Residents respond to Fayette survey 08.18.2010

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette residents rank industrial development as the top need of the village, while also recognizing the importance of retail development and completion of the sewer separation project.

Survey forms were mailed to a random sample of residents to collect opinion about village services and needs. Respondents also rated their overall level of satisfaction with living in Fayette.

The survey was conducted over the summer in conjunction with an effort to update Fayette’s Comprehensive plan.

Residents were asked to rank 10 issues by their importance for the village and 63 percent placed new industrial development in the top spot. Seventy-three percent placed it among the top three levels of importance.

Retail development wasn’t the top choice of many residents, but 74 percent placed it among the top four levels. Sewer repair and separation was a top-five choice for 71 percent of respondents. Sidewalk repair and replacement appeared among the top five levels for 49 percent.

Appearing at the lower end of the spectrum were new residential development, expanded recreational opportunities and expanded police protection.

Rehabilitation of the central business district, water line improvement and rehabilitation of existing housing were ranked in the middle of importance to the village.

When residents were asked to rank existing services by their importance, police protection and economic development were ranked number one most often. Combining the top three positions, police protection led with 66 percent, followed by utilities and economic development with 59 percent each, street paving with 55 percent and snow removal with 33 percent.

At the low end of the scale were trees, brush removal, recreational activities and recycling.

In a ranking of the quality of services, recycling led the way with 44 percent rating it as excellent. Police protection, snow removal and water/sewer services each received an “excellent” ranking by 15 percent of the respondents.

Nineteen percent rated snow removal as “good,” 17 percent gave the same rating to police services, 13 percent said water/sewer and recreational activities were “good,” and 11 percent said leaf collection was “good.”

At the other end of the scale, economic development was ranked “poor” by 31 percent and street paving was “poor” by 26 percent.

In a question about overall satisfaction, none indicated they were satisfied with the state of the village and 38 percent said they were dissatisfied. The majority, 62 percent, chose “needs improvement.”

Comments written by respondents covered a range of topics, often with conflicting opinions. One person was pleased with the village as it is; another said village officials should “aggressively seek substantial growth in all types of development and services.

Three people mentioned water as a valuable resource of the community, and two of them cautioned against losing that resource to outside sources in need of water.

Efforts to clean up the village (trash, junk cars) were praised by many citizens, but police officers were advised to do more.

“Properties need to be cleaned up for new people to come into town,” one person wrote.

Two people suggested the police department is too large for a small town and another suggested doing away with it completely and contracting services through the county sheriff’s department.

More than one person mentioned the need for additional industrial development and one stated that village services overall cannot improve without additional revenue obtained by a larger industrial base.

One commenter stated that Fayette does not get adequately recognized by county, state and federal officials.

Another citizen’s advice to village council was to keep in mind that not everyone will be satisfied with council’s decisions.

“Do your best to hit the majority and don’t allow yourselves to be backed into a corner,” he said.

Surveys were mailed to 154 residents and 37 citizens responded. The complete results are available on the village website, www.villageoffayette.com.

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