On Wednesday morning, it was announced that Portsmouth has advanced to the top 15 communities in the America’s Best Communities Competition.
The Southern Ohio Port Authority, Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Portsmouth teamed up for this competition.
When the competition was first announced there were roughly 400 communities throughout the United States involved. That pool of communities was narrowed to 50 and Wednesday that pool was narrowed to 15 communities.
“Great communities don’t happen, they are a result of people coming together moving towards identifying a shared vision and goal,” said Dave George, General Manager Southern Ohio Frontier Communications. “Frontier Communications, Dish Network, The Weather Channel and CoBank believe in great communities. We believe that great communities that can come together to put together a strong effort to make their community better.”
Jason Kester, Executive Director of the Southern Ohio Port Authority was pleased with the announcement.
“This is an extremely positive development for our community and demonstrates that by working together as a community we accomplish virtually anything,” Kester said. “It also shows the strength of our various economic development and revitalization plans.”
According to released information, in Portsmouth’s Community Revitalization Plan, projects and ideas were outlined, aimed at jump starting the local economy and enhance quality of life.
The plan provides an innovative approach to revitalize the Portsmouth community by utilizing its most valuable asset, the Ohio River. Its goal is to improve commercial and community access to the Portsmouth riverfront by making the port a premier regional destination for industrial development, small business development and riverfront recreation.
The next step of the competition will have community representatives present on the revitalization strategy at the America’s Best Communities Summit in Durham, North Carolina on April 26 and 27.
According to information about the competition, at the end of the summit, eight communities will be named finalists and awarded $100,000 to bring their plans to life. They will have one year to implement their strategies, and the top three communities that make the largest impact and show the greatest potential for achieving sustainable revitalization will be selected as the grand prize winners. The top community will receive $3 million, with second place earning $2 million and $1 million for third.
“America’s Best Communities has inspired new hope in rural America by providing a hand up, not a hand out. It’s helping our neighbors in small communities lift themselves up by their bootstraps and live their own American dream,” said Vince Gill, the country music great who has served as a spokesperson for the competition said in a released statement.
Other communities to advance in the competition from the region include, Huntington and Charleston West Virginia.
For more information about the competition visit www.americasbestcommunities.com.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT