ABC revitalization plan submitted

Community Connection Center to host calls to North Pole tonight

Staff Reports

TROY — Troy leaders have been hard at work developing a Community Revitalization Plan to guide the city’s economic future. The plan, just submitted Nov. 6, will determine whether Troy will advance in the America’s Best Communities (ABC) competition for a chance to win the contest’s $3 million grand prize.

The comprehensive plan aims to fuel the momentum behind ongoing efforts to “create a community where residents are gainfully employed and experience a lifestyle which is inclusive, safe, productive, and provides a sense of belonging — which comes from being a connected community, individually and collectively.”

By putting this vision statement at the heart of the community’s plan, local leaders believe they have constructed a strategy that can drive the community forward.

“Whether we advance into the next round or not, we know we have a winning revitalization plan,” said Troy Mayor Mike Beamish, who is co-chairman of the local Revitalization Committee. “No matter what happens next, our journey to become America’s best community will not end when the semifinalists are announced. This Community Revitalization Plan has set us on a bold course to a more vibrant, prosperous future, and I am excited for the opportunity to bring this vision into reality.

“We’re confident in our plan, and we know we’ve got what it takes to win the top prize,” Beamish added.

Information on the Troy ABC project is available at the new Community Connection Center on the northeast corner of the Public Square. The Community Connection Center will help kick off the holidays in downtown Troy during the Grand Illumination this evening.

The center will be open from 4:30-8:30 p.m. with Frontier Communications hosting a “Phone Calls to the North Pole” event for children and parents. Cider, popcorn and handouts also will be available at the center Friday evening. The center also will be open Saturday, Nov. 28, during Small Business Saturday.

When it advanced into the ABC quarterfinals, Troy, was awarded $50,000 to construct a Community Revitalization Plan. Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel — the sponsors of the America’s Best Communities competition — provided $35,000 of the award, with the remaining $15,000 in funding coming from Troy’s Adopt-a-Community mentor JPMorgan Chase in Troy. Then $15,000 in local funds had to be added as part of competition rules. All funds were applied to project.

While the revitalization plan centers on creating a connected community, it outlines four different tactics and initiatives Troy is pursuing in order to strengthen the local economy and enhance quality of life.

When implemented, the Community Revitalization Plan will:

• Provide the community with program/process to develop sustainable leadership

• Provide a platform through which information on what is happening across the community is available quickly and efficiently

• Offer a comprehensive downtown/riverfront redevelopment plan

• Offer a well-connected community through improved technology and infrastructure.

“With support from America’s Best Communities and input from hundreds of residents, we have constructed a revitalization strategy that effectively lays out the steps we need to take to become the community we know we can be,” said Troy Revitalization Committee Co-Chairman Ed Westmeyer who also serves as board chair of Troy Development Council. “With the resources necessary, it will change the trajectory of our economy and strengthen our community for generations to come.”

When Frontier Communications launched America’s Best Communities, the company envisioned it helping to uncover new business plans that have the potential to develop road maps to revitalization for rural communities across the U.S.

Troy is one of only 50 communities across the country that advanced into the quarterfinals of the America’s Best Communities competition. A panel of expert judges will now review the revitalization plans, and the best proposals will be awarded additional funding in the next rounds of the competition.

In January 2016, up to 15 communities will be named semifinalists and invited to attend the America’s Best Communities Summit, where they will present their revitalization plans. Eight communities will then be selected to receive $100,000 to implement their plans, with the opportunity to secure one of the grand prizes.

Spearheaded by Frontier Communications and cosponsored by DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel, America’s Best Communities is a multi-stage, three-year competition that is providing $4 million in seed money and other support to assist communities as they develop new economic growth strategies. The top three communities will share a total of $6 million in grand prize money. The winning community will be awarded $3 million, with $2 million for second place and $1 million for third.

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Community Connection Center to host calls to North Pole tonight
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