ibusinesslines.com June 27, 2017

Huntington waits on grand prize victor announcement in America's Best Communities competition

20 April 2017, 06:54 | Melissa Porter

Huntington Mayor Steve Williams holds a check for $3 million the city received after being named the victor of the "America's Top Communities" competition.

Since the launch of the ABC competition the city has leveraged $12.7 million in resources for its revitalization plan.

Huntington will receive $3 million as part of a nationwide contest dedicated to urban development of small communities nationwide.

West End revitalization will continue the city's River-to-Rail initiative to renew Huntington's West End as well as rejuvenating the Central City commercial district along 14th Street West by improving building facades, streetscapes and green infrastructure improvements.

In his acceptance speech, Huntington Mayor Steve Williams said the city has faced many challenges, including abandoned homes and businesses.

Williams believes the grant will transform the city.

"We're not successful if it doesn't bleed into the rest of the community so that we can be able to address substandard housing", Williams said.

The finalists, which rose to the top eight out of a field of 350 communities across the USA, competed for first-, second- and third-place prizes worth $3 million, $2 million and $1 million, respectively. He said in the past people would come into the city and doubt its potential, pointing out problems instead of solutions. Seven other finalists presented alongside Huntington this week in Denver.

While it fell just short of the top prizes, Arlington and Darrington, will forever be considered one of America's Best Communities.

Representatives from Idaho's Valley County were in Denver, Colo., on Wednesday as one of eight rural finalists for the America's Best Communities Grand Prize sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel. The ceremony will be live streamed on the America's Best Communities Facebook Page.

With its $2 million prize, Lake Havasu City will accelerate its Vision 20/20 plan, which focuses on five pillars: economic development and job creation, education and workforce talent, tourism and place development, water preservation and management, and community engagement.

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