Awards, Recognition & Good News

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 A lot of good things are happening in Port St. Lucie. Here are a few examples:

Date Recognition
May 2018

Keep America Beautiful Presidents' Circle AwardKeep Port St. Lucie Beautiful has received the President’s Circle Award for 2017 from Keep America Beautiful (KAB). This recognition celebrates KPSLB’s good standing as a Keep America Beautiful affiliate and the successful completion of all reporting requirements.


April 2018 Pohaska and Tomes holding awards

The City of Port St. Lucie honored with Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) Communications Awards:

  • The City's Communications Manager, Sarah Prohaska, was named Government Communicator of the Year.
  • Jenny Tomes from the Utility Systems Department received a Judges’ Award for a video news release that covered the story of a City employee who retrieved World War II Veteran Robert Coleman’s ring that slipped off his finger and disappeared in the sewer. Watch the award-winning story on the City's Facebook page.
  • Additionally, the City’s Communications Department won a Judges’ Award for the Year in Review: The City Manager’s Annual Report.
April 2018

Real Estate - Best Places to Live USAU.S. News analyzed the 125 most populous metro areas to find the best places to live. To make the top of the list, a place had to have good value, be a desirable place to live, have a strong job market and a high quality of life.


Port St. Lucie came in at #79 on the list for Best Places to Live in the USA.


Read more:

 March 2018 Port St. Lucie is ranked 2nd happiest city in Florida, and 38th happiest city in the US by WalletHub.

February 2018: Port St. Lucie has been named in the Top 20 Safest Cities to Retire in America for 2018 by

February 2018: Port St. Lucie is ranked #12 Safest City in Florida by the National Council for Home Safety and Security.

December 2017: The City of Port St. Lucie is ranked in the top 25th percentile for safest city in the United States, and also ranked #3 safest city in Florida.

November 2017: The City of Port St. Lucie was recognized as one of the "Best Places to Work" in St. Lucie County - the tenth year the City has earned this prestigious honor.

August 2017: Two separate national reports have placed the City of Port St. Lucie among the top 10 safest cities in the nation.

August 2017: On August 14, 2017, The Port St. Lucie Police Volunteer Program is the selected winner for the 2017 International Association of Chiefs of Police Leadership in Law Enforcement Volunteer Program Award.

July 2017: Among all Florida cities with a population of more than 100,000, Port St. Lucie experienced the lowest number of crimes in 2016, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s 2016 Uniform Crime Report.

June 2017: The 2017 Allstate America's Best Drivers Report® ranks Port St. Lucie as #8 for safest driving city in the United States.

June 2017: Mayor Gregory J. Oravec received national recognition this weekend for Port St. Lucie’s efforts to confront issues on race relations, unity, inclusion – and to enhance our promise to be a City for all people.

May 2017: The City of Port St. Lucie is among the top big cities in the nation to start a new business, and it also had one of the most profitable housing markets so far this year, according to recently published studies.

April 2017: In recognition of their efforts to carry out the City’s strategic goal to be a high-performing organization, staff from the City’s Human Resources, Procurement, Communications and Police departments were all recently honored for excellence in their respective fields.

March 2017: The St. Lucie County manufacturing industry is poised for new growth, according to a report from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO).

February 2017: The team at LendEDU ranked the City of Port St. Lucie as #38 in their Best Cities to Start a Family Study. By the results, it is clear that Port St. Lucie is a great environment for fostering the growth of young families.

February 2017: Keep Port St. Lucie Beautiful Earns President’s Circle Award Recognition: Local Organization Recognized for Exemplary Performance, Standard of Excellence. Keep Port St. Lucie Beautiful was recently honored by its national affiliate for its work in helping to make Port St. Lucie a clean, green and beautiful community.

January 2017: The City of Port St. Lucie was recognized by the Gold Coast Public Relations Council for its efforts to communicate critical information to the public during Hurricane Matthew last year.

January 2017: The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, recognized today the City of Port St. Lucie City University as part of the 2017 Bright Ideas in Government initiative.

January 2017: Port St. Lucie was named a 2016 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.

December 2016: Port St. Lucie is ranked as one of the “Biggest Gainers among the Large Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)” in the Milken Institute’s 2016 Best-Preforming Cities report. The City of Port St. Lucie climbed 30 points from last year’s ranking to No. 50, by a recovery in domestic travel and tourism.

December 2016: The City of Port St. Lucie’s Building Department has earned the distinguished honor of being among only 25 similar departments to be fully accredited by the International Accreditation Service.

December 2016: iVox Solutions relocating to Port St. Lucie will fuel job growth during the course of the next 18 months.

November 2016: On Saturday, November 5, 2016, Port St. Lucie Police Department was recognized with their 7th Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

October 2016: The City of Port St. Lucie was recognized today as one of the “Best Places to Work” in St. Lucie County – the ninth year the City has earned this prestigious honor.

October 2016: The City of Port St. Lucie is one of the safest cities in the nation for residents who live alone, according to a new study by

October 2016: The City of Port St. Lucie Recognized for 4th Fastest Growing Housing Market

October 2016: City of Port St. Lucie Receives JAG Grant for Tactical Robot to Increase Safety

September 2016: The City of Port St. Lucie will save $4.1 million a year in debt service payments for the next three years after one of the most successful bond sales in the City’s history.

August 2016: The City of Port St. Lucie was honored with the nation’s highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.

August 2016: An 18-year employee in the City’s Utility Systems Department was recognized by Florida Water and Pollution Control Operators Association for his expertise in backflow and cross-connection control.

August 2016: This year marks the 10th anniversary of Port St. Lucie’s sidewalk priority plan, which has resulted in more than 25 miles of sidewalks constructed in the City so far, and more than $8.8 million invested in sidewalks to enhance safety for residents and visitors in the past decade.

August 2016: Employees in the City of Port St. Lucie’s Building Department gave more than 1,000 school supplies collected this summer to Parkway Elementary.

August 2016: Wallet Hub states Port St. Lucie is one of the best Florida cities to retire.

July 2016: Standard & Poor’s raises the City of Port St. Lucie’s Utility Systems revenue bond rating to A+.

July 2016: Litter almost non-existent in Port St. Lucie.

July 2016: Port St. Lucie Police Explorer Post 411 earns awards at State Competition

June 2016: 800+ jobs saved in the City of Port St. Lucie.

June 2016: Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies Selected as a Specialized Center within Experimental Therapeutics (NExT) Program Chemical Biology Consortium.

June 2016: Port St. Lucie Ranked 4th Safest Place in Florida (Large City). The top five safest places are a mix of small, mid-sized and large cities.

June 2016: Port St. Lucie Ranked 7th Safest Place to Drive in the new Allstate Report!

June 2016: According to the United States Census Bureau’s 2015 population estimate, Port St. Lucie is the 8th largest city in Florida with 179,413 residents.

June 2016: Port St. Lucie captured the #2 spot among cities with the lowest property crime rates in “Property Crime in the South: Midsize Cities with the Lowest, Highest Rates”, a study released by

June 2016: Real estate agents are sold on setting up shop in Port St. Lucie. SmartAsset, an online site, which provides financial analytics and advice, ranked Port St. Lucie as the 5th best city in the U.S. for real estate agents.

May 2016: John Dunton, Manager of Environmental Services, Port St. Lucie Public Works Department, was named the Florida Chapter American Public Works Association (APWA) Member of the Year for 2016 at the Florida Public Works Expo on April 21.

May 2016: Port St. Lucie is one of the best cities in which to start a business according to, an online personal finance social network.

May 2016: Port St. Lucie has something to smile about! We’re the no. 1 city for dentists in the U.S. according to ValuePenguin, a consumer research company.

April 2016: Port St. Lucie is one of the best places to live in Florida, according to, a website which examines community amenities, education and the economy to develop city rankings.

April 2016: Macaroni Kid readers voted the interactive fountain at the Civic Center as the winner of the 2015/2016 Macaroni Kid Gold Daisy Award in the “Place for Outdoor Fun” category.

March 2016: Port St. Lucie is #1 city for millennials buying their first home.

February 2016: Florida Department of Health announced the 80 communities, including Port St. Lucie, recognized as 2016 Healthy Weight Community Champions. The recognition program highlights local government efforts to increase physical activity and improve nutrition as part of Healthiest Weight Florida.

January 2016: The South Florida Surf and City of Port St. Lucie are awarded a franchise by the Premiere Development League (PDL). This semi-professional soccer team will be playing all of its home games in Port St. Lucie at the South County Regional Stadium. They will be part of a national league that has over 80 teams.

December 2015: Port St. Lucie is ranked nationally for ‘economic momentum’ in the Milken Institute's 2015 Best-Performing Cities report.

November 2015: Port St. Lucie is one of “America’s 50 Best Cities to Live” according to 24/7 Wall St., a website which offers online analysis and commentary for U.S. and global investors.

October 2015: Standard & Poor’s financial service affirms Port St. Lucie’s favorable AA- rating on the city’s general obligation bonds, and A+ rating on other bonds. S&P says the city has “Very strong management, with ‘strong’ financial policies.”

September 2015: Port St. Lucie named one of the “Top Trending Vacation Rental Destinations” by FlipKey, a TripAdvisor company and online vacation rental marketplace.

August 2015: ranks Port St. Lucie as the 14th most comfortable place in the U.S. for a hotel stay. Expedia reviewed data compiled from millions of customers and created a list of the 101 cities with the highest hotel comfort ratings.

July 2015: For the second year in a row, names Port St. Lucie as one of the 10 best cities in the U.S. for job growth, saying that retiring baby boomers are increasing demand for services that create jobs.

July 2015: Bloomberg Business states Port St. Lucie will be one of the leading cities in the nation to see economic growth in 2016. With a projected economic growth rate of 4 percent, the city ranked 14th in the U.S., partly because of a continued growth in the local retirement population.

June 2015: Ranked Best City in the U.S. for Firefighters by consumer research company ValuePenguin.

May 2015: Investor's Business Daily names Port St. Lucie 2nd "hottest housing market" in the U.S for the first quarter of 2015. Also reported in The Wall Street Journal. The news was based on statistics from the National Association of Realtors.

March 2015: Golf Digest rates the PGA Golf Course here as one of the best in the state.

2015: Allstate Insurance Company ranks PSL as one of the 50 safest cities for driving in the U.S. Only one other Florida city made the list.

September 2014: ranks Port St. Lucie 7th in its list of Best Places to Retire in the U.S.

August 2014: The National Weather Service recognizes Port St. Lucie as a StormReady Community.  The city is the 19th StormReady certified city in Florida. Residents may be eligible for insurance discounts as a result.

August 2014: The Keep America Beautiful Committee gives Port St. Lucie a score of 1.22 on its recent Community Appearance Litter Index. It is the lowest score the city ever received and means the Committee has determined PSL has minimal litter in public places.

July 2014: names Port St. Lucie the 8th Best City for Job Growth in the country, saying jobs are mainly in healthcare, retail and leisure and hospitality.

May 2014: Travel-related website ranks PSL as the Best Place to Live in Florida.

March 2014: Port St. Lucie ranks 13th Best City to Start a Business in the U.S. by, which is an online social network about personal finance.

January 2014: Forbes ranks the city as one of the 25 Best Places to Retire.

January 2014:, a national online real estate brokerage, ranks PSL number one on a list of the 10 Best Places to Live in Florida.

October 2013: Forbes names PSL one of the 200 Best Places for Business & Careers.

2013: Allstate Insurance Company ranks PSL as one of the 50 safest cities for driving in the U.S. Only one other Florida city made the list.

2012: The American Lung Association’s State of the Air report says the Port St. Lucie area is one of the top five in the country for clean air. This was reported nationally in

2012: The U.S. Census Bureau says PSL had the nation’s highest homeownership rate, with 76 percent of houses occupied by the owner. In 2013 PSL moved up to 78 percent. The national average is 65 percent.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the fastest-growing segment of the local job market is Professional and Business Services. That category has grown 11 percent in the last year and is up 41 percent from the low in June of 2010. This equals 4,800 new jobs.

As of February 2015, PSL added about 2,800 leisure and hospitality-related jobs since Jan. 2010, and about 3,600 jobs in education and health services.

The unemployment rate in Port St. Lucie was 6.4 percent in August, down from 13.6 percent in August 2010.


The Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches says the median sale price for a single family home in Port St. Lucie in August 2015 was up 16.1 percent from August 2014, and it is selling faster.

Applications for building permits are up. In 2014, PSL issued 20,799 permits, which is an increase of 58 percent from the low in 2009. In the first half of 2015, applications are 24 percent over the same period in 2014.

PSL’s property values are up 6.5 percent for 2014.

Crime rate

2013: PSL’s crime rate falls 19.3 percent, after falling 19.6 percent in 2012. It is the 11th year that Port St. Lucie had the lowest crime rate in Florida for a city with a population of 100,000 or more, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement statistics.

Awards & Special Recognition

Communications Department

Finance Department

  • G.F.O.A. (Government Finance Officers Association) “Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting” 
    The City of Port St. Lucie Finance Department received the “Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting” for the September 30, 2014, Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) from the GFOA. The City has received this prestigious award for 23 consecutive years. There are more than 400 municipalities in the State of Florida and the City is one of only 170 to have received this Award.

Human Resources

  • Florida Department of Health: Healthy Weight Community Champion
    The City's Human Resources Department was recognized by the Florida Department of Health as a Healthy Weight Community Champion (2016 & 2017).
  • Florida Tobacco Cessation Alliance: Gold Level Award
    In April 2017, the Florida Tobacco Cessation Alliance presented a Gold Level Award to the City for its commitment and dedication to employees’ health and wellness. 

Neighborhood Services

  • Route Fifty 2017 Navigator Awards Finalist for City University

Office of Management and Budget

  • G.F.O.A. (Government Finance Officers Association) “Distinguished Budget Presentation Award”The City of Port St. Lucie Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has received the “Distinguished Budget Presentation Award” by the GFOA. The City has earned this annual award for 26 consecutive years.

Police Department

  • C.A.L.E.A. (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.)
    In 1991, the Port St. Lucie Police Department was the 193rd law enforcement agency in the United States, and the first in St. Lucie County, to become nationally accredited through C.A.L.E.A. The agency has successfully been awarded re-accreditation 6 times with the most recent award being received in 2013 for “Advanced Meritorious Accreditation” (accredited for 15 consecutive years).
  • C.F.A. (Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation)
    In 1997, the agency was awarded state accredited status through C.F.A. Since then the department has been re-accredited an additional 5 times with the most recent award being received in 2013 for “Excelsior” status (meaning highest level of achievement in Florida Accreditation a Criminal Justice Agency can receive).

Procurement Management Department

  • Florida Association of Public Purchasing Officers Award for Excellence in Public Procurement (2004-2017)
  • Florida Association of Public Purchasing Officers Best Practices in Public Procurement Award (2008 and Honorable Mention, 2009, 2010 and 2013)
  • Florida Association of Public Purchasing Officers Outstanding Purchasing Award (2000)
  • National Institute of Government Purchasing Outstanding Agency Accreditation Achievement Award, OA4 (2003–2018)
  • National Purchasing Institute Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award (2003-2016)
  • Universal Public Procurement Certification Award—Sterling (2010–2016)

Public Works Department

  • A.P.W.A. (American Public Works Association) Third Consecutive Re-Accreditation 
    In February, 2014, the Port St. Lucie Public Works Department received its third consecutive A.P.W.A. Re-Accreditation, making the agency accredited for 14 years. The Public Works Department had received the original APWA Accreditation in July, 2001, was re-accredited in 2006, and received a second re-accreditation in 2010. The City was 1st in the State of Florida to receive the accreditation and 8th nationwide.

Utility Systems Department

  • Water Fluoridation Quality Award (2007, 2017)
    In June, 2017, the City of Port. St. Lucie Utility Systems Departments Prineville and James E. Anderson Water Treatment Facility recognized for their "consistent and professional adjustment of the fluoride content to the optimum level for oral health for 12 consistent months".
  • F.S.A.W.W.A. (Florida Section Region VIII of the American Water Works Association) “Best tasting water”
    In February, 2013, the City of Port St. Lucie Utility Systems Departments Prineville Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant was named “Best tasting water” by the FSAWWA.
  • S.E.D.A. (Southeast Desalting Association) “2014 Outstanding Membrane Plant”
    In June, 2014, the City of Port St. Lucie Utility Systems Departments James E. Anderson Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant was named the “2014 Outstanding Membrane Plant” by SEDA, an affiliate of the American Desalting Association.
  • National Association of Governmental Communicators “Award of Excellence”
    In July, 2014, the City of Port St. Lucie Utility Systems and Communications Departments jointly accepted an “Award of Excellence” from the National Association of Governmental Communicators for an educational video produced about the potential damage caused to sewer utility systems by flushing “flushable wipes”
  • F.S.A.W.W.A. (Florida Section Region VIII of the American Water Works Association) “Runner-up best tasting water”
    In March, 2015, the City of Port St. Lucie Utility Systems Departments’ James E. Anderson Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant was named “Runner-up best tasting water” by the FSAWWA.