Village officials comb through Union Grove survey data

By Dave Fidlin

Correspondent

Crime and safety topped the list of importance, but the village’s proximity to nearby employment came in lower on the spectrum.

Union Grove Village Administrator Mike Hawes and the Village Board recently distilled data from a community survey that was administered to all 1,881 households in September.

At a recent Village Board meeting, Hawes discussed the 182 responses that came in throughout the month. The level of participation resulted in a 13.5-percent response rate.

When asked to rank the most important features within Union Grove, crime and safety came in tops, with 91.7 percent of the survey-takers ranked it at “very much” in the list of important features. Only 24 percent of respondents, by contrast, listed nearby employment at the same level of priority.

During the recent breeze-through of the results, several board members weighed in on the results — which, in some instance, yielded surprises.

Village President Mike Aimone pointed out 28.4 percent of respondents listed local retail stores under the “very much” category of importance.

“It’s interesting local retailers were so low on the rankings,” Aimone said. “We hear so much about the need for local retail stores (from residents).”

Trustee Christopher Gallagher said he was surprised by comments raised about a lack of parking in some of the higher trafficked areas of the village.

“It always seems to me there’s never really a shortage of spaces, even on Main Street,” Gallagher said.

In terms of next steps, Hawes said he believed it would be beneficial to have some of the village’s various committees review the results. Recommendations and future policy decisions could be gleaned from the trends uncovered within the document.

The goal, Hawes said, is to administer the survey once every five years to gauge, over time, perceptions of local government.