Is it go time for the top and high priority action agenda items identified in the 2008-2013 Strategic Plan?
Council will discuss implementing the updated Strategic Plan at the upcoming workshop Tuesday. This has planning and financial implications writ large, as the top 15 action items are, in order of importance:
1. Village Facilities Plan: Design, Funding and Public Education
2. Capital Projects: Long-Range Funding, Implementation Strategy and Public Information
3. Update Village’s Comprehensive Plan
4. TCDIII Program
5. “Green” Energy Policy and Plan: Research, Study and Direction
6. Unified Economic Development Plan and Strategy
7. Village Integrated Community-wide Brand and Marketing Plan
8. Façade Program: Policy and Development
9. Downtown Alley Improvement Program
10. Business Incentives: Tool Development
11. 63rd Street Corridor Plan
12. Financial Plan (5-year) and Policies: Review & Direction, Including Alternative Revenues
13. Customer Service: Enhancement and Performance Measurement
14. Health Insurance: Evaluation and Policy Direction
15. Fleet: Evaluation and Direction
#1 has been brewing for several years. It has run over several who did not fully comprehend the momentum behind it (like, say, me). The planning costs this year will total about $400,000, and are in the budget and are not part of any budget trimming discussions so far. I talked directly with Police Chief Porter about the state of our PD facilities many months ago, and came away with the impression they did indeed need a drastic revision to their facilities that staying at their current location would not allow: the PD needs new digs ASAP. I also attended a meeting with Commissioners Schnell and Beckman and several deaprtment heads, where they went over, in detail, where the current village facilities fall short. It ain’t as ugly as the PD situation, but it ain’t pretty either.
I was not alone two years ago thinking a new Civic Center was the last thing DG needed to be wasting money on. I can’t say I’m thrilled by the various price tags floated so far, but by digging into the issue I did indeed discover that there is a need, and where the needs are.
And that, so far, is a big part of DG’s problem; the village has done a poor job getting the information out before the public, making their case of the need for new facilities, and getting that information in front of, and getting input back from residents, taxpayers, businesses, about the why, where, what, and when’s of it all.
Hopefully that will change moving forward. As with all things right now, scrimp and save are the watchwords. Defer, make do, extend, hang in there until the revenues picture looks better. Do what you can now, and be ready to do more, sooner or later.
More on this in the future. Far from being a cheerleader for spending a big chunk of taxpayer $$ on a new Village Hall and a new Police Department facility, I do beleive DG can’t ignore a problem that’s getting worse every year.
Like the starter home that doesn’t quite fit the family anymore…