Quality of life gets good marks on city survey

High response rate logged on questionnaire

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Living in Northwest Colorado is just fine by some local residents, at least according to the results of a recent survey done by the city of Craig.

Residents were asked questions about city services, sidewalks, streets, recreation and overall safety.

"I am pretty pleased with the number of surveys that we received," City Manager Jim Ferree said, in reference to the survey's 22 percent response rate. "According to what we heard from everyone, it appears as though people are pretty satisfied with the city services."

The city's refuse/garbage service had the highest percentage of satisfaction among residents with an 80.1 percent satisfaction rate.

Aside from the garbage, satisfaction with water and sewer services ranked second-highest among residents, with 74.9 percent finding Craig's sewer quality and service either acceptable or very acceptable. 64.1 percent of respondents found Craig's water quality and water-related services to be above average.

However, many residents were concerned with the condition of the city's sidewalks 45 percent of found Craig's sidewalks to be very unacceptable, with only 35.9 percent finding them to be average, and 18.8 percent thinking sidewalks are acceptable or very acceptable.

"Right now, the city is working with less revenue than it had last year, so that is going to put most of that work off for a little bit," Ferree said. "Although that is a concern of ours, we really can't do anything until we get more money circulated to pay for these upgrades. Until then, we are going to have to keep focusing on the maintenance of keeping the city up."

The city has looked at a program, similar to one that is being used in Monte Vista, that uses Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) funds to help defray the expenses associated with sidewalk repair or replacement. The program calls for part of the sidewalk to be paid for by the owner, part by the city and the rest covered by DOLA funds.

"We will have to see how our sales tax revenue will go," Councilor Tom Gilchrist said. "[The Monte Vista program] has only been in place a couple of months now, but if it turns out to be successful, that might be a possibility. These programs usually give preference to schools or areas where they can do a bunch of houses at once.

"By doing it that way, it can defray the costs and save both the owners and the city money," Gilchrist said. "It is not definite, but something that is certainly worth looking into."

Another issue residents felt strongly about was the adoption of a city recycling program. 80.6 percent of those surveyed are in favor of either the city or the county offering a recycling program, while 19.4 percent think things are fine the way they are now.

"Our family moved to Montrose for three years where they have a recycling program," Gilchrist said. "You don't realize exactly how much you can actually make a difference until you move back to a city that doesn't have an ordinance. It is going to be important for us to recycle in the future, as are most of the larger cities in Colorado, so that is something that we are going to have to look into."

What community feature is most important to your
satisfaction with Craig?

Good place 164 17.4%
to raise kids
Size of town 149 15.8%
Natural 112 11.9%
environment
Employment 103 10.9%
Opportunities
Housing 74 7.8%
affordability
Cost of living 56 5.9%
Neighborliness 53 5.6%
Recreational 47 5.0%
opportunities
Medical services 40 4.2%
Quality of 39 4.1%
K-12 education
Crime rate 25 2.7%
Community 19 2.0%
spirit and pride
Other 19 2.0%
Rate of growth 17 1.8%
Appearance 15 1.6%
Community 11 1.2%
involvement

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