Strategic plan contract awarded

Salmon Arm will be getting a strategic plan, courtesy of Urban Systems Ltd. of Kamloops

Salmon Arm will be getting a strategic plan, courtesy of Urban Systems Ltd. of Kamloops, the same company that prepared the city’s downtown traffic study.

In June, council decided to go ahead with a strategic plan, the purpose of which is to provide “the opportunity to create a shared community vision and implement plans that move the municipality in the desired direction,” stated a memo from Carl Bannister, the city’s chief administrative officer. “Municipalities whose operations are guided by a strategic plan can be more effective and efficient in using their scarce resources (tax dollars) to meet present and future needs.”

Although this is the city’s first comprehensive strategic plan, Bannister pointed out that many key features of a strategic plan such as “community visioning, goal-setting, long-term planning, establishment of budget priorities” have been developed and implemented at various times over the years.

Following a request-for-proposal process, council agreed on Oct. 24 to award the $75,000 contract, plus HST, to Urban Systems Ltd. of Kamloops. Bannister reported that 13 quality proposals were submitted.

Coun. Debbie Cannon asked if it was the same company that did the downtown traffic study, noting that the company “got that finished a bit later” and “we weren’t really pleased… had issues with it.”

She asked if staff is confident that the company can deliver, and Bannister said yes.

Coun. Denise Reimer asked if any local companies submitted a proposal, and Bannister said none from Salmon Arm.

The process will include six steps, Bannister reported: reviewing existing plans; inviting community input; getting municipal leadership input; creating a first draft; developing action plans for each priority; and refining and approving the plan.

The target date for approval of the strategic plan is one year from the contract- award date.