During the past few months, the Hastings City Council and senior staff have met in a series of facilitated work sessions to help City leadership work together on key initiatives. This initial planning wrapped up in July, but the plan will continue to evolve over the next year as initiatives are completed and others are added. The City Council has established four strategic priorities with initiatives for each. As work advances on these initiatives, the City will provide regular progress reports. Priority 1 will focus on people, processes, infrastructure and finance. This priority will develop a multi-year financial model to improve planning and long-term stability for the City, and enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in City processes and operations and continue to improve perceptions of Hastings as a welcoming community for all. Priority 2 is community Image and Public Engagement, which will develop a strategic communications plan that reaches multiple and diverse audiences and find new funding streams to stimulate tourism in collaboration with Tourism Bureau/Chamber of Commerce. This initiative includes leveraging partnerships and maximizing return on investment. Priority 3 is parks and public spaces, which aims to improve beautification and maintenance of parks and public spaces, assure enhancements to Vermillion Street are consistent with the goals and measures of the Council-adopted Vermillion Street Corridor Plan, and pursue projects for Lake Rebecca and Lake Isabel Parks, contingent upon pending funding proposals. Priority 4 is housing and economic development. This priority will explore the feasibility of a special taxing district as a mechanism for enhanced services in the downtown area. For more information, visit HastingsMN.gov.