Cook County has been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways’ innovative call for projects, called Invest in Cook.
NACo President Bryan Desloge said, “Counties overcome complex challenges, provide essential services and constantly do more with less. We applaud these Achievement Award-winning counties for outstanding efforts to improve residents’ quality of life.”
“I am grateful to the National Association of Counties for recognizing the important work our Department of Transportation and Highways is spearheading,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said. “The goal of Invest in Cook is to ensure that transportation investments are made wisely to encourage economic growth and make Cook County communities more livable by making sure businesses and residents have safe and convenient transportation options.”
Earlier this year, Cook County launched Invest in Cook, an $8.5 million program to help cover the cost of planning, engineering, right-of-way acquisition and construction associated with municipal and private transportation improvements that support of the five priorities of its long-range transportation plan, Connecting Cook County.
The policy priorities are:
- Prioritize transit and other transportation alternatives;
- Support the region’s role as North America’s freight capital;
- Promote equal access to opportunities;
- Maintain and modernize what already exists; and
- Increase investments in transportation.
More than 100 local governments applied for program funds seeking an aggregate total of $40.5 million. Cook County transportation experts will evaluate and score the proposals using publicly available, performance-based criteria and a qualitative assessment to determine which projects will receive awards this year.
Invest in Cook is an initiative of Connecting Cook County, a forward-looking plan that lays the groundwork for how the County invests in transportation to attract and retain businesses, people, capital and talent.
Nationally, the NACo awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast and comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.
NACo will recognize award-winning counties at its 2017 Annual Conference and Exposition July 21–24 in Franklin County, Ohio.
Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Award Program is designed to recognize innovative county government programs. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not compared to other applications received.