City administrators have come up with 25 recommendations spanning seven different areas after seeing results from the recent Community Services Master Plan survey.
A total of 442 residents and 80 community groups responded to the survey. Another 68 interviews were conducted with various stakeholders in the city.
The majority of the recommendations fall under support for community clubs and groups, and the building and maintenance of city recreational facilities.
Community Services Director Jodi Boulet called the list a “well-rounded group of recommendations,” but reminded residents they will take time to implement.
“We are looking at this in a long-term sense, so some of (the recommendations) are geared in a way to generate more conversation and research that we need to do some further work on,” he said.
According to the survey data, satisfaction with community programs and services remains high, but there is some room for improvement. While only 13 per cent of residents said they were “dissatisfied” with those programs and services, the findings did note a need for “a more proactive approach to facility maintenance” and “enhanced promotion of services and opportunities.”
Although Boulet said there weren’t many surprises in the survey response, that desire for more information did raise some eyebrows.
He said there appears to be a significant demographic that isn’t aware of what city programs and services are available. They plan on improving those lines of communication right away.
“We’re always trying to find different ways to inform the public and make sure that they’re well aware of what is available,” Boulet said. “Hearing that through the process, I think there’s going to be some immediate action we can take.”
Another recommendation that could see action soon is the Facility Prioritization Framework. The city uses the framework to rank whether city facilities should be repaired or replaced.
Boulet said the framework will provide a more consistent approach, and help decrease confusion about new projects.
“It’s going to allow us to put the facts in front of members or council, facts in front of the public, and also facts in front of our department that are going to allow us to make, I think, more informed decisions when we undertake some of those reviews in our department.”
The framework will also apply to park spaces, like spray parks, playground equipment and paddling pools.
The list of findings from stakeholder and discussion groups also included an acknowledgement that volunteer groups were experiencing challenges and would benefit from some assistance.
The list of recommendations included one idea to develop a “partnership framework” which would help guide how the city works with organizations delivering community services. “Enhancing support for volunteer community organizations to ensure their stability,” was another recommendation.
A complete list of findings and recommendations are available at www.letstalkprincealbert.ca until Nov. 6. A link is also available on the City of Prince Albert website.
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