Jasper Does Not Make ABC Contest Semifinalist List


JASPER (NNDC) – Jasper has finished its participation in the America’s Best Communities contest at the quarterfinalist level. Fifteen other communities across the country moved on to the semi-finalist round. Members of ABC Team are proud of the community’s accomplishments and for being recognized as a quarterfinalist in this very competitive endeavor.

Sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank, and The Weather Channel, America’s Best Communities is a $10 million competition that aims to revitalize small towns and rural communities across the country. About 400 communities entered the competition, Jasper was among 50 nationwide that were selected to advance into the quarterfinals.

The contest enabled creation of a team of visionary champions (ABC Team Jasper) to promote the City of Jasper’s Downtown + Riverfront Master Plan, a document which propelled Jasper in the early round of the ABC contest. Winnings from the quarterfinalist prize designation provided support for the historic Astra theatre, downtown revitalization and streetscape design planning, and the Jasper Cultural Center’s conceptual design.

While participation in the ABC contest is complete, ABC Team Jasper plans to continue meeting to build upon the city’s vision and momentum within the community, doing their part of driving generational change. The focus of the team will not change. Advocacy, involvement, communication, thought leadership, and fundraising will be the mission of this team of passionate community members.

While the opportunity for further prize money from the America’s Best Community competition is not an option, there are other ways to help the city realize the vision. By planning to collaborate with ROJAC, the Next Act, the Jasper Community Arts Commission and the Jasper Public Library Board, ABC Team Jasper and city officials anticipate greater collaboration to continue support for the downtown, arts in the public realm and industrial property re-purposing components of the city’s master plan.

ABC Team Jasper recognizes and thanks the hundreds of community members who have engaged in many ways as part of this contest and the city’s master planning efforts. The passion, pride, and pure spirit of the people in Jasper are enduring assets.

Mayor Terry Seitz says Jasper’s ABC Team Jasper’s Revitalization Plan will help guide the growth of the local economy and support improvements to quality of life going fofward.

He says the adoption of the Downtown + Riverfront Master Plan, combined with the excitement by the early implementation activities, has generated a “buzz” by Jasper’s young people and confidence by the business community.

The Plan’s strategies for redevelopment and urban design reinforce – and celebrate – Jasper’s unique character and inherent strengths. It proposes viable approaches to better connect the cherished Courthouse Square with the emerging Patoka Riverfront and stimulate economic development through business growth, new downtown housing opportunities, and increased tourism.

More information about Jasper’s journey in the contest can be found on the ABC Team Jasper Facebook page.

NNDC will have more on this story including comments from City Hall coming up…

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