RCOC Begins Biennial Strategic Planning Process with County Communities

Top administrators, planners and engineers of the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) this week began the process of meeting with officials of almost every city, village and township in Oakland County as part of RCOC’s biennial Strategic Planning process.

“This year marks the 30th anniversary of our Strategic Planning process,” RCOC Managing Director Dennis Kolar noted. He added that since 1985, RCOC officials have met every two years with the communities to ensure the community officials play an active role in setting the Road Commission strategy for coming years

“This is a very time-consuming activity,” explained RCOC Chairman Ron Fowkes. “But it is one of the best investments of our time that we can make. Nothing else truly gives us such a clear understanding of what the important issues and priorities are for the communities.” Fowkes noted the process involves almost 60 separate meetings.

“To our knowledge, we are the only road commission in Michigan that goes to this length to ensure our communities have input in our planning process. It’s part of our philosophy of open communication with our customers,” Fowkes added.

Managing Director Kolar explained that the process allows RCOC regularly to take the pulse of the communities on large issues as well as ensure community officials have an avenue to discuss road needs and provide feedback on day-to-day road-maintenance issues. “Through these meetings, we keep abreast of what is happening in the communities. We learn about the new developments, redevelopment efforts and the related traffic problems and road needs,” Kolar noted. “It helps promote a better understanding of the issues on the parts of both the communities and the Road Commission.”

The press release went on to say that in addition to identifying current and future road needs and maintenance issues, during the process RCOC asks the local officials to prioritize the needs on county roads within their communities. This information is then used to help prioritize RCOC projects in coming years.

“Since 1985, we have addressed many of the high-priority needs identified during the Strategic Planning meetings. We have also adjusted our road maintenance activities based on community concerns,” Kolar said.

He pointed out that after the last round of Strategic Planning meetings in 2013, RCOC calculated the cost of addressing the current and projected needs identified by the communities on county roads alone. The total came to just over $2 billion worth of road needs expected between 2013 and 2023. Kolar expects this figure to have increased since then.

Also, at the meetings, the RCOC administrators share with local officials important developments at the Road Commission, such as new technology initiatives, and convey financial news.

The Strategic Planning meetings will take place through May. Once they are completed, RCOC will compile a report summarizing the information gathered at the meetings.

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