Survey says…


Town of Neepawa releases pre-budget survey results

Eoin Devereux
Neepawa Banner & Press

The priorities of the average Neepawa taxpayer are a little bit more clear, thanks to a recent budget survey. The Town of Neepawa recently unveiled the results of a questionnaire asking for ratepayers’ thoughts and suggestions on the 2018 budget. The survey had been available online on the town’s website. In total, 156 people filled out the survey, which averages out to a 3.3 per cent participation rate among the town population (as per the results of the 2016 Statistics Canada Population Census).

The 11 questions asked a wide array of things, including what services people deemed a priority. The answers indicated that public safety and health were the most important priority to the average taxpayer. The other priorities in depending order of importance included:

- Services. (water, sewer, garbage and recycling)

- Finance. (budgeting and taxes)

- Transportation. (roads and streets)

- Economic development.

- Recreation programs and activities

- Housing.

Other questions went into specifics on each of those seven priorities and just how and where collected tax revenue should be distributed amongst them. As well, water conservation and communication from the Town to citizens were also examined.

After reviewing the results, Neepawa mayor Adrian de Groot said that there were no real surprises, per se, though health care ranking as one of the top priorities is something they will further review.

“We’ve heard that issue a number of times over the past three years. Even though some of this may not be within our jurisdiction, we’re certainly a topic our ratepayers want to see examined. And it is something we have pursued over the past three years, seeking a meeting with the Minister [of Health] at the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) annual meetings. We’ve also instructed administration to send a letter, which went out a couple of weeks ago, to the Minister of Health, essentially saying that we want to be a partner in that discussion. In any capital planning that’s being pursued. To ensure that, as a community, we are aligned with what some of the long term plans are, as well as, is there things [the province] needs to know as part of that process, from a municipal standpoint.” indicated de Groot.

As for how this overall information will shape the 2018 town budget, de Groot said that it will be something that helps to guide their deliberations; to a degree.

“When it comes to something like this. The results are considered and reviewed, but other factors are a part of the process as well. Throughout the year, myself and councillors gauge the community in a variety of ways. You still have to have the conversations in the street. You still have to have that discussion at the grocery or hardware store. They might not participate in the survey, but it’s still feedback that must be given consideration. It’s all part of the process and we take all that information into the budget deliberations.” stated de Groot.

The results of the pre-budget survey can be found on the Town of Neepawa website in the Notices section. A link is also attached below.

Pre Budget survey results