Every two years, the City Council reserves time for study and ideation around emerging, critical issues facing Woodbury. Council identifies two or three urgent, high priority focus areas. Staff then designates an implementation team with a clearly identified team leader; develops a plan with clear goals, milestones, and performance measures; and reports to Council at least once a year on outcomes or as dictated by the initiative timeline.
Criteria for an issue to rise to the level of a Strategic Initiative are as follows:
- Alignment with City's Mission, Vision and Values
- Consistent with existing City plans, reports and guiding documents (i.e., 2040 Comprehensive Plan)
- Issue urgency to be addressed in the short-term
- May result in new ways of doing business, change in the status quo and examining current practices
- Requires resources (staff capacity and/or financial) above what is already available
- Supports proactive, rather than reactive management (fiscal and otherwise)
- Will result in measurable achievement during the time period supported by S.M.A.R.T goals
2022 to 2024 Strategic Initiatives
Drinking Water | Water Treatment Implementation
As of August 2022, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has issued health advisories on nine of our 19 groundwater wells as a direct result of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). A temporary treatment facility is currently treating water from six of the affected wells and the city removed the remaining three wells from service. While our drinking water continues to meet state standards and guidelines for PFAS, the well production loss due to PFAS will continue to strain the city's water supply system, particularly during summertime peak demand, until the permanent treatment plant is operational.
This strategic initiative will provide the necessary research, detail and information to help the City Council make informed, long-term and strategic decisions regarding the future of our water quality and treatment, as well as the water system's financial sustainability.
Public Safety | Safer Community through Culture, Connections & Crime Prevention
While overall feelings of safety in our community have fluctuated on recent community surveys, the per capita data shows people and property crime rates in Woodbury have remained level. However, we recognize that the safety of the community and public safety services should be continually evaluated, adjusted and enhanced to meet the changing needs and expectations of the public. That is why, for the next couple of years, we will focus on enhancing crime prevention and education efforts and increasing public safety connections with the community.
Throughout the years, the Public Safety Department has evolved in a proactive and forward-thinking manner while providing exceptional public safety services to our community. Council is confident work on this initiative will yield similar results.
Environmental Stewardship | Improving Environmental Outcomes
Staff began having conversations with community members and the Parks and Natural Resources Commission and found there to be significant community enthusiasm for developing an action plan for environmental stewardship. As a result, the City Council directed staff to explore this topic more as a strategic priority. A few items that could be part of an action plan include:
- Actions the city and community can take to sustain and improve the natural environment.
- Specific goals and strategies that support sustainability and resilience into the future.
- A prioritization guide that weighs potential to advance mitigation, adaptation and community equity, including related risks and rewards.
Another benefit to having a plan for environmental stewardship is that it would likely better position us as a contender for resources such as grants and awards.