An idea brought to the city by a local business owner has blossomed into a new community program, the Colfax Pride Award. Showcasing citizens’ lawns, either best looking or most improved, the award, sponsored by Dickerson Mechanical, not only gives a community member bragging rights but also $50 in Colfax Bucks.
“George (Dickerson) was involved from the infancy. This is basically all George. He’s the guy who planted the seed, kept after me and put the funding forward,” Colfax City Administrator Wade Wagoner said. “(He) had heard of it being done in other communities so I reached out to colleagues and modeled our pride program after other communities that had a similar program.”
The initial details of the contest were sent to each citizen in the last city newsletter. The nomination form included the address of the property and why the person felt the property should be nominated. Forms are due to city hall by 4:30 p.m. on the 15th each month of the program.
“Ballots will be available at city hall and can be filled out when you pay your water bill or any other time or emailed,” Wagoner said. “The nominees will also be listed on Colfax’s Main Street page with a link to the email address to send your vote. Voting is open to all residents of Colfax of any age and limited to one vote per person.”
Ballots need to be turned into city hall by the 10th of the following month. For the first award, eight nominations were submitted with a couple of duplicates ending with six properties for the vote.
On the 12th of the month, the previous month’s award winner will be announced. Non-winning nominations will be carried to the next month.
“A very generous gift of $50 for each of the monthly winners (was funded by Dickerson), then at the end of the year the five monthly winners will compete for a $250 grand prize, a $500 overall annual gift which will jump to $600 next year as we add the months of April and May,” Wagoner said. “All of the prizes will be Colfax Bucks and will be reinvested in our participating community businesses.”
Wagoner said while it might have been effective to hold a vote for the “most egregiously disheveled lawn” or “the lawn that reeked the most” to address poorly maintained properties and enforce city codes, the group felt having a pride award would be a more positive way to hopefully motivate the community.
“The City of Colfax has quite a few ongoing code enforcement issues that all come down to outward appearance,” Wagoner said. “While it may be a delusion of grandeur, we sincerely hope by incentivizing and rewarding attractive and improved properties, others will be motivated to play their part. It is much easier to attract new developers, residents, students, etc. to a community with Pride. So that’s why we developed the program, and that is our goal.”
For more information about the program contact Colfax City Hall or Colfax Main Street. Nominations and ballots can be sent to email@example.com.
Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or firstname.lastname@example.org