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Satisfaction levels high among Airdronians

By: Matt Durnan

  |  Posted: Thursday, Mar 06, 2014 11:08 am

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The quality of life in Airdrie remains high, as the City’s 2014 Citizen Satisfaction Survey showed a 97 per cent satisfaction rate among those surveyed, up one per cent from last year.

Tracy With, vice president of Banister Research Group, presented the results to City council on March 3, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the City’s services.

The 2014 survey analyzed the results of 400 residents, the same sample size used in larger centres such as Calgary and Edmonton, and for the first time, this year’s survey was age controlled.

“We made sure to take our sample from the age demographics that align with Airdrie’s population,” said With. “This allows for the most accurate depiction of where the concerns of residents fall.”

Airdrie came through with flying colours in terms of service levels and 42 per cent of respondents said that they would support a tax increase in order to maintain the City’s current levels of service, while a further 27 per cent said they’d support an increase for improved service levels.

Results showed the biggest concern for residents was managing growth pressures, with 20 per cent of respondents identifying it as their top concern.

Health care and hospitals remain a hot-button issue, as 19 per cent of respondents said it was their biggest concern, while infrastructure, traffic and construction also came in as top priorities with 14 per cent each.

With was visibly impressed by some results where Airdrie stood atop the heap, showing higher satisfaction levels than any other cities in the province that Banister has conducted surveys for.

“Ninety nine per cent of respondents said they feel safe in Airdrie during the daytime and 95 per cent said they feel safe in this city overall,” said With. “Those are very impressive numbers.”

Airdrie also stood out with satisfaction levels with garbage collection and services provided by the Airdrie Public Library that trumped most other cities.

“Your satisfaction level of 93 per cent for garbage pick-up is far and away higher than everyone else,” said With. “I’m not sure what you guys are doing differently but residents are very happy with that service.”

In the wake of a significant snowfall in December, satisfaction levels with snow and ice removal took a hit, with satisfaction levels dropping from 52 per cent in 2013 to 33 per cent in 2014. The concern level increased as well, with 14 per cent of respondents listing snow and ice removal as a top concern in 2014, compared to just three per cent in 2013.

Alderman Allan Hunter spoke to the slipping approval number, and credited the spike to Mother Nature.

“No one expected the volume of snow that we got or the timing of it,” said Hunter. “If you look at previous years, I think we’ve done well with our snow removal. This was just what we’d consider an extraordinary circumstance and I think in the future you’ll see our numbers get back to where they should be.”

Deputy Mayor Ron Chapman sat in for the absent Mayor Peter Brown on March 3, and echoed Hunter’s statements, while expressing his contentment with the overall results.

“I think in a normal year, you would’ve seen our numbers in the 52 to 55 per cent satisfaction range,” said Chapman.

“Overall, these results are great news and I’m proud to be an Airdrie resident.”

Alderman Kelly Hegg was in agreement with Chapman and says that some dips in numbers are to be expected.

“We have a lot of new residents moving here from different communities where they’ve come to have a certain level of expectation,” said Hegg.

“We have to keep up with the concerns of our residents as best we can, whether it’s listening to concerns in person or through social media or emails.”

To view the survey visit www.airdrie.ca


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