|Written by Mark Lineberger|
|Friday, 27 January 2012 00:00|
At the end of 2011, the Town of Camp Verde sent out surveys asking residents what they would like to see the town spend money on as part of its capital improvement plan, a road map of sorts that determines what the town will try to accomplish over the next few years.
The results are in.
Only 258 surveys were returned both on paper and online, far fewer than the last time the town tried polling its residents a decade ago.
Still, the town’s leaders are beginning the process of reviewing the data collected as the time to plan the next fiscal year’s budget draws ever closer.
More than a dozen possible capital projects were listed on the survey, with respondents asked to rank them along a priority spectrum from very important to very unimportant.
The survey also asked residents how they would like to see these projects paid for.
Among those projects ranked “very important,” the construction of a new library earned the most votes. About 39 percent said the project was very important, while just over 20 percent ranked it as just important. The rest indicated they were anywhere from neutral on the issue to it being very unimportant.
Suggestions of how to pay for a new library were mixed, but a plurality of the respondents, 30 percent, suggested a 1 percent tax increase that would bring in around $750,000 in revenue a year.
Just over 23 percent suggested financing through a bond sale.
Another project that got many votes was ongoing street and drainage maintenance around Camp Verde.
A quarter of respondents marked that maintenance was very important, with more than 45 percent marking it as important.
Repairing the town’s recreation facilities was also a top priority for the residents who answered the survey, with more than 20 percent feeling this was very important and more than 45 percent listing it as important.
Repairing the town’s swimming pool and the construction of a new animal shelter pulled in similar but slightly lower numbers.
When it comes to replacing the town’s aging maintenance vehicles, 40 percent feel this is important with around 6 percent marking it as very important. Among the projects voted least important for the town were the remodeling of the town hall and municipal court along with the proposed construction of an equestrian facility.
For many of the proposed projects, respondents said the town should try to pay for things with its current budget and not by looking for other ways to bring in more revenue like tax increases or bond sales.
Those who took the survey also got the opportunity to leave their own comments.
“Do not attempt tax increases of any kind,” one person wrote, while another wrote that “My car is 10 years old — runs great” about paying for replacement vehicles at the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office.
Others suggested things like sharing an animal shelter with Cottonwood, putting in new streetlights and the elimination of county, state and school district property tax, although that last suggestion is somewhat beyond the town’s authority.
The Town Council has already had an initial meeting concerning the results, Town Economic Development Director Melissa Preston said, but it was very cursory.
Preston said the council will dig down deeper into looking at the actual result at its Wednesday, Feb. 8, work session.
Preston said the survey cost the town under $700.
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