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Rochester council set to review community survey results

Survey provides chance for city to compare its outcomes with other communities throughout the nation.

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ROCHESTER — The results of a recent community survey will be shared with the Rochester City Council and the public Monday, during the council’s weekly study session.

It is the city’s second community survey since 2018, but the first conducted with the National Research Center, which works with cities and counties to collect data related to local government operations.

City Administrator Alison Zelms said the partnership with National Research Center provides an opportunity to use the survey findings to prioritize evidence-based decision-making.

“The opportunity to compare our results to other similar communities also allows us to see where we are doing well and what opportunities we have for improvement,” she added.

Rochester sent surveys to 5,500 randomly selected residences, and 828 responses were returned.

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Key findings from the Rochester survey include:

  • Residents enjoy a positive quality of life and strong sense of safety in Rochester.
  • Rochester’s economy and employment opportunities are seen as assets to the community.
  • Rochester’s parks and recreational offerings are highly valued by residents.
  • Residents find value in receiving many city services virtually or digitally.
  • Rochester compares well with similar communities that participate in the survey nationally.
  • Rochester has opportunities to consider amenities for resident experience, visitor experience, housing affordability and yard waste.

In addition to the community survey, the city participated in the related National Business Survey, which allowed businesses to respond. In Rochester more than 230 businesses participated. The key insights from that survey included:

  • The majority of businesses in Rochester reported feeling positively about the local business climate.
  • Only half of business owners or managers gave excellent or good ratings to the city as a place to visit.
  • City services related to transportation ranked well, with a cited opportunity to improve the relationship between businesses and the city.

Rochester officials are planning to conduct the National Community Survey and National Business Survey every two years.
The full report for the National Community Survey and the National Business Survey can be found online at tinyurl.com/ytdtc4my .

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