FLORENCE, Ala. — TVA has designated the City of Florence as a Valley Sustainable Platinum Community. That means the city is considered a community that works toward developing a healthy environment, has a thriving community, and has long-term economic prosperity.
Mayor Steve Holt expressed his joy for the city's new status at a luncheon Wednesday afternoon.
"I'm proud of the committee; I'm proud of the city for being willing to invest the time and energy that it took to get us to the platinum level and there's only 8 cities in the entire TVA system that are at the platinum level, so we're excited about that," said Mayor Holt.
To be considered a Valley Sustainable Community, cities must meet a set of specific requirements. In 2015, creating a Florence Forward team and implementing city-wide recycling was enough to earn the city gold status recognition—but Mayor Holt knew they could do more.
"We're willing to look at our carbon footprint, we're willing to make changes where we can such as the changing out of streetlights from mercury vapor lights to LED lights, which saves us money."
Sustainability Coordinator Rachel Koonce encourages Florence residents to help as well to maintain the city's platinum status. She says simple things help like turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth. "The biggest message is that little differences make big impacts," said Koonce.
Until now, Huntsville was the only platinum community in the state of Alabama. Florence is the 8th city to receive the designation across the TVA system.