Chelsea to begin ACE program

CHELSEA – The city of Chelsea recently announced its selection as a part of the Alabama Communities of Excellence program, which uses a three-phase approach to improve communities through assessment, planning and development.

“ACE is going to give us a path to follow,” Chelsea City Council member Casey Morris said. “They’re giving us a model to work with, and they’re very centered on our community’s uniqueness.”

Morris said phase one of the program, which will involve an assessment of the city’s needs, is set for this upcoming fall.

During phase two of the program, Morris said the city will create a long-term plan. Phase three will complete the program. After the completion of phase three, Chelsea will be named as a designated Alabama Community of Excellence.

“It’s the planning side, the economic vitality, what we can improve upon and what we’re doing right,” Morris said.

Morris said he became interested in getting Chelsea involved in the ACE program before he became a council member in 2016.

“During the campaign phase of my election, I had been looking at this project,” Morris said.

While many municipalities are rejected after their first try, Morris said the city only applied once before it was accepted in May. Morris said the application process involved a lot of data input and community support.

Morris said the city is looking forward to seeing how Chelsea will improve under the guidance of the ACE program.

“It takes our council, our mayor and our community into a think tank. We’re going to make a strategic plan for Chelsea,” Morris said. “We have to prioritize our needs and that’s what ACE will help us do.”