Media Release: Long Term Planning Initiatives (October 20, 2021)
Posted on 10/20/2021
Image of a post-it note with words Media Release printed on itFor Immediate Release: October 20, 2021

In 2021 the Town has heard from residents through a Long-Term Budget Priorities exercise and the Annual Resident Survey, both of which inform the decision-making process on projects and expenditures including applications submitted earlier this year to the Province of PEI for Investing in Canada Program (ICIP) funding.

“We appreciate the time residents spend providing their feedback to us when called upon,” said Stratford Mayor Steve Ogden. “This form of engagement leads to better overall decision making by us and a deep sense of connection to our community for residents.”

Through public engagement practices such as the Long-Term Budget Priorities exercise, the Town’s strategic plan, a review of funding opportunities available, complete costing analysis and review of the impact to municipal taxes, as well as a look at the needs of our community, Stratford Town Council earlier this year submitted the following priorities to the Investing in Canada Program (ICIP):

Priority Project Description  ICIP Funding Stream 
 1 Community Campus – site servicing Green – environmental quality
 2 Water Reservoir and Addition of Hydrants Green – environmental quality 
 3 Kelly’s Pond Watershed Restoration  Green – adaption, resilience and disaster mitigation 
 4 Sewer Lift Station Upgrades – Phase 2  Green – environmental quality 
 5 Community Campus – recreation fields  Community, culture and recreation 
 6 Stratford Curling Facility Community, culture and recreation
 
It is expected that funding will be announced in the near future for approved projects, including the Town of Stratford’s identified projects listed above. An exciting opportunity for the Community Campus is a potential curling facility. Though the facility didn’t rank high during the Long-Term Budget Priorities exercise, there is a need in the capital area for a new facility, and this presents an opportunity for it to be located in Stratford while serving not only our residents, but a wider area as well, including the new high school. If approved, it will be constructed and operated in a manner that will not see an impact to municipal taxes.

During the Long-Term Budget Priorities exercise, a total of 1,006 participants used the platform and identified the following as their top priorities:

Priority Project Description 
 1 Environmental land protection 
 2 Community energy plan implementation 
 3 Evening transit 
 4 Mid-morning and afternoon transit 
 5 Multi-use courts 
 6 Unserviced area transit 

“While we try to give residents as much information as we can during these processes,” said Mayor Ogden, “there is most often much more detail that staff, Town committees and Council have access to about projects, priorities and future planning. In making final decisions, we take all of the information available to us into consideration to make the best decision possible for our community.”

Many of the identified priorities in the Long-Term Budget Priorities exercise will be considered for the Town’s Community Campus. The land for the campus has been purchased, which will include space for the previously announced high school by the Provincial government. Other amenities are being identified through internal needs analysis, current and past surveys, the Long-Term Budget Priorities exercise, and through funding opportunities available.

“The Community Campus is an exciting project for our community,” added Mayor Ogden. “It is a multi-year initiative which we hope to get underway with in 2022 and can begin to have the community see it come together. We have had many organizations reach out for information about how their group might be a part of the campus and look forward to continuing those conversations. There may be cost-savings and funding opportunities for these groups and the Town to partner on and share in the cost by doing so. There are many exciting projects coming up in Stratford and we look forward to continuing to create a community our residents can be proud of.”

The Annual Resident Survey results are also being released today. The 2021 survey was the 10th annual survey and had 983 responses. Along with the annual topics like overall health, satisfaction with the Town, knowledge of the Town’s initiatives and programs, and resident habits and activities, this year there were again a series of questions on specific areas of interest to the Town of Stratford.

A series of one-time questions this year focused on Stratford’s Annual Resident Survey itself. In response to how important the survey is to residents, 83% indicated that it was very important or somewhat important to them, with 83% also responding that there should be no change to the frequency of the survey which is completed annually. A question this year about how residents might prefer to complete the survey found 70% would prefer to complete the survey online, 26% by paper and 4% indicating no preference. This year saw 58% of responses received online, with the remainder responding by paper.

In response to ongoing traffic safety concerns, another one-time question this year asked about traffic calming measures with residents ranking three possible actions that could be taken. Before ranking them, residents were also made aware of the approximate cost of each measure. Additional sidewalks on local streets, at a cost of approximately $1 million per kilometer was selected as the top choice, followed by additional traffic calming devices (such as speed humps or speed radar signs) at a cost of approximately $5,000 each, and the third ranked option was to hire an additional police officer at a cost of approximately $120,000 per year.

The full report and summary of the 2021 survey, and previous surveys, can be found on the Town of Stratford website at www.townofstratford.ca. As well, the Long-Term Budget Priorities report and the conceptual layout for the Stratford Community Campus are also now available on the Town’s website.

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For more information please contact:
Wendy Watts, Community & Business Engagement Manager
Phone: (902) 569-1995
Email: wwatts@townofstratford.ca

Links:
Annual Resident Survey Results
Long-Term Priorities Report
Stratford Community Campus Conceptual Plan
Printable Version: Media Release - Long Term Planning Initiatives (October 20, 2021)