• 55°

Hartselle designated as a ‘Community of Excellence’

The City of Hartselle was one of seven municipalities to be recognized as a newcomer “Alabama Community of Excellence” at a general session of the Alabama League of Municipalities Annual Convention in Birmingham Mon., May 21.

The presentation of a sign designating Hartselle an ACE city was made by Dr. Arturo Menefee, ACE president and leadership development specialist at Auburn’s Economic & Community Development Institute and ALM Executive Director Ken Smith. Accepting the award were City Council President Kenny Thompson, representing Mayor Dwight Tankersley, and City Planner Jeremy Griffith, ACE local coordinator.

The city also qualified for a $5,000 cash award; however, the release of the award was withheld due to financial constraints.

“This is a feather in the city’s cap,” said Griffith. “It will get the attention of business and industry leaders when they’re looking for new locations. It also gives impetus to dealing with community needs such as transportation infrastructure, business development and healthcare facilities.”

Phase III of the project also facilitated a mandated five-year update of the city’s long range comprehensive plan, which was approved by the Hartselle Planning Commission last week and the Hartselle City Council Tuesday night.

To maintain the ACE designation, a community must be recertified every three years.

Hartselle began its pursuit of the ACE designation in November 2009 with a community assessment meeting. Taking part in the initial planning phase were about 25 local community leaders, representing business, industry, government, education, health services, etc. Later, strategies were developed to meet community needs.

“We’re proud of communities like Hartselle for successfully completing all three phases of the ACE program,” said Menefee. “Their dedication to community development should be commended.”

Joining Hartselle as newcomer ACE communities were Arab, Childersburg, Eufaula, Foley, Livingston and Montevallo. They bring to 15 the number of communities that have been designated as Alabama Communities of Excellence.