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STAR Communities announced today that the City of Corinth, TX has been awarded a 3-STAR Community Rating for national leadership in sustainability. The city is the 74th in the nation to receive recognition from STAR Communities for its participation in the STAR Community Rating System (STAR), which evaluates the livability and sustainability of U.S. communities.
“We are truly honored to be recognized as a 3-Star Community for national leadership in sustainability. To make a significant impact in the community, we needed a solid framework and a proven system to assess the community’s strengths and weaknesses across social, economic and environmental conditions to benchmark and measure our performance, and the STAR Rating System provided that framework and tools, ” said Bob Hart, City Manager. “We are using the STAR program as a roadmap for our community-wide, Strategic Plan to serve as an engagement guide toward sustainability to ensure that our resources are being directed in the most efficient and effective manner.”
STAR is the nation’s leading framework and certification program for evaluating local sustainability, encompassing social, economic and environmental performance measures. STAR helps communities evaluate their strengths and weaknesses across seven areas: the built environment; climate and energy; economy and jobs; education, arts and community; health and safety; and natural systems. For instance, communities get credit for reductions in energy use or increased transportation access. STAR Communities provides support as localities benchmark progress, and a robust third-party verification process ensures accountability.
Communities pursuing STAR certification accumulate points for their achievements across the seven goal areas, which are used to determine their rating. There are three STAR certification levels: 3-STAR Community (250-449 points); 4-STAR Community (450-649 points); or 5-STAR (650+ points). Corinth received a score of 310.6, which qualifies them as a 3-STAR Community, recognized for sustainability leadership.
Several efforts stood out among Corinth’s sustainability initiatives:
• Built Environment: Residents of Corinth have access to high quality parkland and open spaces. 74% of residents live within a ½ mile walk of a park and 94% reported visiting a park within the past year in a community-wide survey.
• Economy & Jobs: Of all the sustainability categories, Corinth scored highest in Economy & Jobs. In recent years, the economy of Corinth and the surrounding area has experienced strong growth. Since 2013, the City has seen increasing levels of employment and decreasing levels of unemployment. In 2016, the unemployment rate was 4.9%, well below the national rate of 7.4% during the same time period. Jobs in Corinth are well paying; 86.5% of community residents meet or exceed the standard living wage for the region.
• Health & Safety: Corinth also scored highly in the Health & Safety goal area, achieving a perfect score in the Safe Communities area by demonstrating low rates of violent crime across the city, and no incidents of violent crime in city schools within the past 3 years. The city also received high marks for having an active population and for the quality of the local hospital system.
Corinth went through certification as a part of the Fall 2017 Leadership STAR Community Program, a program that provides resources and assistance to cities as they pursue certification. Information and data was gathered for the certification application with the assistance of dozens of city staff members, community partners, state agencies, local and regional governments, and private sector employers. We would especially like to thank the following community partners for their valuable participation in this sustainability program: Lake Dallas ISD, Denton ISD, Denton County Transportation Authority, North Central Texas Council of Governments, North Central Texas College, Community Waste Disposal, Simple Recycling, United Way, Upper Trinity Regional Water District, Corinth Classical Academy, Denton County and A&M Agrilife Extension Service.
“The STAR rating process gives cities a roadmap for how they can refine and improve their operations to drive continuous improvement,” said Hilari Varnadore, executive director of STAR Communities. “Corinth should be applauded for its commitment to sustainability, and for the clarity and transparency provided while achieving its goals.”
Corinth is one of more than 70 local governments that have participated in the yearlong Leadership STAR Community Program. Today, hundreds of communities track local programs using the STAR Community Rating System. Other STAR-certified communities in Texas include Denton, Plano, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.
To view Corinth’s full report, go to http://www.starcommunities.org/certification/certified-starcommunities/corinth-texas/
To view the full list of communities involved, go to http://www.STARcommunities.org/communities.
About STAR Communities
STAR Communities advances a national framework for sustainable communities through the delivery of standards and tools built by and for local governments and the communities they serve. The organization administers the STAR Community Rating System, the nation’s first framework and certification program for local sustainability. For more information, visit http://www.STARcommunities.org. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @STARCommunities.