Results from a recently completed community survey show widespread satisfaction in the city of O’Fallon.
According to National Citizen’s Survey (NCS), 95 percent of O’Fallon residents believe O’Fallon is a good place to live, and 96 percent believe it is a good place to raise children.
“The results of this survey are proof that O’Fallon is truly one of the best communities in which to live, work and play,” Mayor Gary Graham said.
“The vision, guidance, and compassion shown by the O’Fallon City Council, City staff, and every O’Fallon resident has made this the greatest community in the area.”
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This was the fifth time since 2005 the NCS was conducted in O’Fallon.
This year, the surveys were mailed to 1,500 randomly selected households. The survey received a 30 percent response rate, enough for a 95 percent level of confidence that this survey represents the true responses of the entire population of O’Fallon.
The city recently entered into a $13,860 contract with the NCS through the National Research Center, who administered the five-page survey.
The National Research Center concluded:
▪ O’Fallon residents enjoy a high quality of life.
▪ O’Fallon is a good place to live and raise a family.
▪ O’Fallon residents value and appreciate a high level of safety.
Most city services were rated higher than in previous years and were either similar to or higher than benchmarks compared to other cities.
O’Fallon residents also support the overall direction of the city.
Responses from residents were not only evaluated according to geographic location, change over time and community demographics, but also in comparison to responses from more than 200,000 residents who have taken a similar survey across the U.S.
The city will use the community survey’s results to determine which local services residents feel are satisfactory and those in need of improvement, according to Walter Denton, O’Fallon’s director of administration.
Under the latest survey, O’Fallon community survey measured public opinion in five key areas of community livability. Residents were also asked to report their perceptions about the quality of their community and related services, as well as their own engagement within the community.
The survey also asked three customized questions about the city’s current and future services.
Among the survey findings:
Community Livability — About nine in ten residents gave excellent or good ratings to O’Fallon as a place to raise children and the city’s overall image; both of these ratings were higher than ratings in comparison communities and both have increased over time.
Governance — About eight in ten respondents rated the overall quality of city services as excellent or good. A majority of respondents gave positive ratings to the job the City does at welcoming citizen involvement, confidence in the city government, the job the City does at acting in the best interest of O’Fallon, being honest, and treating all residents fairly. About two-thirds of residents gave excellent or good ratings to the overall direction of O’Fallon and about nine in ten gave high ratings to the overall customer service provided by city employees.
Safety — Almost all residents gave positive ratings to police, fire and ambulance/EMS services; ratings for police services and crime prevention were higher than ratings in other communities. The Police Department received a 94 percent rating as “excellent” or “good”; 97 percent of respondents feel safe in their neighborhood; 96 percent feel safe in downtown O’Fallon; 90 percent have an overall feeling of safety in O’Fallon; and 93 percent said they were not a victim of a crime in the last 12 months.
Overall, ratings for 2016 generally remained stable or increased over time. Of the 84 items for which comparisons were available, 50 items were rated similarly in 2011 and 2016, and 34 showed an increase in ratings., according to NCS.
Economy is an important area of focus
Most residents gave high marks to their neighborhoods as places to live and about 8 in 10 gave positive ratings to the overall appearance of the city.
At least 4 in 5 respondents said they planned to remain in O’Fallon for the next five years and would recommend living in the city.
Economy was an important area of focus for residents. Respondents indicated that economy was an important issue for the city to address in the next two years.
About three-quarters of residents gave high marks to the overall economic health of O’Fallon, and about 7 in 10 gave excellent or good ratings to the overall quality of business and service establishments and O’Fallon as a place to work; ratings for O’Fallon as a place to work increased over time. Ratings for economic development were higher in the city than in other communities and increased from 2011 to 2016.
Almost all residents had purchased good or services in O’Fallon in the past 12 months.
When asked about the city’s Strategic Plan, about 9 in 10 residents indicated that both securing funding for improving the availability of high-quality employment opportunities and downtown O’Fallon redevelopment should be high or medium priorities for the city.
Residents value and appreciate a high level of safety
Survey participants indicated that safety should be an important focus area for the O’Fallon community over the next two years. About 9 in 10 residents gave excellent or good ratings to the overall feeling of safety in O’Fallon, and almost all participants (97 percent) reported feeling safe in their neighborhoods.
Ratings for safety-related services were generally strong and similar to or higher than ratings in comparison communities. About 9 in 10 residents gave positive ratings to police services, crime prevention and fire prevention; ratings for these three aspects increased from 2011 to 2016.
About 9 in 10 residents reported that they had not been the victim of a crime and more than 8 in 10 had not reported a crime in the past 12 months.
Residents indicated that would like to see O’Fallon’s high level of safety continue in the coming years: 96 percent of residents indicated that public safety/crime prevention will be an essential or very important issue in the future.
Almost all O’Fallon residents rated the quality of life in its city as excellent or good, according to a NCS.
Complete survey results, as well as the survey results presentation, are posted on the city’s website.