The proposed Ajax mine is foremost on the minds of Kamloops residents, a City citizen survey shows.
Catherine Knaus, associate vice-presidnet for Ipsos Reid, told council Tuesday the mine was named as an important issue by 31 per cent of respondents.
Second was transportation at 20 per cent, followed by taxation/municipal government spending and social issues, both tied at 10 per cent each.
The random survey of 400 residents was done by phone between Sept. 12 and 23. Knaus said responses were weighted to balance gender and age.
The last survey was done in 2009, when social issues were the top concern mentioned by respondents.
Respondents listed the city as being strong in policing, fire, green spaces, appearance and sports and recreation programs. Areas for improvement were infrastructure such as sidewalks, lights and roads, environmental protection and business attraction/retention.
Knaus said residents showed a preference to tax increases over service reductions.
Almost all respondents — 98 per cent — said Kamloops offers a good or very good quality of life. That’s up from 96 per cent rhree years ago.
The survey results were met with enthusiasm from council members.
"I'm feeling quite happy of such a positive review by citizens,” said Coun. Marg Spina.
Coun. Nancy Bepple wondered how residents would be willing to pay more for services — through taxation or user fees.
Knaus said she didn’t have a breakdown on that.
Mayor Peter Milobar said the mine being on the minds of residents indicates what’s been out in the media lately.
Council has asked a lot of questions on the community’s behalf and is still awaiting answers, he said.
The survey responses on the core services, such as policing and parks, really reflect what residents think about the municipal government, he said.