What is your vision for South Dundas? Where do you see your community and your township in 10 years?
In the hope of answering these questions, South Dundas Chief Administrative Officer, Stephen McDonald submitted a request to council at the November 1st meeting for the acceptance of a “Proposal for a Community Wide Strategic Plan.”
According to McDonald, this is a “project we’ve been looking at for a couple of years now. We wanted to wait until the new council was somewhat settled before we undertook this.”
He reported that a few other studies had already been done, “namely the South Dundas Strategic Economic Development Plan and the Strategic Plan for Recreational Programs and Services. Both of these,” he continued, “were undertaken because a need existed and funding assistance was available.”
McDonald told council that “a lot of recommendations have been followed up on, so it’s time to update.”
He “recommended that we retain the services of a qualified consulting firm to assist with the development of a community vision/strategic plan.”
“This community vision/strategic plan will provide the township with a blueprint that will govern and establish strategic priorities and directions for the development of South Dundas over the next 10 years.”
McDonald supplied council with a “draft Request for Proposal” for them to review, informing council that he’d talked with a few of his peers and the process is both costly and time consuming, so that’s why staff has kept the proposal fairly broad.
Deputy Mayor Jim Locke commented that “hiring a consultant gives good press and when you consider the scope, we get an unbiased view of what people expect.”
He agreed “council needs something to see where we’re heading.”
Councillor Jim Graham was concerned about the budget requirements. It was confirmed that the money required to complete this project was, indeed, already allotted for in the current budget.
Councillor Archie Mellan agreed that it was “worthwhile to spend the money and get an unbiased” account.
Mayor Steven Byvelds stipulated that “we need a consultant that’s fairly practical and that knows how to handle a rural/urban setting like we’re in.” He referred here to the Waterfront Project, reminding council “that it didn’t really meet the needs of the community.”
With McDonald’s request approved, Byvelds suggested that they “get the public out” to ensure they get “their say in the direction South Dundas goes.”