City of Penticton’s newly revamped Official Community Plan will help inform some of the city’s decision making and policy creation, thanks to the identification of three new strategic priorities by council. Until 2021, the city and council will focus on asset and amenity management, community safety and community design. (Western News file photo)

Penticton council prioritize community safety and design, asset management

The three new strategic priorities will guide policy creation and decision-making until 2021

Penticton city council has three new strategic priorities to steer policy creation and decision making for the city and its residents between now and 2021.

According to a release from the city, resident feedback gathered through public surveys helped decide the priorities.

“Asset and amenity management, community safety and community design each emerged as the three focus area where council believes the city’s attention is most desired/needed,” stated the release.

For asset and amenity management, council wants the city to ensure the services the city provides to residents and visitors “are reliable and cost-effective by proactively investing in our natural and built assets.” Some steps that can be taken to achieve this, which are outlined in the report presented at the council meeting on July 2, include identifying service level and costs for all community-owned assets and services, investigate ways to maximize amenity usage and reviewing agreements to determine fee structures to reflect the fiscal realities of service provision.

READ MORE: Penticton city council gives itself pay raise

Council’s priority for community safety, which revolves around supporting a safe, secure and healthy community, can be achieved through efforts such as partnerships with other agencies, investing in appropriate human assets, and engaging the criminal justice system through collaborative approaches to reduce the impact of prolific offenders.

“(For) community design, the city will attract, promote and support sustainable growth and development which matches the community’s vision for the future,” stated the release.

The city intends to use the recently revamped Official Community Plan, which will be subject to a public hearing on July 16 at the next council meeting, to update the requisite policies and bylaws, establish clear intentions for future growth and utilize best management practices and strategies related to climate change adaptation and mitigation activities.

READ MORE: City of Penticton sharing OCP drafts

“The formation of these priorities reflect the aligned feedback of the public, council and staff. Their establishment brings focus to the strategic direction of the city and create a means for the organization to demonstrate progress with achieving its objectives,” said Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki in the release. “These priorities will also guide staff as they begin developing their 2020 department budgets and business plan initiatives.”

Residents are invited to learn more about the three strategic priorities and the summer document, which is located online at www.penticton.ca.

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