Angola-Fremont gets America’s Best Community cheer on hunt for $3 million

April 22nd, 2016

News Coverage:

April 21, 2016

Angola-Fremont gets America's Best Community cheer on hunt for $3 million

Jennifer Decker | KPC News

ANGOLA — Angola Mayor Dick Hickman joked he’s never had $3 million riding on a speech.

Hickman will journey to the America's Best Communities Summit in Durham, North Carolina, Wednesday. He will be tasked at telling contest judges in 10 minutes what assets Angola-Fremont has to offer as a community. Angola and Fremont have a joint ABC entry because of population. Angola-Fremont is one of 15 semifinalists in the competition aimed at revitalizing small towns and cities. Top prize in the contest is $3 million.

The contest is sponsored by Frontier Communications, Dish Network, the Weather Channel and CoBank.

Hickman gave a sneak preview of his presentation at an ABC Pep Rally Wednesday at The Brokaw Movie House.

“We’re here to share our vision,” Hickman said. “Angola-Fremont won’t leave anyone behind. These are two great communities. Angola and Fremont are working together to make visions a reality.”

For the contest, the Angola-Fremont community revitalization plan is based around three projects: Northern Indiana Lakes County Enterprise Center on South Wayne Street that will provide training and business incubator space; Angola technology park, a pending state-certified technology park at the U.S. 20 and Interstate 69 interchange; and Fremont Logistics Park, a 150-acre shovel-ready site.

At the summit next week, eight finalists will be announced. The finalists will spend another year competing. Winners will be announced in 2017, with first place receiving $3 million, second place $2 million and third place $1 million.

“We’re feeling pretty good about our chances,” Hickman said. “To get this far — we’re winners. We’re down to one of 15 (semifinalists).”

Hickman will be joined at the summit by Steuben County Economic Development Corp.Executive Director Dave Koenig, Fremont town judge and former town manager Chris Snyder, Angola Plan Director Vivian Likes, Angola Downtown Coordinator Maria Davis and consultant Jason Yorn, Mitel strategic accounts manager.

Judging criteria will include: community engagement, short-term tactics and long-term vision.