All America: Thomasville a finalist
Thomasville Mayor Joe Bennett was confident Monday that the Chair City will take All America City honors this year.
Thomasville has been named a finalist for the “All-America City Award,” along with two other North Carolina cities – Dunn and Garner.
“We came close 10 years ago an we feel confident we will win it this time,” Bennett said before a City Council meeting. “It is fantastic and wonderful for us.”
While unemployment lingers around 10 percent in Thomasville, city leaders are seeing signs of a recovery with new businesses opening and jobs being created.
“This honor would be a great psychological lift for the city,” Bennett said.
The National Civic League award recognizes cities which seek solutions to difficult challenges. This year the All America program is spotlighting community-wide initiatives that honor and benefit veterans and military families. Thomasville, a city of 27,000, submitted three projects for the award — Memorial Day activities, the Children at Play initiative and Project Divine Intervention, which helps children who are economically challenged.
Thomasville has never won the award. City Manager Kelly Craver worked with the Chamber of Commerce to seek the recognition.
“This award would tell the country that Thomasville is great place to live and to work,” Craver said, “and that we have moved forward together in the face of adversity in the loss of jobs.”
The last winners among Triad cities were Eden in 2011, Reidsville in 2008 and Mount Airy in 1994.
“Ten years ago, we were told that we probably could get the award the next time because we were so close,” Bennett said. “But the economy took a turn and things did not work out.”
During the council agenda session:
—Council agreed to discuss April 15 contributing $20,000 to a Davidson County bus stop shelter project for the fixed route line that serves Thomasville and Lexington.
— A resolution opposing Senate Bill 394 which would eliminate the local distribution from beer and wine excise taxes, as well as reduce the local sales tax on food from 2 percent to 1 percent, moves to the April 15 council agenda. The beer and wine franchise tax alone contributes $1.5 million to the city general fund.
Honor: More than 600 cities have earned the distinction since 1949.
Nominated: A total of 20 communities were nominated. The winners will be named during a conference June 14-16 in Denver.
Winners: Greensboro and Winston-Salem have won the award twice in the past and High Point has won it once.