Tonight Owen Sound City Manager Wayne Ritchie will deliver the annual staff report on the City's 2015 Strategic Plan: "2020 Making Our Vision Clear". The full report on the 15 objectives is below; Appendix A includes the plan's actions, progress markers and benchmarks. Do you agree with Mr. Ritchie's assessment of our progress?

Objective # 1 - Retain and grow existing local business and business opportunities.

Employment has remained stable over the past two years in Owen Sound.
Homebased business licenses issued have increased and the downtown vacancy rate was stable in 2016. City staff meet with all interested parties regularly including DIA, Chamber, College, local and out of area developers.
Working with the DIA, OMAFRA and the Business Enterprise Centre the Downtown Revitalization Study is nearly complete. The information in that report will assist current and prospective downtown merchants and landlords.

Objective # 2- Develop a coordinated approach to attract new investment and encourage development.

In 2016 taxation from new assessment growth $248,000 or 0.87 %. The benchmark is a 1% increase, so although close we did not meet the benchmark.
In 2016 staff reviewed 14 site plans and distributed 20 plans for "pre-circulation" comments. The Committee of Adjustment approved 21 minor variances and 3 consents in 2016 and so far in 2017 have addressed 5 minor variances and 5 consents. This is a high level of activity and should lead to significant builds.
Southbridge Care Homes announcement to develop a long term care facility in Owen Sound will add to employment in the short term and assist to establish Owen Sound in the health and long term care areas.
The lease of the former CP Rail Station to become a "brew pub" has been well received and should act as a catalyst to further development on the water front.
A team approach to development ensures that staff from engineering, planning and building are all in attendance at meetings so the developer has one stop shopping. This approach has been noted and appreciated by a number of developers over the past 12 months.

Objective # 3 - Leverage our City's assets in order to enhance tourism opportunities.

In 2016 the City increased its website, twitter and Facebook presence. Our Economic Development and Tourism staff continued to attend shows and events and distribute printed materials. The new City website was launched in April 2017 and has been well received. 2017 is a transition year for how the City will pursue economic development. The City Manager and Director of Community Services are taking active roles in this process. The County of Grey has strengthened its economic development team
and we want to avoid duplication with their efforts and use those to enhance the City's efforts.

Objective # 4 - Encourage residential and mixed-use development.

Building starts in 2016 were below the benchmark.
Council approved a two year moratorium on residential development charges for 2015 and 2016. Acting on requests from the development community, Council has approved a further two year extension of the moratorium.
The City has completed an Environment Assessment for the Sydenham Heights Development Area and will install water and waste water servicing to that area in 2017. A number of property owners and developers have expressed interest in that development area.
The Community Improvement Plan has a range of incentives that can provide financial support to development/redevelopment of properties.
The City's Development Team continue to meet with potential developers and review site plan proposals. Construction has begun on several (eight units at 9thAvenue East & 17th
Street) and will be starting on several others in 2017 (Odawa 28 units Phase One; Heathers 16 units).

Objective # 5 - Attract new and retain existing residents.

A marketing campaign designed to attract the attention of young start up entrepreneurs will launch in June 2017. To be truly successful the campaign needs assistance from Owen Sound residents and businesses. We believe that Owen Sound is Where You Want to Live, and this campaign will be calling on some Owen Sound residents
and businesses to show selected visitors why we feel that way. Stay tuned.

Objective # 6 - Promote and enhance Owen Sound's built heritage.

Support for heritage in numerous waysincluding Community Improvement Plan, tax rebates, and the promotion of heritage properties during the Doors Open Event.
Council's commitment to preservation of heritage properties under its control. Working with prospective purchasers of the former Jail and Courthouse to encourage an adaptive reuse of the facility. Working with Heritage Ontario and prospective leasee's of the CP Rail Station to preserve many of the heritage features and bring the property back to an active use.

Objective # 7 - Encourage and promote participation in cultural activities and active lifestyles.

City invests in trails, parks, and recreation facilities for residents and visitors.
Ratepayers subsidize lower facility and park rentals for youth to encourage participation.
Library visits and items circulated increased over 2014. Increased emphasis from City staff to market and promote our parks and facilities through social media and other opportunities.

Objective # 8 - Support community safety and social inclusion.

Council and residents appreciate the work of Police Officers and Fire Fighters. Every community must balance the risk to people and property with the costs of providing protection.
Continued support to seniors through provision of facilities including McQuay Tannery and Harrison Park Seniors Centre.
The Community Garden project approved on public lands and the Reconciliation Garden approved for Kelso Beach Park demonstrate City of Owen Sound and its residents' commitment to social inclusion.

Objective # 9 - Address the City's infrastructure deficit.

The tax allocated toward the Capital budget has increased from $872,900 in 2009 to $1,927,000 in 2017. During budget deliberations, Councils have tried to increase the Capital budget by 1 % overall budgetary increase annually. This increase allows for more capital works in a year; however a number of needed works are still deferred each year due to a lack of funds.
The City continues to build our Capital Asset data base. The full implementation of Asset Management will allow the City to maximise the long term use and life of our assets and to assist in the funding of those assets. Although much work has been done, there is still much work to be done.

Objective # 10 - Maximise revenue sources and funding opportunities.

In 2016 Current Value Assessment increased from new assessment by approximately $17,000,000 or 0.87 %. The benchmark is a 1% increase. This new growth was offset by successful Appeals of Assessment Values by property owners.
There is increased activity between the City's development team and developers, and a number of planning and engineering applications are working through the system. It appears that 2017 should see some of these efforts come to fruition in the form of building, and recognition of that building in 2018 additions to the assessment roll.
The Special Events Coordinator and the Facilities Booking Coordinator have both secured additional funds for 2017 and beyond in the form of advertising, sponsorship and grants.

Objective # 11 - Optimize the city's operations while maintaining or improving quality of life.

In 2016 City Council conducted and Service Review. This looked at the effectiveness and efficiency of most of the services offered by the City compared to three comparative communities (Brockville, Collingwood, and Orangeville). The review found annual savings of approximately $550,000 in tax supported operations and $300,000 in Waste Water operations. Most of the tax supported savings were implemented in the 2017 budget process. Providing services efficiently and costs effectively will continue to be a
priority for all City staff.

Objective # 12 - Maintain and improve public transit options for residents and visitors.

A number of new stops have been added in the east side commercial section of the City. A number of bus shelters are scheduled to be upgraded in 2017.
Conventional ridership decreased and specialized ridership increased. Some of the previous ridership counts may have been less accurate than the current counts.
An advertising campaign is underway to promote the transit system and that will continue.

Objective # 13 - Improve energy conservation and efficiency.

City converted most street lights to LED with an approximate reduction in use by 1,000 MWh's per annum. Energy audits will be conducted at several City buildings in 2017 and as time/funds/business cases permits recommendations will be implemented.

Objective # 14 - Maintain, improve and promote the use of our local parks and trails.

Capital spending on parks and trails has continued to be significant (+$500,000 annually). Working with partners allows the City to maximize these investments. Parks and trails are capital assets and they depreciate over time. An important part of implementing the City's Asset Management Plan will be the inclusion of Parks and Trails to that plan.
The City's website includes a Parks and Facilities module that promotes these features to the public.
In 2017 the City will update the Recreation, Parks and Facilities Master Plan which will include a Parks Rationalization. This will focus Council and the public on what do they want to provide to residents and visitors for Parks in the future.

Objective # 15 - Ensure the responsible management of natural resources.

The City has reduced the application of salt for winter road maintenance. The former application was in excess of accepted provincial "norms".
The Waste Water Treatment Plant Upgrade is nearly complete. Once fully operational this will move the treatment of waste water from primary to secondary and should greatly improve the quality of effluent that returns to the Georgian Bay.
City parks staff monitor for Emerald Ash Bore in the City tree inventory. Some of the more historical or vulnerable ash trees have been pre-treated in a proactive move.
Progress has been made in managing Phragmites and staff will continue to stay current on new management alternatives.


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