LAC DES ARCS – Residents in Lac Des Arcs can expect to receive a questionnaire in their mailboxes to get their input on municipal services, a bridge connecting the community to Exshaw and new recreation facilities.
The questionnaire will be sent out to 85 properties this fall after residents brought up a number of issues during a community meeting in February.
At that meeting, community members discussed a range of topics such as creating an outdoor all-season sports surface, better vegetation control to improve sightlines along streets and the possibility of building a bridge over the Bow River to Exshaw.
“Councillor (Lisa) Rosvold and I attended a meeting back in February where we heard some new discussions coming up in that community that we hadn’t heard in the past,” said CAO Martin Buckley.
In May, during a public hearing about the MD of Bighorn’s new land use bylaw, council heard from a number of dissatisfied residents over the lack of changes in the proposed bylaw for their hamlet.
As a result, Coun. Lisa Rosvold made a motion directing administration to bring back a community consultation plan for the hamlet, including a survey so residents can voice what they want and don’t want to see in their community.
Coun. Paul Ryan welcomed the initiative, but cautioned that the way questions are framed can lead to specific outcomes.
“I think it would be valuable for council to add input on the questions,” said Ryan.
Rosvold echoed her colleague.
“I do feel that council should have an opportunity to look at the questions and the way they are formatted. ”
She also added she would like to see more open ended questions.
Reve Dene Cooper reminded his colleagues that the questionnaire could lead to expectations that funding has already been earmarked for certain projects or services, which is not the case.
“Every decision we will make on a survey to approach new services or different services or better services in a community always has a price and I wouldn’t want to pretend to anyone that we’re asking a question for which the funds are already dedicated,” said Cooper.
The motion was unanimously approved by council on Aug. 14. Administration will now put together a draft questionnaire before it comes back to council for final approval.