Call me an eternal optimist, but I think some very good things are going to happen for local communities in 2021. To start, one of the things that gives me great hope is our demonstrated capabilities as a city to continue managing what has been the worst global pandemic in over 100 years. From a public health and emergency command perspective, Greenfield has stepped up time and time again to help keep our community and region as healthy and as safe as possible.

In addition, our pandemic responders continue to lead – from sponsoring free testing, advocating for additional testing, and leading the vaccination charge in the region. Most recently, the commonwealth opened a “Stop the Spread” COVID-19 testing site in Greenfield, and our city has successfully completed the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations for first responders in Franklin County.

I’m confident heading into a new year that the city is doing everything possible to help, inform and support the residents of Greenfield during the pandemic.

We will be breaking new ground in Greenfield in 2021 and are advancing key capital projects of major importance to the city.

First, the temporary fire station will break ground as the first, crucial step in the building of a new fire station and help pave the way for the preliminary groundbreaking of the Greenfield Public Library in April. These two projects are part of our Capital Improvement Plan and have been in that plan for several years.

A temporary fire station must be built in order for the library to begin its scheduled construction by April. The temporary fire station, which will be fully staffed and equipped, is a necessary part of both the fire station and library projects as we cannot build one project without the other, given the planned location of the new library.

This will be a year of reinvigoration and rebound in the city of Greenfield as we look toward reestablishing a sense of post-pandemic normalcy and focus strongly on our collective recovery – both socially and economically. A significant focus will be bringing many of our downtown retail, restaurants, and entertainment venues back on line and fully operating.

We will look at new ways to renovate and utilize the First National Bank Building, and we’ll begin to develop our marketing plan to reach out to and attract additional advanced manufacturing companies and smaller high-tech businesses that can take advantage of our extraordinary high-speed broadband internet connection.

Greenfield is poised to lead the economic recovery charge and has been working hard throughout to support the community and economy during a challenging time. We look forward to working with other regional partners as we all make a full-court press to help the region rebound with maximum efficiency.

Roxann Wedegartner is mayor of the city of Greenfield. To learn more about Greenfield, go online to the city’s website, Greenfield-ma.gov.