FORT ERIE (April 6, 2021) Recently, Council received an update on the 2018-2022 Corporate Strategic Plan for the Town of Fort Erie. While the community continues to face COVID-19 impacts and some strategic initiatives have been put on hold, many initiatives have continued.
“The Strategic Plan serves as the overarching direction for multi-year financial strategies and continues to drive annual budgets and Town objectives,” said Mayor Wayne Redekop. “Since its creation, the plan has effectively guided Council and staff when considering the allocation of resources as well as the development of policies, projects and Staff work plans.”
In November 2018, five pillars were identified by Council as the top priorities for the growing community and became the foundation for the 2018-2022 Corporate Strategic Plan:
- Strategic Priority 1: Optimizing Health, Housing & Social Well-Being through Service Access and Healthy Lifestyles
- Strategic Priority 2: Sustainable Infrastructure for the Future
- Strategic Priority 3: Attracting Interest and Investment through Strong Advocacy & Promotion
- Strategic Priority 4: Promoting Business, Economic Growth and Employment Opportunities
- Strategic Priority 5: Managed Growth through Responsibility, Stewardship and Preservation
The Strategic Plan is included in the orientation of all new staff and has been incorporated into the annual performance management review for non-union and management staff.. Some completed projects under these priorities include:
- Community health project funding approved in 2020 included physician recruitment incentives, mental health services for youth and Residential Hospice Niagara expansion.
- Fort Erie Active Transportation Master Plan was approved in 2020.
- Bay Beach was revitalized into an accessible and modern outdoor attraction in 2019.
- Crystal Beach Parking Study was conducted in 2019.
- Terms of Reference for a Cannabis Legislation and Policy Study was approved in 2020.
- Broadband Connectivity Task Force was established to assist and facilitate the Town’s efforts to complete a strategy to address the need for high speed internet.
- Housing Needs Study was completed in November 2019 to guide future affordable housing initiatives.
- Online application portal for building, planning and licensing is now available, making it easier for businesses and developers to connect with staff and process requests.
- Town of Fort Erie purchased the E.J. Freeland YMCA for $1 and have entered into a long term agreement with the Boys and Girls Club to operate the facility.
- Licensing and regulating short-Term Rentals was a pilot project in 2019-2020.
- The second multi-year accessibility plan included consultation with the public and feedback on what improvements can take place in the community to make it more inclusive.
- The annual accessibility status report was presented in 2020 and shows that the Town has met all compliance requirements to date.
- The Urban Forestry Status Update report shows that by the end of 2021, 99% of all ash trees that were diseased will have been removed. The Town is also moving forward with tree giveaways to help rebuild the tree canopy.
- The Grants Oversight Team applied for close to $4 million in Federal, Provincial and Regional Funding in 2020.
- The 2020 Year End Report shows 243 residential permits issued in 2020 for 184 single-detached homes, 2 semi-detached dwellings and 57 multi-unit/apartment/townhouses with a permit value of $99,260,000.
- Establishment of an Industrial Land Development Reserve Fund to finance the servicing/purchasing of Industrial Lands, which will support economic diversity and promote increased opportunities in cross-border trade, movements of goods and tourism.
- Study on Fort Erie Employment Land Expansion was approved and Phase 1 of the Industrial Urban Area Boundary Expansion Site Report was approved.
- In 2019, the CAO presented an in-house analysis to transition the Economic Development and Tourism Corporation to an in-house model. Economic Development and Tourism Services is now an internal Town department, which will shortly be relocated to Town Hall.
- Free public WiFi has been rolled out to many areas throughout the Town, such as parks, libraries and fire halls.
- Funding was obtained under the Municipal Modernization Grant ($112,500), which has been used to undertake a Corporate Systems Review.
- An amendment to the Official Plan added “Value Added Agricultural” uses to agricultural lands. Value added agricultural products and their sale and distribution are intended to promote and sustain the viability of farming operations in the Town.
- The Town has awarded a contract for consulting services: “Environmental Conservation Area Assessment Part 2” for Town of Fort Erie Industrial Lands.
- Council adopted the Bird-Friendly Design Standards for Site Plan Control and a Bird Friendly Guideline Pamphlet was created for residents
- The Town’s Natural Areas Inventory (NAI) is a background document to the Official Plan and is of assistance to consultants as background in completing Environmental Impact Studies on Natural Heritage Features.
- A detailed Climate Change report was received by Council in 2020 and highlighted all of the actions that the Town has taken to address the impacts of Climate Change and how our Asset Management Plan will help address some of these concerns.
Read more about Council’s 2018-2022 Corporate Strategic Plan – Status Update.