Gurnee seeks resident input for next strategic plan
The cameras worn by Gurnee police officers, the Richard A. Welton Plaza on Old Grand Avenue, and the village's Facebook page have something in common: they all came to be after being included in Gurnee's last strategic plan.
And now, after being delayed a year by the pandemic, Gurnee leaders are seeking input from residents for the village's next strategic plan via an online survey and in-person focus groups.
Assistant Village Administrator Jack Linehan said the village budgeted $30,000 in the 2021 fiscal year to develop the plan, including the cost of a consultant. But the pandemic led to it being postponed a year. The village board hired Chicago-based Rapp Consulting to help with the plan in November.
The last strategic plan took the village from 2016 to 2021. There were 24 strategic initiatives in that plan and 19 of them were accomplished, including developing a financial plan with contingency scenarios, which officials credited with helping the village weather the fiscal downturn of the pandemic.
The five strategic initiatives that didn't get done were researching electronic citation technology, improving public transportation opportunities, encouraging investment in faster internet speeds for residents and businesses, developing an economic development plan that connects existing businesses with the village and fills vacant storefronts and redeveloping East Grand Avenue.
Linehan said progress was made on each of those five items and that some of them likely would be part of the next plan.
The two main ways for residents to contribute to the next strategic plan are by taking an online survey at polco.us/snf8tv or by signing up for one of three focus group meetings later this month at polco.us/s3rvcp.
The online survey will be open to submissions until March 25. Focus groups will be held March 16-18.
Village leaders will meet April 18 to review the feedback from residents. On May 20, leaders will meet at Great Wolf Lodge for a full-day strategic plan retreat and discuss the plan further at board meetings over the summer.