McALLEN The City of McAllen has been designated as a Scenic City by Scenic Texas.

The Certification Program supports and recognizes municipalities that implement high quality scenic standards for public roadways and public spaces. Scenic Texas has identified a direct correlation between the success of a city's economic development efforts and the visual appearance of its public spaces. The Program also plays a vital role in giving a voice to the proposition that citizens of any city are entitled to a green, uncluttered, visually appealing place to live, work, and play.

The distinction demonstrates a responsible local government. "This Certification is difficult to achieve and the ordinances and programs evaluated relate to how responsible and progressive a city is in its commitment to economic development and quality of life," stated Carla M. Rodriguez, Grant Administration Director, whose office was responsible for assembling, for a second time, the Scenic City application.

Applicants were rated on seventy-three criteria including: a high percentage of park and open spaces; implementation of multi-use trails and recreation areas; strong litter enforcement laws; street lighting standards; parking lot landscaping; utility line management, and a budget that supports these programs and their ongoing maintenance.

"The benefits of the Scenic City certification allow us to educate McAllen residents about the importance of the local planning process. The certification also highlights McAllen as a destination center for tourists and meeting planners," stated Julianne Rankin, Planning Director.

Scenic City has five Certification levels consisting of: Certified, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The City of McAllen earned a Certified status in the rankings and certification is good for five years, at which time the City will need to reapply for a new evaluation in order to retain (or upgrade) its status. If McAllen's ordinances are modified to increase scenic standards, the City would be eligible to reapply sooner to achieve a higher certification level.

"The City of McAllen is honored to have been named a Scenic City. This distinction exemplifies McAllen's dedication to providing a clean, beautiful city to our residents, visitors, and businesses alike, as well as increasing property values and attracting new businesses here," stated Mayor Richard F. Cortez.

The City of McAllen will be recognized in Houston on Thursday, October 13, 2011, at 5:30 pm during the Texas Municipal League (TML) Conference.