Representatives from Idaho's Valley County were in Denver, Colo., on Wednesday as one of eight rural finalists for the America's Best Communities Grand Prize sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel. The announcement came Wednesday night. Williams and other city officials were in Denver, Colorado to present the city's revitalization plans to a panel of judges. Following the presentations, the top three were announced during the America's Best Communities Grand Prize Ceremony.
Transforming abandoned factories in a modern technical center along the city's riverfront, adjacent to the Marshall University campus.
All projects, including Marshall, the area hospitals and the city's downtown, will be connected to high speed internet access.
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The competition started out with more than 300 communities in 2014.
Being selected as a finalist, Madison earned $150,000 in prize grants.
By crowdsourcing new ideas to revitalize rural America, the campaign has helped identify innovative solutions that can serve as roadmaps to economic revival for other small and medium-sized communities across the U.S. The competition's organizers are encouraging local leaders across the country to view the communities' revitalization plans, which are available publicly at the America's Best Communities website. The $2 million second place prize and $1 million third place prize were awarded to Lake Havasu City, Arizona and Statesboro, Georgia, respectively.
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If Huntington wins prize money, Williams said the city will be able to move forward with its plan.
The plan also called for the creation of the West Central Mountains Community Foundation to provide the long-term framework for making the improvements.
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