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City seeks public input for services review

Survey includes questions on closure of conservatory, Chippewa Park, city-owned golf courses, and Muskeg Express.
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THUNDER BAY – A new survey gives Thunder Bay residents a chance to weigh in on an external review of city services. It also offers a glimpse into a number of services and facilities that could be on the chopping block when that review is presented to city council.

The city recently launched the survey, which can be completed online and will be available until 4:30 p.m. on May 11. The responses will be incorporated into phase two of a review of city services that could have major implications for the future of numerous city services and facilities.

The survey includes general short-answer questions on services like roads, child care, long-term care, and recreation and culture. Respondents are also asked whether they believe the city should increase, decrease, or maintain amenities like aquatic venues, community centres, and campgrounds.

Other questions are more pointed, asking residents their opinion on the closure of specific facilities.

“Should the City divest Conservatory? (i.e. close or sell)” one question reads.

The survey asks similar questions regarding Chippewa Park, city-owned golf courses, and the Muskeg Express at Centennial Park.

The feedback will be incorporated into the services review led by Grant Thornton. A phase one report from the company identified a number of services for closer review, representing about one quarter of the city’s total budget. Those include human resources, corporate information and technology, homes for the aged, child care, fleets and facilities services, recreation and culture, parks, roads, solid waste, water works and waste water services, and the Sister Cities program.

Grant Thornton assures the public the survey is anonymous, saying it will not track individual user information and no individual responses will be shared with the city.