Archive for Thursday, April 15, 2004

Residents make feelings known

April 15, 2004

And the survey says . . .

Well, for starters, many residents enjoy the small-town atmosphere living in Basehor provides but think their "little country near Kansas City" could use a grocery store and more businesses.

Those are just some of the responses carrying the most weight with Basehor residents who responded to a city-sponsored survey.

In February, the city mailed a 20-question survey to 1,000 residents. Approximately 27 percent, 276 people, responded to the questionnaire, voicing their opinions on issues such as quality of life, services and economic development (see related story, page 1A).

City employees compiled the results this week and copies were given to members of the Basehor City Council during their Monday night meeting.

Basehor city administrator David Fuqua said the city is pleased with the results mailed back to the city and that council members would be begin analyzing the data immediately.

"This is what the people want," Fuqua said. "They had an opportunity to speak and this is what they said."

And the people said a variety of things.

In a section of the survey gauging public opinion on day-to-day life in Basehor, more than 140 people said they felt good about their quality of life, feeling of personal safety, quality of services and general appearance of their neighborhoods.

A limited number of respondents, 48 total, responded in the poor category in those areas and just 11 responded very poor.

A majority of respondents, 182, ranked either small-town atmosphere or relaxing/quiet as traits they find most attractive about Basehor. By contrast, a lack of businesses, specifically no grocery store with 79 responses, ranked as the least attractive characteristic about the city; an additional 50 residents listed a lack of overall retail shopping as their primary detraction.

At the forefront of concerns for city in the next 20 years is managing growth, 106 residents responded. During the next five years, the city should begin improvements to streets and roads, 77 people said.

Fuqua agreed that city streets are a top priority for Basehor government. He said there is a minimum of six miles of roadway in Basehor in need of improvement to adequately handle additional traffic brought on by a boom in development.

"If it continues to grow at the rate it's growing at, it's going to be bad in five years," he said.

Finding money to fund those street repairs, however, is difficult. It costs approximately $2 million to fund improvements to a one-mile stretch of road, Fuqua said.

The city is currently researching the possibility of acquiring matching funds grants, either federally or through the state, to help ease the burden of those improvement costs.

"All this is just the type of growing pains any other town that has done this, has gone through," Fuqua said.

The Basehor City Council is expected to discuss results from the survey during a retreat Saturday at Cabela's.

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