Written by Vilma Sceusa, email@example.com Wednesday, 03 July 2013 08:46
Preliminary results of the village’s recent Recreation and Parks Needs Assessment indicate that a centralized community center was cited as a top need by 50 percent of respondents.
Dr. Ananda Mitra, president of Management Learning Laboratories, reviewed initial results last Wednesday at a meeting open to all residents.
Mitra provided an overview of the methodology used and a general review of the findings. A full report will be available at the end of July. The assessment was developed based on a series of focus groups among different demographic segments of the community. Information gleaned from the focus groups aided the development of the questionnaire. Surveys were mailed to village residents with the option of responding via mail or online.
Mitra explained that in order to establish statistical significance, 600 respondents were required with a 3-4 percent sampling error. There were 920 responses and Mitra advised that the survey will be posted shortly on the village’s website to gather more feedback.
Fitness was the leading recreation need, with 65 and 64 percent of respondents respectively expressing an interest. Additional recreation needs include special events; aquatics; water-based recreation; sports and athletics; and hobbies.
Overall, between 80 and 96 percent of respondents believed that village parks are well maintained and add to the quality of life in the community. Mitra indicated that these percentages were higher than most villages he’s surveyed. Ninety-five percent of respondents indicated that parks and recreation is an essential service to the village.
Satisfaction with maintenance of recreation facilities was at 79 percent. Seventy-seven percent of respondents indicated that they would be willing to pay reasonable fees for recreational opportunities and 66 percent expressed an interest for activities for the whole family.
When asked what key findings the survey revealed, Mitra responded that, though further analysis was required, a centralized community center is a key need that if developed could serve as a feeder for other needs such as serving as a venue for fitness programs, concerts, senior and teen programs.
“The story that’s emerging is the desire to house programs all in one place,” said Mitra.
Another area to explore is offering recreational options that are self-funded by charging fees.
Meeting attendee George Salem found the presentation to be very professional.
Bob Orosz found the results to be informative but added: “The needs now have to be weighed with the costs.”
Meeting attendee Joe Leto was dubious about the results.
“I’m not sure I have faith in the survey,” said Leto.
When asked about the status of the renovations for the Golf Club Lane senior center, recreation director Kevin Ocker advised that they are currently waiting for a funding decision from the board of trustees to move ahead.
Though the board of trustees has indicated that they wanted to evaluate the results of the study before making a decision about moving forward with the project, Ocker clarified that the survey was never intended as a referendum for any existing project.
“The purpose for the assessment was for residents to weigh in on how they feel about current recreation offerings and what new options they are looking for,” shared Ocker. “We want to spend our resources where the majority of people want it.”
Anton Community Newspapers contacted Mayor John Watras and he provided the following statement regarding the Golf Club Lane senior center renovation project: "The board is currently considering something very positive for the senior community and I hope by the next board meeting we will come to a consensus and a conclusion."