 for Main Street Greenville; $250 for Darke County Historical Society; $700 for the Ohio State Horseshoe Tourney; $1,575 for the Ringer Classic Horseshoe Tournament; $10,000 for Partnering for Progress; $250 for the Annie Oakley Committee; and $10,000 for the Greenville-Union Cemetery. Additional funds from the bed tax will be used to reimburse the city for overtime used by city personnel in support of downtown events.

* learned that after a two-years without using Capital Improvement Funds, the administration plans to use funds in the Street Department for the purchase of a new dump truck and street signs; Greenville City Park to become American with Disabilities Act compliant at the pool and facelift for the Marlin Band Shell; Auditor’s Office will get new servers; Police Department will purchase a new cruiser; and Fire Department will used funds for turnout gear.

* learned Wayne HealthCare will be asking the city vacate Central Avenue next to the hospital.

The next regular meeting of Greenville City Council will be March 19, 7:30 p.m., Council Chamber, Municipal Building.

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