Huntington semifinalist for America’s Best Communities; next steps underway

Plans are underway for the city of Huntington’s next steps in the America’s Best Communities competition after being announced as a top 15 semifinalist Wednesday, Jan. 13 at the Pullman Plaza Hotel.

The competition, held by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel, seeks to stimulate growth and revitalizations in small cities and rural towns according to a recent release from the organization.

Mayor Steve Williams said the city still has a lot of work to do in order to be named America’s Best Community.

“This is not where we’re aiming,” Williams said. “We’re aiming to be the best in the nation.”

As part of the semifinal round, city representatives will attend the America’s Best Communities summit April 26 and 27 in Durham, North Carolina. The semifinalists will present their city revitalization plans at the summit. From there, eight finalists will be awarded $100,000 to help implement their plans.

Communications director, Bryan Chambers said citizen engagement will be a vital part of moving the city forward. Chambers said engagement shows the community stands behind the effort.

“We anticipate having public events in the near future to not only celebrate how far we’ve come,” Chambers said, “but also to let the community know we need their help to move forward and advance even further.”

The top three communities will be announced in April 2017 and will win $3 million, $2 million and $1 million respectively.

Updates on Huntington’s progress in the competition can be found by following @ABCommunities and @HuntingtonCity on Twitter.

Clara Maynard can be contacted at maynard 294@