Ninety-eight per cent of citizens say Red Deer’s quality of life is good to very good, and more people than ever before said they believe their quality of life has improved, according to the 2014 Ipsos Reid Citizen Satisfaction Survey.
“We are pleased to see that once again, most residents are happy with life in Red Deer,” said City Manager Craig Curtis.
“The annual Ipsos survey helps us gauge community satisfaction with City services and value for tax dollars. This is a valuable tool to measure if municipal operations are meeting the needs of residents and to help direct future operational and budgetary decisions.”
Ninety-five per cent of respondents were satisfied with the overall level of City services. Eighty-four per cent felt they received good value for their tax dollars.
When asked about the change in quality of life in the past three years, 33% of respondents said things had improved, attributing growth and development, job opportunities and good amenities and services as factors.
Forty-seven per cent of citizens said their quality of life remained the same in the past three years.
“This survey provides us with some important information to identify where we are meeting expectations for our citizens and where improvements need to be made,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “City Council endeavors to leverage our community’s positive features while being responsive to issues Red Deerians need us to address.”
Transportation, crime, and municipal government services were identified as the most important issues facing the community and deserving of attention from local leaders.
Meanwhile, this year, 30% of respondents favoured maintaining or reducing taxes by cutting services while 60% favoured increasing taxes to maintain or expand services. In 2013, 30% of respondents favoured maintaining or reducing taxes by cutting services while 54% favoured increasing taxes to maintain or expand services.
Altogether, 65% also said they felt the City is doing a very good or somewhat good job of managing road infrastructure. This is an increase of 11% per cent from 2013.
Fifty-nine per cent report that roads are in excellent or good condition; an increase of 19% in 2013. Roads were identified by 84% per cent of respondents as being the highest and immediate priority for government attention related to infrastructure. This is consistent with results from the past three years.
When asked about Red Deer’s downtown, the most important aspects Red Deerians wanted to see were more green park spaces, more shopping opportunities outside work hours, family activities and more evening entertainment and dining options.
Eighty-four per cent said they were satisfied with how the City of Red Deer was run. In terms of specific infrastructure, respondents also feel the City is doing a very good or somewhat good job of managing recreation facilities (92%); water (92%) and wastewater (91%) treatment facilities and the transit system (82%).
From Aug. 18th to 25th, 2014, the Citizen Satisfaction Survey was administered by Ipsos Reid.
It was conducted by telephone to a randomly selected sample of 302 residents aged 18 years or older. This is the eighth consecutive year the City of Red Deer has participated in the survey.