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Saturday , 16 January 2021

Have your say: Bonnyville plans roll-out of surveys on key town services

Is snow removal good enough? Does the town have enough recreation options? How could Main Street be improved?

These all could be issues Bonnyville-area residents can give feedback on in a series of new surveys the Town is rolling out.

Starting this Friday, there will be five surveys released over the next five weeks to gauge how residents view their core services, protective services, the downtown business community and economic development, recreation, and governance.

Bonnyville chief administrative officer Bill Rogers said this is the next step as part of the town’s Community Vision Plan, which passed town council in August.

This document outlines strategic plans and priorities for Bonnyville until 2024.

“What we started doing is figuring out ways to plug those goals. Some of them involve core services, and some of them involve value-added, where they’d like to go with recreational add-ons and things like that for the future, in addition to all the essential services, like fixing roads, and water, and sewer, and plugging it into our future budgets, both operating and capital,” said Rogers.

“Now, part of that process is to get feedback from residents. And we do that in a number of ways. We have the budget open house process, we have a number of things on the go. But right now, Renee [Stoyles, General Manager of Corporate Services] and her team have come up with several surveys geared towards specific areas that we’d like to get public input from as we craft these plans for the future.”

Survey breakdown:

  • January 8-14 – Core services and service levels
  • January 15-21 – Protective Services
  • January 22-28 – Downtown business community/Economic development
  • January 29-February 4 – Recreation
  • February 5-11 – Governance

Rogers said M.D. residents in the area are welcome to take the survey since they use many of the services in the town.

Municipalities across the Lakeland have looked for different ways to engage residents since the beginning of the pandemic.

While the Town of St. Paul has opted for tele-town halls, the M.D. and Town both held virtual presentations of their budget open houses, a feature that Rogers said might stay going forward for Bonnyville.

“I thought that was one of the best ones and so did Council…I think that in the future, we’re going to make sure there’s a virtual component to it,” he said.

The surveys will be available online at the town’s website, but paper copies will be available at the town office.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.