Arlington and Darrington fell short of the grand prize in the America’s Best Communities contest, which was announced Wednesday.
Huntington, W.Va. won first place and $3 million in prize money for economic revitalization. Lake Havasu City, Ariz. took second, and Statesboro, Ga. won third place. Second and third place winners will receive $2 million and $1 million, respectively.
While Arlington and Darrington didn't place in the competition, the two cities' mayors said the Stillaguamish Valley already won.
"The ABC competition gave us visability so we could be known not just as a community in recovery, but a community moving forward," Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert and Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin said in a statement.
Darrington and Arlington were named finalists in April 2016 and received $100,000 to begin implementing their community revitalization plans. Part of those funds went towards Oso’s Ride to Remember, which honored the victims of the Oso landslide.
Communities presented to a panel in Denver Wednesday how they would best use the cash award to create community engagement and long-term revitalization. Community improvements could be related to small businesses, education, housing, or infrastructure.
The four other finalists were from Valley County/Meadows Valley, Idaho; Tualatin, Ore.; Madison, Ind.; and Chisago Lakes area, Minn.
The ceremony was live streamed on the America’s Best Communities Facebook page.
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