By Michelle Mann firstname.lastname@example.org
The state of the city and goals moving forward were discussed at a three-hour Enterprise City Council strategic planning session in the Enterprise Municipal Airport Conference Room Jan. 20.
The council members and mayor shared their individual perceptions and opinions about the city’s strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities and reached a consensus of “Vision 2025.”
This strategic planning session was a follow up to several such meetings held after the mayor and city council were sworn into office in November 2020. The purpose of the multiple meetings was to determine a consensus of top priorities going into the next four years.
A new recreation complex, improved streets and sidewalks, addition of a downtown entertainment district, more downtown parking, more “business friendly” business license ordinances and renovation of the 50-year-old city hall were among the group’s priorities.
Five department heads slots were unfilled when this council took office. What to do about that situation was addressed at the first of several strategic sessions.
“We haven’t done a strategic plan in over a year now,” City Council President Turner Townsend said to the group assembled Jan. 20. “We need to define what success looks like at the end of the year 2025. What does success look like at the end of 2022? What are the priorities? What do we need to be working on now? What’s the next best thing to be working on? What is the best way to spend our finite resources to best move the needle to our long-term plan?
“We’re going to celebrate a few successes,” Townsend said, calling filling the department head positions that had been filled on an interim status—clerk/treasurer, public works, engineering and police chief—a key accomplishment towards being “more purpose driven, more goal driven than reactionary.”
A new recreation complex took a major step forward in 2021 when the city government and the Enterprise State Community College reached an agreement for the development of a soccer complex along George Wallace Drive. Ground was broken on the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex—which will include soccer fields, walking and biking trails, Ultimate Frisbee, a playground, volleyball courts and disc golf—on the city’s Peavy Park and 25-acres of college property. An enhanced recreational facility to include indoor and outdoor swimming pools is also being researched.
Included in the goals for Vision 2025 is completion of the rec center and outdoor pool and soccer complex and improvements to city sidewalks and renovation of the city hall.
“We’ll never get there if we don’t claim it as a goal,” said Townsend about a goal to have a fully staff police force by 2025 and have completed and implemented a Comprehensive Plan that will include updated planning and zoning regulations, updated ordinances and a transportation plan.
Building a “thriving retail development” on the south side of the city is a long term goal that is becoming a reality with the addition of city recreation facilities on that side of the bypass, Townsend said.
By the end of 2025, the city’s leadership team expect the development and implementation of a financial plan which includes a capital plan for sewer and road, city operations, debt and user fees to include sewer, sanitation, permits and business licenses. The council also wants an employee training and development plan implemented that includes performance evaluation and onboarding programs. “We want to be the easiest city in the state to do business with,” Townsend said.
Having the city council packets and city board meeting packets available online at the city website is a goal the council set for the end of this year. They also want city board meetings videoed and available for viewing online.
Fixing some 200 miles of city streets was unanimously called the Number 1 capital improvement priority by the mayor and city council during their initial strategic planning sessions held in November 2020. What roads most needed repair in what order they were to be repaired was the subject of a 2020 “Road Evaluation Study” presented to the city council in April 2020.
In that study, roads were evaluated through use of a Mobile Asset Collection vehicle which combined multiple engineering technologies to collect real-time pavement data as the vehicle drove over more than 200 miles of roads recording electronic data
With the completed pavement condition inventory database, the company calculated a Pavement Condition Index—PCI—rating based on a 0 to 100 rating scale where 0 represents a failed roadway condition and 100 represents an excellent roadway condition. It was determined from the study that the average PCI rating for the city roads was a 49.
Phase II of the city street resurfacing is expected to be well underway by the end of 2022 and the planning phase of Phase IV is expected to be underway. By 2025, the average PCI rating is expected to be greater than or equal to 60.
Having safe and affordable housing in the city by bringing all high density and/or multifamily developments up to code and the feasibility of a public transportation system were listed as key parts of the city’s strategic plan.
Other ideas were discussed and development of a “robust partnership with EsCC, the Enterprise City Schools and Fort Rucker for workforce development solution.”
The council and mayor agreed to have quarterly meetings about the goals set in place Jan. 20 to determine any need for adjustment. “This is a living, breathing document,” Townsend said. “Oftentimes these things are a little less tangible than if we were in the private sector.”