Municipal strategic planning is a continuous process and it importance cannot be overstated. We will struggle in the here and now if we do not plan for a better future as a community. Successful communities are the result of strong municipal leadership collaborating with engaged residents.
A number of municipal priorities were identified as key priorities for our community in the Gull Lake Strategic Plan 2017-2021. Citizens were polled, and using the results of the poll, key community priorities were identified with the assistance of a facilitator.
The first priority was business development, which included several strategic directives aimed at improving the business climate in Gull Lake. More could be done to create a Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Program that meets the needs of local businesses while encouraging growth and investment.
The second priority is Infrastructure, which requires more work to become "grant ready" and ensure a sufficient level of capital investment to deliver to deliver sustainable infrastructure services to current and future residents. This directive is especially important because our Water Plant is nearing the end of its useful life and will eventually need to be replaced.
The third priority was to assist Recreation Facilities and Services. The Recreation Complex received a lot of attention. Recreational facilities are important, and another survey would be necessary to determine new priorities.
The fourth priority was to create a Tourism Inventory. Tourism could be refocused in order to assist the town in improving its visitor economy.
The fifth priority was the rehabilitation and restoration of culture and heritage. This may need to be updated to reflect new objectives.
Hopefully, council will seek to involve residents in the development of the 2022-2027 Strategic Plan. Residents, Council, and Staff must all contribute to the strategic planning process for it to be successful.