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City seeks input on how to revitalize business in downtown area

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GREENFIELD — A move to write a comprehensive downtown revitalization plan will take its first steps next week as city planners and consultants reach out to business owners and other stakeholders for their visions of the future of Greenfield’s historic business district.

In December, the city received a Downtown Revitalization Plan grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs to explore historic preservation and economic development initiatives downtown.

The $40,000 grant was met with a 10 percent match from the city, with contributions from the Hancock County Tourism Commission and Greenfield Main Street Inc. bringing the total to $58,000 to fund the effort.

On Feb. 6, the city will play host to four focus groups to garner input on how best to maximize the core district’s assets and revitalize business there.

“These will be 45-minute sessions for people to express what their visions are of downtown; what they would like to see; what’s good; and what should be expanded on,” planning director Joanie Fitzwater said.

Individual focus groups are scheduled for building owners, merchants, service groups and government officials, Fitzwater said.

The meetings mark the beginning of a year-long effort officials hope will culminate in a formal revitalization plan followed by an application for the state’s Main Street Revitalization Program, where the state awards significant grants funded by Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for downtown preservation and development.

“Ultimately, it’s about local initiatives and leveraging our assets for historic preservation and economic development,” Fitzwater said.

The city’s revitalization plan land planning, economic development and historic preservation consultants will be in attendance, Fitzwater said.

The groups will meet at their appointed times in council chambers at City Hall, 10 S. State St.

Those interested in attending the focus groups are asked to RSVP with Summer Grinstead at the planning department by calling (317) 477-4320 or by email at sgrinstead@greenfieldin.org.

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