Greenfield property deemed shovel-ready

Property deemed shovel-ready

GREENFIELD — A 96-acre plot of land in Greenfield was recently highlighted by state officials as a prime location for economic development.

The plot of land, located on East County Road 200W just west of Franklin Street in Greenfield, was certified by Indiana’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs as shovel-ready.

In order to be declared shovel-ready, land must have received local government-level support for development, officials said. The land must also have an established price and a clear title and survey.

A shovel-ready designation makes land parcels more attractive to businesses looking to buy land in Hancock County, said Skip Kuker, the executive director of the Hancock Economic Development Council.

Buying property deemed shovel-ready means a business can be operational in the least amount of time because it streamlines the building process as the land has already been properly inspected and laid out, Kuker said.

The recently certified property, nicknamed Barr North, is the fifth location in Greenfield to be recognized by the state. A sixth site is expected to be deemed shovel-ready in the coming weeks, officials said.

State officials say they encourage local leaders to certify sites because it illustrates a community is committed to economic growth.

It also serves as a marketing tool to promote sites that are ready for development, Bill Konyha, the executive director of the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, said in a press release.

“Each time a community secures site certified status it demonstrates its commitment to supporting the creation of economic and employment opportunities for its people and businesses,” Konyha said.

Unemployment shows slight drop

GREENFIELD — Data released recently shows Hancock County’s June unemployment rate was down from the same time last year.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development said the county’s unemployment rate in June was 4 percent, down slightly from 4.2 percent in June 2015.

About 37,600 residents were employed in June, while about 1,500 in the county were unemployed. In 2015, about 36,000 residents were employed, with roughly the same number unemployed.

The county’s rate fares well compared to neighboring counties.

Shelby and Rush counties each also saw 4 percent unemployment. Henry County’s rate was higher at 4.7 percent.

Hamilton and Boone counties saw 3.4 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively.

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or