Strategic Planning

2015-2018 Strategic Plan

Story County engages in strategic planning to demonstrate our commitment to deliver services that make it the best county in which to live, learn, work and play. This Strategic Plan, adopted by the Story County Board of Supervisors in August 2015, guides us through Fiscal Year 2018 (ending June 30, 2018.)

It serves as a roadmap to guide our priorities, strategic directions, and concrete goals and objectives for the Board of Supervisors and County departments.

Please click here to view the adopted Strategic Plan (PDF).

2016-2018 Strategic Plan Cover

This Strategic Plan is intended to guide and strengthen the County's ability to address funding and economic development, workforce, and community needs. The following challenges were identified through our strategic planning process.


 Internal Challenges

  • Sustain a competitive wage and benefit package for current and future employees.
  • Implement security and safety measures for administration building, courthouse and all public County buildings.
  • Continue to update computer technology (including Intranet)
  • Continue to make all public data available on the County web site and the Beacon web site.

 External Challenges

  • Water Quality - Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, conservation practices on agricultural land, watershed education, and un-permitted septic systems
  • Road funding
  • Pressures in changes in State/Federal funding
  • Recreational opportunity demand
  • Sustainable funding for conservation (IWILL)

By identifying challenges we face—both internal as well as external ones—we can develop projects and initiatives that allow us to focus our energies and resources. These help frame our objectives and carry forth into identified projects.


Story County will work towards achieving the following objectives:

  • Review Story County's compensation strategies (including leave benefits) and design strategies for the implementation of a merit compensation system in order to successfully retain and attract highly qualified employees.
  • Continue to build on developed watershed management plans and promote watershed education and conservation practices.
  • Fully implement Continuity of Operations/Continuity of Government (COOP/COG), conduct annual training, and apply for grants to purchase needed equipment and conduct regular exercises.
  • Update building security in all County buildings and educate users, to ensure the safety and security of County employees, our visitors, and County facilities, remains a top priority.
  • Review potential implementation of technology solutions that would achieve full fiber redundancy connecting all Story County offices, implement intranet, and define other opportunities to continue to improve our communication strategies.


Through the strategic planning processes, Story County prioritized projects identified on the following pages. They are categorized into the following main topic areas:

Employee Compensation and Benefits

Following up on the transition from the past practice of flex pay to cash, job classifications and wages may need to be re-evaluated in the interest of keeping and hiring qualified staffing. During this process, we will need to ensure competitive employee wages and benefits are available to staff.

Strategic Plan Projects 4

Parks and Trails

Ensure sustainable funding for conservation, parks and recreation, trails, natural resources, and outdoor recreation to sufficiently enact priorities, and continue to monitor developments in the Legislature regarding funding initiatives and proposed policy changes. These steps will assist as the County works with the ISU Research Park on their green space planning and works to create a Comprehensive Conservation and Recreation Plan for the entire County. Additionally, recreational facility infrastructure improvements will be a priority.

Community Resiliency

Evaluate current Story County building security needs and planning, and develop strategic plans to meet future needs and ensure system continuity. Work to encourage communities in Story County to have updated emergency operations plans that are exercised regularly as a safeguard in times of disaster or emergency. Create incentives to encourage citizen and business disaster mitigation and preparedness.

Water Quality

Work with partner agencies to address known water quality improvement needs and assess county-wide water quality on a watershed basis. Address critical water quality issues, such as the County passing regulation requiring septic tanks to be pumped every five years, and monitor regulations at the State and Federal level to ensure the County accounts and plans for any and all regulatory standards regarding water, wastewater, floodplains and stormwater management.


Continue to build on the 5-year road plan, CIP, and Cornerstone to Capstone efforts and define long-term financing strategies. These plans will help Story County as we plan for and finance roads, bridges, transportation, and related infrastructure mindful of the extreme needs and gaps in funding for these projects and capacities.

Public Safety

Continue protecting the public from new trends of threat and supporting alternatives to treating mental health and/or substance abuse needs so that jails are no longer the de-facto care and treatment facilities.