DDA to hold strategic planning session

ALPENA — The Alpena Downtown Development Authority will be hosting a strategic planning session in the spring. The goal of the meeting is to get updates on goals already established, as well as set new ones.

During its monthly meeting Tuesday, Executive Director Anne Gentry said there is typically a planning session once a year, but there hasn’t been one in several years. She said the half-day session will be run by a moderator who will be hired beforehand.

Gentry said there are several things that will be done at the planning session, which she said will be attended by the DDA board, its committee members and other community stakeholders.

“It is a chance for us to do strategic planning and set short-term and long-term goals,” she said. “We will get updates on ongoing and new projects and help us come up with initiatives moving ahead.”

Gentry said she hopes to have a moderator hired in the next month or so and a meeting in the spring. City Manager Greg Sundin, who is on the DDA, said the best time for a planning session will be in late April because before then he and many of the city department heads will be in the budget process and many workshops used to craft the next fiscal budget.

“If you have it too soon it would be very hard for myself or anyone else with the city to attend,” Sundin said.

Gentry said she would send a list of possible dates and times to Sundin so both DDA and the city could coordinate when an appropriate time for everyone would be.

In other business:

∫ Gentry said the purchase of new Christmas decorations for the downtown will be added to the DDA capital improvement plan. She said she has been reaching out to vendors, including Bronner’s in Frankenmuth, who have told her that to get the best bargain purchase the decorations after the holidays and before spring.

∫ Sundin explained why there will be a delay in the repair of the boardwalk at North Riverside Park that was damaged last fall. He said construction for the repairs will begin when the weather becomes milder and should be wrapped up before June 1. The delay in that project also will likely push back the construction of the dog park to be built.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.