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2019 Citizen Satisfaction Survey reveals Lacombe’s strengths; areas for improvement

Lacombe, Alberta (June 26, 2019) – Council Monday accepted as information the draft final report on the 2019 Citizen Satisfaction Survey.

The City of Lacombe contracted Yardstick Research Inc. to conduct a survey of residents in May 2019 to determine their views on quality of life in the community, and their current satisfaction level with municipal services. The consultant completed 461 telephone interviews of residents between May 6 and 20, 2019, and sought additional input through an online platform. The survey methodology used was probability sampling, which gave researchers the best chance to create a sample that was truly representative of the population.

Interviewers used random telephone dialing to reach a representative demographic (200 respondents) as well as through targeted social media advertisements (261 respondents). The City also provided an open web link for any citizens to use to input opinion.

The survey revealed that majority of residents (79 per cent) rated their quality of life as good or very good, and 82 per cent said Lacombe is a great place to raise a family. Top factors contributing to this were our small town atmosphere (28 per cent), friendly people (22 per cent), and historical buildings (22 per cent).

The City earned a Net Promoter Score of 16, with 76 per cent of respondents saying that they would be likely to recommend Lacombe as a place to live.

Some of the City’s key strengths included water and sewer services, garbage services, recycling, Lacombe Police Service, Lacombe Fire Department, trails, sports fields and green spaces, and the Lacombe Memorial Centre.

Primary areas identified for improvement included road and sidewalk maintenance, and snow removal. The City’s Asset Management Plan will seek to improve the quality and lower the cost of our built infrastructure. A recent review of snow clearing practices has resulted in Council considering improvements for this essential service.

Attracting and supporting local business was also near the top in a list of important municipal services. A few of Council’s strategic goals to address this include downtown beautification and investment, co-developing partnerships to build business-supporting infrastructure, and developing forward-looking taxation principles.

One of Council’s strategic plan performance measures stipulated that at least 60 per cent of citizens indicate they get excellent or good value for their property taxes. The survey results indicate at present, nearly half (44 per cent) of citizens agree. Another question found that a further 14 per cent of citizens are satisfied with either the current taxation policy or current service levels.

“Council’s identified strategic plan objectives are in alignment with the community’s desire for improvement,” said Chief Administrative Officer Matthew Goudy. “The survey results and subsequent analysis in the report inform and clearly support the majority of Council’s goals, and will impact annual departmental work plans until the next survey is conducted.” 

Four out of five residents are satisfied or very satisfied with their ability to move around by vehicle, but only about 50 per cent of cyclists and pedestrians are satisfied. The City’s in-progress Active Transportation Study will result in a plan to improve this statistic.

Two in five Lacombe residents (42 per cent) have been in contact with employees from City Hall regarding taxes, utilities, accounts receivable, property assessments, development permits, pet licenses, etc. in the past 12 months. Of these, 67 per cent were satisfied or very satisfied with the service provided by the employee they last contacted.

To make customer service levels even better, the City recently began a joint customer service review with the Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce.

“City administration will review the survey results and consultant analysis in depth when researching service level questions for the upcoming year,” said Deborah Juch, Director of Community Services. “The survey results will also be shared with the public in multiple ways, and we will look for opportunities to form online citizen panels, made up of interested survey respondents, for future input.”

To view a downloadable copy of the 2019 Citizen Satisfaction Survey, go to http://www.lacombe.ca/home/showdocument?id=12211.

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