The Rawlins City Council has confirmed a strategic plan to improve the city this year, which will include beautification, investing in city employees to retain them and so much more.

City manager Shawn Metcalf presented the plan to the council during its second meeting of the month Tuesday night. City staff and council members met last month to create the plan for the community’s betterment.

“We’ve spent time going through these directives and we are developing, brainstorming, coming up with as many ideas as possible to think of a project that can help us meet these directives,” Metcalf told the council.

The directives are broken into five categories: employees, beautification, infrastructure, community trust and engagement and community and economic development.

Metcalf has assigned all city department heads to talk with each and every one of their employees about the directives to find ways to implement all of them. It was important for Metcalf to get all city personnel’s input on these new guidelines.

For the city employees directive, the council and Metcalf wanted to find ways to invest in Rawlins staff, revise certain policies and procedures, optimize opportunities to appreciate and recognize city staff, strengthen the purpose, direction and unity of city employees and ensure city staff has the necessary equipment to do their jobs.

By implementing these new directives for city staff, Metcalf and the council expect this will decrease turnover, increase the application pool and create happier employees who trust their job security and fellow colleagues.

As for beautification, city staff is hoping to increase the efforts to clean up dangerous or dilapidated buildings across town, develop projects and programs to increase Rawlins’ beautification efforts and improve the attractiveness of city entryways and properties.

By doing this, the hope is to increase code compliance across the city, decrease the number of dangerous or dilapidated buildings in town that are eyesores or hazardous and see improvement reflected in community surveys.

For infrastructure, the plan included a need to ensure consistent funding for the city’s infrastructure, improve the city’s stormwater and floodplain management system, continue source water protection and improve staff’s ability to track and report on the infrastructure.

By implementing these strategies, the city can increase safety in the local parks and ensure the source water resources are protected.

For community trust and engagement and economic development, the city’s intentions were to improve efforts to inform Rawlins residents when events and important goings-on are happening, expand Rawlins’ business recruitment and development program, diversify indoor recreation and other activities and partner to find a way to reduce the unused buildings in town.

The hope is to increase Rawlins’ workforce, increase tourism and increase sales tax revenues.

The council unanimously voted to implement this strategic plan for the year.

Ellen Fike is a freelance writer living in Cheyenne. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @EllenLFike.

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