Awards & Designations

State and national awards have been bestowed upon several departments, including but not limited to the Gainesville Convention & Visitors Bureau, Gainesville Finance Department, Gainesville Fire Department, Gainesville Parks & Recreation and Gainesville Water Resources.

City of Excellence

The Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) designated the City of Gainesville a City of Excellence in January 2000 and, in partnership with Georgia Trend magazine, a GeCity of Excellenceorgia Trendsetter City in January 2006 - both important reminders of the City's commitment to service and to the people of Gainesville.

GMA's mission is to anticipate and influence the forces shaping Georgia’s cities and to provide leadership, tools and services that assist municipal governments in becoming more innovative, effective and responsive.

Georgia Trend, the magazine of Georgia business, politics and economic development since 1985, is the only statewide business publication in the market.

Georgia Certified City of Ethics

Certified City of EthicsThe Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) Ethics Certification Committee determined Jan. 5, 2021 the City of Gainesville meets the qualifications to be recertified as a Georgia Certified City of Ethics. Gainesville first received the certification, which is good for four years, in 2009.

GMA's Cities of Ethics program is not in any way approval of past or present conduct by the City or any city official. Instead, it is an attempt to raise awareness about ethics issues at the local level and provide a local forum for the airing and resolution of legitimate concerns. The use of a local ethics ordinance allows citizens to raise their concerns and participate in the ethics investigation process at the local level, where the voice and influence of the individual citizen is strongest.

AARP Age-Friendly Community

Gainesville is also designated as an AARP Age-Friendly Community, becoming a member in August 2021.

Gainesville Community & Economic Development

The City of Gainesville is proud to maintain the Georgia PlanFirst Community designation. PlanFirst is the Georgia Department of Community Affairs' program to recognize and reward communities that clearly demonstrate an established pattern of successfully implementing their Local Comprehensive Plan.

Any size community is encouraged to apply, provided it has a history of public involvement with development of the plan, active engagement in plan implementation, and proven progress with achieving the community’s stated vision or goals.

The PlanFirst designation is awarded to local governments on an individual basis. Gainesville was one of 10 inaugural PlanFirst communities.

Gainesville Convention & Visitors Bureau

program sponsorMain Street Gainesville has been designated as a 2022 Accredited Main Street America™ program. Accredited status is Main Street America’s top tier of recognition, and signifies a demonstrated commitment to comprehensive commercial district revitalization and proven track record of successfully applying the Main Street Approach™.

Main Street Gainesville’s performance is evaluated by the Georgia Main Street Program, which works in partnership with Main Street America, a program of the National Main Street Center, to identify the local programs that meet 10 rigorous performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts, and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.

Main Street Gainesville is a division of the Gainesville Convention & Visitors Bureau that focuses on economic activity in historic downtown Gainesville. Gainesville has been a designated Georgia Main Street City since September 1995, and a National Main Street Center member since 1997. Main Street Gainesville is sanctioned by Main Street America and Georgia Main Street, and implements the standard Four-Point Approach used by Main Street programs all over the country: economic vitality, design, promotion and organization.

Gainesville Finance Department

Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the City of Gainesville in August 2021 for its comprehensive annual financial report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020.

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

Gainesville Fire Department

The Gainesville Fire Department proudly maintains an ISO (Insurance Services Office) Class 1 rating, thanks to the actions of the fire department, Gainesville Gainesville Fire Department badgePublic Works and Hall County 911.

Gainesville is one of only 24 ISO Class 1 Departments in the State of Georgia and one of 329 nationwide. This achievement shows a commitment to public protection that is second to none.

The ISO Public Protection Class (PPC) program recognizes efforts of communities to provide fire protection services for citizens and property owners. Insurances companies use the PPC to help establish fair premiums for fire insurance, which generally results in offering lower premiums in communities with a better class protection rating. Fire departments receive a rating of 1-10, with one being the best and 10 being the worst.

Gainesville Department of Information Technology

CDG21 DigCities Survey Winner_3_RGBThe City of Gainesville has been recognized as a Top 10 2022 Digital Cities Survey winner by the Center for Digital Government (CDG), part of Government Technology News.

The CDG is a national research and advisory institute focused on technology policy and best practices in state and local government. CDG is a division of e.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education.

The CDG’s survey winners strengthen cybersecurity, enhance transparency and digital equity and plan for the future of work.

Gainesville Parks & Recreation

Parks and Rec Home PageGainesville Parks & Recreation is proud of its role in the quality of life our citizens covet. P&R operates and maintains eight major facilities, 21 parks and roughly 405 acres of park land. The department is steadfast in its commitment of building and preserving a parks and recreation system that meets the needs of the community.

Named "Agency of the Year" 17 times over the last 32 years by the Georgia Recreation & Parks Association, most recently in 2020, Gainesville P&R sets the standard for leisure in the State of Georgia.

Gainesville P&R has also been a CAPRA Accredited Agency since 2000, receiving its reaccreditation every five years with its most recent completed virtually in summer 2020.

Gainesville Water Resources

The Gainesville Department of Water Resources is recognized regularly for accomplishments in operations and service.

Facility Awards

Lakeside Water Treatment Plant 

  • 2009-21 Georgia Association of Water Professionals Platinum Award recipient

Riverside Water Treatment Plant 

  • 2021 Georgia Association of Water Professionals Gold Award recipient

Linwood Water Reclamation Facility 

  • 2022 Georgia Association of Water Professionals Plant of the Year Award recipient
  • 2021 Georgia Association of Water Professionals Gold Award recipient

Flat Creek Water Reclamation Facility

  • 2020 Georgia Association of Water Professionals Plant of the Year Certificate of Achievement recipient
  • 2020 Georgia Association of Water Professionals Gold Award recipient

Department Awards

  • 2022 Georgia Association of Water Professionals Program of Excellence Award for public education
  • 2022 Fox McCarthy Water Wise Award for Water Efficiency Program and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)
  • 2021 Smart Cities Connect Award for AMI, which allows for automated meter reading, customer access to near real-time data and alerts for unusual water use