Summerland is a good place to live and a very good place to retire, but the community falls short as a place to work, according to the results of a citizen survey conducted by the municipality.
In June, a 10-page survey was sent to 1,000 households, asking for ideas and opinions about the community. By the end of July, 387 had been returned.
Almost 90 per cent said quality of life in Summerland is good or very good and more than 80 per cent said Summerland is a good or very good place to retire.
As a place to work, the community got lower marks as more than 35 per cent said it was a poor or very poor place to work.
Mayor Janice Perrino said the work opportunities in Summerland remain a concern, especially since some major employers have left town in recent years.
She said there are some optimistic about future employment opportunities in Summerland.
“The future for Summerland is very exciting,” she said.
She explained that the Wharton Street project and a proposed development at a cannery site on Lakeshore Drive will both provide employment opportunities, as will a new industrial park.
While Summerlanders appreciate the community, many of the respondents said taxes should not increase.
The survey showed 50 per cent of those who responded would want the same or a reduced level of municipal services and projects, with taxes unchanged. Another 10 per cent wanted reduced municipal services in exchange for lower taxes.
One in three would advise municipal council to improve municipal projects and services with higher taxes. Seven per cent offered no opinion.
At the same time, many were satisfied with the value they receive for the taxes they pay.
Fewer than 17 per cent disagreed or strongly disagreed that they were receiving good value.
For capital projects, 53 per cent of those who responded to the survey said the municipality should borrow funds to get the work done while 47 per cent said the money should be set aside to complete projects later.