Resident Survey Shows Satisfaction with City Services

May 20, 2009 · Filed Under Events and News 

At a time when many similar-sized cities are seeing declines in citizen satisfaction, Fort Worth registered high marks in an annual survey that measures residents’ feelings about municipal services.

In April, the ETC Institute in Olathe, Kan., surveyed a random sample of 1,719 Fort Worth residents age 18 and older. At least 200 surveys were completed in each City Council district.

Results improved in 88 of 90 areas compared with the 2008 survey; one area stayed the same and one area declined.

Areas with the most significant improvements were storm water, customer service, communication and code enforcement.

Seventy-three percent of respondents rated “overall quality of life in the city” as a 4 or 5 on a five-point scale; 62 percent gave high ratings to “overall quality of city services” and 53 percent gave high ratings to “how well the city is managing growth,” up from 46 percent last year.

Top city priorities for residents who responded were maintenance of streets and infrastructure, public safety, traffic flow and code enforcement.

City Services
Eighty-eight percent of respondents gave high marks to “overall quality of local fire protection”; 76 percent gave high rankings to “overall quality of local ambulance service”; and 72 percent ranked highly “overall quality of local police protection.”

The percentage of respondents who rated parks and recreation services highly were: maintenance of city parks, 69 percent; quality of outdoor athletic fields, 64 percent; and city golf courses, 54 percent. Also, the Fort Worth Zoo, which isn’t run by the city although the city owns the land, rated highly among 83 percent of respondents.

Maintenance and appearance of the city is thought by most residents to be an important aspect of city services. Seventy percent of residents gave high scores to the city’s efforts in mowing and trimming parks, while 60 percent gave high marks to “cleanliness of your neighborhood.”
Fifty percent were satisfied with “maintenance of streets in your neighborhood,” up from 41 percent last year.

The city’s communications efforts garnered praise across the board. Water bill inserts, City Page content, the city’s Web site and the city’s cable television programming all received rankings that were higher this year than in 2008.

Trash and utility services were up in every category, including 75 percent who gave high rankings to “weekly residential curbside recycling services” and 72 percent to “weekly residential curbside garbage collection.”

Gas Drilling Issues

Nearly half of Fort Worth residents — 48 percent — said they think gas drilling in the Barnett Shale has been beneficial to the city. Roughly the same percentage — 49 percent — said they have granted or leased gas-drilling rights on property that they own. Of those who have granted rights, 14 percent have begun to receive royalties.

Some respondents said that gas drilling operations have caused problems in their neighborhood, including damage to streets (mentioned by 13 percent), excessive noise (11 percent), excessive truck traffic (11 percent) and environmental problems (10 percent).


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