The City of Thomasville has once again been designated as a PlanFirst Community by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. PlanFirst is a program that recognizes excellence in community planning and demonstrates an established pattern of successfully implementing its Local Comprehensive Plan.
“We are honored to be designated as a 2021 PlanFirst Community by the DCA,” said Alan Carson, City Manager. “Good planning sets the stage for economic growth, so achieving this designation is very good for our community. The PlanFirst designation also recognizes the hard work and successful comprehensive plan implementation by our City staff and citizen boards who work in partnership to identify opportunities and set goals to move our community forward.”
The announcement was made during the awards ceremony held during the virtual DCA Conference, October 5th-8th. “Due to COVID-19, the 2020 DCA Conference was held through a virtual platform,” said Kenneth Thompson, City Planner. “At this time, we expect to attend the PlanFirst designation ceremony at the State Capitol in early 2021 to receive this award on behalf of the City and our citizen boards.”
According to Thompson, the designation will last for three years, through December of 2023. The designation enables the City to take advantage of various incentives, including grant eligibility. “As a PlanFirst Community, the City receives annual Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application eligibility and reduced interest rates on certain Georgia Environmental Financing Authority (GEFA) loans,” he said. “In addition, we will receive bonus points on applications for DCA programs such as the Employment Incentive Program (EIP), Downtown Development Revolving Loan Fund (DDRLF), and the Redevelopment Fund.”
“This designation recognizes our community and its robust vision of its future and the active strategy for implementing that vision.,” said Thompson. “Successful planning and implementation can only be achieved when you have a community that is willing to be involved. We are appreciative of the many citizens that provide us with input and feedback that help drive the community forward.”
Since its creation in 1977, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has been an advocate for our state’s communities, helping to spur private job creation, implement comprehensive plans, develop downtowns, generate affordable housing solutions, and promote volunteerism.
For more information about the PlanFirst recognition or the City of Thomasville Planning Department, please contact Kenny Thompson at 229-227-4118.