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Center for Community Studies Releases Results of the 3rd Annual Lewis County Community Survey

The Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College has released the complete findings of the Third 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 27–29, 2009.

Highlights of this year’s survey include:

  • Lewis County residents are very satisfied with the overall quality of life in the area, with more than four in five residents rating it as either “Excellent” or “Good.”
  • Residents report the most satisfaction with the following aspects of our community: quality of the environment, quality of K–12 education, and outdoor recreational opportunities.
  • Residents report the most dissatisfaction with: the availability of good jobs, real estate taxes, and the overall state of the economy.
  • Residents of Lewis County perceive “Availability of Goods/Services in the area” as “Fair” to “Good.” Less than 10% rated this aspect as “Excellent.” Similarly, approximately 10% rated this community characteristic “Poor.”
  • Residents of Lewis County are not as optimistic with respect to local economic (job-related) indicators as they are with the less-economic types of indicators. Over 75% of respondents rate “Overall State of the Local Economy” as either “Fair” or “Poor.” Similarly, almost 85% of the participants rate “Availability of Good Jobs” as either “Fair” or “Poor.”
  • Overwhelmingly, by approximately a 7:1 margin, residents of Lewis County are more likely to indicate that “the past impact that wind farms have had in Lewis County” has been positive than they are to report that there has been an overall negative impact.
  • A high level of support is found regarding a preference to “support a local business that is using renewable energy sources” (88% agree while only 3% disagree).
  • Residents of Lewis County support, by more than a 3:1 margin, the notion that “the presence of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum since 1985 has improved the overall quality of life of Lewis County citizens.”
  • When asked about their support for the following five priorities taken from the Lewis County Comprehensive Plan:
    • Approximately 9 out of 10 residents supported recreation related development and marketing in Lewis County.
    • Nearly 9 out of 10 residents supported development of more pedestrian trails and tourism related development and marketing in Lewis County.
    • Approximately 3 out of 4 residents supported development of more ATV trails and more snowmobile trails in Lewis County.
  • The majority of Lewis County residents volunteer for community-based organizations (nearly 60% volunteer at least one hour per month).
  • Residents of Lewis County continue to agree with the notion that “Lewis County is adequately preparing our young people for the technology and economy of the future” (61% agree, while only 31% disagree).

Copies of this year’s survey instrument with the questions that were posed to Lewis County residents and complete survey results are available from the Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community college.

For more information, please contact Richard R. LeClerc, director of the Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College, at 315-786-2488.