A survey by the County of Stettler of attendees at the recent Trade Fair show an overwhelming desire for tax money to go toward the maintenance of existing roads.
The county wanted to get feedback from the public on the spending of municipal dollars, and the survey allowed participants to allocate 100 points to different categories.
There were eight different spending categories, with 24 possible choices, in all, and according to county spokesperson Niki Thorsteinsson, “most surveys were unable to stay under budget.”
Sixty per cent of the surveyed people resided in the country, seven per cent from villages, and the rest from the town, the county reported.
Shane Snideman, an Erskine resident and employee of Alberta Prairie Railway, spent about eight minutes filling out the survey and underspent on his budget by two points.
Snideman won an iPad for his participation in the survey.
“I put most of my budget towards roads and the upkeep of roads,” Snideman said. “Nobody likes a pothole.”
Snideman also said he would like to see water come into Erskine, adding that, “I’m tired of wells.”
County of Stettler Reeve Wayne Nixon addressed the water issue.
“We are currently working on constructing a Truck Fill station on the east side of Erskine,” he said. “Our hamlets want good water.”
He also said he enjoyed the fair, since it gave him and other members of the county administration a chance to speak with constituents.
“It is always interesting and valuable to talk face-to-face with our ratepayers, in a casual setting where no agendas have been set. I feel we get real honest feedback,” he said.
The top three budget priorities for people in the country were the maintenance of existing roads, weed and pest control, and new road construction – which was almost tied with bridge maintenance.
Inside the Town of Stettler, the top three priorities were the maintenance of road, attraction of new business, and disaster preparedness – which also almost tied with firefighting.
As part of the fair, the county also held a draw for a $250 agricultural services voucher, which was won by Roxanne Wakefield.