Initially starting with over 500 communities, the America’s Best Communities competition started in 2015. The competition required initial submission of a Revitalization Plan, and through each round, additional evidence of progress with that revitalization plan. Created in 2015, the Vision 2020 Revitalization Plan was used to set goals for economic improvement, and to tackle larger problems that rural communities face. For Lake Havasu City, demographic starvation was targeted as the most pressing issue facing our community. The Vision 2020 Revitalization Plan and the ABC Competition have been so intertwined, many people are unsure how the two are different. The Vision 2020 Plan is a five year revitalization plan spread across various sectors of the economy and community. The Vision 2020 plan was submitted for the ABC competition with three highlighted projects for the final grand prize proposal. Read the full Plan
18 month update
Now, 18 months after the culmination of the competition, progress continues on both the Vision 2020 Plan and projects that the $2million grand prize was dedicated to. While work continues, we can already see improvements based on recent economic scans. In 2015, unemployment was at 7.3% and is now at 4.9%. The median home income was $42,552 and is now $48,159. Undoubtedly, one of the biggest impacts to come out of initial Vision 2020 planning was the formation of Citizens for Havasu Schools. A cross section of 200 people determined that “better schools” was the most important goal for our community. Based on that, the committee worked tirelessly and successfully passed a bond to support school facility funding, and an override to address teacher retention. The first issuance of the bond has been realized and schools across our community are seeing the benefits of updated facilities. The school district had a teacher turnover rate of 20% in 2015. The teacher turnover rate is now down to 10%.