By a wide margin, repair of city streets was cited as a top priority in a survey recently conducted by the City of Delta.
In July, 400 each of two separate surveys were mailed to randomly selected city residents.
Each survey had a slightly different focus, but together they solicited information from citizens about their perceptions of Delta and their use of community facilities. City manager Justin Clifton recently presented the results to Delta City Council, alongside responses from 2006, the last time citizens were surveyed. That year, the surveys were mailed to every household in the community and the response rate was 29%. For the 800 surveys mailed in July, the response rate was 44%. Those 65 and older accounted for about 42% of the responses.
Deferred street maintenance has also been cited as a concern by staff and council members during budget work sessions. No repairs have been made to city streets since 2005, Clifton said. The city has about 64 miles of streets, with a life cycle estimated at 25 years. "So if we're not doing 2 to 2 1/2 miles a year, we're not keeping up," Clifton said. "I would like to help fix that problem."
"Every year the streets are in worse condition," councilmember Bill Raley said at a budget work session. "We can't continue to ignore the problem."
Listed second was expansion of law enforcement, followed by the need for better code enforcement. Effectiveness of the Delta Police Department was viewed favorably overall, but citizens expressed a desire for better enforcement of speed/traffic laws as well as more effective animal control. That hasn't changed much since 2006 — even then 49% of the city residents thought animal control could be improved. In 2013, 63 percent of citizens said overall they are satisfied with the services provided by Delta Police Department; an even higher percentage (66%) believe the DPD is maintaining a safe community.
Code enforcement complaints zeroed in on ineffective enforcement of ordinances dealing with weeds and trash. Only 40% of residents rated those efforts "favorable."
Coming in at fourth among the top priorities was improved recycling facilities. Trash collection and the fall clean-up program received high marks, but 32% of respondents rated recycling services poor or fair.
Construction of new sidewalks was number five. Sidewalk maintenance was also viewed unfavorably.
Other high priorities were youth services/activities and investment in downtown beautification. City residents see little need to expand the mural program, improve playground facilities, develop new parks, create more events such as Deltarado Days or upgrade Horse Country Arena.
In a separate question about facility use, 90% of respondents say they never use Horse Country Arena; 76% never use Devil's Thumb Golf Course. Confluence Park, Cleland Park, Bill Heddles Recreation Center and city trails are the most utilized.
Overall, 82% rated the city as a favorable place to live, compared to 83% of the respondents in 2006. The sense of community has been enhanced, while travel is viewed as more difficult within the city. The downtown area has lost some points, specifically among those looking for more shopping choices.
When asked about the overall direction the city is taking, 53% of respondents say the city is heading in the right direction (compared to 58% in 2006).blog comments powered by Disqus