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News covering policy and issues related to city and county governments in the Ozarks.

Approval of Springfield Work Environment Up, Streets Down, Survey Says

Springfield's historic City Hall building (Photo credit: KSMU)

The City of Springfield Community Survey gauges citizen satisfaction in various areas. KSMU’s Simone Cook has details on the results of this year’s survey, which is distributed every three years.

In the 2014 Citizen Survey, the quality of life has seemingly increased and residents are optimistic about Springfield’s future.  A majority of Springfieldians surveyed are pleased with the performance of the city’s fire department and storm water management system, both of which raised 5 percentage points from the previous survey issued in 2011.

Another evident increase is the standard of Springfield’s overall work environment, which also increased by 5 percent.  According to City Spokeswoman Cora Scott, that’s thanks to Springfield’s general spirit.

“People here in the Ozarks really have an attitude that they can set their own course and become who they want to be, both in the work place and outside the workplace and I think that entrepreneurial spirit and sense of collaboration makes Springfield special and different from other cities.”

Of the city’s roughly 160,000 residents, 932 random Springfield households were surveyed, representing a +/- 3.2 percent margin of error. The survey was conducted by independent research firm ETC Institute.

Other notable increases included the city’s communication with the public and location of drop-off recycling sites.

Meanwhile, the categories representing a decrease in citizen satisfaction included cleanliness of city streets and public areas, which dropped 6 percent from 2011. Additionally, there was a 5 percent drop in overall maintenance of city streets and infrastructure.

“We hope to think that some of the issues around the decrease for public streets and infrastructure may be coming from a lot of work that’s being done and while it is a minor inconvenience in the short-term, in the long-term, we think that citizens will be overall happy with the replacement of some of the things that are actually being reconstructed,” Scott said.

Satisfaction also dropped in the city’s efforts to prevent crime and overall enforcement of city code and ordinances by 5 and 4 percent, respectively.

The survey also shines light on areas where the City of Springfield needs to focus moving in the immediate future. Citizens said they’d like to see more emphasis on improvements to traffic flow, city street maintenance and public safety over the next 2-3 years.

Compared to larger cities and the average nationwide satisfaction percentage, Springfield was 12 percent higher than the national average.