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With 15 state and national civic awards in 2020, Danville leaders hope to change their city’s image

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 8:56 PM EST
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - As the number of new jobs has increased, rates of violent crime in Danville have dropped. The work that has been done to turn the city around is being noticed by third party agencies throughout the country.

“In a lot of these cases the awards are related to what we are doing as a city government, and some cases it has to do with more than just that, it’s the whole community coming together pitching in to make an award happen,” said Danville City Manager Ken Larking.

So far this year, the city has picked up 15 awards on the state and national level, ranging from public safety, to economic growth and parks and recreation.

That’s something Larking takes pride in.

“It shows community pride and that we care about doing the best things we can,” said Larking.

As the effort brings more jobs and economic growth to the city, leaders say each award is another tool in the arsenal to attract new companies.

“It verifies that third party organizations see what’s happening in our community and taking note of it. They are providing us with the ability to market the progress that we’ve made,” said Corrie Bobe, director of the Danville Office of Economic Development.

However, one area the city has yet to receive an awards in is public education.

“That is our number one priority right now; thankfully we will have new resources when it comes to the casino and new revenue that would come from that, that could be used to improve the school system,” said Larking.

Larking hopes the awards will help the region see Danville is not the same city it was 10 years ago.

“It does take a long time to change the minds of people who maybe have gotten used to things being a certain way over a long period of time and that’s okay; we don’t mind continuing to work to make things better,” said Larking.

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