GREENFIELD — The Greenfield City Council this week unanimously approved decisions to boost economic development in the city and also move forward on Greenfield’s re-branding campaign.

The council on Wednesday OK’d two 10-year personal property and real property abatements for Yamaha Marine Precision Propellers Industries., an Indianapolis-based company that designs and manufactures more than 300 different types of stainless steel propellers for Yamaha Outboards. Yamaha intends to move part of its operations from the east side of Indianapolis to Greenfield, investing $18.3 million and bringing 81 jobs.

Yamaha will initially build a 50,000 square-foot building in late 2019 on 28 acres of land in the 1600 block of West New Road in Greenfield, just north of Lark Ranch. The plant, whose product is used on watercraft, could expand in future years.

The Greenfield Redevelopment Commission last Monday also approved the abatement requests. Yamaha officials told the redevelopment commission that of the 81 jobs at the facility, 18 would be new hires.

Yamaha hopes to break ground on the facility in early June; move in equipment in late 2019; and start production in mid-2020.

Re-branding Greenfield

The city council also approved spending nearly $90,000 over the next two years for an Indianapolis-based marketing agency, Matchbook Creative, to maintain a new city tourism website and multiple social media pages. The funds will come from city economic development income tax dollars.

Matchbook Creative is asking for $28,533 in website maintenance costs and between $76,266 and $81,066 for social media management for 2019 and 2020, according a contract given to the Greenfield Board of Public Works and Safety on Feb. 21. The board of works approved the contracts on March 26.

The city council ordinance states Greenfield would pay $44,800 for each year of a two-year contract, while the remaining costs — about $18,000 — would be split among Hancock Health, NineStar Connect and Greenfield-Central Schools — community partners with the re-branding effort.

Greenfield leaders hope a re-branding campaign might persuade daily commuters and young families from outside of the county to move to Greenfield. According to data collected by STATS Indiana, 7,236 people commuted into Hancock County in 2016 — about 20 percent of the county’s workforce.

Dan Riley, president of the city council, said Matchbook plans to soon roll out the new website and social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. The city will still operate its website, where residents pay utility bills and keep up to date on city meetings, ordinances and notices.

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