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• Four of five residents believe they are getting their money’s worth for their tax dollars, a decrease from the 2015 survey. The decrease was most prominent among residents who have lived in Castle Rock for at least five years.
• Residents found that all eight of the key priorities identified in the town’s strategic plan will lead Castle Rock in the right direction. Public safety, parks and recreation, ensuring the town’s water future and managing fiscal obligations received the most support.
• Nearly eight of 10 residents believe Castle Rock has either some or a strong sense of community, although the number of people reporting a “strong “ sense of community declined from 2015, mostly shifting to “some” sense of community.
• Residents were asked how well they believe the local government listens to residents and keeps them informed on town happenings. Although Castle Rock rates above Northwest Research Group’s national benchmark, its ratings in this area declined from 2015.
• When asked to describe in one or two words their top growth-related stressors, residents named traffic congestion as number one, followed by the pace at which growth is occurring. Least named was the loss of open space.
• When asked to name a positive element of growth, the largest percentage of residents indicated there are no positive aspects of growth, closely followed by the percentage of residents who named more shopping, restaurants and businesses and benefits.
For a comprehensive look at Castle Rock’s 2017 Community Survey results, visit CRgov.com.
Castle Rock residents praise the town’s quality of life and services. They think it has a great sense of community. And they believe their tax dollars are well spent.
But they also worry about the town’s pace of growth and increasing traffic congestion.
Those are among the highlights of the town’s 2017 Community Survey, a report conducted every two years to gather public input on the town’s direction.
“I think the overall impression is very strong and positive comments from Castle Rock citizens. They think a lot of the community. They think a lot of town services,” Town Manager David Corliss said. “It’s very helpful to hear that feedback, that they like the services that they receive. It doesn’t mean that we don’t want to continue finding ways to improve.”
Northwest Research Group conducted the scientifically-based survey of more than 700 residents from March 7 though April 3. The last community survey was conducted in 2015. Castle Rock, which has about 63,000 people, has issued a biennial survey since 2011.
“We know how busy residents are with work, activities and family,” Mayor Jennifer Green said in an email statement. “We are pleased to provide a community survey to garner feedback from our residents and listen to what is most important for our town.”
Residents once again praised the town for its quality of life, saying it compares well against nearby municipalities. Nine of 10 residents also said quality of services “exceed” or “greatly exceed” their expectations.
Among other highlights: Citizens would recommend Castle Rock as a place to raise children. They like the town’s availability of healthy lifestyle activities. And they have had positive interactions with police and fire departments.
But the survey also found that the number of residents who believe the town is headed in the right direction — although still a majority — declined from 2015. Six out of 10 respondents felt Castle Rock is on the right track, as compared to three out of four in 2015. The remaining respondents were either neutral or believe the town is headed in the wrong direction.
That is likely related to what was also named as the largest issue facing Castle Rock in the next five years, Northwest Research Group reported. Growth and related issues were the most commonly mentioned topics by residents when asked for open-ended responses to the town’s biggest issues.
“One of the things that we’re continuing to do is implement plans that ensure that we are going to have high-quality growth,” Corliss said.
The town wants to provide that high-quality growth in part by focusing on transportation infrastructure, something Castle Rock has actively pursued in the past years with the opening of projects like the Castle Rock Parkway/North Meadows Drive.
And when it comes to those four out of 10 residents who may question the town’s direction, Corliss said he wants to hear from them.
“We want to listen to them and talk to them because that is a point some people are concerned about,” Corliss said. “The fact that we have a pretty good pace of growth and things are changing.”
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