Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD) survey data shows respondents from Sun Peaks want to see an increase in services, with a large number of comments from survey-takers asking for an increase in hours at Sun Peaks’ transfer station.
The TNRD survey was available for a month online and through mail beginning on Feb. 1, 2023, with 132 Sun Peaks residents responding, 100 of whom fully completed the survey. Since the survey was anonymous and the sample size is small, the data collection isn’t fully reliable. However, the information can be used for future planning and community consultation, according to Colton Davies, communications and marketing director for the TNRD.
Sun Peaks data, which was shared with SPIN before being published as part of the whole survey online, shows community members are actively invested in the transfer station, with all answers regarding eco stations and transfer stations showing support.
Davies said when people were asked to share their thoughts about new TNRD services or whether they’d like to see an increase in existing services, the largest number of comments related to increasing hours at the transfer station.
“It seems folks are satisfied with the transfer station itself in Sun Peaks … but the highest proportion of comments [related to] the transfer station and a request for more hours,” Davies said.
Currently, the station operates seasonally. It’s open seven days a week in winter — Sun Peaks’ busiest season — from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. In summer hours, the facility is open during the same hours but is closed on Tuesdays and Fridays.
People have left their garbage outside the facility when it’s closed, which attracts bears. A common complaint among residents relates to tourists who need to leave their rental units and take their garbage with them, but who often leave before the station is open and dump their garbage outside its gates.
Davies said the transfer station in Sun Peaks mirrors the hours of solid waste facilities in communities which serve larger populations within the TNRD, but agreed that the tourist and seasonal population in Sun Peaks “anecdotally would be higher than other areas, even if the population is a bit less.”
Other services respondents wanted to see increase were mixed, with some responses for services outside the TNRD’s jurisdiction, like improved road maintenance work.
“In terms of what we can control in Sun Peaks, I’d say an increase in library service would have been the second most requested item,” Davies said.
Comments relating to library services asked the TNRD to increase mobile library hours or even open a physical library.
When asked which of the nine community growth indicators that the TNRD tracks were most important, 84 per cent of respondents ranked health and health facility access highest.
Davies said responses to these questions help inform the TNRD’s monitoring report for the regional growth strategy.
“The most selected item for what’s important in people’s communities [for this question] was health and health care facility access. We don’t have direct jurisdiction over [health and health care facilities] but it’s incredibly important to people, whether they live in Sun Peaks or any TNRD community,” Davies said.
When asked if they were satisfied with services provided by TNRD, 48 per cent of respondents said yes, 28 per cent said no and 24 per cent weren’t sure.
Notably, 57 per cent of people who took the survey said taxes are high compared to the services they receive, while 58 per cent said they would like to see services increased or improved.
“It’s kind of uncanny how some of the responses said, ‘Yes, we’d like to see more services, but we feel we’re already paying too many taxes for the services we receive,’” Davies told SPIN. He highlighted that despite this contradiction, it’s still possible to increase some services through grant funding.
Feedback for the TNRD can be submitted online at any time, and Davies thanked everyone for completing the survey.
A full breakdown of the survey data, including responses across the TNRD, is available online.
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