Imagine Owatonna: Long Range Asset Preservation Plan
The City of Owatonna is creating a plan to reinvest in its facilities over the next 10 years and beyond.
The City of Owatonna has taken substantial efforts to provide public services and amenities that serve the community well. The 90-plus City-owned buildings and structures require annual maintenance and long-term investments to preserve their value and serve the community. Assessing current assets and developing a plan to preserve these assets and identify additional needs will help City officials plan ways to address infrastructure needs. The plan will include a financial strategy for investing in facilities and land to preserve the City’s assets in ways that use tax dollars efficiently and deliver the services and amenities community members desire now and into the future.
Goal: Utilize City facilities to deliver high-quality public services for residents over the next decade and beyond
The Long-Range Asset Preservation Plan will guide the preservation of City facilities in a way that aligns with the community’s priorities and maximizes the value of investments for taxpayers.
City facilities play an integral role in emergency response, public safety, community programs, parks, recreation and more. The City of Owatonna owns more than 90 buildings and structures that require annual maintenance and/or long-term investments to preserve their value in serving community members. The Long Range Asset Preservation Plan will guide the prioritization of facilities improvements as well as identify new facilities the community sees as a priority. It will proactively plan the following steps:
- Assess needed improvements on existing buildings
- Develop capital improvement plans for a specific set of buildings with deferred maintenance and near-term maintenance and renovation needs
- Develop long-term capital improvement projects for new facilities identified as being needed based on community member feedback
- Estimate costs to address the needs identified in capital improvement plans
Steps taken to develop Owatonna’s Long Range Asset Preservation Plan
The City of Owatonna retained consultants from ICS in 2019 to assess current facilities and look ahead at the next 10 years of needs. Since then…
April 2022 - A Government Buildings Task Force, made up of City staff and elected officials, toured 21 buildings to assess immediate maintenance needs and current usage.
August 2022 - The City Council decided to move forward with developing a strategic plan that encompasses city-owned facilities and is based on the community’s goals.
February 2023 - The City Council and staff began establishing a process for creating the long-term plan for capital improvements at its annual Strategic Planning Workshop.
July/August 2023 – ICS gathered data through listening sessions with the business community, City staff and elected officials to create themes to guide the next steps in the process of addressing facilities needs.
|Question||Most Common Themes|
|What are some great things happening in Owatonna?||New high school, downtown revitalization|
|What are some challenges facing Owatonna?||Funding, staffing improvements|
|If you won the lottery and had to spend it all on the City of Owatonna, how would you spend it?||Community Center, Public Safety Center |
What would you like newspaper headlines to say about Owatonna 10 years from now?
|Community Center and growth|
|What is your perception of the City’s current use of its facilities?||Old, expensive, not purpose-built|
|How could the City improve or make better use of its facilities?||Partnerships, collaboration, review uses|
|What type of facilities should the City consider for the future?||Community Center and Public Safety Center|
What advice would you give City leadership? (What are your expectations of this process)
|Seek input from staff/others|
September 2023 – ICS presented findings and recommendations to develop the Long Range Asset Preservation Plan and address near-term maintenance needs in a City Council Study Session. Baker Tilly US LLP presented funding options for near-term projects. The following are just some of the most pressing projects that will need to be addressed in the coming years:
- Merrill Hall – heating, cooling and critical maintenance needs
- West Hills Campus buildings/City Hall – renovation projects
- Fire Hall – various challenges due to the aging facility
- The Law Enforcement Center – renovations, energy efficiency and equipment upgrades
- City parks – structural and trail improvements, parking lots and equipment updates
Community input will be needed to help create a Long Range Asset Preservation Plan that reflects the most desired City services and amenities
As City officials consider ways to continue providing high-quality public services into the future, the team developing the Long Range Asset Preservation Plan is dedicated to ensuring it fits the community’s needs and expectations. In the coming months, the City will provide various opportunities for community members to help prioritize needs and decide how the projects will be funded. Watch for these opportunities to share perspectives on how City-owned facilities can best serve the community in the future.