HAVEN Ė Havenís new strategic direction aims to improve infrastructure, quality of life, the communityís fiscal health and vitality, and to find a way to fund future projects.
These and other parameters such as economic development and fiscal stewardship are part of Havenís strategic direction, according to the cityís website.
When it comes to infrastructure, said Mayor Paula Scott, the city is outgrowing its current electrical mean as businesses expand their services.
In partnership with Westar Energy, the city will create a plan to improve the reliability of its electrical service.
The goal is to upgrade service lines and to turn a few lines from residential to commercial use so downtown businesses will be provided with what they need.
Scott indicated that electricity isnít cheap, nor is maintaining the service, but it will improve vital services to the community.
ďThatís probably going to cost some money, but itís going to have to. You canít improve without it,Ē Scott said.
Families are drawn to the small town, Scott said, because it has good essential services and is well located between two larger cities.
Other city improvements include creating a comprehensive plan to improve the appearance and functionality of Engweiler Park, to beautify the downtown area, build a new EMS facility and, once thatís complete, relocate the police department to the former EMS building.
A 0.5 percent sales tax was passed to fund the new EMS building, which will be located along Kansas Street. The Engweiler Park project, funded by the school bond issue, will convert the current large softball diamond, and part of a smaller diamond, into a competition-size baseball field.
The cityís park board will also transform part of the remaining section of the smaller diamond. This project will increase recreational opportunities for families, Scott said.
The school bond issue that passed last June also upgrades school buildings and constructs a $4.6 million gymnasium at Haven Middle/High School.
Haven has recently benefited from a 300,000-gallon water tower, finished in 2014 as part of a plan for $5 million worth of water-system improvements.
Through the leadership of the Economic Development Committee, the city will focus on housing, business retention and recruitment, developing a marketing plan, and the facilitation to support economic development and housing programs, according to the cityís website.
ďWeíre a little bit landlocked,Ē Scott said. While the committee is working on that issue, good recruitment efforts have already brought Dollar General, two new restaurants and the cityís only medical service professional, a chiropractor, to town.
New signage has also been put up lately and will eventually be landscaped.
The strategic plan was put in place so officials could see what was needed to cover the costs, Scott said.
Itís important for the city to keep one eye on today and another on tomorrow, Scott said. Keeping this in mind will improve the livelihood of Haven for both current and future residents alike.