2022 - 2023 Priorities

The following is the overall list of priorities that each Board member came up with. Each board member was provided 20 points to allocate to the list of priorities.

* John Williams (JW) | Brittney Ballweg (BB) | Heidi Murphy (HM) | David Peterson (DP) |Melissa Ratcliff (MR) | Chris Stoa (CS) | Sarah Valencia (SV) |

RankDescriptionJWBBHMDPMRCSSVTotal21 - 22 Rank
1Village Library0945865371
2Village Facilities & Staffing140440062814 & 12
4Parks & Recreation0320053137
5Fire - EMS03134001112
6Transportation / Multi-use Paths10240209NR
8Leaf Vac Truck00004116NR
9Economic & Community Development100200032
10Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion100001024
12Road Maintenance000001018
12Fiscal Responsibility100000015
12Ordinance Updates0000010114
15Food Security in the Community0000000017
15Village Website00000000NR

The list is in no particular order; each item is entered as submitted) (/// = similar priority or category submitted) 


For so many reasons: providing spaces in our community that are open to all and are a welcoming space for our residents to have a space throughout the year where they can engage with their neighbors and friends and learn more about what is happening in our community which provides for greater sense of community and belonging. (MR) /// Community has indicated overwhelming support for a library; we must continue one the path to getting one built. It would be a great space for meetings as well as a place for kids to learn and play. It would also boost our local economy, where it could provide , educational, career, and business resources. (CS) /// A library would add great benefits to our community with brining more patrons to visit our shops, parks, and other community activities. (BB) /// Continue to research, refine options, and develop a plan for building a library. The services a library can provide for residents of all ages are invaluable for the health of a community. The library plans should be considered alongside the facilities needs that also need to be addressed as our community grows and the current Village facilities are inadequate to accommodate the needs of residents and businesses in our growing Village. (HM) /// Continue to analyze and understand the costs of building and operating a library in Cottage Grove. Operating costs will be a large determining factor in the size and scope of a potential library. (DP) /// Work with Library Board to understand recommendations and potential ways to move forward. (SV)


 Provide additional programs and education regarding what our residents can do to help in sustainability efforts and what the village can do to reduce our carbon footprint and be good stewards of our space. Look at including sustainability into development agreements so as to ensure new developments are also considering sustainability when they build in our Village. Look at our own village buildings to determine and implement efforts to reduce our carbon footprint to be good leaders to our community. Look at how we can help our existing businesses and households to make their properties more sustainable, whether that’s programs to help them switch to energy efficient appliances or continue to provide opportunities such as reduced costs for the rain barrels or education and information regarding rain gardens or what to plant to help the bees and butterflies flourish. (MR) /// Sustainability (CS) /// Financial/Economic and environmental Sustainability- making sure the village takes pride and effort to ensure a healthy future for continued growth and success. (BB) /// Begin transitioning vehicles and equipment to electric (or hybrid if electric is not available). Figure out how to get an EV DC fast charger installed near the interstate (ex. provide a grant opportunity for a local business, work with other levels of government/private entities, or other strategies). Increase funding to plant more trees. Work additional sustainability goals into municipal projects (ex. certain percentage of materials/waste should be recycled). Incorporate additional sustainability standards into ordinances/zoning/comprehensive plan/other (ex. continue to emphasize infill strategies for businesses/housing, review parking requirements, review planting requirements to reduce urban heat island effect, consider EV charger requirements, consider bicycle parking requirements, strategies to improve resiliency to climate change, reduce TSS/improve water quality). Grow programs to incentivize residents/businesses to incorporate sustainable actions (ex. rain barrel, compost bins, leaf collection program or leaf truck, partial rebate to pre-wire for an EV charger plug in garages in new construction among other). (HM) /// Sustainability (JW) /// Continue Sustainability Work and the work and initiatives that it entails (SV) 

Leaf VAC Truck

Leaf collection as our tree stock continues to mature and our community grows larger, this will be a key service for our residents. The waiting time for vehicles is around 24 months now and the cost for vehicles continues to increase the longer we wait. (MR) 


Housing options for our residents: in order to maintain our population and allow residents to stay in our community from birth to their senior years. This provides a stable economy and base for businesses, knowing our population and tax base will remain here into the future. (MR) /// Housing: Supporting residential development through single family homes, apartments, condos, and to ensure homes for families and residents of all stages and financial affordability (BB) /// Continue to bring varied Housing options to the community so that all who want to live in the Village have the opportunity to do so. (DP) /// Hear recommendations/conclusions from Housing Task Force to understand where we need to focus our efforts around housing. (SV) 

Food Security

Food security in our community: support of our local food pantry at Bryn Mawr and senior center at Colonial Club of Sun Prairie to help those in our community who suffer from food insecurity, and supporting other groups committed to helping our community (such as the Optimists who have instituted a Snack Pack Program that provides food to students who don’t have access to food on weekends during the school year. There are over 100 students in this program which indicates this is an issue for our community.) (MR) 

Road Maintenance

Fix and maintain village roadways (CS) G 

Parks and Recreation 

Continue to expand recreation opportunities including playgrounds, bicycling, playing courts; Continuing community recreation activities for residents of all ages; Improve park facilities (CS) /// Parks & Rec- Making sure to continue promoting an active community with safe and well taken care of facilities (BB) /// Continue to support, develop, and expand programs and facilities for residents of all ages and abilities. Considerations should be made to add accessible equipment at Bakken Park, begin planning for Shady Grove pocket park, planning for the new dog park, and increasing connectivity of our multi-use paths. (HM) 

Village Website 

Improving website - reconfigure the website to ensure so that it is not as daunting to navigate (CS) 


Continue to implement recommendations from the recent studies. Make sure relationships with Fire and EMS are beneficial to the community and the districts they serve presently and for future growth. (BB) /// Continue to provide the fire department with updated equipment (example: new handheld radios as well as radios for the trucks). Work with the department to create an asset management plan that includes replacement timeframes. Negotiate and finalize an updated agreement with the Town that is equitable for both municipalities. EMS Department - Gain a better understanding of the challenges the department faces. Work to bring 24/7 coverage to the Village. Partner with the Town of Cottage Grove and the Village of Deerfield to develop an equitable agreement all parties can agree on. (DP) /// Complete EMS and Fire contracts (SV) 

Transportation/Multi-Use Paths

Continue to improve connectivity of multi-use paths throughout the Village and develop a Bike/Pedestrian Plan that includes future connectivity, sidewalk policies, and safety strategies, inclusive to all parts of the Village. Enhance beautification of the network to encourage residents and visitors to utilize alternative transportation which both encourages residents to support our local businesses and reduce their vehicle miles traveled. (HM) /// Work with village staff and the community at large to solicit feedback and create a strategy and plan(s) to add to our ever growing network of bike paths in the Village. (DP)


Work with the new Communications Manager to develop new strategies to engage with residents with an inclusivity lens to bring additional voices to the table. Engage with residents regarding sustainability and actions that can be taken at home/businesses to be more sustainable (rain gardens, pollinator support, reduced salt use, efficient water softener tests, other). (HM)

Village Facilities and Staffing

Develop a plan to meet the needs of the Village with the 20-year projections for staffing and facility needs per the facilities study. Considerations should be made to reduce the number of locations of Village staff to reduce redundancy, create efficiencies, reduce maintenance costs, enhance collaboration across departments, and work in a more sustainable building. The facilities plan should be considered within the context of also building a library and incorporate those two building goals together. Steps should be made to add additional staff to support administrative functions, Parks, Rec & Forestry and their maintenance, and Public Works/Utilities as needed to continue to provide excellent service to residents and businesses. Considerations should be made regarding salaries/pay to try to keep up with cost of living to retain our exceptional staff that keep our Village running from snow removal to tree maintenance to keep our water/sewer functioning 5 properly to working with businesses as they look to expand or locate in Cottage Grove. (HM) /// Future facilities space needs - to provide existing and essential services now and in the future, effectively and efficiently engage public, attract and retain the best talent (JW) /// Continue to work with the Village administration to understand where there are staffing needs in the Village and appropriately add staff where necessary while keeping an eye toward budget impacts. Long-term facilities plan - The Village continues to grow and add new staff, many of which will need office space to complete work. Additionally, our fleet is ever growing and we will need places to park and maintain these vehicles. Creating a long-term plan will allow the public and staff to understand not only the financial impacts of these facilities but also give everyone a clear plan for the future. (DP) /// Make decision/plan for future of Village facilities (SV)

Economic and Community Development

Smart business growth - Create and maintain relationships with local and regional entities to attract and retain businesses to the Village so that we may continue to relieve pressure on Village property taxes. (DP) /// Continue to support new businesses coming to CG as well as support existing business growing in Cottage Grove. (SV)

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (JW)

Fiscal Responsibility

Continue to operate within the Village Financial Management Plan. (SV) 


Continue to update ordinances. (SV)