DIDSBURY - Council has approved the new Town of Didsbury 2023-2025 strategic plan, a guiding document that sets out priorities for the municipality in areas such as infrastructure and the local economy.
The approval came during the recent regularly scheduled council meeting, held in person and on YouTube.
“While council has had many productive and successful initiatives and projects during the first 18 months of our term, we have now identified a distinct vision and path for the next two and a half years, which guides our administrative team on council’s priorities,” mayor Rhonda Hunter told the Albertan.
“The strategic planning survey that our citizens participated in last fall helped guide the final strategic plan document, and I am confident that our citizens will read about their priorities for Didsbury’s future in the plan.”
Work on the new plan began in October 2022 and included facilitated sessions with council and administration.
The plan updates the vision and mission statements for the municipality, five key strategic priorities, and goals, outcomes and key action items for each of the priorities.
The five strategic priorities are strategically managed infrastructure, vibrant and connected character community, strong and resilient local economy, liveability, and governance and organizational excellence.
The strategic priorities outlined in the plan “focus resources allocation and addresses strategic issues facing the community, now and into the future. The plan also serves as the foundation on which plans and budgets are developed and approved.”
The goal of the strategic priority for managed infrastructure is to “maximize our existing infrastructure and plan for long-term efficiency, cost and resiliency when considering new infrastructure.”
Key actions under that priority include “develop and adopt an asset management plan, create and adopt a service level document, continue evaluating and planning for major capital projects within the multi-year capital plan.”
It calls for continued study and future planning for possible investments in selected amenities such as integrated pathway system, expanded library, and spray park.
The vibrant and connected character community priority key actions include exploring “new initiatives and possibilities for creative and unique developments in town” and completing the connectivity master plan “to determine needs, direction and budget for an integrated sidewalk/pathway system to connect all corners of Didsbury.”
The strong and resilient local economy priority key actions includes continuing to “develop and strengthen connections with the local film industry ad promote Didsbury as a prime location for film projects (and) support and promote the Mountain View Regional Film Office.”
The liveability priority key actions include conducting a housing needs assessment and “conduct a planning and policy review to evaluate current policies and update where required.”
The governance and organizational excellence priority key actions include developing and implementing a corporate communications plan that will “ensure all communications are proactive, two-way, open, transparent, respectful, consistent and inclusive.”
Mayor Hunter said, “There is much community spirit and optimism that was shared through the survey with council, and council is very excited to continue to build on all the positive that is happening and on moving forward with the five identified priorities that will serve our citizens and community in this term in the years to come, all contributing to Didsbury being The Place to Grow.”
Council also carried motions to have the plan printed and made available at town facilities and events.
The complete strategic plan is posted on the town’s website.