City survey: Glenwood Springs quality of living ranks high
Majority of participants think city focuses more on tourists than residents
Glenwood Springs ranked high as a great place to live with many recreation opportunities, but housing, road conditions and child care options ranked low, according to the city’s recent online survey.
Approximately 860 residents participated in the survey, ranging in ages from 18 to older than 75, city staff reported Oct. 7 during the Glenwood Springs City Council regular meeting.
Conducted online from Sept. 7-22, the survey polled participants on several topics, including quality of life, satisfaction with city services and land use.
Magellan Strategies, a nationwide opinion polling survey research firm, collected the survey data for the city. The survey was promoted on the city’s social media channels, a survey QR code was posted at City Hall and the Community Center, text messages were sent to more than 3,000 residents and a survey link was posted on the city’s website, COGS.us.
The survey identified affordable housing, traffic congestion, population growth, homelessness, building a South Bridge and child care availability as key issues impacting Glenwood Springs residents.
While participants remained anonymous in the survey results, they were asked to provide some personal information, such as age group, ethnicity, gender and the length of time they’ve lived in the area.
About 70 percent of participants identified themselves as white, 25 percent identified as Hispanic and 5 percent identified as Black, Asian, non-Hispanic or provided no ethnic identification.
Some quotes provided in the feedback section of the survey emphasized a need for housing options and a spreading anti-growth sentiment riding the undercurrents of public pushback against new developments.
“Affordable housing is the most important priority that the city should have,” commented a woman between the ages of 25-29, who has resided in the city for one to five years. “We need more housing overall, more housing subsidies and limits on predatory renting practices.”
A man between the ages of 40-49, who’s lived in the city for six to 10 years, identified “overpopulation, development (and) neighborhood street repair” as the areas he felt the city should address immediately.
Overall, the city rated high in quality of life questions. When combining the good and excellent responses, the city rated above 70% on most questions, with “a good place to retire” rating significantly lower at 49%.
Resident satisfaction with city services rated about 56%, when combining responses of good and excellent, with city services rating highest among participants who earned $100,000 or more a year, white respondents, respondents aged 65 and older and respondents earning $50,000 or less a year.
Among the city services, electric services ranked highest, with 33% of participants reporting they were extremely satisfied. Water and wastewater ranked lowest, with 23% of responses in the extremely satisfied category.
About 28% of participants identified roadway maintenance, resurfacing, snow plowing and street sweeping as their top budget priority for the city.
Participants of every demographic responded they felt the city focused more on tourists than residents. At the high end of those who felt the city focused on tourists more than residents were people who earned between $51,000-100,000 a year. People who earned less than $50,000 were the least vocal on the topic, with 44% responding that the city focused on tourists more than residents.
Glenwood Springs spokesperson Bryana Starbuck said city staff have not yet decided how best to move forward with the collected data.
Go to the Glenwood Springs City Council agenda management page at COGS.us, and visit the Oct. 7 agenda, item 16, to view the full survey report.
Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at email@example.com.
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