Council approves Wayzata’s 2017-2020 strategic plan

Plan will be updated every six months

The city council recently approved Wayzata’s 2017-2020 strategic plan, which is meant to serve as an internal action strategy for the city. (Sun Sailor staff photo by Jason Jenkins)

The city council has approved Wayzata’s 2017-2020 strategic plan, which is meant to serve as an internal action strategy for the city.

“This is a process and a document that the city staff and council has been working on for several months now,” City Manager Jeffrey Dahl said at the July 5 council meeting.

All council members and various department heads and managers attended a two-day retreat April 20-21 that was focused on updating the plan. The outing was facilitated by Nick Ruehl, former Excelsior mayor.

Dahl said the ultimate goal of the retreat was not to “reinvent the wheel,” but rather build off of the strategic plan that was originally drafted in 2012 and updated through the years.

“The goal was to kind of play off that [plan], talk about what the city has achieved and then move forward toward the next several years,” Dahl said.

The city manager said a strategic plan helps to build a team between council and staff members and is meant to provide clear direction for reaching the city’s goals and establishing priorities and measurable targets that the city can budget around and track.

“It provides clear guidance. … Running the city is similar to going through a cornfield with a flashlight. There’s always ways you can get sidetracked and it’s really hard without a strategic plan to keep yourself focused on the overall objectives of the community,” Dahl said.

Five guiding principals make up the foundation for the strategic plan, the city manager said. Wayzata’s five objectives are:

• A strong financial foundation.

• To offer efficient and effective operations.

• To provide thoughtful growth.

• To be an active and healthy community.

• To celebrate an engaged community.

The city’s specific projects and initiatives were then divided among the five objectives and reviewed at a workshop meeting in June. Each project and initiative were also given a projected completion date.

The city will update the strategic plan every six months as times, conditions and priorities change.

Among the city’s larger projects is the Lake Effect Park project, which falls under the strategic plan’s “active and healthy community” objective. The plan sets a projected completion date for designs of a boardwalk and Eco Park for July 2019, with a construction start date of November 2019 and completion in June 2020. The Lake Effect Conservancy is currently working to raise private funding dollars from individuals, foundations and corporations for the project.

The strategic plan also outlines work on the city’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan, which is a long-term tool for guiding growth, redevelopment and improvement of Wayzata. The public engagement process for the comprehensive plan is projected to start this November and finish in December.

View the strategic plan at wayzata.org/284/Strategic-Planning. A complete breakdown of the plan can be found on the city’s website in the council’s packet for July 5.