Berks County’s Colebrookdale Railroad has been recognized with the prestigious Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) based in Washington DC and representing the 3069 counties throughout the United States. The award honors innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.
NACo recognized the County’s truly pioneering work to build a multi-county, public private partnership that not only prevented the loss of the Colebrookdale Railroad but created the region’s highest-rated heritage railroad and a viable freight hauler. “The abandonment of the railroad would have cost millions of dollars, with no return,” said Berks County Commissioners’ Chairman Christian Leinbach. “Instead, we’ve built a growing economic engine and jobs creator and we did it through an unprecedented partnership that includes state, federal and local governments, foundations, donors and volunteers.”
“This is the first time Berks County has received a recognition from NACo, and we’re so proud that it’s for a project like the Colebrookdale,” said Commissioner Michael Rivera.
The Colebrookdale line connects Berks County and Montgomery County with two of the nine miles of railroad residing in Montgomery County. Montgomery County has been an active partner with Berks in the development of the line. “We are fortunate to have a resource like the Colebrookdale in our region and have been happy to partner with Berks County to support it,” said Valerie Arkoosh, MD, Chair of the Commissioners of the County of Montgomery.
Berks County was recognized with the 2020 Achievement Award in the category of Arts, Culture and Historic Preservation. “Berks County’s historic and tourism attractions are second to none, and we are happy NACo recognizes their value through this award,” said Kevin Barnhardt,
Berks County Commissioner. NACo President Mary Ann Borgeson said, “We are seeing firsthand now more than ever that counties work tirelessly to support our residents. This year’s Achievement Award-winning programs showcase how counties build healthy, safe and vibrant communities across America.” Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more. Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.