As we look to the future

By Brent Frazier, mayor City of Pelican Rapids 

Most of us realize that many of the social events and gatherings that we had probably jotted in our planners and on our calendars for 2020 did not come to fruit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope and pray that this will not be the situation in the year of 2021.

We have now hung our new calendars and purchased our new planners to acknowledge the new year of 2021, knowing that with each new year comes the excitement, anticipation and hope of something new.

Some of us are apt to start the new year with a list of resolutions that we hope to accomplish in the new year. We must we hesitant not to ‘set the bar’ too high or these resolutions can fall by the wayside within a few days or weeks when they seem non-attainable and the feeling of non-accomplish overwhelms us. So to take smaller steps over a longer period of time can prove to be more beneficial than trying to take big steps in a shorter time period.

Just as we resort to a roadmap (on our cellphone or in paper form) as we venture out to new territories, it is wise to have a roadmap for the new year as we venture out on our daily excursions.

These roadmaps for the coming year are truly an asset as although they require the time element of a pre-planning process, they can save valuable time along the way and in the end make the journey much more pleasant and delightful.

We have all come to realize that it is very important to be visionary than to be reactionary. 

When one manages their time and actions by a visionary means, they usually do not repeat unwanted actions, waste their energy, spend money that they do not have and thus they complete their project or journey on time with a feeling of accomplishment.

Just as this planning process is valuable to an individual, it is just or probably more valuable to a government entity or a city.

The incorporation of city project goals, committee members, meeting time & dates, a kickoff meeting, project timeline, public input, a final meeting and the project evaluation are all important cogs in the wheel of a city project.

Many of the City of Pelican Rapids’ projects for the next few years have already been set in motion and you have read about them on these pages of The Press.

These projects usually relate to features of the city infrastructure, which include streets, parks, swimming pool, airport, water, wastewater, storm sewer, building structures, natural resources, walk & bikeways, future building sites and equipment.

With these city infrastructure items come the cost of operating and maintenance, or better known as O & M.

When we plan ahead for our personal health physicals, home ‘fix it up’ projects or automobile repairs, we realize that we can detect a possible future problem and thus’ nip it in the bud’ before the situation is overwhelming, beyond our control and a financial burden. This is what we label as personal O & M.

To plan ahead for the replacement, remodeling or refurbishing of these city infrastructure items usually come less overall operating costs, which in turn means less taxpayer money for operation.

Many of these scenarios of city infrastructure spending are recognized in the city budget, of which we have acknowledged in former columns.

We therefore realize that dollars spent before a crucial situation arises are dollars saved over time. 

In the next few weeks we will look at and learn more about some of these City of Pelican Rapids short and long range projects.

So, until next time………….