West Chester Twp. is already ranked as one of the top places to live in the country, now officials are surveying the community to help plan a vision for the future of the township.
“Just because you are number one doesn’t mean that you cannot improve,” Trustee Lee Wong said. “We want to get feedback from the community, how can we do better. That’s how you raise the bar another level.”
The township is the top place to live in Ohio and one of the best in the nation for many years, according to Money Magazine.
The township has commissioned a survey from the National Research Center for $15,600 — they received $8,500 from the 2019 Duke Energy Powerful Communities Local Impact Grant to put toward the project — and 1,500 residents, randomly selected, will receive the five-page, 132-question survey at the end of June, according to Assistant Township Administrator Lisa Brown.
She said the national company estimates it takes about 20 minutes to complete the questionnaire and they expect to get 300 to 400 responses. Residents have two weeks to return the survey. Trustee Board President Mark Welch said he hopes people will take the time to participate.
“I’m hoping this goes to enough people that want to take the time and are engaged in the community to the point they go ‘you know what, this is worthwhile, I guess it’s worth me spending the time,’” Welch said.
Ther 13 sections in the survey ask residents to rank the township on government services like police and fire; things like the availability of affordable, quality housing, food, child care and health care and it also asks people how often they use things like parks and the library.
Trustee Ann Becker said she submitted a “custom” question on how people get information on the township. She said the answers will help the township craft a vision for the future.
“I want to know what the residents’ impressions are of the township, its services and where they want to go in the future,” she said. “We’re at a point in our development where we are going to start making some choices about where we want to go in the next phase of our township’s existence and the citizens’ input is very important.”
Brown said they hired the national firm because they wanted a “statistically valid survey that can be used for potential decision-making purposes.”
Township Administrator Larry Burks is pulling together a vision plan committee and the survey is part of that process. Becker said first they will convene a task force to review the old vision plan “so that we have a firm understanding of what we were directing toward in the past and did we achieve those goals. And is there something in that old plan that we might want to use as a basis for the new one.”
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