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Posted on: November 27, 2023

Community Survey Data Highlights Residents’ Satisfaction and Priorities

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Montrose, CO — City of Montrose leaders have gained valuable insights into the community’s perception of city services and important community issues, thanks to a comprehensive report detailing the results of the city’s 2023 Community Survey.  

The survey, conducted by ETC Institute, a national organization with 40 years of experience with community surveys and engagement research, highlights shifts in public opinion since the city’s 2016 Community Survey and places local measures of citizen satisfaction in context with those from communities in the Mountain Region and across the U.S. Based on the number of surveys that were completed, the survey results have a 95% level of confidence with a precision of at least +/- 4.8%.

“Information gathered from the survey is valuable in identifying areas where the city organization is excelling as well as those where renewed emphasis or improvement is needed,” said David Spear, the city’s coordinator for the survey project. “It is also very helpful for city leaders to see how priorities that emerge from the survey align with projects and initiatives that are either planned or already underway.”

The survey report shows that residents have an overall positive perception of the City of Montrose. For items that influence respondents’ perceptions of the community, the overall quality of life in Montrose topped the list with 83% responding that they are either “satisfied” or “very satisfied”, followed by the city as a place to live (81%), and the appearance of community parks (75%). The areas of greatest dissatisfaction were access to quality affordable housing, showing only 10% satisfaction compared to 31% in 2016, followed by the cost of living at 29% satisfaction compared to 45% in 2016.

Satisfaction with city services is higher in Montrose than in other communities throughout the U.S. in 31 of 47 areas and significantly higher (5% or more) in 24 areas. 

Areas where city services significantly exceed national benchmarks for citizen satisfaction include trash & recycling, quality of city parks & open spaces, customer service, quality of police services, and effectiveness of city communications with the public. 

Areas where ratings for city services were significantly lower by regional or national comparisons were: traffic flow & congestion management, condition of city streets, crime prevention efforts, adequacy of street lighting, and maintenance of sidewalks.

Comparisons with the city’s 2016 Community Survey, also administered by ETC Institute, revealed some significant shifts in citizen satisfaction. Overall, satisfaction with city services has increased in 50 of 93 areas, stayed the same in 1 of 93 areas, and decreased in 42 of 93 areas. Notable increases in satisfaction since 2016 were:

  • Ease of Travel by Car (+14%)
  • Availability of Paved Walking/Biking Trails (+12%)
  • Customer Service at Retail Businesses (+10%)
  • Downtown Visitor Center (+9%)
  • Availability of Bike Lanes (+9%)
  • Job Opportunities (+9%) 

030719MontroseCO_001Areas of notable decreases in satisfaction since 2016 were:

  • Access to Quality Affordable Housing (-21%)
  • Cost of Living (-16%)
  • Crime Prevention Efforts (-14%)
  • Enforcement of Codes and Ordinances (-11%)
  • Visibility of Police Officers (-11%)
  • Feeling of Safety in City Parks (-11%)

To help the city identify investment priorities for the next two years, the survey included an importance-satisfaction analysis that examined the importance residents placed on each city service combined with their level of satisfaction. By identifying services of high importance and low satisfaction, the analysis identified city services where improvement will have the most impact on overall satisfaction with city services over the next two years. Traffic flow and congestion topped the list, followed by the condition of city streets, the enforcement of city codes and ordinances, and affordable housing. For public safety, the city’s crime prevention efforts, enforcement of local traffic laws, and code enforcement emerged as the top priorities.

In the area of city maintenance, respondents placed the maintenance of city streets, sidewalks, and major roadways as their top priorities.

For projects that would be most beneficial in beautifying the community, improvements to the city's northern gateway (N Townsend/Hwy 50) was the top choice, followed by public parking lots and downtown alleyways, the city's eastern gateway (Highway 50), and undergrounding of overhead utilities. For the community’s parks system, walking/biking trails, restrooms, and shade trees/structures were the most preferred amenities or improvements.

Community issues that participants thought should receive the most attention from community organizations over the next three years, in order of priority, were lack of affordable housing, homelessness, and drug abuse/addiction.

To understand how well services are being delivered in different areas of the city, the home addresses of respondents to the survey were used to geocode responses. This information makes it possible to analyze survey results for specific areas of the city. 

An interactive “data dashboard”, available on the city’s website, allows the public to take a very customizable and in-depth look at the survey results, including survey data points from specific geographical areas within the city.

The full survey report and interactive data dashboard are available on the city’s website at CityofMontrose.org/Survey.

View the 2023 Community Survey presentation to the City Council at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBgDzfXRAQ0

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