Welcome to Greenfield, Ohio:
GREENFIELD RAIL LINE
IMPROVEMENT PROJECT COMPLETED
The Greenfield Rail Line Improvement Project commenced in June 2015 with the contractor, Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, working to improve the bridges, crossings, rail and signals along 29.5 miles of railroad from Greenfield to Midland.
The project came with a price tag of about $4 million and was largely funded by a grant from the Economic Development Administration, with supplemental grants from the state of Ohio, county and local support.
The EDA grant investment is for $2,625,788. Thus far, the project has created 94 jobs, retained 776 jobs, and leveraged more than $10 million in private investment.
"The Village of Greenfield is grateful to the EDA and the various state agencies who supported this project," said City Manager Ron Coffey. "In addition, the Highland County Commissioners, Highland County Engineer, Village of Leesburg, and several employers contributed towards making this project a reality."
HDR Engineering served the project engineer, and Balfour Beatty was contractor for the project involving upgrades to approximately 29 miles of railroad that Greenfield owns from Ross County to Clinton County. Some 12,000 ties were replaced, bridge repairs were implemented, crossings were upgraded and signals were updated in the massive project.
The photos on this page show some of the construction activity. Construction began in 2015 and was completed in autumn 2016.
“We are grateful to the EDA, the Ohio Office of Community Development, the Ohio Rail Development Commission, ODOT Jobs & Commerce and all the agencies and entities who worked with us to make this project possible,” said Coffey. “We especially appreciate the ongoing support of Ohio Speaker of the House Cliff Rosenberger as well as our other local, state and federal representatives who have recognized the importance that this project plays in supporting nearly 1,000 jobs in the region.”
Coffey went on to thank the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission for its work in helping Greenfield with the grant application process, and the many supporters at the local, regional and state level who have worked with Greenfield “to answer our questions, put us in touch with the right people, and help us through this long but very worthwhile process.”
The EDA grant award letter was received in 2012 thanks to much effort by former City Manager Betty Bishop and her staff. Some delays and setbacks were experienced in 2013 and 2014, including bad news when the first bids were opened in October 2014 and were higher than the budget allowed. “At that point we were somewhat discouraged, but Steve Lorek and Michael Trella of HDR Engineering immediately went to work analyzing the results and working on ways to ‘value engineer’ the project in a way that was affordable, yet did not negatively affect the scope of the project. We are very grateful to HDR for keeping us in the game, and through their efforts when we re-bid the project we were able to get a contract signed and commence work that was badly needed.”
Looking ahead, Coffey hopes that maintenance expenses will be lowered because of all the work that has been done. However, he noted that continuing maintenance and an emphasis on safety need to remain in Greenfield’s plans.
“We don’t have a lot of railroad income to work with, but there are ways we can do some preventative maintenance with what we have. We also are looking at ways to increase traffic on the railroad, which would create more shippers’ fees for us to use in keeping up the railroad,” Coffey said.
“He reiterated the importance the railroad plays in Greenfield’s future, as well as that of the entire region. Jobs are the key to our continuing sustainability. Nearly 1,000 jobs in Greenfield, Leesburg and New Vienna are supported by the railroad, and they are vital to this region. We are also trying to get a transloading facility built in Greenfield that would open up opportunities for other employers to use the railroad. The State of Ohio has shown support for this project in recognition of the potential it has for creating and supporting more jobs.”
And so the dream – and the work – of helping to create and support jobs continues to be part of the city manager’s daily duties. “I would not describe my job as an easy one, but at times it is very rewarding,” Coffey said. “Completion of the Greenfield Rail Line Improvement Project represents an important chapter in our community’s quest for economic viability. There’s still a lot to be done, and we will continue working to bring new jobs to Greenfield and to help existing businesses grow and prosper.”
From the city manager
Greenfield has been somewhat giddy since the announcement in 2015 that Corvac Composites had chosen to establish a facility in our Greene Countrie Towne. Production began in spring of 2016, and Corvac celebrated its Grand Opening on June 16.
I had the privilege of attending the grand opening celebration of Corvac in Greenfield, renewing ties with the top management team, meeting some of the local workforce, and celebrating the occasion with elected officials and many others who work hard to bring jobs to the area.
I was surprised when Corvac CEO Jim Fitzell called me up front to help him with the ceremonial ribbon-cutting. Many others have done much more in showcasing our community and facilitating Corvac’s arrival. Our Greenfield Village Council members and staff were glad to do what we could -- and what a pleasant experience it was to see a host of local faces among the employees!
“So far, being in Ohio has been a wonderful thing for us,” Fitzell told the audience. “I’ve said it all along; we came here because of the people.” He thanked everyone present for their part in Corvac expanding to Greenfield and the company’s customers, the whole reason Corvac exists.
“We are delighted to be here,” he said.
Greenfield welcomes Corvac Composites as a partner in the revitalization of our community. Perhaps the best way that any entrepreneur can help a community is to run a successful business, employ local people, and participate in the life of that community. Corvac is on the right track!
It is a real blessing for Greenfield to be selected as the site of a new Corvac operation. This company has already established a remarkable record of producing quality products for the auto industry, and has promised to provide at least 175 jobs at the Greenfield facility. Corvac would have been welcome in any city in America! To Jim Fitzell and the administration of Corvac, I can only say thank you on behalf of our community. I know that local Operations Manager Sean Rusiecki and others have worked very hard preparing the site and ramping up production.
Likewise, Greenfield is grateful to our elected officials, the dedicated people at JobsOhio and APEG, and those working at the local, county, regional and state level to help bring jobs to our community.
Jobs play a key role in achieving the American Dream. Jobs put food on the table, money in the bank, and foster a sense of pride in the worker. Greenfield has always been a community of hard-working and proud people. Corvac’s decision to come to Greenfield gives these fine citizens a chance to grow and prosper with a progressive and successful company.
We look forward to a long and successful relationship with Corvac Composites and wish them all the best!
THANK YOU Y-GRADALE!
The beautiful flower boxes in downtown Greenfield are lovingly maintained by members of Y-Gradale, a Christian women's service organization that does a lot of good in the community, including helping with Greenfield’s Cleanup and Beautification Days, planting and watering of flowers and bushes in the downtown area. The ladies of Y-Gradale paused briefly on May 7, 2016 to have their picture taken. Y-Gradale continues to make a positive difference in Greenfield!
Greenfield and Corvac featured
in JobsOhio Annual Report
Recently the JobsOhio Annual Report came out for 2015, and one of the successes celebrated was the successful recruitment of Corvac Composites LLC to Greenfield to occupy the former RR Donnelley building. The heading for the story on page 53 is “Spirit of cooperation helps Corvac transform shuttered site.” The article talks about the collaborative approach taken by elected officials, JobsOhio and other organizations and agencies to help bring jobs to Greenfield. By the end of 2018, Corvac has pledged to create 175 jobs here, so that is definitely big news for Greenfield and the entire region! It's good to know that Greenfield is getting some positive mention around the state. The entire report is rather large but can be viewed or downloaded from the JobsOhio website: www.jobs-ohio.com or a direct link is posted HERE.
AN AERIAL VIEW OF GREENFIELD'S PADDLE ON PAINT CREEKFEST
Brian Carle posted some drone footage of the Paddle on Paint Creekfest that took place May 17, 2015 and the view is magnificent! The images can be viewed on youtube by clicking HERE.
Paddle on Paint Creekfest takes place on the third Sunday of May and is sponsored by Greening Greater Greenfield, also known as G3.
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