Ponoka town council got some insight into the minds of community residents when it heard the results of its citizen satisfaction survey this week.
The results generally indicate most residents seem fairly satisfied, with the town scoring 92 per cent for the overall quality of life.
The survey was conducted this September as part of the town’s annual consultation process. This year was different though, as it was a statistically valid survey of 400 randomly invited citizens conducted by Ipsos Canada.
The results will help inform strategic planning and budgeting decisions, says Sandra Smith, the communications manager for the town.
Survey respondents ranked parks, recreation and cultural programs as the most important priority to them. Government services such as garbage and recycling were identified as the second most important.
Third was potholes and road conditions, and fourth was crime, followed by the economy.
Ponoka residents’ sense of community was the most frequently mentioned factor in contributing to quality of life. Its central location, being closer to larger municipalities and job prospects were factors in favour for Ponoka.
Of those surveyed, 81 per cent were overall satisfied with services.
The most important services tend to be emergency response, snow removal, road and sidewalk maintenance and economic development and growth.
According to survey results, Ponoka residents are 91 per cent satisfied with fire services and 91 per cent with utilities.
Ponoka’s primary strengths are policing, fire, utilities, garbage, parks and playground maintenance. The main areas identified for improvement were roads and sidewalks, snow removal and animal control.
Fifty-eight per cent of respondents felt they receive high value for their tax dollars, and 20 per cent said the value was very poor, which is slightly lower than the national average.
Thirty-eight per cent said to cut services to keep taxes low, and 24 per cent want to increase taxes to enhance or expand services.