Survey: Residents like Lake Zurich, might pay extra taxes for some services

 
 
Posted10/10/2015 8:00 AM
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  • Steven Husak

    Steven Husak

Lake Zurich residents really like their town and are willing to pay more in taxes to ensure good snow plowing and ice removal. On the other hand, they aren't keen on digging deeper to pay for special events or to maintain public beaches.

Those were some of the results gleaned from the first National Citizen Survey that included questions customized for Lake Zurich residents.

Interim Village Manager Steven Husak said Monday there were 512 respondents from 1,400 surveys mailed in July. There's a 4 percent error margin for the scientific survey.

Mayor Thomas Poynton voiced satisfaction with the information received.

"I think this is a great survey, and I think we'll learn from it and it'll help us budget," Poynton said. "And it won't sit on the shelf -- I can guarantee you that."

Husak said the results will help village officials in areas such as budget workshops, goal setting and policy creation.

Overseen by Boulder, Colorado-based National Research Center Inc., the survey shows 94 percent of residents rated Lake Zurich as an excellent or good village to live in, and 96 percent reported an overall feeling of safety. About 90 percent gave a thumbs-up to their Lake Zurich neighborhood and to the village overall as a place to raise children.

Residents also were asked to address Lake Zurich needing to reduce services without additional revenue. Of the 512 respondents, 66 percent said they'd be willing to pay higher taxes to keep snow plowing and ice removal at a high level.

However, only 30 percent would fork over more toward public beaches, while 14 percent were willing to accept higher taxes to help pay for special events.

Just 15 percent in the survey ranked Lake Zurich's downtown or commercial area as vibrant, but Husak said the situation is on the cusp of turning around. For example, StreetScape Development LLC has tentatively proposed building 17 single-family homes across from village's waterfront area called the Promenade.

"We may not have a vibrant downtown right now, but certainly that's what we're moving toward, we feel, with the things that are on the horizon with us," Husak said.

As for bringing Lake Michigan water to the village, 49 percent strongly or somewhat support the idea. The survey said the $43 million proposed pipeline could cost a typical Lake Zurich homeowner $300 to $450 annually without another municipal partner joining the project.

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