LMA recognizes community for fitness improvements
For the first time in its history, the Town of Sibley was tapped for an award during the Louisiana Municipal Association's annual meeting.
"This is the first time ever for Sibley to get something like this," said Mayor Jimmy Williams. "We're very tickled we won the award. It shows that the town is making strides for a better place to live."
The Town of Sibley brought home an Honorable Mention for LMA's most prestigious award for outstanding municipal improvements and accomplishments.
The announcement of LMA's 2010 Community Achievement Awards was made at the annual banquet of LMA's 74th annual convention at The Shreveport Convention Center. The convention drew some 1,500 delegates, spouses, dignitaries, exhibitors and guests.
The LMA's annual awards program recognizes municipalities for outstanding achievement in basic services, community development, and economic development.
"With a grant, local funds and the help of the Webster Parish Police Jury – especially Steve Ramsey – we were able to make a walking track behind Town Hall, with asphalt," Williams said. "We are eventually going to add lights. It's been very well used."
Goal of the project was to promote physical fitness and exercise, as well as community socialization.
A dirt track in place was seldom used due to dust and drainage issues.
"By providing a neutral location and resurfacing of the walking track, citizens have the opportunity to better health and happiness," the mayor said.
The town obtained the property of the former Sibley High School and in September, 2009, received a letter of commitment for funding from the Governor's Recreational Trails program – a matching 80/20 program.
They received $12,000 of the $22,000 requested for Phase I.
"It was necessary to reform the project to match the funds received," Williams said.
The Town of Sibley then partnered with the police jury to resurface the 440-yard walking track, completing the project in September, 2010 at a cost of just over $17,700.
The LMA competition is co-sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Economic Development, Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association and LMA.
Entries submitted were judged by a committee of judges from Louisiana Economic Development, the state's Planning Commissions, the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office, and the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association.
Dr. Brookie Allphin, communications and governmental consultant, said the awards pay tribute to the "vision and ingenuity of elected municipal officials and those who assist them in planning and improving citizen services, community life, and economic conditions."
"These awards truly reflect the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice necessary to secure progress for the modern American municipality on a path of progress," Allphin said.