Stanstead Sur­vey Re­sults

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Vic­to­ria Vanier Stanstead

The first re­sults of the Stanstead sur­vey of res­i­dents were re­leased this week. It is an anal­y­sis of the ‘closed’ ques­tions of the sur­vey; the anal­y­sis of the more than ten open-ended ques­tions will be an­nounced soon. The ques­tions for the sur­vey were writ­ten from the re­sults of eight dis­cus­sion groups that were held: 6 in Stanstead (2 in each sec­tor), and one dis­cus­sion group each with teens at Alexan­der Galt High School and at La Ruche high school.

The rate of re­sponse was 16.9%: 216 sur­vey forms were filled out, not more than one sur­vey per house­hold. “The dif­fer­ent age groups were well-rep­re­sented, how­ever, ladies an­swered the sur­vey more than men,” com­mented Joanne La­je­unesse McKay, the busi­ness devel­op­ment agent who is work­ing with the town to cre­ate a Strate­gic Plan. 69% of re­spon­dents were fe­male although fe­males rep­re­sent 50% of the pop­u­la­tion here.

A smaller per­cent­age of Rock Is­land sec­tor res­i­dents filled out the form: only 21% of the forms were filled out by Rock Is­land res­i­dents who rep­re­sent ac­tu­ally 32% of the Stanstead pop­u­la­tion. 57% of re­spon­dents work; 29% are re­tired; 3% are stu­dents and 11% are other. 50% of re­spon­dents have French as their mother tongue while 49% are English mother tongue.

The ma­jor­ity were proud to call Stanstead home: 86%. 66% thought the peo­ple here were lik­able, 59% said the ap­pear­ance of the town is im­prov­ing. 191 of the 214 re­spon­dents be­lieve that there is a loss of pride in the town be­cause of the aban­doned down­town sec­tor (63%), poorly main­tained prop­er­ties (65%), and be­cause many res­i­dents don’t work. The un­em­ploy­ment rate was 8% in 2006 and the ac­tiv­ity rate of peo­ple 15 years and older was at 57.2% in the last cen­sus, al­most 4 per­cent­age points be­low the av­er­age.

Ci­ti­zens be­lieve Stanstead has a bad rep­u­ta­tion in the me­dia (52%) and in the high schools (36%).

Lo­cal at­trac­tions were vis­ited by re­spon­dents at the fol­low­ing rate: Haskell (70%); Arena (68%); Weir Park (50%); Col­byCur­tis Mu­seum (41%); Stone Cir­cle (32.5%); Gran­ite Mu­seum (32.5%).

Re­spon­dents be­lieve that the needs of 18 to 49 year-olds are not be­ing met by the town as well as the needs of chil­dren and semi-re­tired and re­tired peo­ple. Some be­lieve the high school drop-out rate can be re­duced through home­work pro­grams (65%) and through more sports ac­tiv­i­ties (48%). How­ever, the par­ents of school age chil­dren be­lieve that the most sig­nif­i­cant fac­tor to de­crease the high school drop-out rate is the re­duc­tion of the amount of time the stu­dents spend on the bus. “The kids we spoke with, and the par­ents agreed, that the long time spent trav­el­ling was dif­fi­cult. Some spend 1 ½ hours go­ing to school and 1 ½ hours coming back, with the buses stop­ping first in Water­ville and Ayer’s Cliff. Some­times there are three stu­dents per bench,” ex­plained Ms. McKay about this im­por­tant is­sue. 48% of re­spon­dents know some­one who would like to im­prove their sit­u­a­tion by tak­ing high school cour­ses or post-sec­ondary cour­ses. Health Ser­vices

Only 15% of re­spon­dents are sat­is­fied with the health ser­vices of­fered in Stanstead. 31% be­lieve there aren’t ad­e­quate health ser­vices while 54% be­lieve “more or less” that there are ad­e­quate health ser­vices. Most (91%) were open to the idea of a health co-op, 46% thought it was ur­gent, 46% thought it was a good idea and 8% thought it wasn’t nec­es­sary. 48% are ready to pay $50 an­nu­ally, per in­di­vid­ual, or $100 per fam­ily to main­tain a health co-op while 32% are not ready to pay for this and 20% are un­de­cided.

When it comes to recre­ation, 43% wanted much more ac­cess to the Tomi­fo­bia River, 27% wanted a lit­tle more ac­cess, and 9% were not in­ter­ested in more ac­cess to the river. Re­spon­dents were ab­so­lutely split in their sup­port of the Stone Cir­cle Park with 50% want­ing more devel­op­ment there. The bi­cy­cle path is used by 64% of the re­spon­dents.

A lit­tle more than two thirds of re­spon­dents want the town to en­force the reg­u­la­tions on build­ing main­te­nance while 72% def­i­nitely want the town to de­mol­ish un­safe and un­healthy build­ings. For her­itage build­ings, 68% be­lieve the town should sup­port prop­erty own­ers, 31% want more reg­u­la­tions, and 16% want the town to in­vest pub­lic money to pre­serve her­itage build­ings. Trans­port

27% of re­spon­dents need trans­porta­tion to Ma­gog; 21% to Sher­brooke; and 15% need trans­porta­tion to get around Stanstead. Trans­port sys­tems al­ready in place seem un­der­used at 10% for taxis, 2% us­ing Trans­port des alen­tours, and 3% us­ing the CAB’s ser­vices.

For 70% it is im­por­tant to live in Stanstead. 55% work in Stanstead, 5% in Ma­gog, 4% in Sher­brooke, and 6% else­where in the Town­ships. Jobs are wanted in busi­ness (30%), Tourism (29.5%), Man­u­fac­tur­ing (26.4%), Ed­u­ca­tion (25.6%), and Health and So­cial Ser­vices (22.5%).

Most of the re­spon­dents (86%) be­lieve in Stanstead as a tourist des­ti­na­tion.

Of the 214 re­spon­dents, 4% have lived here less than a year, 14% from one to five years, and 72% for more than ten years.

“We should fin­ish the anal­y­sis of the sur­vey by the end of the month and the next step will be to use this in­for­ma­tion and be­gin work­ing on the strate­gic plan,” said Ms. McKay.

Stanstead’s busi­ness devel­op­ment agent, Joanne La­je­unesse McKay, spoke at Mon­day night’s coun­cil meet­ing about the re­sults of the town sur­vey.

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