Friday, January 27, 2023

City of Prince Rupert charts path forward with Strategic plan released for 2023-26

The guiding document for Prince Rupert's City Council's priorities for the next three years was adopted at Monday's Council session, as City Manager Rob Buchan submitted the Strategic Plan for 2023-26.

Though the blueprint for the way ahead didn't generate much conversation among the council members, who adopted the motion to approve it with no comment, no questions and no observations towards it.

Which is too bad, as the document provides a good look at to what Council had decided made for its priorities as part of a pre Christmas workshop with staff.

Doctor Buchan outlined what the Plan means and how it will move forward in his report to Council.

click on above to enlarge

We previewed his talking points for the document on Monday, noting of the focus, not surprisingly on the city's infrastructure woes, though that dedication towards addressing those long running and deferred through years initiatives didn't generate any observations from Council.

As well we noted of the City Council Strategic Plan Vision statement that provides the focus for their governance over the years ahead.

With seven goals to pursue,  there is much more that residents of Prince Rupert may want to look into, in order to see how Council has prioritized the work over the next three years.

Towards improvement of the city's Fiscal health, Council and staff have focused on Watson Island development and Lot 444 ventures, as well they will continue with their focus on the Port Tax Cap, PILT payments and the Resource Benefits Alliance initiative.

The also plan to move forward towards a fully subsidized ferry agreement with the Province, as well as to encourage and support the development of renewable energy projects through their Legacy Financial instrument.

When it comes to the needs of residents and the use and enjoyment of private and public lands the Strategic Plan notes of four elements: Completing the Master Community Transportation plan, prepare bylaw enforcement policy, Council also would like to explore the transfer of Landfill operations to the Regional District and to encourage review and amendments to the Federal Medical Cannabis legislation.

The infrastructure component of the Three year plan ahead continues with some recent themes, including the construction of the RCMP building on Third Avenue East by way of loan. Relocation of Public Works to the old MacCarthy property to be funded by Legacy. 

Pursuing water treatment for the community, which will require borrowing. Compete their Asset Management and Infrastructure Replacement Strategies. Forward momentum for developing Sanitary sewer treatment  which will require Grants and Borrowing.

As well they will continue to explore and pursue development of a new Fie Hall Building which they note likely will require borrowing.

Relations with other governments and neighbouring communities is included in their three year program, with six elements of interest towards those goals.

Our preview from Monday also noted of the many opportunities for consultants that will come through course of the three years of the Strategic Plan. And many of those opportunities made for the next block of three goals in areas of Community Renewal, Development of Housing and dedication towards a sustainable and prosperous future.

Doctor Buchan's report concludes with a few notes on how all of the above could be implemented and how Council members will follow along on that path as the three years move forward.

"The strategic plan provides important direction to staff for preparing work plans. It informs how staff time and resources are committed. 

While Council can amend the Strategic Actions during each year, this should be done after consideration of existing actions underway and the possibility of deferring further work in respect to current year actions should new actions warrant inclusion in the annual work plans. 

This practice keeps the organization on the road to where it wants to go. 

In addition to general project updates during Council meetings and associated public notifications, the community will be informed on the status of Strategic Plan activities within the City’s Annual Report and during the Annual General Meeting – which occurs in May – June of each year for the previous year. 

The City’s new Annual Report will identify the status of Council’s strategic priorities for the previous year." -- Closing notes to the 2023-2026 City of Prince Rupert Strategic Plan

Hopefully as that relay of information comes along, the Council members can offer up some thoughts as to how they decided on which elements should be prioritized and what it all may look like for us when the wrap to the planning comes along in 2026.

As well as to offer up some further background to the many elements above that seldom get a mention during the course of the Public Council sessions.

A look at some of the current Major projects underway can be reviewed.

More notes on Monday's Council Session are available here.

While a wider overview of those areas where council members have had discussions towards can be reviewed here.

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