|Data released from county survey|
By Jan Rahn
Access complete survey results online.
Several questions were posed to county residents back in March pertaining to such items as housing, services, recreation and health care.
Each community of the county responded—Venango, Grant, Madrid, Elsie—with the Perkins County Planning Commission releasing data in many question/answer categories.
Complete results of the survey can be viewed online by visiting www.co.perkins.ne.us/zoning and clicking on the link listed behind “Community Survey.” This link will take you to the “survey monkey” website that gives the results.
Be sure to click on the written comments link, “show replies,” inside each question for personal input from participants.
Following are some of the results to a few of the questions:
• How long have you lived in Perkins County? The results show that 66.7 percent of the county’s population has resided in Perkins County over 20 years.
• If you moved to Perkins County within the past five years, which one of the following best describes your reason? The top response was just over 23 percent and indicated small town atmosphere, job opportunity, school system and family ties as reasons to return to the area.
• How would you rate the overall quality of housing in your community? With choices of excellent, good, above average, average, below average and poor, 51.4 percent rated housing as average. Only 2.7 percent gave housing an excellent rating, with 18.9 and 10.8 percent rating it as ‘good’ and ‘above average,’ respectively.
• Do you own or rent your residence? Of those responding to the survey, 80.6 percent own as opposed to 8.3 percent who rent and 11.1 percent in the process of buying.
Nearly 50 percent of residents live in a home 50 or more years old.
• If your home is in need of repair, what type is needed? Window replacement was the highest response at 48.1 percent. Bathroom repairs came in second at 36.5 percent, with door repairs and insulation both at nearly 27 percent.
Over 60 percent of responders agree there is adequate housing options for senior citizens, while just over 49.3 percent think there is a problem with substandard housing in their community. Nearly 46 percent said there are not enough single family houses for sale and not enough rental apartments or rental homes for lower income families. They were also in the majority indicating there are not enough market rate apartments or houses for rent.
• City/community services: There were several entities listed where responders could rate them from excellent to poor.
Fire protection received the highest ‘excellent’ rating with 53.6 percent of responders indicating such.
Receiving the highest percentage in the ‘above average’ category were garbage collection/disposal system, law enforcement, water quality and water pressure.
The majority of responders rated government, sewer, sidewalks, snow removal, storm drainage and streets as ‘average.’
• Most in need of improvement: Residents ranked retail goods and services, development of new market rate houses, and development of market rate apartments as the top three most important improvements needed in the county.
Second most important to residents is development of low income apartments, downtown appearance, appearance of vacant lots and development of market rate apartments.
• Recreational facilities: The majority of responses ranked Grant City Park as above average, along with the track and football field at Perkins County Schools, the Grant Golf Course, and the gyms and workout facilities at the schools.
The Perkins County Fairgrounds was ranked ‘average’ by 58 percent, while nearly 3 percent ranked it poor. Hovering near 35 percent was the ‘average’ ranking for the swimming pool and the tennis/basketball court.
Nearly 67 percent said they would utilize a walking/bike trail if the community would invest in one.
• Present employment: Of the county’s population, 65.6 percent work in Grant, 4.7 percent in Venango, 3.1 percent in Madrid and 1.6 percent in Elsie. Just under 5 percent work outside Perkins County, and just over 20 percent work in rural Perkins County.
• Do you own your own business? Half of the responders own their own business, with only one quarter planning to retire within the next five years.
• What should the county focus its economic development toward? Over 52 percent of the response indicated the county should focus efforts toward small manufacturing.
• Health care services and facilities: The majority of responders rated health care services and facilities in the ‘above average’ category, with 44.4 percent rating physicians in the ‘excellent’ category.
• Education: The ‘above average’ category received the biggest percentage points which included ranking the schools, facilities, accessibility, communication, curriculum and extracurricular activities.
Many other aspects of the county and its communities including anything from library services to reliability of the electrical distribution system were rated. The complete survey can be accessed and studied online at the site mentioned above.