What you said about Cornwall budget cuts

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – The preliminary results of an online city survey are in and – no surprise – there are differing opinions on what should be cut to save money.

The city’s budget committee is looking to chop $2.5 million in order to bring the budget to a target of a 4 per cent increase. Right now it’s at 6.3 per cent, after starting at around 7.5 per cent.

There were 732 responses to the Cornwall survey or about 1.5 per cent of the city’s population.

This is the second time during the 2018 budget process that the city has gone to the public for feedback on its fiscal plan. Budget committee members will likely discuss the results during their meeting at 10 a.m. today (Friday).

In the survey, 72 per cent said that the city should eliminate the Big Ben Ski Center. “However, only if studies indicate that usage is minimal and very few people will be affected,” said one respondent. “I don’t find Big Ben visible enough and safe enough,” wrote another.

When it comes to grass cutting, 67 per cent of people said half of Guindon Park could go back to a wild state. But when it comes to reducing grass cutting at other city parks, only 37 per cent said the service should be reduced.

The survey results are somewhat split on closing one of the city’s five outdoor pools in order to save $90,000 this year.

When it comes to outdoor rinks, 60 per cent of respondents said that the city should rely in volunteers instead of using city workers, saving $30,000.

A resounding 83 per cent said the Cornwall Community Museum should be closed during the winter in order to cut $30,000 from its operating budget.

A majority of survey takers also don’t want Handi-Transit or Community Bus Service touched, which would have saved $177,000.

The city received 196 comments in addition to the 18 question survey. You can read more of the survey results and the comments here (opens a PDF).