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The Center for Community Studies at JCC Releases the 5th Annual Lewis County Survey of the Community

The Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College has released the complete findings of the Fifth Annual Lewis County Survey of the Community. The survey is an inventory of the attitudes and opinions of a representative sample of Lewis County residents. The primary goal of the survey is to collect data regarding quality of life issues of importance to local citizens. A presentation of the survey findings by the Center for Community Studies will be scheduled in Lewis County and the date announced soon.

Working under the supervision of the Center for Community Studies research staff, statistics students at the College completed 402 telephone interviews on the evenings of October 24-25, 2011.

Highlights of this year’s survey include:

  • Lewis County residents continue to be very satisfied with the overall quality of life in the area, with 73% of residents rating it as either “Excellent” or “Good.”
  • Residents report the most satisfaction with the following aspects of the county: quality of the environment, quality of K-12 education, public outdoor recreational opportunities, policing and crime control, and the overall quality of life.
  • Residents report the least satisfaction with: shopping opportunities, real estate taxes, the overall state of the local economy, and the availability of good jobs.
  • Although residents of Lewis County continue to perceive the “Overall State of the Local Economy” negatively, the worsening trend observed between 2007 and 2009 in the county has stabilized– the percentage who rate the “Overall State of the Local Economy” as “Poor” increased from 19% to 44% between 2007 and 2009, while in 2010 this rate was 41% and in 2011 was 43%.
  • With respect to residents’ attitudes about the Lewis County Comprehensive Plan components, the following percentages responded with “Support” for each component:
    • Tourism and recreation-related development and marketing (90%)
    • Development of more public pedestrian (“walking”) trails (79%)
    • Development of more ATV and snowmobile trails (78%)
    • Municipal government efforts to preserve agricultural and forest lands from private development (78%)
    • County government efforts to acquire rights–of-way to preserve corridors for future public use (74%)
  • Some first-time survey questions revealed that:
    • 87% of residents “believe that school districts in Lewis   County should work together to share similar services (such as transportation, business services, food services, administration, etc.)”
  • 52% of residents “believe that school districts in Lewis County should consider consolidation with their neighboring school districts” (42% disagree)
    • 78% of residents support “a so-called "Millionaire's Tax" in New York State (a higher income tax surcharge) on those making $1,000,000 or more income per year”
    • 71% support "the recently passed New York State property tax camp limiting annual increases in property taxes to two percent"

    71% support “the recently passed New York State property tax cap limiting annual increases in property taxes to two percent”

  • When asked whether they support or oppose the development of each of the following four sources of renewable energy in Lewis County in the future, the following percentages responded with “Strongly Support”:
    • Wind power (60%)
    • Small-scale wind power generation (58%)
    • Biomass, wood or grass (51%)
    • Manure Digestion (38%; 20% had no opinion)

 

The entire 72-question survey, including a summary of the results and the complete survey instrument, is available on the Jefferson Community College website by following this link for the Center for Community Studies and clicking on ‘Annual Survey.’

The 5th Annual Lewis County Survey of the Community was made possible by Jefferson Community College, Northern New York Community Foundation, and the Herring College Memorial Trust.

For more information, please contact Dr. Raymond Petersen, Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College, 315-786-2488.