Roeland Park residents very happy with their city overall in new survey

Roeland Park residents like their city according to new survey.
Roeland Park residents like their city according to new survey.

If you want to find a place where people are happy to live, Roeland Park is the city for you, according to a new survey of residents.

Ninety-six percent said Roeland Park was either an excellent or good place to live. Almost 90 percent agreed it was a good place to raise children and 70 percent said they’d buy their next home there.

“We’re very pleased with the result,” City Administrator Keith Moody said Wednesday. “It’s very nice to see the citizens are pleased with the services we’re providing.”

This is the third survey done by the ETC Institute for Roeland Park, the others were in 2008 and 2013. The latest version was conducted last spring and 515 households completed the survey, giving it a 95 percent level of confidence.

“This survey gives the Council the broadest and most accurate sounding board from our constituents,” Moody said. “We’ll take the results to help develop our 2018 budget.”

Moody was particularly pleased with how Roeland Park compared with other communities in the Kansas City metropolitan area. It rated above the metro average in 32 of 39 categories, and was significantly higher in 26. It’s highest marks were for snow removal and overall quality of city services.

Police services received the highest satisfaction from residents with 89 percent saying they were either satisfied or very satisfied. Fire services received an 81 percent satisfaction rate; customer service by city employees, 80 percent, and maintenance of streets and buildings, 75 percent.

When asked what aspects of the city should receive the most emphasis from leaders over the next two years, maintenance of streets and facilities ranked first followed by parks and recreation programs and police services.

If there was one weak link in the survey, it how residents viewed the quality of commercial development. Forty-six percent described it as below average or poor, 29 percent ranked it excellent of good.

Moody said part of the poor response may have been due to the uncertainty over the future of the Walmart store at the time the survey was taken. Last spring, Walmart was expected to relocate to the Mission Gateway project. It announced it would stay in Roeland Park and renovate its store in early October.

Based on the survey results, ETC recommended several investment priorities for Roeland Park city officials over the next two years that would do the most to raise the level of satisfaction by residents:

-Maintenance of streets, buildings and facilities.
-Parks and recreation programs and facilities.
-Enforcement of codes and ordinances.
-Solid waste services.

“Our objectives for 2017 are in tune with the direction the survey pointed,” Moody said. “We’re planning more biking and walking trails including a multi-use trail in Nall Park.”