A total of 25 delegations addressed City Council during the meeting. Issues raised included homelessness, the arts, local non-profit organizations as well as environmental-related initiatives and sidewalks.
Results from the City of Cornwall’s Resident Café event, held on October 29, 2023 at the Cornwall Civic Complex, showed that residents believed that there was a need for more affordable housing as well as modular homes, assistance for residents facing homelessness and affordable rent caps.
Other priorities outlined by residents who attended the Resident Café included:
- Sunday Bus Service
- Protection of forests and wetlands
- Having a climate lens on budget proposals to consider mitigation and adaptation impacts
- Compost delivery
A total of 392 responses were received through an online survey — comparable to another such survey which was released by the City of Cornwall in 2013.
Although survey answers were varied, a common theme was reiterated by several of the respondents — housing affordability and homelessness.
Respondents who identified as being 36 to 60 years old represented 44% of the survey answers, followed by residents between the age of 19 and 35 years old which made up 29% of the answers. And 26% who responded are residents aged 61 and over.
When asked what they considered to be the three biggest issues currently facing the City, most respondents identified Cost of living, Housing Affordability and Property Taxes.
The subject of homelessness was also identified as a key issue for the City of Cornwall.
When asked if they were satisfied with the services provided to them by the Cornwall Fire Service, the Cornwall Police Service and the Cornwall SDG Paramedic Services, most respondents outlined that they were either very satisfied or satisfied.
According to survey answers, Recreational services, Road maintenance as well as Water and Wastewater services were considered to be the best value for tax dollars spent.
On the other hand, the Cornwall Police Service, the Cornwall Fire Service, Bylaw Services and the Museum/Art Centre were considered to be the worst value for tax dollars spent.
Residents who have had to use one or more of the local emergency services (Cornwall Fire Service, Cornwall Police Service and/or Cornwall SDG Paramedic Services) indicated that they were overwhelmingly satisfied or very satisfied with their experience.
When asked for any closing comments, several of the respondents reiterated that homelessness and affordable housing was top of mind, as well as concerns with tax increases due to the rising cost of living.
Residents can find the 2024 Budget survey results by visiting: www.Cornwall.ca/2024budget