Case Study: City of Biwabik Strategic Plan 2021

Challenge: The City of Biwabik on Minnesota’s Iron Range did not have an operational strategic plan and sought to develop one to guide its efforts. Biwabik recognized that a fully developed plan would separate it from other communities its size and allow it to capitalize on its unique assets, including the Giants Ridge recreation area, housing opportunities, a newly redeveloped Main Street lined with its signature Bavarian architecture, and a variety of additional amenities. 

Role: Led a strategic planning process that began with a community engagement session and proceeded through a series of workshops with a strategy committee comprised of city elected officials, boards, and staff. The stakeholders developed a practical vision for the planning process, identified underlying contradictions that were preventing the community from reaching its vision, and developed four strategic directions to guide future work. 

Results: The Biwabik City Council approved the strategic plan in November 2021. Its strategic directions include: 

  1. Enhancing and promoting amenities 
  2. Encouraging and facilitating economic development 
  3. Creating a sense of community through engagement 
  4. Reconnecting with community 

The strategy committee established timelines for completing actions associated with each strategic direction and is working with Northspan on follow-up sessions to ensure the plan comes to fruition. 

You can view the full strategic plan along with background details on the strategic planning process here: City of Biwabik Strategic Plan 2021

Reference: Jim Weikum, Mayor of Biwabik,; Jeff Jacobson, Biwabik City Administrator,