In deliberating the 2023 budget, the City of Humboldt is taking into account information received from its survey to rate satisfaction and perceived importance of its services. Residents had the opportunity to fill out an online or paper based survey from October 13 - 28. The City is now reflecting on the data gathered to make it a factor in the upcoming budget. One of the key recommendations, outlined in a report by the City Manager, is to complete a comparative study with other Saskatchewan communities to see how Humboldt stacks up in terms of operations and spending.
A recommendation headed to City Council for its December 5 budget meeting is to consider the areas of Out of Scope positions, Mayor and City Council, Museum and Gallery operations, and fleet planning and operations.
The report delineates those factors that respondents rated as “Dissatisfied/Unimportant” versus “Satisfied/Priority Area”. The City has targeted those areas based on relatively low scores from respondents. One of those areas was City Council.
The report notes, “It appears to be a recurring theme from the survey that the public doesn’t prioritize anything considered as administrative or as overhead costs, so it is not surprising that the Activity area of “City Council” ranked low. Because the survey linked the activity area to the cost of each activity there could also be the concern that the cost of the City Council service is simply too high for the community.”
The idea of the comparative study is to see where Humboldt stands in relation to similar communities and to see if any differences will warrant changes in how Humboldt goes about its business in those prescribed areas. The report estimates a cost of $40,000 to conduct benchmark studies using outside consultants. City Administration may be able to lend its services to the studies to mitigate costs.
The proposal will be presented to council at its budget meeting on December 5. The report is available for viewing on the City of Humboldt website.