Town Strategic Plan

Did You Know ... The Town has developed a Strategic Plan designed to serve as a guide for Council and Administration over the next four years. The plan includes seven priorities and is posted on the town website.

Town of Athabasca Strategic Plan 2013 – 2017

The Town has developed a Strategic Plan designed to identify key priorities and serve as a guide for Council and Administration over the next four years. The plan includes seven priorities and is available for review at this link on the town website: Town of Athabasca 2013 – 2017 Strategic Plan

The plan was developed during a two-day planning session held in December, 2013, attended by members of Athabasca Town Council, Town Chief Administrative Officer Ryan Maier and Town Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Melody Wolansky. HR Group Management Consultants facilitated the session.

In addition to making note of issues they personally believe to be important, participants were asked to do a SWOT analysis to identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats in the Town and the region. Group discussion followed where the objectives of the previous 2012 Strategic Plan were also taken into consideration.

The SWOT analysis produced a thorough list of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. These are available for review in the Strategic Plan document on the Town website.

Group discussion identified a series of specific issues in need of resolution. The list can be viewed in the plan.

Ultimately, the participants determined seven key priorities and the action steps necessary to address them. Complete details outlining each of the priorities can be viewed in the plan. Here is an overview of each item:

1. Regional Collaboration

The Town and the region as a whole have many amenities and facilities that most communities of similar size throughout the province do not have. This is the result of the excellent regional collaboration that exists now between the County and the Town as it provides for the optimum use of scarce resources, both money and qualified staff.

Ongoing and increased regional collaboration is vital to the economic well being of the Town and the region as a whole. There are very few issues that have been identified in this planning session that do not also affect the surrounding region and the County.

Action required: Ongoing by Council and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).

2. New Pool

This issue is also part of the requirement for overall regional collaboration. The Town and County are in the process of reaching agreement regarding the financing of a new pool.

Action required: Council and CAO to meet with the County to finalize agreement.

Update: Ongoing discussions as to how the pool project and new school project impact each other.

3. Economic/Community Development

The Town requires a qualified economic/community development officer to coordinate the (refer to the plan document for the list of items) and to provide a holistic regional approach.

Action required: Council and CAO to meet with County to discuss possible sharing of new economic/community development position.

Update: Complete – Town made a proposal to join the Athabasca County Tourism and Economic Development Committee – County accepted.

4. GIS/Public Works Superintendent

The Town requires a GIS system and the mapping of all infrastructure in order to assess, plan, and prioritize the replacement and repair of aging systems. This can best be accomplished under the direction of a qualified public works superintendent with a P.Eng. designation or C.E.T. credentials who can provide long range holistic public works planning and management. Such a position would also be able to provide needed knowledge and expertise regarding the issues of a new bridge, paving plans, street lighting, and various development plans as opposed to the hiring of engineering consultants and the attendant costs.

Action required: Council and CAO to discuss sharing public works superintendent with County.

Update: Ongoing – related to regional collaboration.

5. Council Remuneration and Expenses

This is not normally an item that is suitable for a Strategic Plan as it is more of an everyday housekeeping item. The issue, however, should be resolved as quickly as possible so that Council can focus on more important strategic issues.

Action required: The existing policy must be reviewed by Council and clarified so that there is no ambiguity or loose interpretation. An objective third party review may be of assistance. Council should undertake this review as soon as possible.

Update: Complete

6. Review of Bylaws and Policies

The Town’s bylaws and policies need a thorough review and update. This can only be done by someone who is knowledgeable in the area and has a good knowledge of the community.

Action required: CAO to contact two individuals as soon as possible who are knowledgeable and may be able to undertake this work.

Update: Ongoing

7. Organizational Review

An organizational review is a useful means of assessing the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the Town’s governance and administration. It could also provide some cost benefit analysis of further collaboration with the County and possible sharing of administrative functions.

Action required: Council to decide whether or not to proceed and what scope is required.

Update: To be done as part of Town budget discussions.

To review the complete Strategic Plan document, please visit this page on the Town website: Town of Athabasca 2013 – 2017 Strategic Plan


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