A new survey is available for Troy residents in August to gauge their opinions on issues such as parks, public safety, and road construction and repair.

A new survey is available for Troy residents in August to gauge their opinions on issues such as parks, public safety, and road construction and repair.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Survey to collect data on Troy residents’ priorities

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published August 11, 2022


TROY — Troy residents interested in making their voices heard in regard to their city’s goals in the near future will have the chance to do so with a new survey gauging residents’ priorities.

“It’s a survey where we’re building on resident surveys we did in 2021 where we got general information about satisfaction with city services and a variety of other things,” explained Troy Assistant City Manager Bob Bruner. “This time we are focusing in on what the most important services and resources are, such as parks, buildings, amenities and things like that. We want to see what residents like, what they want, and what they would be willing to pay for in regard to those things.”

The surveys will be handled by Cobalt Community Research. William SaintAmour, the group’s executive director, said that they are approaching the survey results in a way where they will be used in tandem with previous survey results they have gathered on behalf of the city of Troy.

“It’s a combination of prior surveys that we did with Troy and other cities that we work with and the particular needs and opportunities particular to the city of Troy. This was conversations with residents, topics brought up by the City Council and so forth,” said SaintAmour. “I think the overarching goal is to promote community engagement regarding their budget priorities and to look at their internal priorities and making sure the appropriate infrastructure is in place to support those priorities.”

“It will build on resident surveys from 2021,” added Bruner. “That resident survey included a citizen satisfaction portion, which helped us benchmark what residents thought and compared our standards to cities across the state and country. This new survey will be more focused on amenities in Troy.”

Bruner said that while the 2021 survey was more from a big picture perspective, this new survey will include collecting specific information about what residents are thinking.

“We asked a lot of questions in 2021, and some facilities such as streets and parks scored very high on interest,” he said. “This time, there will be more specific questions regarding specific locations or programs. This could mean City Hall or the Troy Historic Village or a specific park.”

Bruner said that these specific areas of interest are primarily divided into two aspects.

“We’re really trying to understand two things,” he remarked. “The first are residents’ priorities in terms of programs and services, infrastructure, facilities, and so forth. Secondly, we also want to see what kind of priorities people have and what kind of budget strategies they would be interested in. This could mean services residents might want to shut down to save money, or, on the other end of the spectrum, if they would support a new tax similar to the dedicated library millage that could support something new.”

SaintAmour said that the surveys demonstrate to him that the city truly cares about what their residents think and wants them to be stakeholders when determining the community’s future.

“The city really does care about resident’s perceptions and priorities, and the conversation doesn’t end here,” he said. “There are a lot of opportunities for residents to share their input with the city even after the survey is complete. This is just a comprehensive way of collecting that data.”

“We will have a sample of 2,000 residents who receive it by mail on approximately Aug. 15, and then anyone who wants to take the survey can do so online,” explained Bruner. “That will be posted to the city’s website (www.troymi.gov) and social media once it’s finalized. … We’ll have a link to the survey on the home page.”

No official deadline has been set, but Bruner said it will be sometime in September. Once the data has been collected, it will be used to inform City Council planning sessions and eventually influence next year’s budget.

“All of this information will be collected and digested, and it will be a very crucial component to our strategic planning sessions by the City Council in November,” Bruner said. “We had some major changes to our city’s plans at these meetings in the past few years. It lets us have more time to talk about these issues for when we work out a proposed budget in April (2023) and finalize it in May.”