North Cowichan intends to hold a citizen satisfaction survey in May. (File photo)

North Cowichan to launch first citizen satisfaction survey

Council decided on survey questions at a meeting on May 1

The Municipality of North Cowichan plans to launch its first-ever citizen satisfaction survey during the month of May.

Council was provided a copy of the draft questions that staff is proposing to ask in the survey for approval at its meeting on May 1.

The questions proposed address an array of topics; including each participant’s level of satisfaction with the services delivered by the municipality, and community views on varying initiatives and activities in North Cowichan.

After a bidding process, the NRG Research Group was selected as the consultant for the survey, at a cost of approximately $20,000.

The survey will target 400 individuals and will be conducted over the phone, using both land lines and cellphones.

An online version of the survey will also be available on North Cowichan’s website, www.northcowichan.ca, for any resident that wishes to participate, and is expected to begin about a week after the conclusion of the phone survey.

While the City of Duncan and the Cowichan Valley Regional District have used citizen satisfaction surveys before, also mainly using telephone and online surveys of the population, this will be North Cowichan’s first such survey.

Natasha Horsman, North Cowichan’s manager of communications and public engagement, said a draft question has also been included on the municipal forest reserve.

“However, staff suggest that if council is willing to allocate a budget of between $15,000 and $20,000, a separate survey would be appropriate to focus entirely on gathering more in-depth feedback about the forest reserve,” she said.

“If council is interested in this option, it should consider eliminating the forestry question from the broader citizen satisfaction survey.”

The proposed forestry question asks whether North Cowichan should continue to harvest in the municipal forest reserve while supporting recreation opportunities; cease harvesting and manage forest lands as a recreation and/or conservation area only; or more information is required.

Once the survey is complete, the NRG Research Group will report the results to council.

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