• James Armstrong

Preparing a strategic plan for the future in Rigaud


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

The final stages of creating a strategic plan for the Town of Rigaud drew a crowd of interested citizens.

Rigaud citizens had another opportunity to participate in the town’s long-term sustainable strategic development plan on Monday, March 26. Approximately 80 people took part in the roundtable discussions and evaluations of various aspects of the project that began with the creation of a steering committee in 2017.

Shared vision for the future

The evening’s activities started with an overview of the work already accomplished: from the inclusion of primary school children and their choices for the future in the process to surveys of socio-demographic age groups including input from the employees of the town.

The plan being created covers a 15-year period from 2018 to 2033. “We are doing very important work this evening,” said Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. “Currently, we are working with the plan 2010–2020 first put in place in 2009.” He pointed out the importance of developing a vision for the future. “It will give future town councils a plan to follow created by the citizens.”

Process

Each table group was provided with different focus points for sustainable development such as agriculture, protection of Rigaud Mountain and the natural environment. Lively discussion ensued as groups attempted to evaluate the listed aspects of each focus point. The final task of the session entailed prioritizing each aspect in order of importance and determining its place in the 15-year time-line.

For example, one of the focus points was, “Protect and enhance the environment and natural habitats” that was subdivided into subcategories: highlight bodies of water and promote their accessibility, enhance and protect Rigaud Mountain, and ensure the effective management of drinking water, rainwater, storm water and recreational water. Each of those categories was given examples of actions required and the financial cost of making them happen.

Protecting Rigaud Mountain and developing local job opportunities ranked high on the list of priorities. Maintaining and encouraging local businesses was also deemed significantly important. With an expected doubling in population from 7000 to 14,000 in the next 15 years, the services provided by the town are also an issue.

Residents will have another chance to participate in the process on Saturday, March 31 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Paul Brasseur Building, 10 Saint-Jean-Baptiste Street East.

Following the public consultations, adjustments will be made to the plan taking into consideration all the information provided. A public report is planned for publication before the end of summer 2018.

“We are planning an evening event to launch the new plan,” said Gruenwald as he thanked everyone for participating.

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