Wausau in running for Strong Towns crown

Source:  Laura Schulte at the Wausau Daily Herald

Wausau could be named the strongest town in the world in March Madness-like bracket competition between cities and towns from across the world.

Strong Towns, a nonprofit that works to strengthen financial resilience in America's cities, towns and neighborhoods, is hosting the competition for the second year. Towns from around the globe were invited to apply to the competition by answering a series of questions about their community, according to a news release from Strong Towns.

Sixteen towns were chosen for the first round of voting. Each location will be judged on criteria like financial solvency, citizen engagement, transportation options and ability to adapt to new challenges. The towns range from San Francisco to Wollongong in Australia.

From Feb. 27 to March 24, Strong Towns readers are invited to vote on each round of the competition. The first round is based on answers to the questions answered during nomination, for which voting ends at 11 p.m. Thursday. Towns that advance on to later rounds of the bracket will display photo galleries provided by the towns, podcast recordings created by the Strong Towns team and a final webinar showdown for the championship, the release said.

Liz Field, the executive director of the Wausau River District, said that the nomination for Strong Towns is an honor for Wausau because it means that a citizen filled out the form for the city.

"I think it speaks volumes about the citizens involved in the community," she said. "We're incredibly honored for citizens to think that we're a strong enough talent."

In its first round, Wausau is up against Ftichburg, Wisconsin. To cast your vote, visit http://www.strongtowns.org/strongesttown.

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