Recently, the North Grenville Times created an online survey seeking input from North Grenville residents on the prospect of the Municipality of North Grenville acquiring the former Kemptville College. The survey ran for two weeks and 299 people answered the six multiple choice questions, as well as leaving comments on those questions. Below are the results from the survey.
Question #1 asked: “Do you think that the Municipality of North Grenville will be successful in their efforts to acquire the former Kemptville College?” The results were 75% of people responded “YES” and 25% of people responded “NO”. The comments were varied, with some people commenting on things that were asked later in the survey.
Question #2 asked: “Would you be comfortable if the Municipality used money from this year’s budget, or from reserves, in their efforts to acquire the former Kemptville College?”. The results were 77% of people responded “YES” and 23% of people responded “NO”. The majority of the comments were supportive, but somewhat conditional in nature. A number of comments revolved around making sure that the Municipality has a good plan for the former college, and people also wanted more information about the Municipality’s plan.
Question #3 asked: “The Municipality has already spent money on a feasibility study to justify their efforts to acquire the former Kemptville College. How much more money would you be comfortable with the Municipality spending to acquire the former Kemptville College?” The results were: 13.07% of people chose “$100,000 or less”, 16.25% chose “$500,000 or less”, 7.42% chose “$1 million or less”, 46.29% chose “whatever it takes”, and 16.96% chose “None”. This was an interesting question, as it made people choose a specific level of commitment in the form of an amount of money. The most common theme in the comments seemed to be that there wasn’t enough information, but recognition that the former college is a valuable asset.
Question #4 asked: “If the municipality is successful in acquiring the former Kemptville College, would you be comfortable with the Municipality selling off some of the land to pay off any debt, or to pay for anything that might need to be fixed or replaced?” The results were: 16.96% chose “Yes, sell whatever is necessary and some additional reserve money would be good to have”. 50.52% chose “Yes, but only sell as much as absolutely necessary to pay for what is needed.” And 32.53% chose “No, they shouldn’t sell any land”. The most common theme in the comments was the concern about selling the land to developers, and a lack of interest in more residential housing.
Question #5 asked: “If the Municipality was successful in acquiring the former Kemptville College, is it important to you that agricultural education remain a focus for the new facility?” The results were: 64% chose “YES” and 36% chose ‘NO’. In the comments, people seemed to think agricultural education would be a ‘nice to have’, but stated that there would probably be a need for a mixed focus in order for the project to be sustainable, with agricultural education being a part of it.
Question #6 asked: “If agricultural education was not a focus of the new facility, what other uses do you think would make sense?” This question allowed people to choose multiple answers. The results were: 59.38% chose “Local Food and/or Nutrition Research facility”, 40.63% chose “Small Business and/or Economic Development facility”, 30.56% chose “Military Training and/or National Defence facility”, 47.57% chose “Environmental Business and/or Research facility”, 72.92% chose “Mixed Education and Skills Training facility”, 33.33% chose “Health & Wellness or Addiction Treatment facility”, and 61.11% chose “Veterinary or Animal Health Sciences Education and/or Research facility”. In the “Other options or comments” section, 44 people commented and 11 people skipped the question. This may have been the most interesting question in terms of allowing people to express their ideas on the future of the facility. Some of the ideas that were suggested by respondents that were not provided as an option in the survey were: senior living complex, recreational activities, forestry/horticulture education, arts & culture facility, education/training for trades, and a few people suggested an interest in “all of the above”. It’s very clear that people support education and skills training in various fields. They also seem to suggest that a mixed use approach is the best chance of success. People also mentioned agricultural education in the comments. One person made the connection between agriculture and how it has, and could have, a role in some of the choices outlined in the question.
Thank you to those who participated in our survey. Your opinions matter to us. We want to continue to be the ‘Voice of North Grenville’ and, by telling us what’s important to you, it helps us to produce content that you’re interested in hearing and learning about. We’ll regularly post surveys on our social media platforms and on our website. Take the surveys and, when they close, we’ll tell you all about what we learned. Watch for a new survey this Sunday.