Town releases citizen satisfaction survey

What do Fort Frances residents like the most about the town? Nice people.
At least, that’s according to a citizenship satisfaction survey which was conducted in late August and released after Tuesday night’s council meeting.
“I believe it is fairly representative of the residents of Fort Frances and contains interesting information,” said Community Services manager George Bell, who organized the telephone survey carried out by the town’s summer employees.
Council had called for such a survey back in the spring.
Bell noted 28 different service areas are graphed in the result report, pointing out it’s not too hard to discern the data.
“For instance, do you want the services expanded or not? I think that gives us a good idea of what direction they want us to go,” said Bell.
“How much do they want services to be paid for? I think that’s important now that we’re going through the budget process,” he added.
Fort Frances CAO Bill Naturkach agreed the document will be immediately useful in the 2003 budget process the town has been working through.
“It’s not an end all, be all, but another tool that helps us do what we do,” he remarked.
“I think it was very well done,” said Coun. Neil Kabel.
“Overall, I think we did a pretty good job,” echoed Mayor Glenn Witherspoon.
The survey was comprised of 11 multi-part questions conducted via phone interview with residents randomly selected from the phone book.
The summer employees conducting the survey completed 131, accounting for 1.6 percent of the population of Fort Frances. The majority (22 percent) of those surveyed were born between 1971-1980.
Some survey highlights include:
•the single most important issue facing Fort Frances today is: poor road conditions (35 percent), with lack of shopping coming in a close second (32 percent);
•the two or three things people like most about the town are: nice people (64 percent), its location (34 percent), and the fact it’s safe and quiet (29 percent);
•the two or three things people dislike the most are: lack of shopping (21 percent), lack of youth activities (20 percent), and lack of entertainment (12 percent);
•54 percent of those surveyed were satisfied with the Town of Fort Frances government while 41 percent were somewhat satisfied;
•while those surveyed felt the arenas, other indoor recreation facilities, and the museum and library were satisfactory services, 55 percent called the local tourist sites “poor”;
•74 percent of those surveyed felt garbage collection was good while 45 percent felt the recycling service was poor. The majority of people (42 percent) said they never use the airport;
•96 and 83 percent of those polled felt garbage collection and airport services should be maintained as is, respectively, while 67 percent said recycling services should be expanded;
•92 percent of those polled have not contacted a member of town council in the past year; and
•thinking ahead 10 years from now, 60 percent of those polled wanted the town to stay much the same while 40 percent wanted to see it quite different from now.
The complete survey results are available at the Civic Centre and soon will be posted on the town’s Web site at