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Survey says Greater Sudburians want roads prioritized

The City of Greater Sudbury sought insight from the public through an online survey whose results have helped form the city’s 2023 budget
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Tom Davies Square, Tom Davies, Tom Davies Square 2022, Tom Davies Square night

The municipal services Greater Sudburians consider the most important are winter maintenance, road maintenance water/wastewater and emergency services.

This, according to the results of a recent online survey which concluded as city administrators prepared their proposed 2023 budget to kick off city council deliberations.

A public survey was available for people to respond to online at overtoyou.greatersudbury.ca from Nov. 1 to Dec. 6, during which 2,800 visits were recorded (compared to 841 for the 2022 budget). Paper surveys were also made available during this timeframe, and people were also able to complete the survey by phone by calling 311. 

Contributors completed 872 surveys (a jump from the 291 completed for the 2022 budget), and 27 contributors posted 71 written ideas in the survey’s open concept area. 

Of respondents, 97 per cent identified primarily as homeowners or renters, three per cent identified as business owners and 0.5 per cent said they lived out of town but work or own property in Greater Sudbury. Respondents were fairly evenly distributed between the 12 wards.

Only 14.8 per cent of respondents indicated they are very familiar with the city’s budget and property taxes, 44.5 per cent were somewhat familiar, 22.6 per cent were kind of familiar and 18.1 per cent were not very familiar. 

The services respondents said were important were, in order: 

  • Winter maintenance (85 per cent)
  • Road maintenance and construction (85 per cent)
  • Drinking water, wastewater and stormwater (81 per cent)
  • Emergency Services (80 per cent) 
  • Garbage and Recycling (74 per cent) 
  • Recreation Programs and Facilities (63 per cent), 
  • Long-term Care - Pioneer Manor (60 per cent)
  • Economic Development (60 per cent) 
  • Social Services (57 per cent) 
  • Communications and Engagement with Residents (47 per cent)
  • Transit (40 per cent) 
  • Libraries and Museums (34 per cent) 

Although not all of the following are in the city’s control, respondents indicated the following are the most important issues facing the city, in order. Ranking these from 1 (most important) to 10 (least), 868 respondents determined the following:

  • Cost of living (3.85)
  • Infrastructure/transportation (5.09)
  • Property taxes (5.36)
  • Health/public health issues (5.48)
  • Social issues (e.g. poverty, social services, child care) (5.6)
  • Housing/accommodations (5.7)
  • Economy/jobs/economic issues (5.89)
  • Mental health and addiction (6)
  • Governance and transparency (6.49)
  • Environment/environmental issues/sustainability (7.4)
  • Access to recreation facilities (8.08)

The City of Greater Sudbury tabled its proposed 2023 budget on Jan. 17, achieving a 3.7-per-cent tax increase by paring down the status quo budget by $17.8 million.

Although the document follows the direction of the past city council, it’s still very much city administration’s budget at this time. The city’s elected officials are expected to debate the budget during a series of meetings next month, approve it on March 7 and set a 2023 property tax policy on May 16.

The city’s full proposed budget document is available by clicking here. The city’s 2023 budget page went live in conjunction with tonight’s tabling, and can be found by clicking here. Public input will also be sought via the city’s Over to You page, and two virtual town hall meetings are planned to take place in early February.

The dates for these virtual town hall meetings have not been firmed up, but city director of communications and community engagement Marie Litalien said they will be advertised online, including on the city’s Facebook page, as soon as they are.

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for Sudbury.com.