January 4, 2013 – As the new year begins, the 2012 Survey results are continuing to have an impact as the Town plans for the coming year. Survey respondents explained that while they are pleased with many Town services and amenities, they also identified a number of changes that would improve the quality of life in Chestermere. The top items included more shopping, family programs and recreation facilities.
“Council strives to incorporate those things that our community wants and needs into our three year strategic plans,” said Mayor Patricia Matthews. “The survey results help us target those plans. We need to start fiscal planning now so we can bring new programs and services to Chestermere and manage the impact on taxes.”
While the commercial base in town has grown steadily over the past few years, the demand for more shopping and restaurants has increased substantially as more people make Chestermere home. To bring more businesses to Chestermere, the Town will be hiring an Economic Development Officer (EDO) in 2013, a move which will promote the growth of jobs, businesses and development. While economic development work rarely sees immediate changes, the creation of the position will help establish Chestermere as a great place to start a business for years to come.
In addition to more shopping, survey respondents also said they would like to see more child, youth and family programs. In order to provide more programming options to residents without affecting the tax rate, the Town will be hiring a Grants Coordinator in the coming year and will help to develop an independent charitable organization focused on pre-teen programming.
“A very large segment of Chestermere’s population consists of individuals under the age of 20 so sheer numbers dictate the need for more youth and family programs,” said Patty Sproule, Director of Community Services. “Hiring a Grants Coordinator and developing another agency to provide mentorship and leadership development opportunities for pre-teens will help to expand our capacity to serve a rapidly growing community.”
One of the other major items respondents said they would like to see is more recreational facilities and opportunities. The details of how the results will affect recreational planning in Chestermere will be explored in greater detail in next week’s article.
“Recreation has long been the cornerstone of Chestermere’s reputation but with rapid growth over the last decade it’s been difficult to match the pace with facilities,” said Mayor Matthews. “That’s why Council targeted this particular topic in the survey- so that we can be prepared and begin now to provide for a population of 25,000.”
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 4 in the next edition of the Anchor.