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Columbia releases annual citizen satisfaction survey

Outlines priorities for improvement

Columbia releases annual citizen...

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Columbia's 2016 citizen survey shows a 3 percent overall decrease in satisfaction with quality of city services since 2015. The annual survey released Thursday was completed by 960 citizens during the winter of 2016.

According to the survey report, some of the most significant decreases in satisfaction from 2015 to 2016 include: condition of streets (-8 percent), city water, electric and sewer services (-8 percent), overall quality of local police services (-7 percent) and how quickly police respond to emergencies (-6 percent).

In 2015, overall satisfaction with the police department was at an all-time low at 59 percent. The 2016 survey results show citizens' satisfaction with the Columbia Police Department has now fallen to 52 percent.

The report said, "national concerns about the economy, public safety, and issues related to the recent Presidential election may have contributed to decreases in satisfaction with government during the past two years."

However, respondents reported a 10 percent increase in satisfaction of feeling safe in downtown Columbia at night and a 4 percent increase in satisfaction of feeling safe while walking in their neighborhoods at night.

For the second year in a row, 85 percent of respondents listed public safety as the most important service for the city to provide.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they would likely support a new permanent property tax, and 59 percent said they would likely support a one-quarter cent sales tax to fund 50 more police officers.

Based on the survey results, the city has identified its three top priorities for investment over the next two years, which include condition of city streets, public safety services, as well as city water, electric and sewer services.

Some of the most significant increase in satisfaction from 2015 to 2016 include: condition of pavement markings (+11 percent), feeling of safety in downtown Columbia at night (+10 percent), condition of city sidewalks (+8 percent), city maintenance/repairs services for major city streets (+7 percent) and city's website provides useful information (+7 percent).

79 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the overall quality of life in Columbia.


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