The Greenfield City Council seated two new planning commissioners at its Feb. 5 meeting.
Two vacant seats on the commission were filled by Tom Swanson and Mark Workcuff, both interviewed by the council prior to the meeting. Swanson has served on the commission before and is a former Greenfield Mayor. Workcuff is a longtime resident who on the city’s park advisory.
Both terms expire in December 2015. All five seats of the Greenfield Planning Commission are now filled.
The city’s server is several years old and has incurred maintenance costs over the last six months, prompting an IT evaluation. A recommendation by the company Logicnet included implementing Office365 as the hosting service. Office 365 is a cloud-based service that provides access to portable devices, back up and web access, eliminating reliance on the current server and postponing the need to upgrade. Also noted was the suggestion that all city officials conduct business on city email accounts rather than personal, keeping them all in one protected account.
It was agreed upon that this recommendation would be a good fit for the city.
A further recommendation that officials go forward using Ipads, replacing the need for paper meeting packets, and with staff having one, was met with discussion that included cost-versus-savings, practicality, the benefits of technology and security.
The council agreed to further explore the ideas presented, including the cost analysis, and revisit them at them at its Feb. 19 meeting.
The council, at the direction of Mayor Brad Johnson, discussed resurrecting the city’s newsletter at its last meeting. The number of mailings, and associated cost, was the sticking point, and no action was taken.
Brought back for consideration, staff related to council that Councilor Chuck Alcon had researched “Every Door Direct Mail”, a contract-mailing service, and found the cost to be significantly less per piece. This would also eliminate the need for the city to purchase a bulk mail permit, a savings of approximately $200.
The city entertained public comment urging it to consider publishing the newsletter electronically, or allowing residents the choice to “opt out” of receiving a paper copy, at both meetings.
The council, after lengthy discussion, agreed that there was a need for the citywide distribution of a quarterly printed newsletter, and voted unanimously to that effect.
Victoria Dukes, representing the Greenfield Park Advisory, shared estimates from two recreational construction firms over the cost of installing a shelter and picnic tables at Greenfield Park, along with the advisory’s recommendation. The advisory, she said, had come in with a price that was just under the $45,000 ceiling it had previously proposed. The money for the structure and equipment will be paid from in proceeds from selling some of the parkland back to the city.
When the property was initially purchased by the city from a private party a decade ago, it was with park dedication funds, restricting its use. It was the intention at the time of purchase that, somewhere down the line, part of the space would house a new city hall.
A new city hall building was subsequently purchased by the city at a separate location.
The last administration appointed a Greenfield Park Advisory as the first step in developing the property for use. Discussion regarding the future relocation of City Hall to the park site ensued.
In 2012, the city was able to shave several hundred dollars, and payoff time, from the bond for the current city hall on Commerce Circle (that included a cushion for adding a meeting chamber that was not built), and designated $100,000 for purchasing land for municipal use/construction. Although logistically, this would only involve a transfer of funds, an outright purchase is required legally.
Alcon suggested that the process — platting a simple sub-division, getting approval of the planning commission and council, and completing the purchase — be met prior to transferring the funds. He also suggested that the city might need more that the 4.8 acres it has previously discussed, and that land required for a proposed street alignment should fall into this consideration.
A potential park advisory schedule included in council packets proposed bringing approval of purchase to the council at its next meeting, with several upcoming events cited as a reason for spring construction.
Alcon said that he felt the steps needed to get clear title on the city’s desired acreage, and allowing a transfer of funds to the Park Dedication Fund, could be completed in time to plan for construction in May.
The shelter was met with approval, as was the proposal.
Council approved up to $2,000 of Park Dedication Funds to be used by the advisory in obtaining a total park site plan.
The next regular meeting of the Greenfield City Council is Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. at 6390 Town Hall Drive.