The Big Sky County Water and Sewer district board discussed the community visioning project at the Sept. 17 meeting. PHOTO BY JANA BOUNDS

The voice of the community

Big Sky residents encouraged to contribute to the final stage of input for visioning strategy

With the help of community planning firm Logan Simpson, Big Sky residents have the opportunity to help shape the future of Big Sky by visiting www.OurBigSkyMT.com. 

It has been discussed in nearly every board meeting in Big Sky and booths have been present at gatherings throughout the community – sporting events, the farmer’s market. 

“It’s been a good project,” Ron Edwards, Big Sky County Water and Sewer District general manager said regarding the effort when it was discussed during the Sept. 17 meeting.  

The year-long project will soon be coming to fruition and residents are encouraged to contribute to the final stage of input – prioritization of “key strategies, initiatives, and opportunities as we work towards the development of the long-term strategic plan,” the website states. “Big Sky is an incredible community with strong goals and ideals, but there are limited resources to go around. Be sure the strategies and initiatives most important to you will be included within the strategic plan!” 

“This is going to help set a long-term 10-15 year plan for Resort Tax,” Big Sky Resort Area District manager Daniel Bierschwale said regarding the Logan Simpson project. 

 

Bierschwale discussed the project with LPL and how it will impact decisions by Resort Tax: 

 

How specifically will Resort Tax make use of the findings from this study?

The District has been working diligently with the project team to engage all of Big Sky and define the long-term vision of our community. The final strategic plan will inform us of the priorities Big Sky voiced and developed throughout this year-long process. The District intends to use the findings and community recommendations as the catalyst of our organizational planning which will take place in early 2020.

 

Do you anticipate any challenges in taking something like this and transferring it into daily action?

The plan itself will include an actionable outline that utilizes themes which broadly encompass the visions articulated by Big Sky. Within each theme, specifics of strategic priorities and project initiatives will be outlined. While some of these will clearly translate into Resort Tax specific actions; others will have ownership beyond the scope of our decision-making and subsequently fall under the ownership of partners throughout the community. Our organizational planning will certainly provide the District with an outline of how we accomplish the priorities within our purview but we will need to continue to engage with the community and work with partners to execute this plan.

 

 Is there anything else you’d like to say? 

The timing of this plan could not be better. Current and past leaders of the District have done so much to grow the organization to where we are today. As we begin to look towards the future and what that means for Big Sky it is evident that we will need to adapt in order to support our community into the future. For example, the existing appropriations process has worked very well in the past but we have outgrown the current methodology. We will learn the community’s vision from this plan but also are working very hard to increase overall transparency and significantly increase our engagement with organizations we fund, businesses who collect the tax, and the residents who make Big Sky the gem of a community that it has become.

More Information

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