Hard work by Pleasant Grove residents, city employees and the City Council paid off last week when Pleasant Grove won a first-place award for overall community progress.

The award was presented during the annual meeting of the Utah League of Cities and Towns. It is part of the Utah Community Progress Program sponsored by the league in conjunction with the Utah Department of Community and Economic Development and Utah State University Cooperative Extension Service.The program gives structure and guidance to communities as they try to improve in five areas using city resources and community volunteers. The areas of emphasis are planning, human relations and cultural enrichment, economic development, physical environment and community service.

Cities participating in the program submit a list of goals they will work on during a two-year period. At the end of two years, awards are presented to the cities who have been the most successful in achieving their goals.

Goals Pleasant Grove successfully completed between 1986 and 1988 included:

-Completion of a new city library without acquiring debt or increasing taxes.

-Constructing a new senior citizens center.

-Remodeling of Pioneer Museum.

-Broadening of city landscaping and beautification.

-Purchasing a new fire truck and a new ambulance.

-Adding 10 new businesses to the city.

-Establishing a Sunday evening concert in the park program.

Contest judge David Rodgers of the USU Extension Services said he was very impressed with how Pleasant Grove involved a large number of residents in community projects. The Pleasant Grove Booster Club's project was providing Pleasant Grove High School with three new batting cages. The club had willing volunteers but lacked money and materials. After a number of fund-raisers, membership drives and requests for civic donations, the club still came up short. The Pleasant Grove Parks and Recreation Department then contributed $500 and some pipe to be used for the cages.

Cities are judged on the amount of community involvement in solving problems and achieving goals, establishing future goals and the degree of difficulty involved in planning and implementing a project. Judges visit each city during August to assess the city's accomplishments.