South Range residents identify village priorities: Ordinances, blight, roads top list in survey results

Kali Katerberg/Daily Mining Gazette Results from the South Range community survey have been compiled, with many suggestions and thoughts on the village's direction.

SOUTH RANGE — Community survey results are in with many suggestions and several key areas of focus for village elected officials to focus on.

The survey was sent out by the village council earlier in the summer to gauge the thoughts of village residents and their concerns. Ultimately 58 surveys were returned, an 18 percent response rate.

Most of the respondents owned homes and answered questions about beautification, direction, ordinances, infrastructure and community involvement.

Ordinances, blight and roads were top priorities among respondents with 79 percent very concerned over unsightly junk and trash and 51 percent saying the village needs to improve ordinance writing and enforcement in the village.

“A lot of the concerns we thought the residents have they have. It’s issues of blight, issues of zoning enforcement,” said Village President Justin Marier.

He expressed disappointment many of the comments indicated unawareness of the council’s recent projects but suggested the village work on improving communication to residents to resolve that.

Trustee Sarah Derenzo suggested the village Facebook be used to help connect with residents more frequently.

The village roads were another area of concern with many commenters specifying problem areas.

“We know streets are an issue and we knew that going in. I was surprised 71 percent of the people that responded are very supportive of a millage increase for road repairs,” Marier said.

“I don’t think we’re at that point yet but I do know we want to follow through with our plan next year to budget money to start refacing those problem areas.”

Other suggestions included also focusing on business cleanup, adding a skate park, trying to tap the silent sports market, recycling and becoming part of the Portage Lake District Library branch again.

Some suggestions conflicted, with mixed reviews over a local police officer, recycling and a few respondents warning against implementing too many zoning rules.