St. Charles, Batavia residents give their town high marks on surveys

Survey says ...?

Residents of Batavia and St. Charles are extremely pleased with where they live.

Each city recently conducted surveys through outside companies with wide-ranging sets of questions. Across the board, both cities received stellar reviews.

"Absolutely amazing results," said Jason Morado, director of community research for the ETC Institute, which conducted the survey in St. Charles. "Residents obviously have a very positive perception of the city."

Morado said the ETC survey in St. Charles was six pages long and conducted with randomly selected households diversely spread among different age, race, ethnicity and gender groups as well as different geographical areas.

What jumped out the most to Morado was that 99% of the more than 500 respondents rated St. Charles as an excellent or good place to live and 98% rated the city as an excellent or good place to raise children.

The overall quality of city services, which Morado considers one of the most important questions, rated 43% higher than the national average. Customer service rated 41% higher than the national average.

While the survey offered a glimpse at what St. Charles is doing well, it also will help officials focus on issues moving forward. Two of the more important issues for residents are the value they receive for tax dollars and fees, and traffic flow.

Survey results were similarly positive in Batavia, which reached out to residents through the distribution of a National Community Survey from the National Research Center. Thirty-nine percent of contacted residents responded, which is above the average response rate.

"We've done community surveys, but I don't think Batavia has done a scientific study before," said Griffin Price, Batavia's communications coordinator. "It helps give us great benchmarks that are scientifically based."

Ninety-four percent of residents rated Batavia as an excellent or good place to live and 95% have an excellent or good feeling about their level of safety in Batavia. Ninety percent of respondents rated police and sheriff services as excellent or good, and 96% felt the same about fire services.

In terms of areas of focus for the next two years, residents pointed to increased economic development in the downtown area, filling commercial vacancies on Randall Road and improved walking options.

"Data like this is monumentally important right now," Price said. "This response shows the work of the elected officials, the work of the staff and it shows the work of people just being neighbors in the community. To receive a document with this much positive feedback shows you how great of a place Batavia is to live."

  A recent survey found that 99% of responding St. Charles residents rated the city an excellent or good place to live. Rick West/
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