September 11, 2008

Time to strategize

Time to strategize
An assisted living center. A CVB director. A fitness center.
Those are just three of the ideas that were only dreamed of five years ago as part of a strategic plan for the community of Garrison. Now, it’s time to plan ahead once more. It’s time to lay out a new strategic plan of action for the future of the community.
Why is a strategic plan important?
City Auditor Diane Affeldt, a member of the volunteer steering committee that developed the last strategic plan in 2001-’02, said the reason for the first strategic plan was so that the community would be considered for specific grants.
“The current plan has seen a number of goals attained or implemented. It’s time to review the current plan and develop a new one for the future,” Affeldt said. “There’s a lot of things we’ve already accomplished.”
Past committee members and prospective members have been invited to take part in the initial meeting, with a public town hall meeting scheduled in the near future to present the results and ask for input. The inaugural meeting is Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Senior Citizens Center. Assisting with the update of the plan will be Alisa Dahl, Business and Community Program Specialist with USDA Rural Development.
Affeldt said people might not realize a strategic plan is in place.
“And when you see what has been accomplished over a relatively short period of time it shows the community can work together for a common goal …,” she said. “It’s good to see the community moving forward.”
The last steering committee, which was comprised of community leaders representing a cross-section of interests, met over a period of months to plot Garrison’s future. At that time, questions needed to be answered, including; what things should the community strive for? What will make Garrison a more attractive community to outsiders and potential new residents? What should the strategic plan be?

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