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City of New Richmond receives 2 government excellence awards

City of New Richmond Management Analyst Noah Wiedenfeld and City Administrator Mike Darrow are pictured with posters representing the two excellence awards the city of New Richmond recently received from the International City/County Management Association. Submitted photo

The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) recognized five individual and 14 local government recipients of the Local Government Excellence Awards at the 2018 ICMA Annual Conference, the largest annual event in the world for local government managers and staff, held Sept. 23-26 in Baltimore, Md. The city of New Richmond had the distinct honor this year of being the only local government to be recognized with two of these prestigious awards.

"The people and organizations recognized this year set the standard for innovation, effectiveness, and creativity in the cities, towns, counties, and academic institutions they lead," said Marc Ott, Executive Director of ICMA. "We congratulate all the recipients and thank them for their commitment to improving the lives of the constituents they serve every day."

The awards, conferred annually for the past 50 years, are given in two categories: the Professional Awards, which recognize individual achievement, and the Program Excellence Awards, which are presented to local governments in recognition of their innovative and successful programs. This year's awardees were chosen from 151 nominees by an independent, 19-member evaluation panel of local government professionals.

The city of New Richmond was the award recipient for communities with a population under 10,000 people in the categories of "Community Health & Safety" and "Community Partnership." The New Richmond Police Department's active shooter training program was recognized for its unified community approach to preparing for an active shooter event and the relationships which NRPD has built with administration, elected officials, the School District of New Richmond, parents, local businesses and private citizens.

The second award recognized the Irv and Mary Sather Skylark Skate Park and the extensive community process that it involved — including public meetings, engagement with local youth, research, fundraising, design and construction — to develop a destination skateboard and BMX facility that is enjoyed by people of all ages.

"These awards celebrate the tremendous power of collaboration," said City Administrator Mike Darrow. "Such recognition wouldn't be possible without the dedication and commitment of our elected officials, board and commission members, staff, and the countless citizens, local businesses, and organizations who came together to help meet the public safety and outdoor recreation needs of the community. It's exciting to know that other communities from across the country can look at these two projects in New Richmond as national models to follow."