Strategic Goals and Long-Range Operating Financial Plans

Fiscal Year 2024

Strategic Goals and Long-Range Operating Financial Plans

The City begins planning its strategic goals early in the budget process. The City Commission plans a retreat annually to plan and determine the coming year's goals. In the past year The City was diligent in determining a clear path towards the future. Through collaboration and teamwork, The City was able to create a strategic plan with clear, concise, direction.

City of Stuart’s 2029 Strategic Plan provides a valuable, collective perspective of the highest priority action strategies to chart its course for a sustainable future. The Plan contains policy, program, and project guidance to serve commissioners and staff as they direct city resources towards achieving the strategic goals and objectives.

After reviewing all preceding strategic plans and community workshops, commissioners, and staff in collaboration with other stakeholders, examined the greatest challenges and opportunities for the next five (5) years. This process cultivated a strategic vision with four recurring thematic focus areas:

1. Community

2. Safety and Resilience

3. Commerce and Recreation

4. Financial Well-being

These focus areas and their respective goal statements are intended to guide policy decisions and budgeting for the next five years, through 2029. Many of the major actions reflected in the Plan (public safety needs, water management infrastructure, park improvements, and community center expansion) may be achieved by a financing approach that includes a combination of funding mechanisms including grants, user fees bonds, impact fees, funds generated from the tax increment in the CRA, or expanding existing revenue sources. Long term financial security remains one of the City’s more complex challenges, complicated by the reality that the City is essentially at build out now. Based upon the survey presented to the Commission in 2022, ninety-six percent of the land available for development is already obligated or built. There are just a few parcels remaining in the City that will generate projects large enough to impact traffic and services and the remaining smaller parcels will simply consist of minor infill. In this scenario, there will be no new taxable property developed in the future to sustain the rising expenses of the City. In addition, the City of Stuart remains the economic hub of Martin County. Therefore, the population growth in the surrounding communities will continue to burden the City with operation and maintenance costs to accommodate the increases in population and traffic generated by those attracted to the Stuart area, but not residing in the City. Moreover, in pursuit of the strategic vision, city leadership is guided by a mission, which reflects identified key community objectives, a sophisticated business and residential community atmosphere, and continued demand and delivery of high-quality services.

The City’s long-term objective is to maintain its character while also ensuring a sustainable community for future generations. However, the City of Stuart is now in excess of 90% developed. The remaining vacant property in Stuart will not result in significant change to the traffic patterns or ability to provide services such as water, sewer, roads,

parks and recreation. This vision includes finalizing several outstanding capital projects, which include waterfront redevelopment, park improvements, intermodal transportation, expanded parking, and stormwater management, while incorporating sustainable initiatives, policies, and infrastructure.

For the full strategic plan click here.

Strategic Goals for the Future

A closer look at The City's long-term goals

How Will The Plan Be Used?

The strategic plan serves as a crucial roadmap for city leaders in maintaining fiscal responsibility while prioritizing the residents’ well-being and quality of life. By crafting and implementing the plan, Stuart can effectively allocate resources, make informed decisions, and foster sustainable development.

Financial security can be achieved through assessment of current and future needs, balancing limited resources efficiently and effectively toward capital projects of the most critical importance. This approach minimizes wasteful spending and maximizes the impact of available funds for essential services and infrastructure improvements without overburdening taxpayers.

Through robust community engagement and consultation, the Commission can address the diverse needs and aspirations of the residents by identifying and responding to key concerns, such as affordable housing, public safety, healthcare, education, and environmental sustainability. The strategic plan fosters a sense of inclusivity and promotes equitable growth, leading to enhanced livability and overall satisfaction within the community.