Quality of Life

Best Places to Live: #9 in America, #1 in North Carolina CNN/Money Magazine (August 2013)
  • Top 10 Best Towns for Families, Family Circle (July 2014)
  • #5 Happiest Suburb in America, Movoto (May 2014)
  • #1 Best City in North Carolina, Movoto (November 2013)
  • #5 Best NC Towns for Young Families, NerdWallet (July 2013)
  • Best Places to Live: #14 in America, CNN/Money Magazine (July 2007)
  • #3 Best Place to Move To, (July 2009)
  • Top 100 Places to Live, (April 2009) 


  • AAA Bond Rating - Standard & Poor’s (2009 - present)
  • Certificates of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting - Government Financial Officers Association of the United States (1994 - present) 

Planning Department

  • Marvin Collins Outstanding Planning Award - Peak Plan 2020 (American Planning Association, 2014)
  • Great Main Street (North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association, May 2014)
  • Anthemion Award for Adaptive Reuse of the Old Apex Town Hall, now Halle Cultural Arts Center (Capital Area Preservation, 2008)
  • Gertrude S. Carraway Award of Merit for Outstanding Achievement for Historic Preservation (Preservation North Carolina, 2007)
  • Marvin Collins Outstanding Planning Award - Interactive Development Map (American Planning Association, 2006)
  • Anthemion Award for Ordinances Regulating Demolition of Historic Structures (Capital Area Preservation, 2004)
  • Anthemion Award for Streetscape Improvements to the Central Business District (Capital Area Preservation, 1996)

Environmental Programs (Public Works and Utilities)

  • Outstanding Erosion and Sedimentation Control Local Program - small staff (NC Sediment Control Commission and NC DENR Division of Land Resources, 1999) 

Water Quality (Public Works and Utilities)

  • 1st place in the Best Tasting Water Competition (Tied with Fayetteville - NC AWWA-WEA, 2005)
  • 1st place in the Best Tasting Water Competition (NC AWWA-WEA, 2009)
  • Directors Award (The Partnership for Safe Water, 2004-2009)

Water Reclamation Facility (Public Works and Utilities)

  • Outstanding Plant Award- in recognition of exceptional plant design operation and performance (Lakeside Equipment Corporation, 1995)
  • Pinnacle Award-for Best Partnering Project - Water Treatment Plant expansion I (The Associated General Contractors of America, 2001)

Electric Utilities (Public Works and Utilities)

  • Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) – Platinum Member (2009 - 2010)
  • Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) – Gold Member (2007-2008)
  • Municipal Electric Safety Award – for No Time Lost (American Public Power Association 1997-2007) 
  • Public Power Award of Excellence – Communications (2008 & 2009)
  • Public Power Award of Excellence – Customer Service (2008 & 2009)
  • Public Power Award of Excellence – Energy Efficiency (2008 & 2009)

Police Department

  • Outstanding North Carolina Traffic Safe Community (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 2013)
  • 1st Place for Best Police Car Design (Law & Order Magazine, 2006)

Fire Department

  • Recognition for achievement as a state Heavy Rescue provider for all 9 rescue specialties to include Heavy Rescue, Trench Rescue, Structural Collapse, Confined Space Rescue, Swift Water Rescue, Dive Rescue, High Angle Rescue, Open Water Rescue and Wilderness Search and Rescue (North Carolina Association of Rescue Squads, 2006)
  • Langley/Higgins Award for Swiftwater Rescues performed during the storms/floods associated with Hurricanes Frances and Ivan in Madison County (2004)

Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department

  • AIA Tower Award, Halle Cultural Arts Center (American Institute of Architects – Triangle Chapter, 2010) 
  • AIA Triangle Merit Award, Halle Cultural Arts Center (American Institute of Architects – Triangle Chapter)