Spencer city leaders want a clear economic development vision and path forward for the city.
With that goal in mind, the Spencer City Council at Monday’s meeting approved an agreement with Toyer Strategic Consulting to create the plan for $24,317.
David Toyer, owner of the consulting firm, presented the plan proposal to the progress and development committee meeting prior to the city council meeting. City council members and the mayor sit on the committee.
Toyer repeatedly stated his goal is to create plans for clients, which include communities and others involved in economic development, that include actionable steps.
“Take that vision concept and actually put it into action. That’s our focus,” he said. “We want to see things accomplished.”
Toyer’s proposal includes creating a strategic plan that establishes a vision for the city’s economic development efforts, identifying strategies for putting that plan’s goals into action, identifying who is responsible for taking that action and determining a timeline.
Several committee and council members voiced their support for the plan because they believed the work done once the plan is developed will pay off down the road.
“I think of Dubuque bringing in IBM (in 2008),” committee and city council member Leann Jacobsen said. “The reason IBM selected Dubuque was because of work they started ten years earlier. So we really do need to think about being, whether it’s progressive or proactive, it’s nice to be getting ready for the future.”
Ron Hanson said he appreciated Toyer’s focus on action and developing a plan that can be implemented.
“This is what I’m saying we need to do,” Hanson said. “We need to implement these things, not talk about them.”
City manager Amanda Mack during the committee meeting said the development of a strategic plan was considered during discussions in April. City staff and council members had been having goal-setting sessions and discussions since December.
“From that, I did a little research and visited with Kiley Miller from the (Iowa Lakes) Corridor about the desire to put together an economic development strategic plan,” Mack said. “He recommended a couple of different options. He and I met with Mr. Toyer around May and talked through his process.”
Toyer’s strategic plan proposal was first vetted by the Grow Spencer Commission, a group established earlier this year.
During the city council meeting, council member Steve Bomgaars noted the commission’s work was “instrumental” in bringing the plan forward.