The village’s level of service survey to help develop the village’s 2021-2025 financial plan, is now out and already being used by the village to inform the budget.
In a budget meeting held last week, the village’s Director of Finance, Bhavana Nilangekar, discussed the survey and remarked that the village had received a lot of responses.
A total of 157 responses were received by the village on a slew of different topics ranging from bylaw enforcement to the amenities provided by the village at spirit square.
Of the 157 participants, a majority of roughly 31 per cent were between 35 to 44 years of age followed by the 55-64 age group. There were only six comments from the 18-24 age range.
The top five most important services or programs that the village provides according to the survey majority are emergency services – fire and road rescue, followed by road maintenance and construction, snow removal, maintenance of parks – green spaces and trails and finally sewer and water management.
Services such as sidewalks and street snow removal, garbage collection, sewer management, water management, streetlighting, street signage, emergency preparedness, fire protection, planning and zoning, all scored as “just right” for a majority of the participants.
On the question of animal control, almost 38 per cent participants thought that the village needed to do more and increase taxes to pay for it, followed by 28 per cent who thought the village needed to do more and cut back somewhere else to pay for it while 31 per cent thought the village’s response to animal control was “just right”.
The issue of animal control has been on the rise in the region with cases of animal abuse, abandoned pets coming into focus. There were 27 comments on this issue.
“Burns Lake can and should do much better towards a safe dog-friendly community,” said one comment while several others complained of the stray dogs and lack of an enforcement bylaw.
One comment also said, “continue to work with LDAF and SPCA. The dog control problem is significantly better than it was 10 years ago.”
The question around victim services had a lot of comments stating that they were unaware of the village offering any victim services or programs around this. Some commentators were surprised while some others were curious as to what these services were. However a majority of around 58 per cent thought the village’s victim services were “just right”.
A few comments also commented on the village’s lack of input for the new village logo. The village unveiled its new logo on Jan. 21 this year.
“Why does the logo look like a river? Shouldn’t this be a lake? I hope that’s not taking away from our normal logo because it does not represent our town at all,” said one comment while other remarked as to why there was no public input for the new brand.
The survey was anonymous and the village is now working to discuss the topics from the survey, incorporate ideas and make adjustments to the budget accordingly.