Village seeks input

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CREMONA – The village will soon be sending out a Citizen Satisfaction Survey to residents after council approved the questionnaire at the regular meeting on Jan. 17.

Luana Smith, CAO, said the questions will soon be available online as well as through the mail.

“We want people to rate how they feel about council and staff,” said Smith. “We also want to know what they think the vision should be for the village.

“We just purchased the United Church (a deal that goes through at the end of the month) so we’re asking what people visualize the future vision of the facility and grounds as.”

Smith said council also opened the survey up to nearby county residents.

Residents will have to identify where they live, she said. “We do so much with the county and service the area.”

Some of the questions include: Where do you get information on village services and information? How satisfied are you with the quality of service provided re: emergency services, library, recreation facilities, parks and pathways, snow removal etc.?

“We don’t run the recreation facilities but it’s good to know that information and share it with the other organizations,” she said.

In other council news, the village transferred $49,000 from the operating contingency reserve in order to purchase the Cremona United Church from the United Church of Canada.

“It was a total of $50,000 but we had already put $1,000 down,” she said. “You need a resolution before transferring funds from reserves. It will all be completed by January 31.”

The village is also looking for four community members to sit on a remuneration committee to help review what councillors are paid and how that compares to other villages.

“They would then make recommendations for the next council,” she said. “We’ll be advertising that soon.”

Meanwhile, the Cremona Community Chest is once again set to help out a number of charities through door-to-door soliciting.

Cremona and area residents can expect to see volunteers at their doorstep in April asking for a donation of any size.

Dave Street is the chair for the group and he told the Gazette it’s always a challenge to get enough canvassers.

“We usually start the beginning of April,” said Street. “All our volunteers will go out and collect from people. It’s always difficult to get enough canvassers and to cover the entire area.

“We have quite a large area with many remote locations. If we could get everyone that would be wonderful.”

Street said they appreciate the volunteers but don’t try to make them do too much.

“We let them do what they normally do,” he said. “We go from year to year. If there are new houses we get them later.”

The canvassing wraps up the first week of May, said Street. After the money is collected it is divided equally between 19 different charities.

In addition, Street said they also keep a pool of about $3,000 to help out with local families that may have suffered damage through fires.

Last year the group collected more than $42,000 for the various charities.

“We have lots of happy charities,” he said. “Some of the charities are not commonly known but have affected families in this area. You might see a charity you don’t recognize such as the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society. It’s located in Vancouver and is related to iron in the blood. It can cause death, which it did in our community.

“One of our residents’ family member passed away from that and it wasn’t diagnosed at the time. They’re not that well known, but they’re always happy to receive any funding we can give them.”

Street isn’t exactly sure when the Cremona Community Chest started but he figures it was probably the late 1960s.

“Now we collect over $40,000,” he said. “Each year we seem to do better than the previous. Back then it was probably just a few thousand dollars.”

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Craig Lindsay

Craig Lindsay is a reporter with the Mountain View Gazette who joined the newspaper in 2016. He covers news, sports and community events in Didsbury, Carstairs and Cremona. He is a photographer and columnist as well.