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The City of Columbia is among 21 recipients who received the 2020 Local Government Award presented by the Greater Nashville Regional Council (GNRC) for contributions to advancing collaboration, innovation, and improving quality of life. The City of Columbia, in partnership with Maury County Schools, was recognized in the category of “Excellence in Recreation and Youth Engagement” for outstanding results for an innovative approach to public services in the area of parks and recreation. The awards spanned seven different categories of excellence.
Parks and Recreation Director Mack Reagan stated, “Sharing resources through community partnerships is vital in serving the public and reducing costs. It also improves the overall quality of life of all the citizens and patrons. This partnership is a prime example of just that.”
The City’s partnership with Maury County Schools – the Community First Partnership Project – created an intergovernmental initiative as a result of Columbia’s new fire station’s cost-savings effort. When bids for a new fire station came in significantly over budget, City Manager Tony Massey and department heads evaluated opportunities for containing costs. This cost containment evaluation led to creating a public partnership that identified $1.8 million in savings by leveraging and coordinating improvements to sports facilities for the nearby schools and a new City nature park with walking and cycling trails accessible to students, firefighters, and the public.
“We know that our community is better when it works together with local governmental partners, and we also know that education is the key to any community's success,” stated Mayor Chaz Molder. “This recognition by the Greater Nashville Regional Council is a testament to our commitment to collaborative partnerships and education in the City of Columbia. And, this recognition highlights how we were able to leverage multiple departments within city government to create an outcome that benefitted the city as a whole.”
The City of Columbia strives to deliver vital services to improve the quality of life in the community through partnerships. This award recognizes and celebrates this added value to the community and also demonstrates cost-saving practices.