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Lazar receives City Livability award for success of Carnegie
Lazar award
Mayor John Lazar is presented with the City Livability Award at the National Conference of Mayors held in Las Vegas. - photo by Photo Contributed

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Well, not when a small town in the Central Valley wins a national award.

That news tends to spread fast.

Both Mayor John Lazar and the City of Turlock were presented with the City Livability Award at the National Conference of Mayors held in Las Vegas last weekend.

The recognition was given largely due to the city's efforts with aiding the construction of the Carnegie Arts Center, and the prestige and attention it has brought to the town.

 “I am extremely proud to represent our city in receiving this acknowledgement of the Carnegie Arts Center,” said Lazar.

The Carnegie Center, which had been a staple of the Turlock art scene for 89 years until an arson fire gutted the building in 2005.  In 2010, the Turlock City Council voted to reconstruct the center in a $6.6 million venture.

Since its renovation, the center has seen both financial and artistic success, hosting a wide variety of famous artwork, both locally and internationally.

However,  this is not the first time the Carnegie Center has received recognition. Last fall, the center was also awarded the San Joaquin Valley Blueprint Award for historic revitalization.

 “We should all be proud of the arts in Turlock and I take particular pride in being Turlock’s Mayor,” said Lazar.

Turlock was one of five cities under the population of 100,000 to receive an “honorable mention” by the panel consisting of former mayors. Over 200 applicants from cities nationwide were considered for the award.

The conference itself was intended to highlight and recognize city leadership and overall livability for small towns all across the nation, according to Tom Cochran, CEO and executive director of the Conference of Mayors.

"Our City Livability Awards Program gives the conference the opportunity to highlight mayoral leadership in making urban areas cleaner, safer, and more livable,” said Cochran. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to showcase the creativity and commitment of mayors and city governments across the country."