The Florida League of Cities announced Thursday afternoon that the City of Clermont won the League’s City Spirit Award. It is the top spot in one of three categories in the 10th Annual Florida Municipal Achievement Awards.

The City Spirit Award recognizes a single, specific citywide effort to successfully address a local need. The City of Clermont’s winning entry, the Oakhurst Project, involved a yearlong initiative that changed a crime-ridden neighborhood to one that is crime-free.

The project was an effort by the City and the Clermont Police Department spearheaded by Officer David Colon. The cost to the City was zero and focused on collaborating with the residents, landlords, local businesses and nonprofits with the help of 150 volunteers who gave more than 300 hours of their time to beautify the neighborhood, build a sense of community and provide a safe environment.

“We are honored and humbled by this incredible acknowledgment of the Oakhurst Project and the City of Clermont,” said City Manager Darren Gray. “We hope the project will be a model for building hope in neighborhoods throughout Florida.”

Chief Charles Broadway said the award was a wonderful acknowledgment of the project and how lives were changed.

“This award is a result of the efforts of the men and women of the Clermont Police Department working with the community to identify issues and adopt community-policing strategies to reduce crime, enhance quality of life while building and maintaining trust,” Broadway said.

A representative from the League will present the City with the award at the Clermont City Council meeting on June 26, at 6:30 p.m.

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