The city of Weldon Spring recently issued a press release announcing the results of a recent survey by third-party consultant, ETC Institute, to anonymously survey residents about their feelings on the city. In response, residents reported a 99% satisfaction with the city “as a place to live.”
One survey was sent to every household and one was sent to every business in the city between April and May.
The purpose was to engage the community to determine their perceptions and opinions, and gather input on a variety of municipal services, activities, and future priorities.
“We are very pleased with the overall response rate and more importantly the results of the community surveys. The feedback and data collected will be very useful as we re-evaluate city services and make decisions on how and where to best direct limited resources,” said Mayor Donald Licklider.
The city ranked very high in nearly all categories compared to national averages from other cities. In 44 out of 46 areas assessed, the city ranked higher than the national average.
There are essential and lifesaving services provided daily to Weldon Spring by other municipal governments or organizations. The surveys inquired about those areas and the results were extremely positive.
On the resident survey, the Cottleville Fire Protection District received an overall satisfaction rating of 87%; the St. Charles County Ambulance District received an 84%; the St. Charles County Library District received an 89%; the Duckett Creek Sanitary Sewer District received a 90%; and the Missouri American Water Company received a 90% satisfaction rating. This speaks highly as to the public’s perceptions and overall high level of satisfaction
across the board for municipal government services in Weldon Spring.
The business survey had similar high ratings for these services and in many categories, the scores were even higher.
The full report will be posted at weldonspring.org in the coming weeks.
Three hundred and eighty households completed the survey, resulting a 95% level of confidence with a precision of +/-5%.
“This is the city’s first time utilizing a consultant that specializes in market research for local governments,” City Administrator Michael Padella said. “By conducting this type of survey, the city can establish a baseline ranking in various areas and compares our results against national
and regional averaged benchmarks.”
City leadership will use the data to inform new initiatives for the community.
“The survey has highlighted areas for us to pursue according to the public’s opinion,” said Padella. “Making achievable plans for our trails, parks, and public safety has and will continue to be at the forefront of our work. The task now is to specify how to bring them to fruition.”
In 2021, the city has several planning and community engagement initiatives planned. Weldon Spring will select a consulting firm to facilitate the development of a city-wide Parks & Greenway (trail) Master Plan that will tie into the regional greenway plan recently completed by
St. Charles County.
The community will have further opportunities for residents to share their thoughts and desires for future parks, recreation activities and trails as a part of process.
The city is also in the process of selecting a firm to conduct a Facility Conditions & Needs Assessment for the main municipal campus.
The mayor and administration are working with St. Charles County Police, with whom the city contracts for police services, to find ways to increase presence and maintain the low crime levels.
The city engineer is developing a 5-7 year roadway maintenance plan that will establish a baseline for street and other public infrastructure to keep the city’s systems in good, operational condition.
These initiatives will be used to update the city’s five-year financial plan which will forecast budgetary needs and project priorities. The city has maintained very low overhead and staffing levels since its incorporation in 1984. The current operating budget for the three main funds consisting of, General, Parks, and Public Safety is only $1.5 million total annually.
The city has been successful in operating within the available revenue levels while leveraging grants for special capital roadway projects over the years and has not had a tax increase in over 20 years.