Congratulations to the 2013 CREATE Community Awards Winners!
Each year, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) recognizes local governments for their innovation and creative efforts to make the Atlanta region a better place through its CREATE Community Local Government Awards program. And by announcing the winners publicly, ARC also helps local governments in the 10-county area learn about new programs and exchange ideas that help them all succeed. ARC recognized the 2014 recipients at its February board meeting on February 26.
ARTS & CULTURE
AWARD WINNER – City of Suwanee Public Arts Initiative
Suwanee has successfully used public art to distinguish itself from other suburban communities. Through a Council appointed Public Arts Commission (PAC) and with the help of private donors, the city has acquired nearly a dozen permanent pieces of public art, and encourages new developments to commit one percent of construction costs to public art.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT & COLLABORATION:
AWARD WINNER – City of Marietta in partnership with Youth Empowerment through Learning,
Leading and Serving (YELLS)
The City of Marietta’s Youth Empowerment through Learning, Leading and Serving (also known as the YELLS program) recognizes the power of youth service to affect the lives of those serving and those being served YELLS offers three innovative youth programs: YELLS Mentoring, the YELLS Afterschool Program and the YELLS Community Action Café and Teen Center, which engages teens while they lead community initiatives and manage and operate a café-style business.
AWARD WINNER – The City of Riverdale’s Annual Preparation Spelling Bee
The City of Riverdale’s Annual Preparation Spelling Bee encourages and challenges students in a competitive setting to prepare them for the District Preparation Spelling Bee. With 75 participants, the Bee demonstrates Riverdale’s strong relationship with the community and its education partners.
AWARD WINNER – Sandy Springs Fuel Conversion Program
Using the city’s “Innovations Fund,” to leverage grant funds, Sandy Springs is in the process of converting public safety vehicles to operate on propane autogas, a low-pressure system that enhances safety for first responders and improved performance. To date, the city has converted 55 vehicles, resulting in the displacement of 87.94 tons of emissions and $56,456 in cost savings compared to gasoline. The city has also installed solar panels on its fire stations, reducing the amount of natural gas used at the two stations by 27 percent, a cost savings of $23,158. The city has reduced its reliance on fossil fuels, preparing it for the future, saving money and reducing emissions.
REGIONAL PROSPERITY & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:
AWARD WINNER – Fayette County and City of Fayetteville Economic Development Alliance
Looking to help pull their local economy out of the recession a little faster, Fayette County and Fayetteville used memoranda of understanding to allow their economic development agencies to work together across jurisdictional lines in an unparalleled “commitment-to-build” process with near seamless cooperation. Without this process, the area could not have promised and succeeded in getting Pinewood Studios phase I built out in 10 months, opening the door to more than 3,000 jobs and a potential economic impact of more than $370 million per year. The alliance earned the 2013 Large Deal of the Year from the Georgia Economic Developers Association and, along with further collaborative efforts between the city, county, local businesses, the Fayette County Development Authority, the Fayette County Board of Education, Clayton State University and Southern Crescent Technical College has given the area a stellar reputation in the film industry and with state economic development officials.
AWARD WINNER – Gwinnett County Stormwater Strategic Asset Management Plan
In an attempt to prevent flooding and costly leaks, Gwinnett County has developed a proactive program for inspecting and maintaining its 1,336 miles of stormwater drainage pipes and 91,702 associated structures. Using established criteria for determining the likelihood and consequences of infrastructure failure, the county inspects the system and prioritizes repairs rather than simply reacting to emergency situations. Having begun the process in 2009, Gwinnett now has an accurate inventory of all stormwater facilities in the 351 square miles it manages. The county has reduced its backlog of complaint-related service requests.