FILE — Aerial picture of the New Denver Garlic Festival (Isaac Ramana Carter/Special to Arrow Lakes News)

Kootenay Village explores resident attraction and retention

The Village of New Denver wants to know how satisfied residents are.

Quality of life is a common reason people choose to live and settle in small rural communities.

Working in partnership with the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute (RDI) at Selkirk College, the Village of New Denver wants to know how satisfied residents are. This new research project will survey current residents, asking them what they think and feel about community well-being and livability on the shores of Slocan Lake.

“Local governments play an important role in the quality of life as we deliver many services and manage several community assets,” said Village of New Denver Mayor, Ann Bunka. “I look forward to all residents sharing their views through this community survey, helping us better understand peoples’ needs and interests, and informing our decision-making.”

The research project’s primary focus is a community perception survey which was designed to understand residents’ views, with a keen interest in resident attraction and retention. The population of New Denver is shrinking, recorded by the Census at 538 residents in 2001, 504 in 2011, and 473 in 2016. The survey asks residents straight up, “What population would you like to see for the Village within the next 10 years?”

A similar question was posed in a 2007 survey, and results showed that most people want to see the Village grow at least a little bit.

“The survey takes about 15 minutes, and invites residents to share what’s important to their quality of life, their level of satisfaction with services, why they moved here, and if they plan to stay,” said Nadine Raynolds with the RDI. “A few particular questions allow us to assess the local “sense of community”, including calculating the Community Well-Being Index – an index that measures how attached and positive residents feel about living in their community, and about the future of the community”.

While the survey is created to assist with community planning and decision-making by the Village of New Denver, residents of Silverton and RDCK Area H North are invited to share their views. Part-time residents are also encouraged to take the survey and are asked if, in the future, they intend to make New Denver and area their full time home.

All members of all households in New Denver and area are invited to take the online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NewDenverArea. The survey is open from Oct. 19 to Nov. 13, 2017. Hardcopies are also available at the Village office (see http://newdenver.ca/ for office hours).

Survey results will be available in early 2018.

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