While the small town, casual lifestyle appeals to an overwhelming majority of Lake Country residents, there is still room for improvement by increasing funding for parks, health care and recreation services.
Those are among the findings compiled from responses to the 2015 community survey mailed to 1,500 randomly selected Lake Country residents in May.
The response indicated most were either very satisfied (65 per cent) or somewhat satisfied (32 per cent) with their quality of life in Lake Country, while with the municipal services they receive for the taxes they pay they were very satisfied (17 per cent) or somewhat satisfied (48 per cent).
The response on the need for more parks and trail funding was encouraging to municipal officials given Lake Country is about to launch a major initiative this fall to develop a parks and recreation master plan, which will kick off with a public open house to invite input on Sept. 19.
The goal of the 1,500 surveys sent out was to receive at least 400 back, and 593 surveys were returned surpassing the target.
An accompanying online survey was also made available to local residents and some 63 responses were returned via the social media platform.
Other findings in the survey included:
• Biggest opportunity for improvement in Lake Country: Roadways and transportation. Nineteen per cent of respondents felt the single biggest opportunity for improving Lake Country were transportation related improvements such as improving roads, sidewalks, road maintenance, parking, streetlights and a bypass route.
• Fifteen per cent called for improvements to the downtown area development.
• Thirty-five per cent felt the district should pursue the creation of a publicly-funded arts, cultural and heritage centre.
• Seventy-five per cent felt Lake Country should consider organizing destination events in the community, the most popular themes expressed for those events being music, harvest season and food.
• Seventy-five per cent would accept medium to high density developments in urbanized areas to preserve the rural character an agriculture lands outside these areas.
• Eight-nine per cent agriculture contributes to the quality of life in Lake Country, while 76 per cent felt agriculture also contributes to the community’s economic stability.