Indian Trail gets citizen survey results, sets goals
Indian Trail residents want better roads and more economic development. That was the information taken from the citizen survey released March 24. Overall, residents said they were satisfied with the town, with 70 percent endorsing the quality of service from town employees, 69 percent supporting the current public safety services and 67 percent were satisfied overall with the services provided by Indian Trail.
The main thing citizens want is less congestion on the roads, with 53 percent of residents asking for improvements. They also felt the town had not planned well for growth, with only 33 percent saying they were satisfied.
When asked if they would help fund traffic improvements, through a possible $24 million bond vote, 62 percent of those surveyed said they were at least somewhat likely to vote yes. Of that number, 31 percent were very likely to approve the measure.
“I believe this is a great barometer as to what our resident’s priorities are,” council member Robert Allen said. “Not only does it assist us in setting our priorities it also defines their tolerances. I believe this is an event that should happen in our community every two or three years just to take the pulse of Indian Trail.”
Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Goodall echoed Allen’s thoughts.
“The survey results were absolutely great and actually confirmed the council and town manager are definitely on the right track with our current focus,” Goodall said.
He pointed to the fact 77 percent of those polled were either very satisfied or satisfied with the overall quality of life in the town, adding that alone might explain why 22,000 picked Indian Trail to move to between 2000 and 2010, according to U.S. Census data. The level of satisfaction with town services was also something Goodall said he was glad to see.
What residents aren’t satisfied with is the current economic state of the town. Only 22 percent were satisfied with the amount of jobs in town, while 36 percent felt building an entertainment district would be important to Indian Trail’s future.
Some of the issues highlighted by residents have already been addressed, such as the lack of town packs and the availability of walking trails. Last year, the town purchased land for two parks, Crossing Paths, which is set to open in the fall and a 51 acre community park, still being developed.
In the survey, 63 percent of residents said they would be willing to fund a $3 million bond to create a neighborhood park system.
The seven page survey was mailed to 1800 households in the town, large enough to qualify as a random sample. Out of those, 406 households completed the study.
Kansas based ETC Institute ran the study for the town, including in the report that the town shouldn’t worry about the number of residents that responded.
“The results for the random sample of 406 households have a 95 percent level of confidence,” the report states.
Council members said while they would have liked to see more people respond, it doesn’t change their confidence in the survey.
“I suppose it would have made me feel better with a larger participation rate, considering these surveys were mailed to 1800 households,” Goodall said. “Yet with statistical analysis the end result would not have been any different.”
Goodall and Allen both said the council considered sending the survey out to every household, but didn’t feel the cost would be justified.
“We as a council asked for a bid on sending the survey to everyone,” Allen said. “But the survey company assured us the added expense would not give us any additional benefit and that number selected would statistically reflect the town as a whole, (so) we opted to save the taxpayers’ money.”