Riddle me this: How can the Smallest America’s Best Community Quarter Finalist be its’ Largest?
By Richard Jayo
Seems like a reasonable question and one that deserves a logical answer. And so here it is: a community in the Southern Idaho Frontier LAM has prevailed and is moving onto the quarter finals in the America’s Best Communities Contest. Valley County/Meadows Valley is just that community. Challenge for them was that in order to meet the contest criteria the communities needed to have a population base of at least 9,500. That required population aggregation and collaboration. That was not a problem for Valley County; it just took all the cities in the county, Cascade, Donnelly and McCall plus another contiguous community in Adams County known as Meadows Valley to collaborate to get to that number.
So here is what occurred. Valley County, with a population of just over 9,600, partnered with nearby Meadows Valley to enter the contest. All told, the collective population of the economic impact area in question is 11,100 making it the smallest community to prevail at the quarter finalist level for the ABC contest. But what the area is lacking in population density it easily makes up in terms or geography covered. You see, this economic impact area in question is 4,104 square miles, easily making it the largest geography in the competition. It is, in fact, three and one-half times larger than the entire State of Rhode Island or one and one-half times larger than Delaware, making the smallest community from a population perspective the largest territory in the contest. And that, my friends, is how the smallest community can be the largest.
To show its enthusiasm, the team, sponsored by the McCall Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, put together a video montage to show their appreciation. Folks from all realms of this extended community reached out to the sponsors with a link they wanted to share with you. So follow the link below and if you have not visited the area take a moment and do so. Oh, and stay tuned — this determined contestant will not go away without a fight! See you in the Semis!!