Friday, July 14, 2000

Lebanon earns praise in survey

Area voters say fire, police, other city services satisfactory

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — A survey of voters finds that they're mostly happy with the quality of life in this city that a fourth have called home for five or fewer years.

        They also were largely satisfied with city services, though they were less unified on strategic planning questions.

        “It's a very good report,” said Diane Lawrence, president of Strategic Visioning Inc., which performed the survey. “... Based on the findings, it would be a place I'd want to consider living if I were moving.”

        The Dayton-based company interviewed 500 registered voters; the margin of error was 4.5 percentage points. The city and Lebanon City Schools paid about $10,000 for the survey.

        On both fire and police services, 92 percent were pleased. Fewer people — though still a majority — were satisfied with sidewalks (72 percent), recreation facilities and programs (70 percent) and zoning enforce ment (52 percent).

        “There are some areas there that need attention,” said City Manager James Patrick.

        He said city staff will use the study to improve its responsiveness — such as by making some services accessible online. He also envisions city council using the study to decide where to spend money.

        For instance, council had talked about building a recre ation center but shelved the idea after the cost proved too high. The survey found only 16 percent of voters saw a serious need for a center, with 57 percent seeing some need and 24 percent seeing no need.

        Historic preservation was a key concern of a majority of those surveyed. On a scale of 1 to 10, in which 10 meant every historic building should be saved, 71 percent chose 8, 9 or 10. Just 5 percent said preservation ranked less than a 5 on the scale.

        On the other hand, 62 percent would like to see the city attract new business, while 30 percent are opposed.

        Mr. Patrick said preservation and growth are not mutually exclusive: “I think we can attract business here because of the historic preservation.”


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