The City of Rossland has a renewed focus on its future.
Rossland city council reviewed and updated its strategic plan during the Feb. 1 council meeting.
Each new council creates its own strategic plan, so the current document remains intact from 2019-22, but undergoes an annual review that sets priorities, sharpens focus, directs resources and strengthens operations.
“Each year we go back and revisit it, and each year after that it’s kind of tweaking,” explained Rossland Mayor Kathy Moore. “We’re all on the raft, heading down the river and we’re not bailing out at this point.”
Council reviewed the plan at the Jan. 22 committee of the whole meeting, made adjustments, and adopted it at council last week.
“We have maybe a little more emphasis, because we adopted the 100 per cent renewable energy plan, so more emphasis on that, and more emphasis on customer service,” explained Moore.
Rossland’s strategic priorities include optimal governance and organizational processes; livable growth and development; regional cooperation and partnership; sustainable service delivery; recreation, culture and heritage; and environmental sustainability.
And for each of those, the plan identifies low, medium, and high priorities.
Many of the most urgent needs fall in the ‘Livable Growth and Development’ category and include creating a parking and snow storage strategy, developing midtown transition lands with a focus on Emcon/Third Avenue, and ensuring that all city taxes, fees and services are appropriate and a long-term tax strategy is in place.
Climate leadership and environmental stewardship also ranks high on the city’s list, as council strives to consider 100 per cent renewables when making a decision, as well as encouraging natural greenspace and weeding out invasive species in all planning decisions.
The analysis is telling for any municipality, emphasizing a city’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (referred to as SWOT).
A frank discussion helps municipalities like Rossland determine the internal and external forces that impact the community and its ability to move forward and fulfill its vision.
The city’s mission statement is: “To provide valuable municipal services and excellent customer service in a cost-effective and collaborative fashion to ensure a well-managed, well-governed and sustainable community.”
Currently, the city is also revisiting and updating its Official Community Plan (OCP), and much of what is undertaken in the strategic planning goes into the OCP.
“Our council strategy will be aligned with our official community plan and out of the strategy, then staff takes it and make a management review play which we review every quarter,” added Moore.
“So we’re pretty disciplined about how we go after it now, which is great.”
The strategic plan can be viewed online at rossland.civicweb.net.