Castle Rock is preparing to send out its next community survey — the town's broadest effort to gauge how residents and businesses view their community. The town has solicited feedback through the …
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Castle Rock is preparing to send out its next community survey — the town's broadest effort to gauge how residents and businesses view their community.
The town has solicited feedback through the surveys on a wide number of topics in odd years since 2011.
Questions in 2019 will include broader topics about the quality of life in Castle Rock and the quality in services but will also address more specific town issues, like asking residents' opinion on the town's grocery tax, which council has debated eliminating in the past.
Deputy Town Manager Kristin Zagurski said at a presentation to the town council on Jan. 22 that the survey needs at least 400 residents to respond to achieve scientific validity. In the past they've seen between 700 and 800 people respond. About 150 businesses also completed a version of the survey sent to the business community.
Zagurski said the 2019 contract with Northwest Research Group is for $49,400. The survey is paid for by the general fund.
Every business licensed by the town is invited to participate while a sample of residents is randomly selected and asked to complete the initial survey by invititation only. Invitations will go out between mid-February and mid-March. Once that is complete, the survey is opened up to the community at large.
Northwest Research Group hopes to return to council in April with results, said project director Nathan Wiggin. Most survey questions will resemble ones from years past but there are additions to the approach this year.
Northwest Research Group will compare 2019 results to the town's previous surveys, so Castle Rock can analyze its progress. The company will also provide benchmarks from communities throughout the U.S., so Castle Rock can see how it stacks up among similar towns and cities.
In Castle Rock's 2017 community survey, also conducted by Northwest Research Group, residents praised the town's quality of life and services but named growth and traffic as key concerns.
Residents felt Castle Rock compared well to nearby municipalities and nine out of 10 said services exceeded or greatly exceeded their expectations. The number of residents who felt the town was headed in the right direction had declined slightly from the 2015 survey but remained a majority.
“This really is a scientifically controlled way for us to know, what is the community thinking, and then we use that in our planning and financial processes,” Zagurski said. “It's been very helpful in the past.”
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