The Prior Lake City Council unanimously approved the city's 2023-2026 Strategic Plan at its latest meeting on Monday, Feb. 6.
Lori Olson, assistant city manager, provided a brief overview of the strategic plan that has received periodic updates since its origins in 2002.
"This was a robust process that kicked off in April 2022, and we finished most of the work in Sept. 2022," Olson said. "There was community engagement in this strategic plan, it was not made in a vacuum of staff and elected officials. We tried very hard to reach out to as many residents as possible to help us define what the priorities for the future are."
Olson said part of the community engagement included a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, an environmental scan, community survey that went out to 2,800 residents, focus groups that included local businesses and civic organizations, internal survey for city staff and advisory board members and city council and staff retreats.
Olson also provided the results and feedback that was compiled from the community and city staff to help identify the plan's strategic priorities.
"When we had our retreat with the city council, it was decided that the work that we did in 2017 to identify our vision was still applicable today," Olson said. "We can continue moving forward with the vision that Prior Lake is a vibrant and welcoming life-long community offering a high quality of life and small-town feel."
The engagement process also identified priorities on which to focus through 2026, along with strategic initiatives to achieve targeted outcomes.
The following five focus areas were highlighted in the strategic plan. Included are examples of desired outcomes for each area:
the following strategic priorities on which to focus through 2026: financial sustainability, well-managed growth, stable and sustainable infrastructure, public safety and high quality parks and trails.
Associated with each priority is a set of desired outcomes, along with strategic initiatives that will be undertaken to achieve the targeted outcomes.
- Financial sustainability: Some of the desired outcomes derived from the strategic plan are financial stability in all funds and adequate resources to fund the Capital Improvement Program.
- Well-managed growth: Downtown vitality is a major focus, including building 20,000 square feet of of new downtown commercial by 2026 and 80 plus new residential units in downtown by 2027.
- Stable and sustainable infrastructure: The city plans to update the public works facility and improve quality street conditions by maintaining an average overall condition index of 70 and achieving minimum of 50 on collector streets by 2033.
- Public safety: A full-time fire department has already been established and another desired outcome is to increase police training.
- High quality parks and trails: Adoption of the Parks and Trails Plan by December 2023 and the adoption of the Lakefront Park Master Plan by January 2023 are a few initiatives for this priority.
Olson said the next steps are to modify agenda reports to include new strategic priorities and developing action plans as a staff to make sure they're holding themselves accountable.
"We'll also work with the city manager to develop a reporting mechanism for regular updates to the city council and the public," she said.
To view the strategic plan and community survey in it's entirety, visit https://www.priorlakemn.gov.