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Survey says: Port Moody residents willing to pay more to keep services

A new Ipsos Reid survey shows Port Moody residents have a love-hate relationship with growth and development in the city.

A new Ipsos Reid survey shows Port Moody residents have a love-hate relationship with growth and development in the city.

In the survey, 98% of residents rated their quality of life as "good" (31%) or "very good" (68%), a perception that has remained largely the same since the last survey in 2012.

Topping the reasons why residents enjoy living in Port Moody was parks, trails and recreation (19%), a change from the 2012 survey in which better shopping (19%) was cited as the top reason to love PoMo.

And while growth and development came in second (17%) among the ways quality of life has improved, it was also cited as the number one reason (38%) why quality of life has worsened, followed closely by "too much traffic" (29%).

"The fact that growth and development is provided as a reason for both an improving and worsening quality of life suggests residents have conflicting views on the impact growth has had on the community," according to Ipsos.

The survey also found that residents feel they get good value for their tax dollars, and they want it to stay that way.

"Citizens would rather pay increased taxes than see existing services cut," the survey notes, though the emphasis should be on maintaining services and not expanding them.

Residents are particularly happy with the city's parks and trails, the library, garbage and recycling and emergency services, however there was the least amount of satisfaction with bylaw enforcement and land use and community planning.

Asked for ideas on how to generate new, non-taxation revenue, residents suggested reducing staff/salaries, more paid parking and raising or adding user fees.

Mayor Mike Clay said the surveys help gauge the impact of changes in the community.

"It's a constant reminder that transportation issues are top of mind for people, and we're also seeing differences in the ways people are engaging with the city," he said, noting residents are relying less on mail and newspapers and more on email and social media for city-related news.

This year's survey included a question on debt financing for new amenities, with results showing two-thirds of residents are not in favour of taking on more city debt. Clay said it shows people don't feel there is a need for more amenities right now.

"People are also willing to see their taxes rise for environmental issues, so we can see where their passion lies," Clay said of the survey, which found residents wanted the city to be a leader in protecting the environment, even if it meant higher taxes.

For the survey, Ipsos Reid conducted 400 telephone interviews with randomly selected PoMo residents aged 18 years and older. Results were deemed accurate to within 4.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.