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The latest quarterly update of the Larimer County  2019 - 2023 Strategic Plan with the Board of Larimer County Commissioners included increasing collaboration and engagement that was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The stewards for Goals One, Two, and Three gave an overview of each of the three goals in the strategic plan and briefly highlighted the current status of the objectives under each goal. Collaboration that was paused in the past because of the COVID pandemic is being resumed by Larimer County teams and its community partners.

 

Goal One: Public Infrastructure for a Growing Community

 

Regional partners are meeting again in Regional Transportation, Objective One, to discuss approaches and any changes for capacity needs for the region, plus alternative modes of transportation. The current consultant working with the team will be returning to work to reach out to other communities to coordinate engagement with the technical team and move forward with the next steps in transportation. With holidays approaching, those conversations and gathering of data might take a bit longer but will be available for discussion in early 2022.

Objective Two, The Solid Waste Master Plan, is on track and waiting for approval from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment to grant approval of the north landfill, start the process with the commissioners and move the project forward. The Solid Waste Policy Council met this fall and agreed with the current work progress on the north landfill and new user fees, landfill fee schedule, and landfill rates, which will be included with the adoption of the 2022 Larimer County Budget. Public input on the 2022 Larimer County Budget 2022 Proposed Budget | Larimer County is also welcome and encouraged.

Rural Services, Objective Three, consists of rural street reconstruction services and maintenance, rural broadband expansion, long-term water supply planning, and wastewater treatment. Street reconstruction is moving forward from the direction of the Board of County Commissioners. Financing options are also being examined to assist rural homeowner associations with street maintenance. A stronger development agreement is in the beginning stages of being drafted to help developers understand their responsibilities for road maintenance and reconstruction. The main update in rural broadband is the hiring of a new program manager to assist with grants and other partnerships for rural broadband expansion.

Objective Four encompasses watershed health including mitigation efforts for flood-related hazards while managing and controlling flooding. Flood improvements include shoring up the National Research Conservation Service “B” dams which are older and need to be stabilized. Hazard Mitigation Grant funding through FEMA has been identified to possibly help build more capacity and less flooding. Another part of Objective Four includes water-sharing strategies, and the team is working on a more specific update with four other agencies by the end of the year.

 

Goal Two: Access to Economic Opportunities and a Vibrant Quality of Life

 

A desired feature of any community is having access to a high quality of life, and to promote well-being and good health.

Objective One, Health and Wellbeing is on target and moving forward. The objective one team, comprised of some of the public health staff were pulled away during the past year to address the COVID-19 pandemic, which delayed a large portion of their work. The team has already regrouped, and currently working on its goal.

Of particular note is a public-facing Well-Being Dashboard that is currently under development. The dashboard will display data on the well-being of the community using many different data sets.  The successful public-facing COVID-19 Community Dashboard designed by Larimer County’s IT department for Larimer County Health and Environment is serving as a template in the development of the Well-Being Dashboard. As the dashboard develops, more specific data about the community will be added to the dashboard.

Objective Two, Employment of Persons with Disabilities had been paused as well during the last year, but the team still has had many successes and has also reconvened to continue its work.  Funding is being proposed to help support the payroll to employ persons who work in Larimer County government with disabilities. The team is working to create innovative ways to employ people with special skills and to become a model for other employers in the county.

Access to Childcare --- Objective Three --- is on target and the variety, volume, access, and provider capacity in our community has been very active from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. After not meeting for a year, the team has joined up again and currently working on this goal. A childcare campus concept is being considered within the boundaries of Loveland, while the expense of childcare is considered for American Rescue Plan Act funding. With changes in the community during the last year, the program is being adjusted to accommodate those changes, as the team encounters new issues and opportunities in childcare.

Recent changes in funding for the Housing Attainability Program Manager, heading Housing Attainability, Objective Four, now enable that hat position to work more broadly on housing affordability than in the past. Those changes also allow that position to function as the Objective Four lead. This team will also be brought back together and have a more robust strategy with housing in early 2022. The team plans to offer recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners they might tackle first. Multiple, innovative approaches might be needed in the future to accomplish housing affordability goals.

 

Goal Three: Larimer County is ready to support future service needs for our community and visitors

 

The county’s experience with COVID-19 has shown the flexibility of county workers can be with space and the Objective One team, Alternatives for Workspace, has transitioned from a space reduction activity in the facilities master plan to an ongoing operational activities group. They accomplished much during the pandemic to address space needs and adjust them as we move forward.

County Workforce Characteristics are adaptive, collaborative and inclusive and the Objective Two team is now split into four groups to target four critical areas: recognition, training, communication, and policy. A central focus is on inclusion, county-wide. The policy group is also staying abreast on policy compliance since many legislative and statewide changes have occurred, while simultaneously viewing those changes through an inclusion lens.

A new employee evaluation performance tool is also being rolled out, with the hope of gathering ample data from employee evaluations. Another tool to identify specific word usage which might affront some people in gender and cultural biases is also being tested while updating job descriptions and requirements for those positions.

Objective Three, The Evolution of Providing Services strives to enhance service delivery. The document translation project is still in progress, though much has been completed. Also, in the five service groups, the Public Safety group is measuring the response to their outreach to victims’ rights and if any adjustments need to be made. The Internal Communication group policy is complete with a high demand for internal communication. The Community Planning and Infrastructure group had great results from the 4-H online registration system and survey. Human and Economic Services group is ramping up again, working with community partners to establish requirements for transportation, while the Public Information and Records group examined the results of the recent survey to rename the Courthouse Offices Building. Survey respondents were in favor of the change.

Environmental Responsibility, Objective Five, has evolved into a continuing service in the county. This area has expanded, and much has been learned in its development. With the hiring of a Climate Action Program Manager, it is hoped that they will lead and further develop the program so that Larimer County policies match what is also being asked from our community in environmental responsibility.   

Published on: 
Friday, October 29, 2021 - 3:10pm

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