At its Nov. 23 work session, the Wildwood City Council discussed what might become the municipality’s 5-year strategic goals and objectives for 2021 to 2025. Developing a list is the first step in the three-stage process.
Council members expressed their specific requests, some of which affect large portions of the city, such as providing rural internet access and managing watershed erosion. There were also more specific requests for each ward. Those items were grouped into eight categories and council members ranked them by priority.
Interim City Administrator Steve Cross tabulated the results to come up with a priority list that begins with the council’s most important items. They include:
- Rural internet
- Financial resource development
- Erosion control
- Public works
- Economic development
- Lake Chesterfield
- Enhanced green space
Providing rural internet access once again was listed as the city’s top priority. Currently, the Rural Internet Access Committee is looking at three proposals and those associated costs to provide rural internet service.
Financial resource development was priority number two. That category includes finding additional resources to make the city less reliant on sales tax, including pushing for a so-called Wayfair internet sales tax for online sales. That measure would need to be approved by the Missouri legislature.
Erosion control came in third and is another ongoing problem within the city. It is currently being addressed by the Watershed Erosion Task Force. The city has been working with R. David Hammer, Ph.D., professor emeritus, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Missouri, to address erosion problems in the nine watersheds. A current increase in his contract amount with the city to $35,000 from $20,000 is under consideration by the council.
Additionally, an increased contract amount was approved for Jon Jones at Wright Water Engineers, Inc. to develop cost estimates for anticipated repairs in the watersheds. That amount was increased to $22,000 from the original $10,000 contracted amount.
Fourth on the list is public works, which includes numerous projects such as the Old State Road shared use path, Hwy. 100 and Eatherton Road safety improvements, a roundabout at Old State and Ridge roads, and sidewalk improvements along Strecker Road. Some of these projects are already included in the city’s 2021 budget under capital improvement projects.
Administrative projects, number five on the list, might encompass city personnel issues, such as hiring an arborist, or revising Chapter 410 of the city code regarding trees.
Economic development came in at number six and could include a “Shop in Wildwood” promotion or hosting a wine or independent film festival in town.
The last two items on the list dealt with finding solutions for Lake Chesterfield and enhancing the city’s green space.
The next step in the process is to prioritize sub-goals under the eight categories and determine the financing for those projects. That step should be discussed at the next work session on Dec. 14.
“I’m looking forward to evaluating income sources, which will include a review of potentially reallocating funds from other areas of less interest to our residents and making some of our events and programs budget neutral,” said Mayor Jim Bowlin.
The final step will be to determine specific line item details or action items, such as who will implement the projects and suggested target dates.