Jasper to be designated an Alabama Community of Excellence

By NICOLE SMITH, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 4/28/17

The City of Jasper will be designated as an Alabama Community of Excellence next month, ACE-Jasper coordinator Tana Collins said Thursday.

After two years of completing the three-phase approach of the Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) program, Jasper will receive the designation at the Alabama League of Municipalities Annual Convention in Birmingham on Saturday, May 20.

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Jasper to be designated an Alabama Community of Excellence

Posted

The City of Jasper will be designated as an Alabama Community of Excellence next month, ACE-Jasper coordinator Tana Collins said Thursday.

After two years of completing the three-phase approach of the Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) program, Jasper will receive the designation at the Alabama League of Municipalities Annual Convention in Birmingham on Saturday, May 20.

The ACE program provides technical assistance to a number of communities in Alabama to help them reach short- and long-term goals toward economic and community vitality, and 14 ACE partner organizations assist communities in achieving their goals.

Jasper was selected for the ACE program in September 2015, and has successfully completed the program’s three-phase approach for populations ranging from 2,000 to 18,000, which includes assessment, leadership development and strategic planning and implementation of the strategic plan and comprehensive planning. ACE-Jasper spent much of 2016 developing their strategic plan.

Collins said she is proud of how quickly the city was able to complete the program.

"As the local coordinator for the Jasper ACE program, the process leading to our official designation as an Alabama Community of Excellence has been an exciting and encouraging experience,” Collins said. “I have seen the support of local leaders and community stakeholders toward our city's economic progress and growth. But, most importantly, I have seen our community as a whole rally together to ensure Jasper moves forward in a positive direction.

“The citizens of Jasper should take great pride in the accelerated rate at which our city graduated the program. It could not have happened without their enthusiastic participation. We will now seize this momentum as a designated Alabama Community of Excellence, with all of the support and resources this amazing program provides.”

ACE-Jasper will now focus on implementing their strategic plan in the years to come, which will include tackling substance abuse problems in the city, exploring industrial site development and recruitment and examining the economic impact of housing.

Jasper Mayor David O’Mary said all facets of the strategic plan are important to address, particularly the city’s substance abuse problem.

“Substance abuse is a major issue for this community. If I had to pick a priority to address, it would be that,” O’Mary said. “I’m pleased that we have folks in this city that have taken it among themselves to implement the ACE program.”

The Alabama cities of Oneonta and Spanish Fort will also receive their ACE designation in May, bringing the total number of ACE designated communities to 35. Among other area cities participating in the program are Fayette, Guin and Haleyville.

The ACE partner organizations include Alabama Department of Commerce, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Alabama League of Municipalities, Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association, Alabama Municipal Electric Authority, Alabama Power Company, Alabama Small Business Development Center Network, Auburn University–Government and Economic Development Institute, Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, Inc., PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, Regions Bank, Southeast Alabama Gas District, The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development and The University of West Alabama.

To view the full press release, visit www.alabamacommunitiesofexcellence.org.