The RM of McKillop has released the results from the online Strategic Planning survey conducted by Stormy Lake Consulting (SLC), which the RM contracted to undertake the public consultation process.
The Summary reported that 457 participants started the survey, with 60% fully completing the survey.
74 (16%) participants have an agricultural operation in the RM. SLC noted that where differences between types of ratepayers were reported, ag operators were split into their own category, despite all being permanent residents. They further noted that too few participants completed the survey to be included in comparisons between the groups.
At the top of the list of importance were Communication and Transparency. Followed by Improved Road Quality then Improved Governance.
The top issue rated as extremely important across all three groups was Communication and Transparency. Permanent Residents (non ag) 85%, Seasonal Residents (non-Ag) 79% and Agricultural Operators (77%)
Both permanent residents and Agricultural operators rated Improved governance in their top 3, with seasonal residents making “Making the RM a welcoming place to live and visit” the second most important. All three categories identified Improved Road Quality in their top three.
The survey identified that “few residents support new campground development,” 35-36% strongly opposed new short or long-term campground development.
There was strong support for exploring shared facilities and administration with nearby communities with two-thirds of the ratepayer’s support.
The report noted that “The RM received poor ratings on governance. Most ratepayers gave neutral or negative ratings across all governance issues included in the survey. Agricultural operators gave particularly negative ratings on governance issues.”
Ratepayers identified Snowmobile trails, Ice fishing, Agri-tourism, Fishing Lodges, Winter and Water sports as “could be a secondary focus for the RM” concerning tourism development. Glamping was identified as “not where the RM should be focusing.”
The results of the online survey can be read in its entirety here. LMtimes.ca/mckillopsurvey2021
The RM did not respond prior to this publication about the next steps in the consultation process.
Jennifer Argue, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Last Mountain Times