Madison finished out of the running for one of three cash prizes in the America’s Best Communities competition, but the knowledge our city gained from participating will pay dividends in the future.

The results were announced Wednesday night in Denver.

Madison was one of eight finalists in the nationwide competition that began with several hundred communities that spanned about three years.

Huntington, W. Va. won the top prize of $3 million. Lake Havasu City, Ariz. won the $2 million second-place prize, and Statesboro, Ga. finished third and earned $2 million.

Madison’s entry involved developing the Hatcher Hill Trail and Mulberry Street, creating a link to the beautiful Heritage Trail.

The Madison team of city officials and private citizens that guided the project deserve a round of applause for their work.

Quality of life issues are important to a community’s health and vitality. Our ABC team created a project that will benefit residents and attract visitors who have discovered that Southern Indiana offers a wide array of outdoor recreational activities.

Congratulations to the eight finalists. We’re sure that they put in as much effort as did our Madison team. Through the competition, our city has done some important networking with other successful communities. That, too, will serve us well.