Valley Grande puts focus on long-term plans

Published 10:58 pm Saturday, October 26, 2013

VALLEY GRANDE — The idea of having a three-year plan is something everyday citizens and small businesses do to set and reach goals, and Valley Grande Mayor Wayne Labbe said he and members of city council should be no different.

“Whether you are in business, or running a city, or whatever, you need to get things out in front of you so that when you build a budget you have things to build that budget around,” Labbe said.

Labbe has mentioned the notion of a three-year plan on several occasions, but last Monday he included several things he’d like to see included in that plan in his report during the Valley Grande council meeting

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“I threw out some of my ideas, and I asked them to add to the list. What do we need to do to move this city forward,” Labbe said. “We need to think outside of the box.”

Councilman Ronald Sawyer said planning for improvements and expansions is something needed if Valley Grande and surrounding communities are to remain viable in the future.

“I think it would be very important to do this, because if we don’t do something, Selma or Valley Grande might not be around,” Sawyer said.

He added that special consideration needed to be given to attracting younger residents to the city.

“If we don’t get something done out here for younger generations, there won’t be anything left in Valley Grande,” Sawyer said. “We’d like to see more business out here; restaurants or industrial business.”

Labbe agreed that while there have been some business success stories recently in Valley Grande, more could be done in the future to attract businesses to the area.

“We have a Mexican restaurant, but are there other businesses out there that we would like for our area, and we need to find out what do we have to do to go after them,” Labbe said.

Having a plan together several years in advance would make the work of attracting business and completing the city’s budget much easier as time goes by, Labbe said.

“If we can work together and get these plans out there, we’ll be singing out of the same hymn book. If you don’t do something like that, you just flop around and maintain what you’ve got and you don’t get anywhere,” Labbe said. “We want to have a plan in front of us for 2014, 2015 and 2016, so that when we get to budgeting for those years, we’ll have a plan and dollar figures there to build around.”

While he believes the three-year budget plan would help council finalize budgets in the future, Labbe said the main purpose of the plan would be to attract more residents to the area, and keep them once they call Valley Grande home.

“We need to keep our city within budget, but also give back to our citizens,” Labbe said.