- Written by Roxann Wedegartner, Mayor of Greenfield
- Published: 26 April 2021
Following an extraordinary year, in which the City of Greenfield managed through the COVID-19 pandemic with absolute courage and resilience, we are turning towards our collective recovery as a city with respect to our economic recovery, and our public health recovery. It has been an honor to serve the City of Greenfield during this time and I am eternally grateful to all who serve with me. The people who work for the City continue to be my inspiration every single day, and I remain convinced they are our best product.
Over the past few months, we have been working tirelessly in the City on COVID-19 vaccination efforts and were able to turn the John Zon Center into a fully-functioning vaccination site. I’m pleased to report this site has provided over 12,000 vaccinations so far since late January. That is an incredible accomplishment. Countless volunteers have worked these clinics and helped senior members of our community get their COVID-19 vaccine safely and as comfortably as possible. From the moment folks showed up for their appointment, they were cared for dutifully by clinic staff and volunteers. It was truly impressive to see this site in action! This month, we will continue working closely with the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) to transition toward a larger site and continue serving the population.
There is a great deal to be excited and optimistic about in Greenfield this year.
In addition, the city has worked to increase and improve access to COVID-19 testing in Greenfield. At the beginning of this year the Commonwealth’s Department of Health and Human Services came to me and asked if we would help them set up a testing site in Greenfield. What resulted from that collaboration with Greenfield Community College (GCC) is an official Stop the Spread COVID-19 testing site at GCC. This site has been instrumental over the past few months in providing efficient testing results for people in the community.
In City Hall, we remain steadfast and continue to manage the work of the city and provide municipal services to city residents. As of right now, Greenfield City Hall is open weekdays from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and we ask all visitors to please wear a mask. Over the past year, because of the pandemic, we have learned a lot about conducting municipal business online and have been working to improve our online services. It can be helpful to save yourself a trip to City Hall by conducting city business online at our website. In addition, a number of municipal services can be done over the phone by calling 413-772-1500. As a municipality, we look forward to getting back to business as usual in 2021. We thank you for your patience as we’ve tried to strike a balance between helping you in person and maintaining COVID-19 protocols.
There is a great deal to be excited and optimistic about in Greenfield this year. Most notably, we will be breaking ground on two major capital projects downtown: a new public library and a new fire station. I see both of these projects as major, long-term investments in our City and I am pleased to see this hard work coming to fruition. As we round out the month of May, the City has been working closely with the City Council on a level-services budget for FY22, which is a 1.1% increase over FY21. In addition, our Community and Economic Development Department (CEDD) has been working closely with local businesses to assist with economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, CEDD led an Ad Hoc Downtown Revitalization Group on a tour of downtown Greenfield as part of the Commonwealth’s Local Rapid Recovery Program (LRRP). These efforts are designed to collect and share important data that will help to plan and assist directly with economic recovery efforts in the City.
As we head further into 2021, I continue to be impressed with how the City of Greenfield has met the challenges of the past year with our characteristic resiliency. As I’ve personally reflected on the challenges of the past year and thought about the work ahead, I think about a saying attributed to Nelson Mandela, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” We have managed the seemingly impossible by drawing on the commitment and resiliency of our citizens, our local business owners, and our City employees who we rely on to be innovative and courageous every day. We have a lot to be proud of.