The HIRA 2024 taxation budget survey results

Members and friends of HIRA;

HIRA would like to thank all those people who took the time to respond to our survey.

Below are the results. They have been forwarded to our township council for their consideration.

The township of Frontenac islands has subsequently  posted their own survey for your consideration

We encourage all to follow the link and help the council with the decision process.

The questions in the  council survey are quite different from the open ended question or membership 

responded to in the HIRA survey.

Frontenac Islands Township Council 2024 Budget Survey

HIRA  2024 taxation budget consideration survey results:

How should they spend or not spend our 2024 tax dollars?

Question 1: Summarize this survey


The survey you’ve uploaded contains numerous responses from individuals providing feedback

on how they believe tax dollars should be allocated in 2024. The responses vary but here’s a summarized view of the main points:

Ferry Services and Infrastructure: 

A significant concern among respondents is the state of the ferry services. They suggest investing in new ferries, improving the current ones,

and even considering the construction of a bridge as a long-term solution. There’s a strong

emphasis on resolving issues related to ferry capacity, reliability, and overall service quality.

Road Maintenance and Infrastructure: Many responses highlight the need for

improved road conditions on the island. Suggestions include more effective pothole repairs,

dealing with dust issues, and general maintenance to ensure safe and comfortable travel.

Community Amenities: Several respondents want enhancements to local community

spaces, including the completion of projects like washrooms at Patrick Norris Park. There’s also

interest in developing a community hall and recreational areas, including jogging and fitness


Environmental Concerns and Land Use: Some individuals express concern over

environmental issues, including the control of noxious weeds and the protection of shorelines.

They suggest investing in environmental sustainability initiatives.

Financial Management: There are calls for prudent financial management, with

suggestions to avoid unnecessary spending, focus on essential services, and build reserve

funds for critical infrastructure projects, particularly concerning the ferries and roads.

Communication and Governance: A few responses touch on the need for better

communication from township authorities and a desire for more transparency in budgeting and

spending. There’s also mention of exploring de-amalgamation for more local control.

Public Services and Safety: There are mentions of supporting fire and rescue services,

ensuring preparedness for emergencies, particularly given the island’s unique access


The survey reflects a community keenly interested in infrastructural improvements,

environmental stewardship, and fiscal responsibility. The emphasis is clearly on creating a safe,

accessible, and sustainable environment for all residents.

Question 2: What are the suggestions for “Ferry Services and Infrastructure?”


The respondents in the survey provided several suggestions regarding ferry services and

infrastructure, emphasizing the critical role these services play in the community’s daily life.

Here’s a summary of the main suggestions:

Upgrade Current Ferries: Community members suggest investing in the existing

ferries’ upgrade to enhance their reliability and service quality. This includes mechanical

upgrades, regular maintenance, and possibly expanding the ferries’ capacity to handle more

vehicles and passengers.

Invest in New Ferries: Some respondents advocate for setting aside funds to invest in

new ferries altogether. They believe that more modern and efficient ferries will mitigate current

service issues and cater to the growing community and its needs.

Improve Ferry Terminals: There are calls for improvements in the infrastructure of ferry

terminals, including the construction of new waiting and service areas, better docking facilities,

and possibly amenities like public washrooms.

Establish a Ferry Replacement Fund: Some community members suggest creating a

dedicated fund for future ferry replacement, emphasizing the need to plan for the long term. This

fund would ensure that necessary resources are available when the community needs to

replace aging ferries.

Explore Alternative Solutions: A notable suggestion is exploring the construction of a

bridge to replace the ferry service in the long term. While this is a significant infrastructural

undertaking, respondents who support this idea see it as a permanent solution to ongoing ferry

service challenges.

Enhance Service Monitoring: Implementing measures like cameras to monitor ferry

lines, providing real-time updates on ferry locations and wait times, and other technology-driven

solutions to improve user experience.

Address Staffing Issues: Respondents are concerned about staff shortages affecting

ferry services, suggesting that steps be taken to ensure that sufficient staff are available to keep

the ferries running efficiently and on schedule.

Community Engagement and Planning: Calls for more transparent and inclusive

decision-making processes regarding ferry services, allowing community members to have input

into service enhancements, schedules, and future planning.

These suggestions indicate a strong desire within the community for substantial investments in

ferry services, recognizing their essential role in maintaining the quality of life, economic

activities, and overall connectivity of the area.

Question 3: What are the suggestions for “Road Maintenance and Infrastructure?”


The suggestions for “Road Maintenance and Infrastructure” from the survey responses focus on

several key areas to improve the overall quality, safety, and longevity of the roadways. Here’s a

detailed breakdown:

Pothole and Damage Repair: Respondents emphasize the need for more effective and

durable solutions for potholes and other road damages. This includes using higher-quality

materials for repairs and possibly employing more advanced or professional techniques rather

than temporary fixes that quickly deteriorate.

Road Resurfacing and Reconstruction: There are calls for comprehensive road

resurfacing projects, particularly for the most heavily used or deteriorated roads. This might

involve complete reconstruction in some areas to ensure a longer-lasting solution, especially in

parts where the foundation or structure of the road has been compromised.

Improved Drainage Systems: Community members highlight the need to address road

flooding and water damage by improving drainage systems alongside or beneath roadways.

Proper drainage can prevent a range of issues, from minor road surface damage to major

structural failures.

Dust Control Measures: For unpaved roads, there’s a concern about dust produced by

traffic. Suggestions include applying dust suppressants, paving gravel roads, or establishing

regular watering schedules during dry periods to keep dust levels down.

Traffic Management and Safety Features: Suggestions include implementing more

traffic signs, speed bumps, or other traffic-calming measures in areas with high accident rates or

where pedestrians are at risk. Also, improved street lighting, better road markings, and visible

pedestrian crossings for safer roadways.

Regular Maintenance Schedule: Respondents likely advocate for a regular and

transparent maintenance schedule, ensuring that roads are routinely checked and maintained

before minor issues become major problems. This approach could also involve more consistent

communication with residents about upcoming road work.

Investment in Maintenance Equipment: Some community members suggest that the

local government invest in its own road maintenance equipment (if it doesn’t already), 

such as proper machinery for repairs, maintenance trucks, etc., to avoid the delays and costs associated

with contracting these services out.

Environmental and Scenic Considerations: In areas where road work might impact

the local environment or the scenic value of the area, suggestions might include using specific

construction methods or materials that minimize environmental impact or even enhance the

area’s aesthetic value.

Community Input and Reporting System: Establishing a system for residents to report

road issues promptly and efficiently, and ensuring there’s a transparent process for how these

reports are handled, prioritized, and addressed.

These suggestions indicate a community deeply concerned with the practical, aesthetic, and

safety aspects of their road infrastructure, advocating for proactive, consistent, and quality-

focused approaches to road maintenance and improvement.

Question 4: What are the suggestions for “Community Amenities?”


The suggestions for “Community Amenities” reflect a desire to enhance the quality of life on

the island and foster a sense of community. Here’s a detailed overview based on the survey


Parks and Recreational Spaces: Respondents suggest completing existing projects

and enhancing public parks, including installing new playground equipment, creating picnic

areas, and maintaining public green spaces. They also propose the development of new

recreational facilities, such as sports fields, public swimming pools, or basketball courts.

Community Centers and Public Spaces: There’s a call for the construction or

improvement of community centers that can serve as hubs for social events, educational

programs, and meetings. These centers might include features like public kitchens, meeting

rooms, and event spaces. Additionally, they suggest utilizing these centers for cultural events,

local history exhibits, and community classes (like art, fitness, or cooking).

Trails and Outdoor Activities: Community members advocate for the development

and maintenance of trails for walking, biking, and jogging. This includes creating fitness trails

with workout stations, ensuring accessibility for individuals with disabilities, and possibly

developing guided nature trails to encourage outdoor education.

Public Restrooms and Facilities: The installation and upkeep of public restrooms,

especially in high-traffic areas such as parks, ferry terminals, and community centers, are seen

as essential. These facilities should be well-maintained, accessible, and equipped with

necessary features like baby-changing stations.

Beautification Projects: Respondents support community beautification projects such

as planting trees, creating community gardens, installing benches and public art, and

maintaining roadside landscapes. These efforts contribute to a welcoming and aesthetically

pleasing environment.Safety and Security Enhancements: Suggestions include installing adequate lighting

in public areas, establishing neighborhood watch programs, and possibly installing emergency

call stations in key locations. These measures aim to ensure residents feel safe using

community amenities at any time.

Event Organization and Community Building: Community members express the

desire for more organized public events, such as festivals, markets, concerts, and parades.

These events can foster a sense of community, attract visitors, and provide economic benefits

to local vendors and businesses.

Environmental Conservation Initiatives: Some respondents advocate for amenities

that also promote environmental conservation, such as recycling stations, educational signage

about local wildlife and plant life, and initiatives encouraging community cleanup of public


Infrastructure for Non-Motorized Transportation: There are suggestions for improved

infrastructure supporting non-motorized transportation, like expanded bike lanes, bike racks in

public areas, and safe pedestrian paths connecting key community locations.

Accessibility Improvements: Ensuring that all community amenities are accessible to

individuals with disabilities is a priority. This includes wheelchair-accessible facilities, auditory

and visual aids in public spaces, and other accommodations as needed.

These suggestions indicate a community eager to enhance public spaces and services,

emphasizing inclusivity, environmental stewardship, safety, and activities that foster a strong

sense of community cohesion and pride.

Question 5: What are the suggestions for “Environmental Concerns and Land Use?”


The suggestions for “Environmental Concerns and Land Use” in the context of the community

feedback seem to be scattered and not consolidated into a specific section. However, based on

the various individual comments and the general tone of community input, we can deduce

several key points that might fall under this category:

Control and Management of Invasive Species: There are concerns about harmful

weeds and invasive species affecting local flora. Residents may suggest organized efforts to

control or eradicate these invaders, possibly through community clean-up events, educational

programs, or professional extermination services.

Environmental Sustainability Practices: Some community members emphasize a

general principle of environmental protection without specifying particular strategies. This broad

concern could translate into suggestions for recycling programs, conservation initiatives,

renewable energy promotion, and educational campaigns about eco-friendly practices.

Land Use Regulations: While not explicitly stated, there might be an underlying

preference for strict land use regulations that protect natural areas from overdevelopment.

This could involve preserving certain areas from construction, maintaining green spaces, or

implementing zoning laws that restrict industrial or high-density residential expansion.

Water and Shoreline Protection: Indirect references to environmental issues might

also encompass water quality and shoreline protection, suggesting community interest in

preventing pollution, managing runoff, maintaining natural water habitats, and perhaps

organizing community monitoring of local water bodies.

Community-led Environmental Initiatives: There may be an interest in community-

driven initiatives, such as creating or maintaining community gardens, establishing local wildlife

refuges, or organizing tree planting events. These grassroots efforts could be part of a larger

strategy to promote environmental stewardship within the community.

Infrastructure Development with Environmental Consideration: Any suggestions

regarding infrastructure improvement (like roads, ferries, or community buildings) might also

imply a need to conduct these developments with environmental sensitivity, ensuring that

construction or upgrades don’t harm local ecosystems.

Climate Change Preparedness: Although not directly mentioned, contemporary

environmental discussions often include the impact of climate change. Residents might support

initiatives that prepare the community for potential climate-related changes, such as increased

storm events, shoreline erosion, or temperature extremes.

These points are extrapolated from the general sentiments expressed in the community

feedback and may not represent direct quotations from the text. The actual document appears

to focus more on immediate, tangible concerns like transportation and community facilities

rather than on detailed environmental strategies.

Question 6: What are the top five suggestions for “Financial Management?”


The top five suggestions for “Financial Management” based on the community feedback are:

Enhanced Transparency in Budgeting: Residents express a need for greater clarity

regarding financial decisions. They seek detailed information on how funds are allocated, spent,

and managed, suggesting that the council provide regular, comprehensible updates on financial


Focused Investment in Ferry Services: There’s a strong call for prioritizing funding for

ferry services, including maintenance, potential upgrades, or replacements. Community

members see this as a critical area needing immediate attention and substantial investment.

Efficient Road and Infrastructure Upkeep: Consistent mentions are made about

maintaining and improving road conditions. Efficient use of funds in this area, avoiding

overspending, and ensuring high-quality work is a common suggestion. 

Reevaluation of Expenditures: Residents suggest a thorough review of current

spending, advocating for cutting unnecessary costs and focusing on essential services and

projects. They want assurance that their tax dollars are being used wisely and not being wasted

on non-essential items.

Establishment of Reserve Funds: There are suggestions to start or maintain reserve

funds for significant future expenses, such as new ferries or other substantial infrastructure

projects. This forward-thinking approach is seen as a way to prepare for inevitable expenses

without sudden tax increases or service cuts.

These suggestions reflect a community keen on strategic, transparent, and prudent financial

planning, ensuring that essential services are maintained and future needs are considered.

Question 7: What are the top five suggestions for “Communication and Governance?”


The document provides a wide range of individual comments and suggestions regarding various

aspects of community life and governance. However, it doesn’t categorize these into a

consolidated list specifically for “Communication and Governance.” Based on the feedback,

here are the top five suggestions related to this area:

Improve Communication Channels: Residents desire better and more transparent

communication from the council, especially regarding financial decisions, project updates, and

general community issues. They suggest more regular updates and possibly the use of modern

communication tools or platforms.

Enhance Community Engagement: There’s a call for more opportunities for community

input in decision-making, possibly through public forums, community meetings, surveys, or

suggestion boxes. Residents want to feel their opinions are heard and considered in

governance decisions.

Financial Transparency: People are asking for clear, detailed explanations of budget

decisions, including the rationale behind expenditures and future financial planning. This

transparency would extend to all areas of community spending.

Focus on Essential Services: A significant portion of the feedback emphasizes

focusing resources and attention on essential services like ferry operations, road maintenance,

and emergency services. Residents would like clear, ongoing communication about the status

and plans for these critical services.

Strategic Planning for the Future: Community members are looking for more

information on long-term strategic planning, including preparations for future large expenditures

(like new ferries), infrastructure upgrades, and environmental sustainability efforts. They want to

ensure that there’s a long-term vision guiding current decisions. These suggestions indicate a 

community keen on being actively involved in decision-making processes, with a strong emphasis 

on transparency, communication, and prudent planning for the future.

Question 8: What are the top suggestions for “Public Services and Safety?”


The community feedback highlights several concerns and suggestions regarding public services

and safety, particularly focusing on fire and rescue services and the unique challenges posed by

the island’s geography. Here are the top suggestions:

Enhanced Support for Fire and Rescue Services: Residents suggest bolstering local

fire and rescue capabilities. This could involve investing in new equipment, providing additional

training for emergency personnel, or even expanding the local fire and rescue team to ensure

rapid response times.

Emergency Access and Evacuation Planning: Given the island’s reliance on ferry

services, there’s a call for clear, robust plans for emergency evacuations. This planning would

ensure safe, orderly evacuations during major emergencies and might involve alternative

evacuation routes or methods.

Reliable Ferry Services for Emergency Situations: The community emphasizes the

need for dependable ferry services, not just for daily commuting but specifically for

emergencies. Suggestions include dedicated ferry resources for emergency vehicles or priority

boarding systems for such situations.

Community Education and Preparedness Programs: Residents see value in

educational programs that increase individual preparedness. These could include guidance on

what to do in various emergency scenarios, first aid training, fire safety courses, and community


Infrastructure to Support Emergency Services: There’s interest in ensuring that

necessary infrastructure is in place to support emergency services effectively. This could mean

guaranteed power supplies for critical facilities, well-maintained roads for emergency vehicle

access, or designated emergency shelters.

Collaboration with Nearby Services: Some suggestions might include forming

partnerships with emergency services in nearby areas to ensure backup support during

significant incidents, facilitating quicker response times when local resources are stretched thin.

These suggestions collectively aim to enhance the safety and security of the island’s residents,

particularly in emergency scenarios, by ensuring that both the community and local services are

well-prepared and adequately supported.

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