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Champlain Township Resident Survey now closed, results to be included in Strategic Plan

The Township of Champlain’s Resident Survey has wrapped up and information gathered will be included in the municipality’s Strategic Plan.

The township’s Corporate Strategic Plan and Economic Development Strategic Plan is being conducted by MDB Insight. At council’s most recent meeting on March 11, Trudy Parsons, Executive Vice-President of MDB Insight, presented an overview and indicated the project is now in Phase 2.

Included with their recent tax bills, Champlain taxpayers received a card with a code inviting them to complete the survey online. The survey ended March 22. Initial results of the survey were to be presented at a Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, March 30. Results from the survey will be added to other information collected by MDB Insight to help develop an overall direction for the township.

“The consultants will be doing an update in a strategic planning workshop at the Committee of the Whole meeting,” said Jennifer Laforest, Senior Planner for Champlain Township. “After that there will be a couple of public forums, where MDB will open up to more public consultation.”

“It has to be a very involved public consultation process, because this is the first time Champlain has done a strategic plan. Our consultant has advised that we take our time and really collect as much information from the public as possible.”

Laforest said approximately 300 completed surveys were received from Champlain residents, which MDB considered a very good response.

“It’s not just about the number of responses, but the quality of the feedback we’re getting,” Laforest noted. “If there is a particular area where we could improve service delivery, that’s certainly something we want to know about.”

The township’s senior planner explained the strategic plan and consultations is an ongoing process and that future surveys could be conducted annually. “We could ask many of the same questions and be able to see year to year what people are thinking about Champlain.”

A preliminary strategic planning session was held at the March 11 council meeting, where Parsons provided an overview on background information which had been collected to date. The data included a demographic profile in terms of protected population growth and age group, a community profile that shows the average value of dwellings, and a business profile. Parsons also presented a brief list of common themes resulting from the initial council and staff surveys and showed how these themes fit within a SOARR Assessment (Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, Risks and Results).

Information from the strategic planning sessions will be taken by MDB Insight and incorporated with the community survey results, which will be brought to Council for further consideration and discussion.

Champlain Township also has a Community Improvement Plan (CIP), which could help property owners with building improvements, waiting in the wings. Council had decided to delay consultations on the CIP until the strategic plan process was complete.

Reid Masson

Reid Masson is a graduate of Algonquin College's Journalism Program. He has over 20 years of experience as a staff writer and editor for various newspapers across Canada, including The Ottawa Citizen and Brockville Recorder and Times.

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