GREENFIELD — Resident complaints that the Greenfield exit off Interstate 70 isn’t welcoming to visitors prompted a project to redesign the area, but city officials say public input on the changes has been lacking.
After a special email address for feedback yielded few comments on proposed redesigns, organizers have decided to display the renderings during an upcoming public workshop. Officials have stressed the need for public input, saying those who live and work in the area will take more ownership in the project if they weighed in along the way.
A workshop for the comprehensive plan — a long-term guide for Greenfield’sfuture, developed by residents and city officials — is scheduled for July 23, and part of the meeting will be dedicated to the beautification project.
Last month, officials unveiled two designs for the Interstate 70/State Road 9 intersection beautification project. Officials ask residents to attend and cast a ballot for the design they like best. Mayor Chuck Fewell and the designers will be on hand to answer questions and address concerns.
The first concept features decorative steel pillars and landscaping along the Greenfield exit off I-70 and through the median on State Road 9.
The second combines brick and limestone decorative posts. It also includes landscaping along the interstate and along the state highway.
City officials say dressing up a main gateway into the city is important for economic development and tourism, as it serves as visitors’ first impression of Greenfield.
City engineer Karla Vincent said she hopes residents will attend the public workshop to learn more about the comprehensive plan as well as give input about the beautification project, since both affect the city’s future.
“We really want more public input so we know what residents like and don’t like,” she said.
Officials want to gain as much feedback as possible before moving forward with the project, she said.
In the meantime, the email account for feedback — firstname.lastname@example.org — will stay active so residents who can’t attend the meeting can still vote for a design, she said.
Fewell agreed it’s important for city officials to gain insight about what residents prefer. That input will give residents the chance to feel involved in the process, he said.
“The plan needs to be the entire city’s and not just city hall’s,” he said. “I think it’s important that they like what they see.”
What: Public workshop on Greenfield comprehensive plan, with special emphasis on collecting comments about designs for Interstate 70 gateway project
When: 3 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. July 23
Where: Hancock County Public Library, 900 W. McKenzie Road