City of Williams Lake finalizes its 2012-15 strategic priorities

Williams Lake City council is expected to approve its strategic priorities at its next council meeting.

At its last two committee of the whole meetings, council and staff have finalized strategic priorities, building on discussions that began in March.

At the Sept. 11 committee of the whole meeting, council unanimously agreed the City of Williams Lake: Three Year Plan 2012-2015 Road Map should be approved.

“I look at this plan and I think it’s a good body of work. It’s a lot of work, but I recommend we approve it and get on with putting things in place,” Coun. Geoff Bourdon said.

Coun. Surinderpal Rathor said he felt the document was long overdue.

“I’m not blaming anybody, because I have to take the blame myself. The good news is, even though we’re 10 months behind, we are back on track and now we know what our goals and objectives are,” Rathor said.

The 10 sections in the report include planning for growth by taking a long-term, strategic approach; meeting the needs of the community; becoming the mining capital of B.C.; ensuring development; maintaining and replacing infrastructure; and addressing the environmental objectives outlined in the city’s Official Community Plan.

General Manager of Planning and Operations Geoff Goodall explained a section involving developing a fleet management strategy.

“What we’re saying is that we need to be strategic in the way we manage our fleet and we need to get a management plan so that we understand how we’re going to be replacing our vehicles.”

Coun. Sue Zacharias said while she agreed with the fleet management strategy, she’d rather see big pieces of equipment, if possible, or big jobs hired out to private businesses.

Goodall said the plan doesn’t mean the city can’t eliminate items in the future.

“If that’s the direction council wants to go, having a fleet management strategy doesn’t hinder you at all from reducing what you have.”

Rathor said the strategy also pertains to greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring the equipment used by the city is meeting reduced emission targets.

Other priorities include developing relationships with First Nations governments on issues of joint interest, supporting investment in recreation amenities, playing a leadership role in strengthening the social fabric of the community, actively marketing the city, supporting development of industrial lands, and continuing to implement the Business Expansions Assessment Strategy.

The priorities’ final adoption is expected to take place at a regular council meeting.