NRN Announces Engagement with the Village of Greenfield, Ohio
The Network, in cooperation with the Greater Ohio Policy Center (GOPC) and the Just Transition Fund, is excited to announce that the Village of Greenfield is the next community participating in the Ohio State Resource Network (OSRN).
Greenfield is a village of approximately 4,800 residents in Highland and Ross Counties. Though small, Greenfield has multiple assets, including large employers, an inpatient hospital, a municipal railroad providing a crucial supply chain link for area manufacturers, and a downtown district recently added to the National Register of Historic Places.
In each selected jurisdiction, the OSRN has partnered with local leadership and stakeholders to identify and advance specific initiatives designed in response to the locality’s most pressing and salient needs. Greenfield responded to the request for OSRN applications in Fall 2019, seeking assistance with economic development and local business promotion for the Village’s historic downtown.
In partnership with Greenfield, members of the OSRN team from Enterprise Community Partners and GOPC will:
- Coordinate an Advisory Committee, with representatives from local government, business and property owners, nonprofit leaders, and residents to identify key assets, opportunities, and needs in the downtown area.
- Conduct a virtual public workshop to gather input from community residents and generate momentum to collaboratively strengthen downtown Greenfield.
- Develop a downtown strategic plan that combines the articulated vision for downtown and its unique strengths with best-in-class technical assistance to position Greenfield for a vibrant, renewed downtown.
Greenfield has experienced recent momentum in several other areas:
- Earlier this year, Greenfield was awarded a $1.7 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant to maintain and upgrade the 29-mile municipal rail spur. Part of the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program, this grant will ensure that the manufacturers located on the rail line between Greenfield and Midland can continue to rely on this crucial shipping link. By raising local match sources to complement the grant, the total investment will be $3.4 million.
- City Manager Todd Wilkin was chosen as a fellow of the 2020-21 Class of Appalachian Leadership Institute. This fellowship includes 40 leaders from across sectors, offering skill-building, peer learning, and other support to spur economic development and enhance leadership skills. The Fellowship was developed by the Appalachian Regional Commission in partnership with higher education and private sector partners.
OSRN is the third in a series of State Resource Network partnerships to provide the Network’s expert technical assistance to communities facing challenges ranging from budget shortfalls to economic decline, as well as response and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The Ohio State Resource Network is also working with the Cities of Sandusky and Chillicothe, and recently led a webinar series on Covid-19 response and recovery for local government leaders. The OSRN is generously funded by the Just Transition Fund, to assist coal-impacted communities in the Appalachian region as they transition to a new economy.