The Blue Mountains council has voted to adopt the community’s new Integrated Sustainability Plan.
At its committee of the whole meeting on June 27, council approved the plan entitled: The Blue Mountains Future Story. The plan outlines both the long-range and immediate goals and hopes for the community.
The new plan has been several years in the making and involved public consultation and communication. Town staff presented an overview of the plan and the work done to develop the document.
“It is designed to provide both an ambitious vision for the future and very clear actions that should happen in the first five years,” said consultant John Lewis. “It allows for learning and adaptation as the years go on.”
The plan features "Four Big Moves" that include: create climate solutions, build sustainable neighbourhoods, grow an innovative and thriving community, and collaborate and take action. It also identifies 20 actions for the community to pursue.
The town currently has $75,000 available to help with the implementation of the plan’s goals and staff said they would come forward with more financial plans during the 2023 budget process.
Members of council were pleased with the plans and the efforts and work done to draft the documents, but were concerned about having an implementation plan.
“This is massive. This is such a huge topic. I worry about the scope of this,” said Coun. Paula Hope. “We want to make sure we get the devil in the details.”
Hope suggested council use the plan to set some priorities for how to proceed.
“We need to give some direction here. We need to come up with a next step for how to get our arms around this project,” she said.
Mayor Alar Soever agreed and said he would like the 20 action items ranked.
“I’d like to see those prioritized. We need to flesh that out a bit,” said Soever.
Coun. Andrea Matrosovs said the work now shifts to the current and future council.
“It’s up to us to put those pieces in place,” said Matrosovs, who suggested council put together a checklist with tangible measurables that can be handed over to the new council. “It’s a living document, we have to make sure it’s agile enough to respond to stuff.”
Jeff Fletcher, Manager of Sustainability and Solid Waste, said staff would be reporting to council on the plan’s progress.
“As we dig into each action, you will see there are measurables,” said Fletcher. “We’re certainly open to different types of targets. It often comes down to if you can measure it or not.”