NEWS RELEASE

 

February 23, 2011

For Additional Information:

Robert Simison, Meridian Mayor’s Office

(208) 888-4433

 

RESIDENTS AGREE – MERIDIAN A GREAT PLACE TO RAISE A FAMILY

 

Meridian, ID – (February 23, 2011) – Meridian residents voiced their opinion in the City’s first-ever comprehensive survey with 92% saying that Meridian is a good or excellent place to raise a family, but the survey reflected concerns conducive to traffic pressures as the geographic center hosting the valley’s traffic.  The results of the survey were accepted by the City Council during the February 22, 2011 City Council meeting.

 

According to the resident survey, 89% report that the quality of life in Meridian exceeds expectations, and 82% say the quality of city services exceeds their expectations.  Just over two-thirds (68%) feel that they are getting their money’s worth and 16% say they are not getting their money’s worth. In addition, 78% report that Meridian is heading in the right direction, while 85% report that the quality of life in Meridian is ideal.

 

“The decisions we make tie back to our vision statement to be a premiere place to live, work, and raise a family.  This survey is the validation that our efforts, and the efforts of many other community partners, are building a ‘best place’ city,” Mayor Tammy de Weerd said.  “While we appreciate the positive feedback, we also heard about the challenges we face as a community, specifically related to Transportation, Economy, and Community Planning, and we will work as a team to find ways to address these with our partners.”

 

Meridian residents did not identify one single issue as the most important, but 20% said growth and 18% identified traffic congestion as the top two issues.  The economy was also listed as being important.

 

Findings in the survey include:

 

  • City parks and emergency services were the highest rated city services.  Specifically the City does a good job in providing safe, fun, convenient, and attractive parks.  Fire protection, emergency medical services, and law enforcement were also identified as items above the overall mean.
  • Road upkeep and expansion (28%) was the top item identified by residents when asked to indicate what item they think the City should make as its highest budget priority, although respondents were advised the City didn’t have authority of this service that is performed by the Ada County Highway District.
  • Attracting and retaining businesses (25%) and planning for growth (18%) are the top items identified when residents were given a list of 10 spending priorities and asked to rank them in terms of importance for the City over the next two years.
  • Nearly 2/3 (62%) of residents agree that the City should prohibit smoking in public parks; 26% disagreed.  Meridian recently limited smoking to parking lots in public parks.
  • Half of Meridian residents have one or more dogs, with an overall mean of 1.49 dogs per household, giving the City a dog population of just under 17,000 dogs.  A task force has been meeting to address the need for off-leash areas for dogs in Meridian.

 

This was the first survey conducted to gauge customer satisfaction with city services.  The survey was conducted in November using a mix of telephone and online questionnaires to produce a statistically valid sample of adults in every region of the city.  With 575 completed surveys the margin of error was plus or minus 4.0 percentage points.

 

“The survey results establish where the City is today and provide a benchmarking tool for citizen satisfaction with city services – helping us do our best to meet the vision, mission, and values for the community we serve while planning for the future,” said Meridian City Councilman Charlie Rountree.

 

The full City of Meridian 2010 Citizen Survey can be access online at www.meridiancity.org.

 

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The City of Meridian is located at the center of the Treasure Valley in southwest Idaho, minutes from the State Capitol. Founded in 1893 and incorporated as a city in 1903, Meridian is now one of Idaho’s largest and fastest growing communities. As the home to many young families, Meridian is a vibrant community whose mission is to be a premier city to live, work and raise a family and was selected in 2010 by Family Circle Magazine as one of their Top 10 Best Cities for Families, by Money Magazine as one of its 100 Best Places to Live, and by America’s Promise Alliance and ING as one of the nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People For more information about Meridian, visit www.meridiancity.org.