North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Arlington, Darrington finish just short of top prizes In ABC competition

 


DENVER, Colo .; April 19, 2017 — While it fell just short of the top prizes, Arlington and Darrington, will forever be considered one of America’s Best Communities.

The Arlington/Darrington team earned $150,000 in prize grants from America’s Best Communities, a $10 million community revitalization competition sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel, since the campaign was launched in September 2014. About 350 communities entered the competition, and the Arlington/Darrington team was one of just eight that advanced to the final round. 

Created to inspire revitalization and growth in small towns and rural communities across the country, America’s Best Communities challenged local leaders to bring their neighbors together to envision a stronger future and build a strategy to improve lives and livelihoods. It has served as a catalyst for positive change by awarding seed funding to help communities turn their exceptional ideas from vision to reality.    

From the original pool of about 350 communities, the field was narrowed to 50 in the quarterfinals, 15 in the semifinals and down eight finalists. Communities advanced in the competition based on the effectiveness of the revitalization plans developed, fine-tuned and implemented over the course of the three-year competition.

Throughout the competition, from its start through the grand prize round, an independent panel of expert judges reviewed and scored communities’ proposals based on an objective set of criteria. Their scoring and independent analysis determined winners. 

 The eight finalists gathered this week in Denver, Colorado, the home of sponsoring companies DISH Network and CoBank, to present their revitalization strategies and share progress made in achieving new growth. Following the presentations, the top three were announced during the America’s Best Communities Grand Prize Ceremony.  

Huntington, West Virginia; Lake Havasu City, Arizona; and Statesboro, Georgia finished as the competition’s top three, respectively.

“It has been such an honor to invest in your community and get to know you, your revitalization plans and your vast potential to become a shining example of innovation and sustained growth for small towns and cities across the country. You truly are one of America’s Best Communities,” said Maggie Wilderotter, former CEO of Frontier Communications. “We cannot thank you enough for the hard work and brilliant ideas you shared throughout this competition. The solutions and strategies you developed with America’s Best Communities will live on and continue to inspire rural communities seeking their own revitalization for years to come.”

With funding from the competition, Arlington and Darrington has advanced a revitalization plan that focuses on six goals: infrastructure, industry and employment, community and workforce development, resilience and sustainability, placemaking and rural innovation. The communities will continue their work to bring this strategy to life in order to provide fuel for their economic resurgence. Their work in the competition, which serves as a shining example of what can be achieved through collaboration and determination, has already helped facilitate additional investment in the communities.

The eight finalist communities that gathered in Denver for the grand prize event included:

·       Chisago Lakes, Minnesota

·       Darrington/Arlington, Washington

·       Huntington, West Virginia

·       Lake Havasu City, Arizona

·       Madison, Indiana

·       Statesboro, Georgia

·       Tualatin, Oregon

·       Valley County, Idaho

By crowdsourcing new ideas to revitalize rural America, the campaign has helped identify innovative solutions that can serve as roadmaps to economic revival for other small and medium-sized communities across the U.S. The competition’s organizers are encouraging local leaders across the country to view the communities’ revitalization plans, which are available publicly at the America’s Best Communities website.

For more on the competition, visit http://www.americasbestcommunities.com.  

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