Tallassee designated an ACE community

The City of Tallassee was designated as an Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) on Saturday, May 6 after completing a systematic three-phase approach with technical resources and the tools needed to help Alabama’s small towns foster growth and prosperity by focusing on their distinctive assets and resources. Pictured left to right: Darryl Wilson, Brandon Bias, Suzannah Wilson, Kimberly Hammock, Mayor Johnny Hammock and Ken Smith.

Tallassee is one of six Alabama municipalities to join The Alabama Communities of Excellence's incoming class of 2019.

After two years and three phases of the program, ACE announced Tallassee earned the ACE designation May 4 at the opening session of the Alabama League of Municipalities annual convention in Mobile.

To be an ACE community, these smaller municipalities must complete a comprehensive three-phase approach to economic and community development.

"We commend the leadership and many stakeholders of the designated communities for their dedication to ensuring long-term economic success for their communities through the Alabama Communities of Excellence process," ACE president and chairman of the board Brandon Bias said.

Tallassee Mayor Johnny Hammock and the city were recognized along with other community representatives and received a plaque and signs to be displayed in prominent locations.

The two main criteria used in selecting ACE participants are the level of local commitment to the ACE program and the community's capacity to support the ACE program.

The ACE program offers a systematic three-phase approach with technical resources and the tools needed to help Alabama's small towns foster growth and prosperity by focusing on their distinctive assets and resources.

The ACE comprehensive program includes Phase I, known as the assessment phase. During this time, a comprehensive report card detailing community assets and weaknesses is prepared by an ACE team and presented to the community along with recommended strategies and actions.

During Phase II, each community must establish a leadership development program, prepare an up-to-date strategic plan and identify a local nonprofit development organization.

Issues addressed during Phase III include comprehensive planning, commercial business development, education enhancement, infrastructure, health and human services, retiree attraction, tourism, economic development and quality of life.

Throughout each of these phases, ACE partners work with each community to successfully achieve their goals.

Tallassee is now one of 39 ACE communities. The others are Alexander City, Arab, Atmore, Bay Minette, Brewton, Childersburg, Demopolis, Elba, Eufaula, Evergreen, Fairhope, Fayette, Foley, Geneva, Graysville, Guin, Gulf Shores, Guntersville, Haleyville, Hanceville, Hartselle, Headland, Heflin, Helena, Jackson, Jacksonville, Jasper, Leeds, Livingston, Millbrook, Monroeville, Montevallo, Oneonta, Rainsville, Saraland, Spanish Fort, Thomasville and Valley.