This morning marked the exciting announcement that the city of La Porte and the city of Valparaiso were both awarded a $50,000 prize as both cities were chosen as two of fifty quarter-finalists out of the 138 applicants in 347 communities in the America’s Best Communities Prize Competition.
America’s Best Communities is sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH Network and CoBank. This campaign is dedicated to giving $10 million in cash and other rewards to support local communities achieve their goals of creativity and innovation while also stimulating economic development.
“It’s a really outstanding competition,” says Frontier General Manager Domenico Fornaro. “It’s a great way to invest in rural America and it’s really about investing back in the communities we live in and the fabric which makes Northwest Indiana such a great place to live and work in.”
La Porte City Mayor Blair Milo expressed her excitement for being chosen as a quarter finalist and the city's plans to use the prize money to improve various aspects of the city.
“We’re proud of the work we’re doing across the city of La Porte and we’re looking to improve our road and sidewalk conditions, along with our non-motorized transportation routes to build a large and robust travel network and use this innovation to revitalize out downtown area and our community,” says Milo.
Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas also showed his appreciation for Valparaiso’s inclusion as one of the finalists.
“It’s delightful to be recognized as a top community and we’re really looking forward to moving ahead and continuing to improve our city,” says Costas. “We want to continue to make Valparaiso a city that everyone talks about, tells their friends about and wants to continue to live in.”
Both cities will develop their community revitalization plan over the next 6 months with the eventual goal of achieving up to $3 million as a grand prize. Valparaiso’s $50,000 prize will be split between two companies, a $35,000 prize from Frontier and a $15,000 contribution from, ADTRAN, a corporate sponsor that has partnered with the city of Valparaiso.
“I like to think that being “the hub of awesome” was one of the factors in letting the city become chosen,” says Milo. “We are always continuing to improve our community in terms of safety, health and quality of life for our residents.”
“I believe that this program rewards the very same innovation we value in Valparaiso as one of the best cities in Northwest Indiana,” says Costas.
For Fornaro, both cities being chosen represents a victory for the Northwest Indiana community.
“I feel that Indiana is being well represented. All of my employees live and work in Northwest Indiana. It’s great to see these cities being recognized as great places to live and it’s great that they are getting recognized on a national scale.”