Community-Wide Survey 2021

Household Survey Results

Area/Service: Weldon Spring Rating: U.S. Average Rating:
As a place to live 99% 73%
As a place to raise a family 97% 71%
As a place to retire 86% 57%
As a place to work 73% 60%
Police protection services 81% 64%
Feeling of safety in the City parks 86% 65%
Feeling of safety in your neighborhood during the day 98% 89%
The City’s parks and recreation system 88% 59%
Maintenance of City streets, sidewalks, buildings & facilities 75% 52%
Customer service from city employees 74% 51%
Overall appearance of the City 88% 66%
Overall value received for City taxes & fees 72% 44%
Overall satisfaction with City services 84% 59%

OVERVIEW 

ETC Institute administered the DirectionFinder® survey for the City of Weldon Spring in April and May of 2021. The survey was administered as part of the City’s ongoing effort to assess citizen satisfaction with the quality of city services. This survey is the first survey ETC Institute has conducted for the City of Weldon Spring.
Weldon Spring's 2021 Community-Wide Survey Full Report

METHODOLOGY

A six-page survey was mailed to all households in the City of Weldon Spring. The mailed survey included:
- A postage-paid return envelope.
- A cover letter explaining the purpose of the survey.
- A link to the online version of the survey.
Approximately ten days after the surveys were mailed, residents who received the survey were contacted by email to encourage participation. A total of 380 households completed the survey. The results for 380 households have a 95% confidence level with a precision of at least +/-5%.

PUBLIC SAFETY: 

The highest levels of satisfaction with public safety services, based upon the combined percentage of “very satisfied” and “satisfied” responses among residents who had an opinion, were: overall fire services (87%), overall ambulance services (84%), the relationship between police officers and residents (81%), and how quickly police officers respond to emergencies (76%). Residents were also asked to rate how safe they felt in various situations in the City. 
The areas/situations where residents felt safest, based upon the combined percentage of “very safe” and “safe” responses among those who had an opinion, were: 
- in neighborhoods during the day (98%) 
- overall feeling of safety in Weldon Spring (95%)

RESPONSE:

The City of Weldon Spring has a contract with Saint Charles County Police Department to provide police services. The agreement provides for 24/7 response coverage but specifically places one dedicated officer in Weldon Spring for ten hours every day for a cost of approximately $220,000 per year. This contracted work is still significantly cheaper than having an independent police department. The City is exploring options for increasing the amount of additional dedicated policing patrols in the city limits. The preliminary discussions with the St. Charles County Police Dept. estimated it would cost an additional $125,000 annually to add six hours of patrol per day. Patrols would be 16 hours of dedicated patrol while still providing 24/7 emergency response for a total estimated cost of $345,000 annually.

INFRASTRUCTURE MAINTENANCE

- (85%) of the residents surveyed were “very satisfied” and “satisfied” with the overall cleanliness of City streets and other public areas; 
- (84%) were satisfied with the maintenance of street signs and traffic signals, and 
- (79%) were satisfied with snow/ice removal on City streets.

RESPONSE:

In 2021, the City Engineer further developed a five-year Public Infrastructure Plan for city-wide roadway maintenance and improvements. It addresses the needs of all Weldon Spring’s publicly owned and maintained streets over time and will help guide decisions on how to budget and when to plan for work. The plan includes portions of the main internal roadways that are the responsibility of the City; these include Wolfrum, Independence, Siedentop, Sammelman, Pitman Hill, O’Fallon roads, Patriotic Trail, and Weldon Spring Parkway. Additionally, numerous subdivisions have dedicated their streets to the City for ongoing maintenance and snow plowing services. There are approximately 9.33 miles of asphalt roads and 14 miles of concrete streets maintained by the City of Weldon Spring. According to the analysis, the City needs to spend over $500,000 per year to keep the city streets in good condition.  

SUPPORT FOR COMMUNITY INVESTMENT AREAS

Residents were asked to rate their level of support for community investment areas in Weldon Spring. The highest levels of support, based upon the combined percentage of “very supportive” and “supportive” responses among residents who had an opinion, were: 
- maintaining existing street, sidewalk, and stormwater systems to their current or designed standards (95%)
- improving/upgrading major city streets to add safety features such as shoulders, curbs/gutters, bike lanes, pedestrian facilities, etc. (86%)
- increasing police presence and dedicated patrol in the City (83%). 
Based on the sum of their top two choices, the community investment areas that are most important for the City to pursue were: 
1) improving/upgrading major city streets to add safety features 
2) increasing police presence and dedicated patrol in the City.

RESPONSE:

The City of Weldon Spring is proud of what it has accomplished with the available funding it currently receives. The City believes it has been fiscally responsible working within the confines of the available funding resources and leveraging County and Federal funding for major roadway safety improvements to many of the main city routes. Additional sources of funding would be needed to attain the top two community investment areas identified by residents, listed above.

CITY TAXES:

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of residents surveyed were “very supportive” and “supportive” of a 1% sales tax that would be dedicated to public safety, specifically police services and roadway improvements/maintenance; (16%) were not supportive of the sales tax, and (26%) indicated they need more information.

RESPONSE:

The City of Weldon Spring has a .5% sales tax that funds Parks & Facility management and improvement projects. 
CITY CURRENT SALES TAX RATE CURRENT PROPERTY TAX RATE
Weldon Spring: 0.5% 0.0000
St. Peters: 2.0% 0.7700
Cottleville: 2.0% 0.2819
Dardenne Prairie: 2.0% 0.1025
Wentzville: 2.5% 0.6722









If the Weldon Spring voters approved a Public Safety 1.0% Sales Tax for policing services, and roadway maintenance/improvements it would generate an estimated $600,000 - $700,000 per year in new revenue. 

2020 St. Charles County Sales Tax Rates

PARKS & RECREATION

The highest levels of satisfaction with parks and recreation, based upon the combined percentage of “very satisfied” and “satisfied” responses among residents who had an opinion, were: 
- maintenance and appearance of City parks (89%)
- overall appearance of parks/green space areas (86%) 
- how close neighborhood parks are to home (83%)
- quality of playground equipment (83%)
Based on the sum of their top two choices, the parks and recreation services that residents indicated should receive the most emphasis from City leaders over the next two years were: 
1) number of walking and biking trails and 
2) connectivity of walking/biking systems.

SUPPORT FOR VARIOUS TYPES OF PARK AMENITY/IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS: 

Residents were asked to rate their level of support for various types of park amenity/improvement projects. The highest levels of support, based upon the combined percentage of “very supportive” and “supportive” responses among residents who had an opinion, 
- walking trails (89%) 
- pavilions/shelters (78%) 
- playground equipment (73%) 
- outdoor amphitheater (67%)
Based on the sum of their top two choices, the park/amenity improvement projects that should receive the most emphasis in the future were: 
1) walking trails
2) outdoor amphitheater.

TRAILS:

Residents were asked their level of agreement with transportation issues in Weldon Spring. More than three-fourths (76%) “strongly agreed” and “agreed” that the City should build a network of sidewalks, trails, bike routes, and bike lanes that link neighborhoods with recreational, cultural, and business centers; (67%) “strongly agreed” and “agreed” that the City should pursue enhanced pedestrian crossing(s)/connections at/over Route 94.

RESPONSE:

In 2020-2021 the City planned for and began constructing over one half miles of additional internal walking trails in the Weldon Spring City Park. The construction efforts are nearing completion as the new asphalt trails have been fully paved, and final finish grading, cleanup, and restoration work remain. These additional trails will allow the public to enjoy the City’s primary 18 acres. These trail improvements will cost approximately $320,000. 
Before the Community-wide Survey, the City of Weldon Spring planned to hire a professional firm to create a Parks & Greenway (trail) Master Plan. In the Summer of 2021, PDS was hired to carry out this work. The consultant will collect information and input from the community and work with city staff, the Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC), and the Board of Aldermen to create a plan to guide new parks and greenway initiatives. This plan will explore new options for interconnected trails and parks in the city limits.
Additionally, the PRAC has identified a large pavilion with ADA restrooms and separately an amphitheater as desired projects to pursue over the next two years. The PRAC also hopes to win grant funding for these two projects to further leverage city dollars.  

SPECIAL EVENTS:

Interest in Various Parks and Recreation Events/Activities. Residents were asked to rate their level of interest in various parks and recreation events and activities in Weldon Spring. The highest levels of interest, based upon the combined percentage of “very interested” and “interested” responses among residents who had an opinion, were:
- live music and food trucks in the park (84%) 
- holiday light display in the park (78%) 
- Independence Day celebration (77%) 
- Fall Festival (72%)

RESPONSE:

The City is planning to hold many of the same events families have grown to love and offer new options that will become instant favorites. Of course, several events may be subject to Covid-19 conditions and may have to be post-poned or modified to ensure the public’s safety. Follow the City’s social media for more information.
List of Years Events:
- Fall Festival: mid-October
- November Park Clean-up and Tree planting: early November
- Santa’s Visit: early December
- Earth Day Celebration and Movie Night: 04/23/21
- Kids Fishing Day: 06/11/21 
- Music & Movie Nights Third Friday in June, July, & August in 2022
- Independence Celebration: early July

INFRASTRUCTURE & COMMUNITY PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT

The highest levels of satisfaction with community planning and development, based upon the combined percentage of “very satisfied” and “satisfied” responses among residents, who had an opinion, were: 
- the City’s land use, subdivision, and zoning regulation (64%) 
- the City’s Comprehensive Plan (56%).
SUPPORT FOR VARIOUS TYPES OF RESIDENTIAL OR COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT: 
Residents were asked to rate their level of support for various types of residential or commercial development in Weldon Spring. The highest levels of support, based upon the combined percentage of “very supportive” and “supportive” responses among residents who had an opinion, were: 
- single-family housing (83%)
- entertainment/destination lifestyle commercial (54%) 
- senior citizen housing (50%)

RESPONSE:

The City staff has researched and drafted a several proposed code changes to Chapter 400 which deals with zoning and land use. Specifically, there are amendments that will open up opportunities for “Senior Living” developments and communities, which would other wise be difficult to facilitate under current regulations. If these changes are adopted the City is confident new senior living development opportunities will materialize. 

CITY ELECTED OFFICIALS  & STAFF: 

The highest levels of satisfaction with City leadership, based upon the combined percentage of “very satisfied” and “satisfied” responses among residents who had an opinion, were: quality of leadership by the City’s elected officials (76%) and effectiveness of the City Administrator and Management (74%), while non-management city staff also scored high with a (71%) satisfaction level.

Business Survey Results

The Weldon Spring Community-Wide Business Survey Report details the business responces.

 




A request for proposal for this project was done in the Fall of 2020.