Strategic Plan Direction and Accomplishments
2009 to the Present
Clark regional Wastewater District experienced a change in both leadership and direction with the Board endorsed 2009 Strategic Plan for the organization. A key outcome of the plan was next generation Mission and Vision statements used to guide agency management practices and decision making for the last several years.
Mission Statement: Providing customer-focused, professional wastewater services in an environmentally and financially responsible manner.
Vision Statement: An active partner in Clark County, to support economic development and to manage and protect water resources.
This summarizes major accomplishments and focus areas for the organization since this change in direction.
District customers, first and foremost, value receiving reliable and predictable service. The District has been responsive to these values.
District customers also hold as a primary value that financial resources are managed in a responsible, efficient and equitable manner. The District has been responsive to customer values in this area in several ways.
- The District has diligently worked to provide for low and stable monthly sewer rates. District customers currently enjoy the lowest total sewer bill for a single family home using a typical amount of water in Clark county at $38 per month. District rates have also been the most stable over the last several years, due to ongoing long-range financial forecasting that allows the District to make smart long-term decisions that optimize financial outcomes.
- While still requiring developers to pay their fair share, the District lowered its sewer connection charge for new customers in 2012. This was possible, in part, because the District restructured all existing debt in the extremely low interest rate environment after the “Great Recession”.
Excellent Customer Service
The respect for the community the District serves is demonstrated every day in the personal interaction staff have with District customers. The District has worked hard to make the most of each engagement with its customers by providing helpful and knowledgeable staff empowered to meet the customers’ needs. The District has been more proactive in its outreach with community meetings and open houses in areas where construction or maintenance projects are taking place. It has been a Board priority to provide excellent customer serve and the District regularly receives positive comments and notes of appreciation from customers that work with District staff.
Professional Systems and Programs
The District has investments in new technology, employee engagement and programs, external reviews by professional societies and self-audits to share our successes and learn from others. Some highlights include:
- The District is a fully accredited agency under the American Public Works Association program, meaning that nearly 300 business functions are fully consistent with national best management practices.
- The District continues its long-term practice of financial diligence and transparency as evidenced by years of clean audits by the State Auditor’s Office, including another recently completed financial and accountability audit from 2016.
- Completing work each year on repairing and replacing deficiencies in the sewer system. All system needs are tracked and prioritized, so that the District is always completing the highest-valued repairs on an ongoing basis. Overall, the sewer system condition is in its best shape in its history.
The District has proposed to be more engaged at both the Board and staff level in the greater Clark County and professional communities. This means enhanced visibility at the following levels:
- Local business community – participation in the business community activities in Vancouver, Battle Ground, Ridgefield, Hazel Dell and Salmon Creek.
- Neighborhood Associations – providing information and requested guest speakers to directly engage customers through the active association process in Clark County.
- Enhancing partnerships with other public agencies – Clark County, City of Vancouver, City of Battle Ground, City and Port of Ridgefield. This effort includes the formation of a regional cooperative partnership in the Discovery Clean Water Alliance from partner agencies to jointly own and jointly manage the regional infrastructure systems all of the public agencies rely upon.
- The Discovery Corridor Wastewater Transmission system – The multi-phase program provided conveyance of wastewater from Ridgefield and portions of the I-5 Discovery Corridor to the Salmon Creek Wastewater Management System.
“This investment to connect our communities and stimulate next level economic growth was the result of collaborative, multi-agency planning that spanned nearly a decade.”
“This project opened up huge economic development in that area. It’s this kind of project and relationship building that I look forward to continuing in the coming years.”
Continuing the Momentum
The District has moved in a new direction since 2009. With Board support and direction, the District has enjoyed significant success in delivering on core services in a way that respects the values of the community and makes smart long-term decisions for the future. The District has maintained an annual update to the 2009 Strategic Plan that provides a roadmap for continuous process improvement, efficiency and effectiveness going forward. The District benefits greatly from the vision of the Board and the commitment of staff and looks forward to continuing to serve the community through an engaged team delivering on the promise for reliable and affordable sewer services.