Chestermere is a dynamic community that has experienced tremendous growth over the past decade. As we continue to grow, we need to have a clear plan for major projects so our town can successfully prepare for the future. Throughout the month of September, a total of 1,486 Chestermere households accepted the invitation to “Have Your Say” about future plans by completing the 2012 Community Survey. The survey results were presented at the December 3rd Council meeting.
Following the presentation, Mayor Patricia Matthews said, “Chestermere is such a wonderful community and it’s really inspiring to see the number of households that participated in the 2012 survey. Typically a public survey provides only a 20% response rate, at the high end – 30% is staggering, so great job Chestermere! Council appreciates that so many residents care enough to share their opinion about what is important to them.”
The results indicated that the bulk of participants (67%) were from households with children living at home and most respondents had lived in Chestermere for six or more years (63.4%). Chestermere residents provided the vast majority of responses but some neighbouring Rocky View residents also accepted the invitation to provide input on the recreation and facilities plan portion, as potential users of the future facilities.
While the Town often seeks public input on specific projects, a community-wide survey is conducted every four years. Some of the 2008 survey questions about quality of life and satisfaction with Town services were repeated in the 2012 survey to track progress over the past four years. Many new questions in the 2012 survey asked residents to share their ideas for Chestermere’s future population of 25,000 and beyond.
Noteworthy changes from 2008 to 2012 include:
• An increase in the overall satisfaction with the quality of life: 88% of survey respondents said that the quality of life is good or very good in Chestermere which is a 3% increase from 2008. The largest change in this category is a 6% increase in those who said the quality of life is “very good”.
• A 12% increase in the percentage of households that identified more shopping and more recreational facilities as the items that would most improve the quality of life in Chestermere.
• The majority of residents continue to be satisfied with the level of snow plowing, street cleaning and our Town festivals.
• An increased desire for more child, youth, and family programs, environmental initiatives, and recycling programs.
The Chestermere Town Survey was open from September 1 – 30, 2012. Full survey results are available at www.chestermere.ca/survey2012. More information about the results and their impact on future projects will be published soon. Be sure to look for Chestermere’s Say: 2012 Community Survey Results Part 2 in next week’s paper.