Mayor Chris Beutler announced today that American City & County magazine has named Lincoln a "Crown Community" for its historic partnership in the Antelope Valley Project. The December issue of the monthly publication features a cover photo of Union Plaza, the City's new park dedicated in September.
Recipients of the annual awards are selected by the editors of American City & County, which has served a nationwide audience of city and county officials since 1909. Any local government initiative substantially completed within the last year can qualify for the awards, and about 80 nominations were submitted. Entries are judged on uniqueness, short- and long-term value to the community and effective/innovative financing.
The City of Lincoln, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District formed the Joint Antelope Valley Authority (JAVA) in 2000 to administer the flood control, traffic improvement and community revitalization effort.
"This national recognition is a great honor for the City, our JAVA partners and the entire community," said Mayor Beutler. "Citizen input was an essential element in Antelope Valley, and the completed project reflects the contributions of all those who served on committees, attended meetings and shared their ideas. Because of that input, this project will benefit our City for many generations."
Lincoln is one of seven local governments named "Crown Communities." The others are Charleston County, South Carolina; Louisville, Kentucky; Ocean Spring, Mississippi; Riverside, California; Sandwich, Massachusetts; and West Monroe, Louisiana.
"Despite the downturn in the economy, local government leaders produced a record number of winning Crown Communities' projects," said Bill Wolpin, editorial director and associate publisher of American City & County. "The judges had a tough time selecting because there were so many outstanding entries to choose from."
The magazine includes a profile of each community's winning project. Lincoln's article cites the removal of the designated 100-year flood plain from 336 commercial structures, 961 residential structures and 50 acres of UNL property.
The article also mentions the transportation improvements, such as the elimination of dangerous railroad crossings and the 6.2 miles of new roadway, as well as the focus on economic development, job creation and recreational opportunities.
"The Antelope Valley Project demonstrated to the entire city that the community can accomplish big things when we work together as partners," said City Engineer Roger Figard in the article. "The Antelope Valley Project has set the stage for the other projects to be envisioned and that are taking place in the downtown area."
American City & County is published by Penton Media, and more information is available at www.americancityandcounty.com.
More information on the Antelope Valley Project is available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: antelope).