With few exceptions, South Jordan residents generally like their municipal services and rate the community's quality of life as good to excellent.
Only street maintenance, animal control and police services generated poor marks in a recent citywide survey, and city officials vowed Tuesday to address those concerns in the upcoming budget."Overall, we are extremely pleased with the results of the survey and with the high number of responses we received," said City Administrator Richard Warne.
Warne said 718 of South Jordan's 3,140 households responded to the detailed questionnaire, giving the City Council and city workers a good idea of the city's strengths and weaknesses.
The "report card" gives the highest grades - more than 75 percent of "good" or "excellent" marks - to school traffic safety, fire and emergency medical services, and park and cemetery maintenance. Garbage collection, culinary water, administrative services and building inspection received good to excellent responses from more than 70 percent.
Police services barely exceeded 50 percent; animal control fell below the 50-percent mark, and street maintenance was at the bottom, with 25 percent. Almost 40 percent of the residents said street maintenance is poor.
Overall, 86 percent of the city's residents call South Jordan a good or excellent place to live, and fewer than 1 percent said the quality of life poor.
Assistant Administrator Tony Murphy said the principal message of the survey is that South Jordan residents wish to maintain their rural lifestyle while improving their residential infrastructure and encouraging quality economic developments.
For example, area residents now drive long distances to reach a grocery store, and the survey indicates that most - 85 percent - would prefer to have a supermarket in town. Murphy and Warne said the city may be able to use the results of the survey to lure a supermarket.
To address citizen concerns about lack of adequate animal control, the administrators intend to add money to the budget for a full-time animal control officer.
The issue of street maintenance is more complicated, Warne said, because the city is reluctant to repave roads until all pending underground utility work is done. "We don't want to rip it up over and over again," he explained.
Nevertheless, the new budget will increase spending for road maintenance. And the proposed budget includes a new snowplow and sander, along with money for a full-time public works employee.
Murphy said economic development is a critical concern in South Jordan, and $45,000 may be spent to encourage business growth.
Warne added, "That is a substantial committment for a community of our size."
He also said the citywide survey may become an annual feature of the budgetary process. "We are sincerely interested in knowing what the people of South Jordan think about their city, whether it is positive or negative."
The 'report card'
Percentages of citizen reponse
Excellent Good Fair Poor
Administrative services 11 62 22 5
Animal control 5 41 27 27
Building inspection 12 58 21 9
Cemetery maintenance 8 73 16 3
Courts 6 55 26 13
Crossing guards 21 64 12 3
Culinary water 12 61 20 7
EMT/paramedics 19 63 14 4
Fire 21 62 14 3
Garbage collection 17 57 18 8
Park maintenance 11 66 19 4
Planning services 9 49 31 11
Police 12 40 24 24
Snow removal 9 41 29 21
Streets 2 23 37 38