Morro Bay City Council members say that completing detailed plans for a new sewage treatment plant must be the city’s top priority between now and June 2016.
Other top aims include improving streets — possibly paid for by a future bond measure — and reviewing and updating city land use plans.
The City Council is set to adopt its Top 10 list of goals at its Feb. 24 meeting.
The council fine-tuned its draft list at its meeting on Tuesday. The list also emphasizes maintaining core public services, ensuring financial stability, and supporting economic development.
“What we really wanted to see with this process is structure and to reaffirm the validity of existing goals while trying to define some real objectives within the context of some broad-based goals,” Councilman John Headding said.
City staff members plan to develop plans and milestones for bringing the checklist to fruition and to update the council on the status of each goal in fall 2015.
Within the Top 10 categories, the council identified specific items to tackle, including:
The goals were developed in the spring of 2013. They have been discussed and modified over the past few weeks.
“We should be able to get through this at the next meeting,” Irons said. “It’s really important to develop clear goals, which is helpful for staff and everyone involved.”
At Tuesday’s meeting, Councilman Noah Smukler suggested adding to the list an upgrade to the fish cleaning station in Tidelands Park. The issue had been discussed previously by the council, but its placement on the list prioritizes it.
Another economic development goal is to coordinate and deliver high-speed fiber connectivity in Morro Bay.
Water-related objectives include determining what level of participation in the State Water Project is appropriate and evaluating Morro and Chorro groundwater basins for salts and nutrients while identifying strategies to improve water quality.
With the departure of the Community Health Center from Morro Bay in January 2013, the city plans to reach out to healthcare providers to attract a new center to the city.
Headding said he hopes to see Morro Bay build a more varied economy in years to come that will help pay for new infrastructure costs and other initiatives, saying the city’s revenue stream is too limited right now.
“We really need to diversify our economy at large,” Headding said. “We can’t just rely on tourism and tax revenues alone. We have to extend our revenue streams.”