1444 Hillsdale Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
412-561-8900

2018-2019 Strategic Planning Process

Strategic Planning Overview 2018

A successful community planning process includes gathering ideas and suggestions from diverse individuals throughout a community and making sure information gathered throughout the process is shared with community members. Click on the boxes below to learn more about each of the steps we are taking to improve Dormont’s future.

Overview of Strategic Planning Process

Municipal Staff and Elected Officials

Interviews were conducted with Council members, the Mayor, the Borough manager, and heads of Municipal departments. All Borough employees were encouraged to provide feedback through an anonymous survey.

Community Leaders

Interviews were conducted with a diverse group of community leaders. Individuals represented local Dormont groups and organizations, other local municipalities, and regional organizations working with or on behalf of specific populations represented in our community.

Residents

A survey was mailed to every listed residence within the Borough of Dormont. An online version of the survey was also available. The Borough advertised the survey in the library, on the library’s electronic sign, on the pool’s electronic sign, on the Borough’s website, on the Borough’s Facebook page, at a table at Dormont Day, through a Savvy Citizen alert, and through community organizations working with individuals who have limited English proficiency. The survey was translated into Spanish, Turkish, and Arabic, and was available to be translated into other languages or to provide other accommodations upon request by residents. A focus group was also conducted with a group of older adults living in Dormont.

Businesses

A survey was hand-delivered to all businesses within the Borough of Dormont. For those businesses not open at the time of delivery, they were mailed a copy of the survey to the address on file. An online version of the survey was also available. Businesses could also request accommodations for the survey. The survey was advertised on the Borough’s website and Facebook page.

Analyze Data and Research

Two Local Government Academy interns organized and analyzed the data from interviews, surveys, and the focus group and identified the major themes that emerged from the data. The interns then researched each theme to find resources, partners, and potential solutions to explore.

Issue Memos and Feedback

The data and research compiled were used to create issue memos based on the major themes identified. Council created working groups in which community members can discuss the identified themes and issue memos in more detail.

Working Groups

Working groups will be created from interested residents and stakeholders to take survey and research results and formulate achievable goals and metrics to present to members of Council.

Write the Plan

The Borough of Dormont Council and Borough Manager are responsible for writing the strategic plan, taking into consideration all the information and recommendations gathered throughout the community planning process.

Summary of Data Collected

As part of the community planning process, surveys were created for both residents and businesses within Dormont. These surveys were formed for the Borough to determine priorities from both residents and businesses. Data from the completed surveys were organized and analyzed for use in the strategic planning process. Highlights from the survey data can be found below.

Resident Survey

Housing Status

Rent (15%); Own (84%)

Age

Under 40 (42%); 41-60 (33%); 60 or older (25%)

Reasons for Living Here

1. Public transportation availability (66%); 2. Close to businesses (62%); 3. Housing/rent costs (53%)

Visited/Used in Past Year

1. Parks/playgrounds (75%); 2. Community events (67%); 3. Dormont Public Library (60%)

Find information about Dormont via

1. Borough newsletter (75%); 2. Neighbors, friends, or family (60%); 3. Other Dormont Facebook pages (48%)

Number One Priority

1. Business and economic development (34%); 2. Roads, sidewalks, alleys (24%); 3. Public safety (19%)

Top Three Priorities

1. Roads, sidewalks, alleys (67%); 2. Business district (54%); 3. Parking (42%)

Invest More In

1. Roads, sidewalks, alleys (73%) 2. Parking (45%) 3. Public safety (39%)

Ideas for Dormont (Themes)

1. Economic development and clean public spaces (187); 2. Public safety (92); 3. Community events and programming (51)

Business Survey

Type of Business

Service (48%); Retail (13%); Restaurant/Bar (22%); Other (3%)

Time in Dormont

Less than 2 years (17%); 2 – 5 years (9%); 6 – 10 years (9%); more than 10 years (65%)

Minority, Women, or Disadvantaged Business Enterprise

Yes (30%); No (48%)

*Note: The summary above is a selection from the total data collected.  If you wish to see the data collected, please contact Borough Manager Ben Estell at bestell@borough.dormont.pa.us.

Where do we go from here?

Phase 2 is about creating people-powered “Working Groups.”  This phase is all about harnessing the passion, expertise, and experience of the community to transform all of the data and research into specific goals and great ideas to make Dormont even better.  After getting recommendations from the Working Groups, in Phase 3 the Dormont Borough Council will develop a 5 year Strategic Plan to move our community forward. How do you help? The Borough of Dormont is looking for volunteers to join our Strategic Planning Working Groups.  These will be small teams of community and elected leaders, residents, business owners and other key stakeholders with a passion or expertise for one of the core subject areas.

Working Groups will meet to discuss and make recommendations for the Strategic Plan. Check out the individual groups below and then click this link to access the application form if you are interested. Even better, create a short cellphone video of yourself answering the application questions and email them to bestell@boro.dormont.pa.us. Want to avoid technology? Pen and paper works just as well. Write your information, along with your answers, and send it to the Municipal Building at 1444 Hillsdale Avenue.

Business and Economic Development

This group will discuss key steps the Borough can take to support the Dormont business district and ensure it becomes a vibrant and booming center of Borough activity and life. Taking into consideration the legal and institutional constraints on municipalities when it comes to private business, this group will think outside the box and identify creative solutions, opportunities, and relationships/partnerships that could benefit our Business District. Sample Discussion Topics: strategies to promote Dormont, potential partnerships to bring in new businesses, training and other resources for business owners, collaborations between the Borough and organizations such as the CDC etc.

Community, Communications, and Civic Engagement

This group will analyze strategies and opportunities to strengthen Dormont residents’ sense of community and connection, increase civic engagement, and improve communication between the Borough, residents, and other community stakeholders. Sample Discussion Topics: Updating newsletter and website, development of comprehensive community education campaign, creation of an official volunteer program, etc.

Parks, Programming, and Accessibility

This group will discuss, analyze, and identify opportunities for modifications and improvements to the parks and greenspace within the Borough, opportunities for revision and expansion of the recreation programs we offer, and analyze the accessibility of Borough facilities, literature, and programming, and recommend adjustments and enhancements. Sample Discussion Topics: updates to the Master Parks Plan, project plans for new Recreation Programming (i.e. Craft Night, Day Trips for Seniors, Supper Club, etc.), creating a Language Access Plan, identifying opportunities to increase the physical accessibility of facilities and programming, etc.

Environmental Sustainability and Borough Infrastructure

This group will identify creative strategies the Borough can pursue to expand funding and other resources for infrastructure so that we may maintain and enhance the quality and safety of our roads, alleys, sidewalks, and municipal buildings. This group will also examine opportunities for the Borough to invest in environmentally sustainable infrastructure and other initiatives/programs to ensure the long-term health and vitality of our residents and neighborhood. Sample Discussion Topics: Grant funding for infrastructure, community garden or composting program, innovative regional approaches to supporting sustainability in neighborhoods and businesses, etc.

Public Safety, Parking, and Code Enforcement

This group will examine how the Borough can enhance public safety and support our public safety personnel. This group will also discuss the status of parking in our Borough and look at trends in other communities. Finally, the group will look at opportunities to ensure we have increasingly strong, consistent, and clear code enforcement and zoning processes in our Borough. Sample Discussion Topics: resident and business education, identifying resources to assist residents with compliance; zoning revisions, activities to promote Public Safety personnel’s involvement in the community, etc.