Civic Centre Survey Results

2017-05-16

Prepared by Mayor Bill Steinberg

Participation

203 surveys were returned. That is about 11%. One could assume that the rest don’t care as long as local tax increases remain below inflation.

Are those responding generally in favour of a Civic Centre?

We had 4 demographic choices but I simplified the analysis by looking at only three demographics. Households with no children below 20 and not planning to have any (101 or 51% of the respondents), Households with children below 20 or hoping to have some (78 or 39% of the respondents), and those who did not answer the demographic question (21 or 10% of the respondents).

Since the golf simulator was unpopular, the only item not wanted by a majority in each demographic, I dropped it from my analysis. I then looked at the overall results for each household and determined if they wanted more items (positive) or did not want more items (negative). In a small number of cases the number wanted and not wanted were equal so I classified that as neutral. The results are in the table below. Clearly there is overwhelming support for at least a majority of the items once you remove the unpopular golf simulator. This is true for even the respondents with no kids under 20 where almost three times as many were positive as opposed to negative. This is encouraging and a necessary prerequisite to moving forward. It also means that we need to make sure that we have items in the Civic Centre for the demographic with no kids under 20 as well as for the younger demographic. As for the minority negative views, they were mostly due to concerns about taxes and/or because they have no kids and no needs.

  No kids under
20
Kids <20 No answer Totals

Positive

69 73 18 160
Negative 24 3 4 31
Neutral 10 2 0 12
Totals 103 78 22 203

Which were the most popular items?

The results are on the following table. To simplify the analysis I combined Strongly Favourable and Somewhat Favourable into Favourable. I also combined Strongly Against and Somewhat Against into Against. I ignored no response or a Neutral response for an item. That is why the totals for each item are less than 200. The items are in the order that they appeared in the survey.

Item No kids under
20
Kids <20 No answer Totals

Gym Positive

50 74 18 138
Gym Negative 25 2 4 31
Game Room + 52 29 8 89
Game Room - 22 10 7 39
Golf Sim + 22 18 4 44
Golf Sim - 52 30 10 92
Fitness Room + 68 65 15 148
Fitness Room - 19 4 3 26
Café + 51 51 14 116
Café - 23 4 4 31
Teen Lounge + 30 43 14 87
Teen Lounge - 29 8 4 41
Party Room + 52 57 11 120
Party Room - 22 8 4 34

The Fitness room is the most popular and with all demographics. Overall the Gym is second most popular with more support from the families with kids. The Café and Party room come next but I am sure the respondents want a Café open more than just during the pool season so this will be a challenge. The game room comes next but it is the second most popular for families without kids and inexpensive. There is support for a teen lounge but it is the weakest one of the positive items. Finally, the Golf Simulator, is out as more people are opposed than in favour.

There were many comments provided and these must be considered.

Numerous people mentioned three items: an indoor pool, a hockey arena and a library. I contacted everyone who made comments. Re the pool, once people realized the significant extra operating costs, they agreed that the CSL ACC is good enough. The hockey arena too complicated a discussion for this report but it will be seriously studied. As for the library, those wanting a real library withdrew their requests once they realized the costs but some only wanted a mini honour system library. I think this is an excellent idea.

The “Library” would have children’s books and toys as well as adult books. It would operate on a bring a book/toy and take a book/toy basis with no staff and in a relatively small space. I think this will be very low cost and very popular.

There were many other good ideas. One was a computer room where we could offer courses and/or simply have computers where residents without one could use ours. It is not true that all residents have computers just as all do not have home gyms or belong to a fitness club.

Pickleball is the new rage in Florida and many municipalities on the island offer pickleball courts at least part time. This could be one activity in our multi purpose gym.

There were also several requests for a room for movies, chamber music performances and lectures. A new council chamber with raised seats could handle that well. We certainly don’t want a council chamber for only council meeting. That would be a waste. We could even rent out that room when not in use just as we would rent out the party room.

There were other specific and/or minor requests which I will have CSR review. These include art classes, art studio, cooking classes, music programming, dance classes, zumba, gentle yoga for seniors, more stuff for seniors, better changing/locker rooms, cross country ski track around Hampstead Park, Squash, Ping Pong tables, pool tables, meditation space, volley ball in gym, steam room, baby gym, much longer and regular hours for café, etc.

There were also some suggestions to move Town Hall to the Civic Centre and the hockey arena people want that as well.

Finally, there were pleasant comments about how well the town is being run.

As a next step I will meet with the heads of recreation in several towns to find out what works or doesn’t work in those towns.

Finally, it must be noted that nothing will be possible without significant grants from the Federal and Quebec governments.