For the past six months, local leaders in Susanville, lead by Lassen County Chamber of Commerce, have been hard at work developing a Community Revitalization Plan to help guide the city’s economic future. On November 6th they submitted their application for the semifinalist round of the America’s Best Communities Contest, which will determine whether Susanville will advance in the ABC competition for a chance to win the contest’s $3 million grand prize.
The comprehensive plan aims to fuel the momentum behind ongoing efforts to revitalize Main Street, strengthen our appeal to touristand attract visitors and spark new and existing business growth. By putting this at the heart of the community’s plan, local leaders believe they have constructed a strategy that can drive the community forward.
“Whether we advance into the next round or not, we know we have a winning revitalization plan,” said Patti Hagata, LCCC Executive Director. “No matter what happens next, our journey to become America’s best community will not end when the semifinalists are announced. This Community Revitalization Plan has set us on a course to a more vibrant, prosperous future, and we are excited for the opportunity to bring this vision into reality.”
“We’re confident in our plan, and we think we have a good chance at winning the top prize,” she added.
When Susanville was selected as one of 50 communities to advance into the ABC quarterfinals round, we were awarded $50,000 to use to further develop a Community Revitalization Plan. Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel — the sponsors of the America’s Best Communities competition — provided $35,000 of the award, with the remaining $15,000 in funding coming from Susanville’s Adopt-a-Community mentor GoPro, in addition the team was required to receive $15,000 in community matching funds.
While the revitalization plan centers on setting up a Community Revitalization Foundation, it outlines several different tactics and initiatives the Susanvilleteam hopes to see implemented by both the county and city in order to strengthen the local economy and enhance quality of life.
“With support from America’s Best Communities and input from hundreds of residents, we have a revitalization strategy that effectively lays out the steps we need to take to become the community we know we can be,” said Hagata. “With the resources necessary, it will change the trajectory of our economy and strengthen our community for generations to come.”
When Frontier Communications launched America’s Best Communities, the company envisioned it helping to uncover new business plans that have the potential to create the next great American city. Frontier hoped to develop roadmaps to revitalization for rural communities across the U.S.
“We’re excited to see which ideas rise to the top and how they will help not only an applicant’s local community grow and thrive, but how the proposals can benefit all communities across America,” said Frontier Executive Chairman Maggie Wilderotter when the competition first launched.
Susanville is one of only 50 communities across the country that advanced into the quarterfinals of the America’s Best Communities competition. A panel of expert judges will now review the revitalization plans, and the best proposals will be awarded additional funding in the next rounds of the competition.
In January 2016, up to 15 communities will be named semifinalists and invited to attend the America’s Best Communities Summit, where they will present their revitalization plans. Eight communities will then be selected to receive $100,000 to implement their plans, with the opportunity to secure one of the grand prizes.
Spearheaded by Frontier Communications and cosponsored by DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel, America’s Best Communities is a multi-stage, three-year competition that is providing $4 million in seed money and other support to assist communities as they develop new economic growth strategies. The top three communities will share a total of $6 million in grand prize money. The winning community will be awarded $3 million, with $2 million for second place and $1 million for third. To learn more, visit americasbestcommunities.com.