Most Pensacolians are in agreement that life in the City of Five Flags has improved and a 76 percent of residents believe the city is moving in the right direction, an increase of 7 percent over 2016.
The University of West Florida Haas Center released its latest findings after surveying 532 city residents on a variety of topics. The Haas Center has examined residents’ outlook on the city annually since 2014.
The survey was conducted in October via telephone interviews with city residents who were at least 18 years old. It is conducted annually to assess resident satisfaction with the delivery of major city services and to help improve the quality of those services and determine budget priorities, according to city officials.
The survey results produced the following key findings:
- Overall, residents are highly satisfied with core City services
- Recreational facilities and opportunities also consistently earn high marks
- Some residents have concerns with parts of the infrastructure
- Residents continue to rank as their top priorities Police and Fire services
- The Haas Center report flagged four “areas of concern”: stormwater infrastructure, streets, street lights and sidewalks.
- The City has appropriated funding and begun work to address each of those areas.
- This year’s survey shows that the $13.8 million the City is spending to resurface 1,825 blocks of city streets has improved resident satisfaction with the condition of streets.
- Over the last year, city staff developed prioritized lists of projects for sidewalk and street light improvements. Money to fund those improvements was budgeted from Local Option Sales Tax revenues and work will begin in 2018.
“The fact that three out of four residents say that we are on the right track is strong confirmation that the energy and resources that are being invested in Pensacola are in line with the direction that our community wants to go,” said Mayor Hayward in announcing the results.
“A city that can show that kind of unity is in a powerful position to attract additional investment and grow in a way that will benefit everyone. While it’s great to know that so many people approve of what’s happening in Pensacola, the survey also shows that we need to continue to make improvements to our infrastructure, and that’s what we will continue to work on in 2018.”
Responses to questions in this year’s survey show that residents continue to be concerned about the City’s stormwater infrastructure but that not many of them have experienced any damage from stormwater runoff in the last two years. That is likely due in part to the upgrades that the City has completed over the last years in response to citizen concerns. The City plans to continue to use money from its stormwater capital fund and actively pursue state and federal grant money to make additional improvements in 2018.
The Haas Center administered the ten-question, multi-part survey across each of Pensacola’s seven city council districts over a six-week period that began in October 2017. In total, 532 people completed the survey. Those responses coincide with an approximate 4.22% margin of error (+/-) at a 95% confidence level. In other words, a sample of City of Pensacola residents will differ no more than +/-4.22% from a survey that included all City of Pensacola residents.
See the full results of the survey here: