City of Rainsville now an Alabama Communities of Excellence member
Rainsville now an Alabama Communities of Excellence member
Huck Treadwell Times-Journal | Posted: Monday, May 25, 2015 4:00 pm
Rainsville receives ACE certification
(From left) Rainsville Councilman David Holt, ACE President Lisa Miller, Rainsville Mayor Nick Jones, Akaysha Yukawa and Councilmember Melissa Ledbetter receive the Alabama Communities of Excellence certification.
RAINSVILLE — Rainsville recently was designated as an Alabama Community of Excellence.
The city of Rainsville joined Alexander City, Elba, Fairhope and Saraland as the newest ACE members. Rainsville Mayor Nick Jones said the ACE certification was something the city has been working on for some time.
“We’ve been in the program for a while,” Jones said. “So this is more of a graduation. This is a really good program for smaller towns that puts city leaders with experts in [city planning] fields.”
The ACE program is designed for cities with populations between 2,000 and 18,000. ACE was formed in 2002 and is a nonprofit organization that utilizes the expertise of its partner organizations — which include the Alabama Association of RC&D Councils; Alabama Association of Regional Councils; Alabama Department of Commerce; the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs; the Alabama Historical Commission; the Alabama League of Municipalities; the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority; Alabama Power Co.; the Auburn University Economic and Community Development Institute; Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood; PowerSouth Energy Cooperative; Regions; the Southeast Alabama Gas District; the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development; and the University of West Alabama.
Jones said having access to such a wide range of experts will help the city better plan for the future. Before becoming an ACE member, Rainsville worked with ACE to identify areas in the city that needed improvement and develop ideas for making those improvements.
“One of the things Rainsville is doing that was identified in the assessment was improving our sewer system and paying sewer employees competitive wages,” Jones said. “We’re also looking at downtown revitalization. Rainsville is at the crossroads of two major state highways. We have a lot of traffic, but the traffic is going so fast people don’t slow down. We’re looking at ways to slow the traffic down. On Highway 35, we have 12-foot lanes. We’re looking at narrowing that to 11 feet so we can create a median with trees and greenery. But, we’ll have to work with the Alabama Department of Transportation on that, so it’s a looming term project.”
Jones said the city had been invited to apply for a community planning grant and there would be a lot more public discussion on ACE projects in the future. He said the city was also discussing creating a planning commission to oversee ACE and city projects.
ACE President Lisa Miller said the organization was proud to designate Rainsville as an ACE city and looked forward to working with city leaders in the future.
“We commend the leadership and many stakeholders of the designated communities for their dedication to ensuring long-term economic success for their communities through the Alabama Communities of Excellence process,” Miller said.