FOLEY – Foley staff members will be meeting with residents and officials in upcoming months to develop a strategic plan to prepare the city for the future.

The Foley City Council voted to hire the company BerryDunn of Portland, Maine to help develop the plan. Wayne Dyess, executive director of infrastructure and development, said the project will help officials make plans on issues such as finances as the city develops.

“This is not a land use plan,” Dyess said. “This is more a business strategic plan on priorities, goals and where we’re going in the future. It’s a great project and we’re very excited about this.”

Dyess said the city will schedule public meetings and other discussions with small groups and Foley officials to go over the plan.

“It helps define what our objectives and goals are for the city and puts benchmarks in place to make sure we’re on track to achieve those goals,” Dyess said.

Mayor Ralph Hellmich said the city has developed comprehensive plans in the past. The new plan will also show banks and bond companies how Foley is making financial preparations for the future.

“”In the financial world in order to keep achieving the standards that we have, it was encouraged by the financing organization that we have a strategic plan,” Hellmich said. 

Dyess said the city will also use the plan in preparing future budgets.

“It’s also a great tool when you include in the budgeting aspect of this to make sure that when you have these priorities and goals and their prioritization and those kinds of things that you’re helping fund those too so helps kind of focus the direction but also focus the funding and the budgeting to achieve those goals,” Dyess said.

The plan process will begin with BerryDunn conducting research and developing a work plan and schedule for the project. As work continues, meetings will be scheduled and a draft plan prepared using information gathered in the process before a final plan is developed.