Centre Wellington community action priority survey results released

ELORA – The results of the recent community action priority survey have been announced.

The survey results were presented to councillors at a strategic planning meeting on March 27 at the Grand River Raceway in Elora. 

The invitations to complete the random sample survey were mailed on March 4 and all responses were due by March 18. The online survey, available to anyone, was to be completed by March 18 as well. 

Just over 150 people responded to the random sample survey, offering a response rate of 12 per cent.

Statistically that means responses are representative of all township residential property owners within 6%,  19 times out of 20.

“This is representative of residential property owners,” said consultant Bill Winegard, who facilitated the development of the community action priority survey and the future strategic action plan. 

“So there will be some categories of people this doesn’t catch, business owners for one thing, tenants for another.”

He also explained that those aged 50 and above represented the largest number of respondents. Those aged 50 to 65 represented 38.61% of the sample, 65+ represented 36.08%, 30 to 49 represented 22.76% and 18 to 29 represented 3.16%. 

On the random survey the items respondents thought were most important and considered high priority for additional spending include:

– youth mental health;

– small-town feel;

– roads;

– bridges;

– water supply; and

– truck bypass.

The items that were important to respondents but were only considered a medium priority for additional spending included:

– affordable housing;

– water conservation;

– growth funding growth; and 

– tree canopy. 

The item that respondents thought were high priority but did not require additional spending include:

– public engagement.

The items that respondents thought were of medium importance and had a medium priority for additional spending include:

– downtowns;

– bike lanes/trails; and

– arts and culture.

The items that respondants perceived of medium importance but did not support additional spending include: 

– heritage conservation. 

The items on the survey that homeowners thought were least important and were least supportive of additional spending included:

– business park;

– old town style;

– accommodation;

– post secondary;

– indoor facility;

– bylaw enforcement; and 

– ride share. 

Note that all rates of spending consideration are for spending above inflation.

Some of the councillors commented that the questions were not explained well enough or may not have been a concern for those who were targeted with the survey. 

“We have to take the whole thing and identify sort of what’s the general temperature read from people and what they think they want to spend money on,” Mayor Kelly Linton said.

“And take that as a finding and what we do with it that’s up to us to figure out.”

The strategic planning committee continued work on the strategic plan, which will be brought to council in the future.