Vision of South Dundas
MORRISBURG – Predicting the future is best left to experts or perhaps those that have visited another time in a Delorean, nonetheless, South Dundas council did engage in a strategy session and have outlined a path forward for the next four years for the municipality.
The comprehensive strategy session conducted by Erik Lockhart from Queen’s University Executive Decision Centre involved more than 30 senior staff and council members.
In depth discussion was had on the direction of the municipality, the current state, what the priorities are, and developing and executing next steps to act on those priorities.
The top five priorities established by council and staff include successful implementation of the Asset Management Plan (AMP) to prioritize municipal spending, economic development that provides the right conditions to promote tangible growth, maintain and strengthen schools and medical clinics, engage the community and convey proper information clearly and improve staff – council relations to eliminate “silos.”
The AMP is the top priority and the municipality will receive an asset needs study in June and subsequently institute a strategic asset management policy by July.
Making the industrial park more attractive, obtaining provincial certification for shovel ready sites and working with Swank Construction on the Dutch Meadows development are key for the economic development objective.
Community engagement was also identified a priority, which continues to be the calling card of this council and an election promise Mayor Steven Byvelds intends to keep.
“One of the promises we did make was to go out to the community and have some discussions with them to see what their thoughts are going forward. We need to do that shortly not in the long-term so we’ll have to come up with some plans on that. It won’t just be in one village. We need to go to all parts of South Dundas,” he said.
One of the elements of the exercise asked staff and council to imagine it is 2023 and the municipality has achieved its goals. What does it look like and what has been accomplished?
Six most compelling elements that were identified include leaving the municipality in a better financial state, the water system has a new tower, strong economic development building on strengths like the waterfront and parks, achieve excellence in customer service with residents, and only having one landfill with the other acting as a transfer station.
CAO Shannon Geraghty noted that staff will provide updates to council on a semi-annual basis in relation to their objectives.