Published: July 19, 2017
BY JENNIFER PARSONS
Municipal leaders feel the local government is “on track” when it comes to meeting its strategic plan goals and objectives.
On Monday night Councillors received a report card on the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan detailing planning and infrastructure initiatives undertaken by the Municipality in the last 18 months in support of the strategic vision.
“A strategic plan progress report is an opportunity to review the plan to ensure it remains valid, and updating strategies and objectives to support the vision and strategic directions,” presented Chief Administrative Officer Mark Vermette as an introduction to the report.
Vermette also noted the report served as both an update to council and provided a forum for discussion on current priorities.
“From a staff perspective we strongly feel we should continue the course. I think we have made great strides and stand on the successes and hard work to date.”
Reviewing the report card Councillors expressed their support for the direction the plan is taking and commended staff for their dedication.
“[We worked on this] strategic plan as a team and going through that, as you recall we were at it for two days trying to develop it all and to see it come to life and to see some of the projects that have been accomplished even though we have faced challenges, we have accomplished a lot so far…I think our vision is to keep moving forward where we can,” noted Councillor Fred Mota.
Councillor Sandy Middleton also voiced his support for the plan noting:
“I think we have to realize too that a lot of this stuff may reach a point where it can’t go any further because others have to be involved be it senior levels of government, communities whatever. We have to keep that in the back of our mind instead of saying we aren’t moving ahead on this to say we can’t move ahead on this.”
The 2016-2020 Strategic Plan was approved by Council in February 2016. The plan includes three themes and seven objectives to which “enables the Municipality to plan for the future, and strive for sustainable and meaningful outcomes”, reads the staff report.
The plan’s goals and objectives include preparing for the Road North, expanding government investment, stimulating business development, revitalizing downtown and enhancing neighbourhood, targeting investments in infrastructure, efficient, citizen centred services, and expanding Municipal revenues. The progress report provides updates on each of these as well as details municipal investments/initiatives completed from January 2016-June 2017. Investments include roadwork, natural gas conversions, recreational upgrades, plan development and equipment purchases.
Vermette also noted the Municipality experienced challenges in the reporting period including the loss of $21 million after a reassessment from MPAC on large industrial class properties and higher payments to the Kenora District Services Board and the Northwoods Lodge Home for the Aged.
The 2016-2020 Strategic Plan Progress Report is available on the municipal website for community review at www.redlake.ca.