Guide to Garner 2018-19 edition - Page 6

Awards and Milestones (continued) MAY The national nonprofi t KaBoom! honored the Town with a Playful City USA designation for the fourth consecutive year. Garner was one of just 11 cities or towns in the state to earn the recognition in 2017, joining Raleigh and Durham as the only Triangle municipalities to be named a Playful City USA. The recognition honors cities and towns across the country for putting the needs of families fi rst so kids can learn, grow and develop important life skills. The Government Finance Offi cers of the United States and Canada awarded the Certifi cate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the Town for its 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). It was the 27th consecutive year that the Finance Department earned the award, which is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and fi nancial reporting. JUNE The Garner Revitalization Association (GRA) was designated for 2017 as an accredited Main Street America program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its coordinating program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization. For the third consecutive year, the Town of Garner received the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Offi cers Association of the United States and Canada for its Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR). The report was for the fi scal year ended June 30, 2016. The award recognizes conformity with the highest standards for preparation of state and local government popular reports. JULY Improved Nature, a start-up company that manufactures soy-based meat-substitute products, began production at its new 30,000-square-foot facility in Garner. The company expected to hire 30 to 35 employees initially, but employment at the current facility on Vandora Springs Road could grow to about 70. Initial investment in the facility is approximately $3 million. The plant can produce 10 pounds of meat substitute product per minute. AUGUST With help from a $75,000 grant from the Main Street Solutions Fund—and a partnership involving the GRA, Town of Garner and North Carolina Main Street & Rural Planning Center—local entrepreneurs completed 4 renovation of a historic bank building in downtown Garner and made it home to Full Bloom Coffee & Craft. It was the fi rst Main Street Solutions Fund project to be completed in Wake County. The fund assists planning agencies and small businesses in downtown revitalization efforts by creating jobs, funding infrastructure improvements and rehabilitating buildings. Town offi cials cut the ribbon on a new picnic shelter at Garner Recreational Park. The park has become a focus of community activity in North Garner with the addition of pop-up markets and a dog park. Both the shelter and dog park were funded with proceeds from the 2013 Garner Bond Program. The Town received an Award of Merit from the Southern Economic Development Council for the Economic Development Department’s Garner: A Great Place to Be brochure. The publication won in the general purpose brochure-small division category, along with an international business guide produced by the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation/Global Tampa Bay. SEPTEMBER Town Hall offi cials and invited dignitaries offi cially opened Garner’s new Tow