CITY OF FLUSHING Citizen Survey April 22, 2009
Survey Objectives Establish benchmark for municipal services Determine priorities for expenditures Determine support for planned projects Develop community profile for services Measure quality of services Listen to all residents and avoid the “squeaky wheel syndrome”
Confidence in Responses 2,980 surveys sent to residents – one to every household with a registered voter 3% confidence interval 90% confidence level = 679 responses 95% confidence level = 919 responses 99% confidence level = 1,445 responses 1,102 survey responses received – 97% confidence level achieved
Demographics How many years have you lived in the City of Flushing? 0 to 5 years 145 26 to 30 years 94 6 to 10 years 132 31 to 35 years 99 11 to 15 years 112 36 to 40 years 105 16 to 20 years 116 41 to 45 years 61 21 to 25 years 72 46 + years 101
Demographics – cnt’d Do you have access to a computer? YesNo At home 855 242 At work 420 670 Internet access at home 755 343 68% Internet access at work 385 713
Demographics – cnt’d YesNo Do you subscribe to cable television? 862 211 If yes, are you satisfied with Comcast? 363 523
Demographics – cnt’d In which category is your age? 18 – 24 years 5 25 – 34 years 54 35 – 44 years 110 45 – 54 years 212 55 – 64 years 268 65 – 74 years 213 75 years or older 208
Demographics – cnt’d What was you household’s total annual income in 2007? less than $25,000 98 10% $25,000 - $49,000 296 31% $50,000 - $99,000 374 39% $100,000 - $149,000 132 14% $150,000 - $199,000 32 3% $200,000 or more 29 3%
Demographics – cnt’d 59% of population is still above low to moderate income status. Although Community Development Block Grant funds are allocated by the county for our use, we have very limited ability to spend the money!!!!! Other than a small allocation of funds for senior center operations, from 1996 through 2003, one planning study, an ADA Compliance study and sidewalk ramps were approved for expenditure that did not involve senior center funding. The “County Senior Tax Millage” now provides funding for the senior center. The following projects were denied funding during this period: Handicap access ramp at the bandshell Paving, sewer and water lines on Sharrer Drive (a local street) Jaws of life Maple Street Water lines Trailway switchback ramps (for accessability) Elevator for 309 E. Main St. (approved and revoked) The 2010 Census may identify areas that can be served by the CDBG program.
Demographics – cnt’d YesNo Do any children 12 or under live in your household? 150 925 Do any teenagers between 13 and 17 live in your household? 126 947 Are you or any other member of your household aged 65 or older? 441 632
Quality of Life 1 2 3 4 Please rate your quality of life in the City of Flushing. Excellent Good Fair Poor Overall, how would you describe the quality of life in the City of Flushing? 1.57 How do you rate the overall quality of your neighborhood? 1.73 How do you rate City of Flushing as a place to raise children? 1.60 How do you rate City of Flushing as a place to retire? 1.88 How do you rate City of Flushing as a place for young adults to live? 1.98 Number of respondents 1073
Quality of Life – cnt’d In the past year, how often have you visited downtown Flushing? Daily 273 26% Weekly 533 50% Monthly 120 11% Once in a while 139 13% Don't go 5 >1% Number of respondents 1,073
Quality of Life – cnt’d Please rate each of the following characteristics of the City of Flushing. 1 2 3 4 Excellent Good Fair Poor Feeling welcome in the City of Flushing 1.83 Overall appearance of the City of Flushing 1.76 Opportunities to attend cultural events 2.22 Employment opportunities 3.21 Shopping opportunities 2.66 Access of buildings and service for individuals with disabilities 2.24 Access to affordable housing 2.31 Ease of travel by bicycle 1.93 Ease of travel by walking 1.65 Number of respondents 1,072
Quality of Life cnt’d How safe do you feel? 1 2 3 4 5 Very Reasonably Somewhat Unreasonably Unsafe Walking alone in your neighborhood during the day? 1.22 Walking alone in your neighborhood after dark? 1.82 Walking alone downtown during the day? 1.18 Walking alone downtown after dark? 1.92 Walking in parks during the day? 1.51 Walking in parks after dark? 2.82 Crossing major streets in the City of Flushing? 1.72 Number of respondents 1,075
Quality of Life – cont’d. Please rate how much of a problem, if at all, each of the following is in your neighborhood. 1 2 3 4 5 No Minor Moderate Major Extreme Problem Problem Problem Problem Problem Traffic 1.70 Crime 1.58 Overgrown grass 1.49 Unkempt lots 1.56 Run-down houses and buildings 1.52 Parking vehicles on sidewalks 1.51 Number of respondents 1,070
Quality of Life – cnt’d. Should the City of Flushing make it a priority to build better bike paths? Yes 541 55% No 439 45% Number of respondents 980
Quality of Life – cnt’d. In the last 12 months, how many times have you, or a family member in your home done the following things: 1 2 3 4 Never Rarely Often Frequently Used one of the City’s parks 2.73 Attended the Summer Festival 2.47 Attended a Music in the Park Series event 2.27 Used Tucker Pool 1.43 Visited the Library 2.53 Shopped in Downtown Flushing 2.88 Number of respondents 1,070
City Services Please rate to what extent you agree or disagree with each of the following statements: 1 2 3 4 5 Neither Strongly Agree/ Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Disagree Disagree I receive good value for the City of Flushing government taxes I pay 2.40 I am pleased with the overall direction that the City of Flushing government is taking 2.34 The City of Flushing government welcomes citizen involvement 2.45 The City fairly allocates resources to all areas of the community 2.44 The City addresses the needs of my neighborhood fairly compared to other neighborhoods 2.34 I trust that the City Council and staff do what they say they are going to do 2.41 Number of respondents 1,101
City Services – cnt’d. Please rate the condition of the following within the City of Flushing. 1 2 3 4 Excellent Good Fair Poor Streets 1.96 Park grounds 1.82 Riverview Trail 1.57 Street Trees (in Right of Way) 2.07 Sidewalks 2.24 Athletic Fields 1.99 City owned buildings 2.24
City Services – cnt’d Please rate the quality of each of the following City government services: 1 2 3 4 Excellent Good Fair Poor Refuse collection 1.51 Recycling services 1.56 Leaf pick-up 1.69 Street repairs and maintenance 2.01 Snow and Ice removal – streets 1.56 Street sweeping 2.02 Street lighting 2.01 Property code enforcement 2.30 Building inspections 2.18 Summer recreation programs 1.59 Library services 1.84 Police services 1.70 Fire services 1.64 Ambulance services 1.78 Cemetery maintenance 1.77 Downtown beautification 1.95 Utility billing (water/sewer) 2.05 Water and sewer services 1.92 Enforcement of traffic laws 1.99 Drinking water quality 1.78 Number of respondents 1,071
City employees Have you had telephone or in-person contact with a City of Flushing government employee within the last twelve months (Including receptionists, inspectors, police, administrators, or any others)? Yes 857 82% No 191 18% Number of respondents 1,048
City employees – cnt’d What was your impression of City government employees in your most recent contact? 1 2 3 4 Excellent Good Fair Poor Knowledgeable 1.62 Courteous 1.68 Responsive 1.71 Follow-up (Got back to you or took action) 1.77 Overall customer service 1.68
Communication How much information do you get about the City of Flushing government from each of the following sources: 1 2 3 4 Most A lot Some None Newsletter 2.44 City web site 3.55 Local television 2.93 Local radio 3.43 City Council meetings 3.58 “Word of mouth” 2.67 Number of respondents 1,025
Communication – cont’d Please indicate whether you receive enough information about each of the following City of Flushing government functions. Then indicate how important each item is to you. Amount of information Importance Not About Too * EnoughRightMuchVerySomewhatNot At All Mayor and Council Actions 1.55 * 1.72 Special events 1.78 * 1.75 Construction projects 1.66 * 1.75 Volunteer Opportunities 1.68 * 2.05 Recreation and Park Activities 1.79 * 1.84 New Laws/Ordinances 1.55 * 1.52 Number of respondents 977
Communication – cnt’d Do you find the City newsletter valuable for the following purposes? PercentageYes Actions of the Mayor and Council 44% 425 Information about upcoming events 58% 624 Government Projects 42% 455 Updates on City issues 61% 671 Details of city operations 40% 439 None of it 8% 86
Looking Forward As we plan for the future of the City of Flushing, please circle true or false if you agree or disagree with each of the following statements: TrueFalse I support the continuation of Special Events in Riverview Park 1,025 35 I support the continuation of running events in the city 931 107 I support the expansion of the city trail system 843 194 I support connecting new trails with adjoining communities 673 353 I support aggressive marketing of our community to attract tourism 472 549
Please rate how you feel about the amount of taxes you pay for the services received: 1 2 3 Willing to pay Maintain service Reduce service in taxes to improve “as is” w/no change and reduce this serviceto my taxesmy taxesAverage Fire services 150 857 30 1.88 Street repairs 153 838 40 1.89 Police services 143 832 58 1.92 Street maintenance 112 877 43 1.93 Sidewalk replacement 132 808 89 1.96 Library expansion 236 605 196 1.96 Park maintenance 65 897 70 2.00 Curbside recycling 74 893 72 2.00 Yard waste pick-up 59 919 56 2.00 Special rubbish pickups 77 859 91 2.01 Park improvements 94 818 115 2.05 Summer Recreation program 65 819 140 2.07 Downtown parking 59 815 158 2.09 Main Street beautification 72 785 169 2.09 Senior Center expansion 118 706 201 2.10 Downtown beautification 67 812 153 2.11 Street sweeping 41 819 159 2.14 Tucker Pool replacement 122 582 319 2.19 Public Art Displays 38 657 332 2.28
Looking Forward – cnt’d The following is a list of potential priorities for the City Council. Please rank your top five (5) according to importance, w/ 1 being the MOST Important and 5 being the LEAST important. Average 1. Increase Police service levels 1.99 2. Street maintenance/preservation 2.57 3. Increase Fire service levels 2.69 4. Relocating or expanding Library 2.73 5. Selling old Police Station building 2.92 6. Increased Library services 3.00 7. Relocating and expanding Senior Center 3.10 8. Increase downtown parking 3.27 9. Downtown beautification/aesthetics 3.31 10. Improving the City Web site 3.52 11. Increasing the frequency of City Newsletters 3.62
As the millage vote to convert the former City Hall into a library did not pass, options for future uses of this building are being considered. Any future plans for this building will need resident support, and with this in mind it is important to know which options our citizens would support. The following questions have been designed so that we may proceed in a manner that will assure the City Council of the direction that you would like to see pursued. AgreeDisagree It is important for the city to maintain 36% 64% ownership of this building? 355 609 Would you financially support renovating this building for a public use? 359 600 Should the city continue to fund the maintenance of the building until a new use can be identified? 687 287 Was the lack of your support to fund a library conversion due to Flushing Township’s decision to opt out of a joint funding formula? 457 439 Should the city attempt to lease the building to provide funding for building maintenance? 833 159
Looking Forward – cnt’d Due to significant required updates needed to maintain the existing sewage treatment plant, options need to be considered before considering the financing of improvements to this facility. The options that we are confronted with deal with a decision to maintain our own sewage plant facility, or consider connecting to Genesee County’s system. AgreeDisagree Should the city continue to operate our own sewage plant regardless of cost? 389 505 Should the city base this decision solely on anticipated costs to the residents? 661 276 Should the city consider selling bonds to finance the needed plant upgrades? 665 202
Summary - Demographics Response provides a confidence level of over 95% 62% of residents have lived in the City over 15 years 68% of residents have internet access at home 80% of residents subscribe to Comcast Cable 41% of residents are satisfied with Comcast 84% of residents are over 45 years old 59% of residents annual income exceeds $50,000 13% of households have children under the age of 17
Summary – Quality of Life For all ages and neighborhoods, residents rate every measure of the Quality of Life in Flushing between Good and Excellent Over 76% of residents visit Downtown Flushing at least once per week In Flushing, overall appearance, walkability, travel by bicycle, feeling welcome, cultural events, affordable housing and access for the physically challenged were all rated between good and excellent. Residents rate the neighborhoods, downtown and parks as very safe. Traffic, Parking, Crime, Unkempt lots, house and building condition were rated to be “minor” to “no problem”. 8% of residents use Tucker Pool often or frequently.
Summary – City Services City Services are viewed positively when measuring: Value vs. taxes paid Overall direction of government Resource allocation of areas in community Responsive to needs in neighborhoods The condition of City property is viewed as “Good” to Excellent” The quality of City Services are rated as “Good” to Excellent”
Summary - City Employees Contact with City employees provided an impression of “Good” to “Excellent” when considering knowledge, courtesy, responsiveness, and follow-up to inquiries.
Summary - Communications Residents receive most information about their government from the newsletter, newspaper, television, and word of mouth. Residents receive the least information about their government from the web site, local radio, and monthly meetings. Residents would like more information regarding Council actions, construction projects, new laws, and volunteer opportunities. The newsletter is most useful for upcoming events and City issues.
Summary – Looking forward Strong support was given for Riverview Park special events, Running events, and expansion of the trail system. For every service provided by the city, residents supported maintaining services with no increase or decrease in the taxes. The top 5 priorities, according to importance, were listed as: Increasing Police service levels, Street maintenance, Increasing Fire service levels, Relocating or expanding the library, and Selling the old police station.
Summary – Former City Hall Former City Hall building: 64% of residents disagree that the City should maintain ownership. 63% of residents do not support renovation for a public use. 71% of residents believe in continued maintenance of the building. 84% of residents support leasing the building to provide for building maintenance.
Summary – Sewer Plant Options When considering options to continue maintaining a sewer treatment plant or connecting to the County system: 44% felt that the city should operate our own plant regardless of cost. 71% felt that this decision should be based solely on anticipated costs to the residents. 77% of residents stated that the city should consider selling bonds to finance the needed plant upgrades.
CDBG Funding Question 59% of population is still above low to moderate income status. Although Community Development Block Grant funds are allocated by the county for our use, we have very limited ability to spend the money!!!!! The 2010 Census may identify areas that can be served by the CDBG program.