Going for Gold
Madison advances to finals in the America’s Best Communities contest
The team has 11 months to prepare
for the final round in April 2017
DURHAM, N.C. (May 2016) – The City of Madison, Ind., on April 27 was announced as one of eight national finalists and winners of $100,000 in the America’s Best Communities Competition at the America’s Best Communities Summit in Durham, N.C. Madison is now the only remaining Hoosier city in the contest after being narrowed from more than 400 original submissions and competing among 15 semifinalists in Durham.
“I am so proud of our team and our community. We know how wonderful our community is, and we’re so glad that others recognize that, too, as well as see that we can be even better,” said Madison Mayor Damon Welch.
The Madison team on April 27 celebrates the announcement with judges and other officials associated with the contest in Durham, N.C.
Members of Madison’s team gave a 10-minute “pitch” highlighting the city’s plans for a new bicycle and pedestrian trail connecting the community as well as various community engagement strategies, including activities to get more families and kids active and healthy. The community now has 11 months to carry out the plan for a chance to win up to $3 million for the first place prize. The second-place finisher will receive $2 million, and third place will receive $1 million. The winners will be announced in April 2017.
For more information on the competition, visit: www.AmericansBestCommunities.com
“We met so many other great people and communities at the summit and learned so much from them,” said Valecia Crisafulli, co-presenter and Madison ABC team member. “We’re excited, but we know more work is ahead of us. Our community is up to the task, and I know that over the next 11 months, Madison will step up to show what we’re capable of doing.”
VisitMadison Inc. Executive Director Linda Lytle also was one Madison’s three presenters in Durham. The three presenters had 15 minutes to make their case and present the OneMadison Comprehensive Plan and answer questions. The plan had been created by consultants at Ratio Architects of Indianapolis with the $50,000 the city won in the first round of judging. Among the items in the plan is the city’s walking and bicycling path to connect the hilltop with the downtown and Heritage Trail. The plan also focuses on economic development, servicing retirees and retaining and attracting young people to live and work in Madison.
A community-wide celebration is being planned for a date in the next few weeks. The city is organizing a “Ground Raking Hike and Hand Day” event from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, May 14, on Hatcher Hill to clean the roadway to become part of the pedestrian-bicycle path.
Madison America’s Best Communities team leader Andrew Forrester said, “We are ecstatic. We have a fantastic team that worked on this successful plan and presentation. But even better, we have a great community of people back home in Madison ready to get started, and that’s what makes us special.”
The other seven finalists in the competition include Chisago Lakes Area, Minn.; Darrington-Arlington, Wash.; Huntington, w. Va.; Lake Havasu City, Ariz.; Statesboro, Ga.; Tulatin, Ore.; and Valley County-Meadows Valley, Idaho. The other seven finalists that did not advance in the competition each received $25,000 to help implement their plans.
The competition is sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH, The Weather Channel, CoBank, and Madison’s corporate sponsor DST Systems Inc. It was launched in September 2014. Then In April 2015, Madison was named among 50 quarterfinalists. Madison advanced to the semifinals in January when the final 15 cities were announced.
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