City Council members have approved spending $98,000 of city reserve funds on a plan they hope will save the city much more.

Researchers from R&R Advertising will study the trends in Orem's development, survey area leaders to determine what citizens think is important, then mesh the information to identify community goals and a plan to meet them, said T. Craig Bott, management consultant for the firm."We collect hard data on employment, industry, fluctuations in population, problems in educating the youth things like that," Bott said. "Then we interview key people in the community to learn what success means to that town. Some cities want limited growth. Some want more jobs. Our job is to help the community come to some agreement.

"What Orem will end up with is a one-page statement of its goals, issues and measures of success. And there will be a bound implementation guide," Bott said.

"The main purposes are to plan growth and to save money and effort to keep various agencies from unintentionally duplicating efforts or working against each other."

R&R Advertising already has produced strategic plans for Pocatello, Idaho, the Cache Valley area, and several cities in other parts of the country. Orem's plan should be ready in about six months.

City Manager Daryl Berlin said the trick will be getting various agencies to commit to using the plan.

"The cities that are happiest with their plans are the ones who put the most effort into making them work," he said.

City Councilman Keith Hunt explained his view at an earlier council meeting. "It's like making a star quilt. If you aren't committed to spending a hundred hours with the project, you might as well not start."