New federal resources will upgrade the Greenfield rail line in Highland County. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) urged the Economic Development Administration (EDA) approve funding for this critical project that is expected to create 72 jobs and save more than 800 at local companies including Johnson Controls (JCI), Huhtamaki, and Candlelite.
"Improving the Greenfield rail line will create construction jobs now and make permanent upgrades attracting new companies to Highland County and allowing existing ones to expand markets and ramp-up production," Brown said. "This project will save more than 800 manufacturing jobs and provide an ideal site for future economic investment."
"Driving the economy and job growth is of the utmost importance to Greenfield as well as all of this Southern Ohio area, its business, industry and families," Betty Bishop said, City Manager of Greenfield. "This EDA funding for the upgrade and repair of this railroad is vital for our transportation infrastructure."
In March, Brown urged the EDA to approve the Village of Greenfield's grant application. In April, EDA notified the community of deficiencies in its application and though significant improvements were made to address the deficiencies, the application was denied in July. After working with Sen. Brown's office to strengthen the application--and a September meeting where representatives from Brown's office urged EDA to move forward--the application was approved today.
The $2,262,787 EDA grant will allow the Village of Greenfield to move forward on structural enhancements to the line that runs from Greenfield to Midland. The improvements will provide regional manufacturers with more reliable transportation options and allow the region's industrial manufacturing cluster to grow. Many major local employers including Johnson Controls Inc., (JCI) Huhtamaki, and Candlelite depend on this critical resource to move their products across the country.