TROY — As part of the America’s Best Communities contest, The Troy Foundation has pledged $125,000 towards its “Connecting the Community” initiative for a community “all-in-one” online calendar.
In April, Troy was named one of 50 communities in the U.S. to make it through to the quarterfinalist round of the America’s Best Communities competition sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH network, CoBank and The Weather Channel. The contest encourages small communities to focus on a community revitalization platform to stimulate economic growth.
For making it to the quarterfinal round, Troy earned $50,000 to continue its plan and to move forward to the next phase of the competition
The Troy Foundation’s Executive Director Melissa Kleptz said one area the city of Troy’s ABC steering committees found was the Troy community lacks one central website for information about all of the city’s events including business events, non-profit, park and recreation activities, school functions and events, networking opportunities and civic opportunities, and more.
“One of the things we found with other communities with hosting a community calendar that it doesn’t get updated regularly so the Troy Foundation has committed to $25,000 a year for five years — for a total of $125,000 — to administer and maintain a site,” Kleptz said.
Klepts said Troy’s ABC contest steering committee came up with idea to have a central website for every facet of Troy life.
“The challenge is to not just incorporate just what is going on downtown or just what’s going on throughout the city or the park system. It could be a tell-all of every single thing that’s going on,” Kleptz said. “This would be a place where you could go and say, ‘what’s going on everywhere today?’ Keeping it updated and maintained, we really feel that a five-year commitment will allow it to become a tool everybody could get used to using.
“Moving forward, I think there will be a lot of good sustainable things to come out of this for Troy,” Kleptz said.
Kleptz said the website is in its early planning stages, like researching other communities’ calendars for ideas. Kleptz said the goal is to have the ABC contest winnings to help launch the site to its full potential to connect the Troy community in one central online area.
Troy’s eight committees are working on several projects to engage the Troy community to participate in the ABC contest.
The Troy Area Chamber of Commerce recently announced its own mini-contest called “What do you love about Troy, Ohio?” Participants are asked to share stories, photos and videos on the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce Facebook page and Twitter feed using the hashtags “#ABC50 and #TroyProud.” Participants will be entered into a random drawing for $25 worth of Chamber Bucks.
Kleptz serves on several of the eight committees helping Troy to make it through to the semifinals of the ABC contest. Kleptz said she is working on the leadership committee to help encourage youth to move into leadership roles which will be needed to help lead a variety of boards in a positive direction for the city’s future.
The city of Troy has three more months to complete their comprehensive Community Revitalization Plans and compete for additional investment. In early 2016, 15 semifinalists will be selected to attend the America’s Best Communities summit to present their strategies and eight finalists will be awarded another $100,000 to continue implementation of their plans.
In April 2017, America’s Best Communities will name its three competition winners — those communities best able to dream big and deliver on those dreams. The winning community will be awarded $3 million, with $2 million for second place and $1 million for third.
Reach Melanie Yingst at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews