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City scores ACE

Amenities like the city’s splash pad helped earn Brewton another Alabama Community of Excellence award.

Amenities like the city’s splash pad helped earn Brewton another Alabama Community of Excellence award.

It’s official – Brewton has once again been recognized as an Alabama Community of Excellence.

Mayor Yank Lovelace accepted the award Monday at the annual Alabama League of Municipalities meeting in Mobile marking the city’s recertification.

“People in our city already know what a fantastic place Brewton is and how we are working hard to make it better,” Lovelace said. “This is a wonderful affirmation for the people here and is a positive indicator for businesses, industry and families who might want to make Brewton home.”

Brewton was among seven cities chosen to pilot the ACE program in 2003 as the state sought to urge improvement in cities through leadership, planning, economic development and improved quality of life. Through last year, some 31 communities in the state have been selected to take part in the program. Brewton secured certification in 2006, and through a detailed process secured recertification this year. Thomasville was the only other city to win recertification this year.

Facilitator Yolanda Johnson coordinated the process here with community meetings, in-depth analysis and program evaluation over the past year as required by the recertification guidelines. Medical care, education, public service, utilities and recreation are only a few of the areas included in the ACE process.

According to the ACE website, the program uses a comprehensive, three-phase approach to assist participating communities in planning and preparing for a more vibrant future. Throughout each of these phases, ACE partners from the private sector, government agencies and universities work with each community to successfully achieve its goals. Created in 2002 as a 501 (c)3 non-profit corporation organized for the purpose of utilizing the collective expertise of its partner organizations, ACE provides participants with a “one stop shopping” type of experience – community development programs and tools needed to insure long term success found through one organization.

To participate in the ACE program, communities must first submit a completed application and be selected as a participant. At the beginning of each selection process, applications are mailed to the mayors of those communities having the qualifying population of 2,000 to 18,000.

The main criteria used in selecting ACE participants are the level of local commitment to the ACE program; the community’s capacity to support the ACE program, and the provision of complete and accurate information in the application.

To maintain the Alabama Community of Excellence designation, a community must be recertified every three years. Recertification is based on the ACE Community’s progress in implementing its plans and its progress towards approaching ACE Community Standards as stated in Definition of an ACE Community.