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Center for Community Studies at JCC Releases Findings of 4th Annual Lewis County Survey of the Community

The Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College has released the complete findings (PDF) of the Fourth Annual Lewis County Survey of the Community.

The survey is an inventory of the attitudes and opinions of a representative sample of Lewis County residents. The primary goal of the survey is to collect data regarding quality of life issues of importance to local citizens.

Working under the supervision of the Center for Community Studies research staff, statistics students at the College completed 404 telephone interviews on the evenings of October 26–29, 2010.

Highlights of this Year’s Survey

  1. Lewis County residents continue to be very satisfied with the overall quality of life in the area, with 78% of residents rating it as either “Excellent” or “Good.”
  2. Residents report the most satisfaction with the following aspects of the county: quality of the environment, quality of K–12 education, the overall quality of life, policing and crime control, and healthcare quality.
  3. Residents report the most dissatisfaction with: the availability of good jobs, real estate taxes, the cost of energy, and the overall state of the local economy.
  4. Although residents of Lewis County continue to perceive the “Overall State of the Local Economy” negatively, the worsening trend observed between 2007 and 2009 in the county has not continued in 2010—the percentage who rates the “Overall State of the Local Economy” as “Poor” increased from 19% to 44% between 2007 and 2009, while in 2010 this rate was 41%.
  5. A majority of residents of Lewis County perceive each of the following business sectors as “Very Important” to the local economy:
    • Maintaining farms and agriculture (90%)
    • Manufacturing jobs (87%)
    • Tourism and recreation business (63%)
    • Having windfarms in the region (50%)
  6. When asked whether they support or oppose the development of each of the following four sources of renewable energy in Lewis County in the future, the following percentages responded with “Strongly Support”:
    • Wind power (68%)
    • Small-scale wind power generation (63%)
    • Biomass, wood or grass (58%)
    • Manure Digestion (42%; 23% had no opinion)
  7. With respect to residents’ attitudes about the Lewis County Comprehensive Plan components, the following percentages responded with “Support” for each component:
    • Tourism and recreation-related development and marketing (88%)
    • Development of more public pedestrian (“walking”)trails (80%)
    • Development of more ATV and snowmobile trails (74%)
    • Municipal government efforts to preserve agricultural and forest lands from private development (72%)
    • County government efforts to acquire rights–of-way to preserve corridors for future public use (69%)
  8. With respect to the future of government services in the county, residents express overwhelming support for:
    • Towns and villages in the county working together to share similar services (95%)
    • Towns and villages considering consolidation with their neighbors (76%)

The entire 72-question survey, including a summary of the results and the complete survey instrument (PDF), is available online from the Center for Community Studies.

The 4th Annual Lewis County Survey of the Community was made possible by Jefferson Community College, Northern New York Community Foundation, Herring College Memorial Trust, and Carthage Federal Savings and Loan, with support from the Lewis County Economic Development Office.

For more information, please contact Dr. Raymond Petersen, Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College, 315-786-2488.