Eagle to survey business owners, citizens | VailDaily.com

Eagle to survey business owners, citizens

David L'Heureux

The Town of Eagle is funding a survey this month aimed at identifying local business owners’ and citizens’ feelings and perceptions about current town services and the direction of future growth.The survey, which will cost $15,000, is the first of its kind for Eagle. To ensure objectivity and statistical validity, the town has hired an outside agency, the Northwest Council of Governments, to conduct the survey. The group has issued similar surveys in mountain towns across Colorado.”We are drawing off the experience of some of the other mountain communities,” said Town Manager Willy Powell. “It’s helpful to see what they have done.”When the results come back, town planners and elected officials will only know if a specific survey was filled out by a local business owner, an Eagle property owner or an Eagle resident, who rents a home. They will not know any more specific information than that.”It’s all anonymous. We won’t know how any one person voted,” said Powell. “But we will be able to break people down into those three categories.”According to Eagle mayor John Stavney, the survey will, first and foremost, try to find out how residents feel about town services such as police visibility and response time, animal control, municipal court, street cleaning, snow removal, maintenance of parks, trails and open space, building permits, code enforcement and water and sewer services.”This is an attempt by local government to be responsive to its citizens,” said Stavney. “One of our goals is to accurately judge people’s perception about how the town is being operated. We want to be able to improve on our performance.”The survey will also try to determine how town residents feel about the current growth rate, where people spend their disposable income, and how receptive people are to the possibility of future commercial development, be it big boxes or smaller stores in Eagle. While the population in Eagle is quickly growing, the trend of people going elsewhere to spend their money continues. Powell said keeping residents’ disposable income in town is a priority for the future.”Currently in Eagle we have a lot of ‘leakage’ of peoples’ disposable income,” said Powell. “We are trying to see what those leakage’s are, and where they are, to better understand our economy here.”That economy could include a variety of large-scale commercial developments that would help keep tax revenues within town limits and attract additional revenues from without. There are sites zoned for such projects at Red Mountain Ranch east of town. However, Powell, says preserving the town’s character is an important issue here.”Everyone wants to maintain that small town character, that’s why we move out here,” said Powell.Powell said that every licensed business owner with an established location will get a survey. Of the approximately 1,200 households in Eagle, between 400-500 will also receive surveys.”That’s a pretty broad sample,” said Powell.

Support Local Journalism