Two key sets of findings from the Parks Facilities Survey

During this past week, staff has delved deeper into results of the statistically-valid Parks Facilities Survey we discussed in our last post. Because of the detail involved, it is important for everyone to understand all aspects of the data. This week we’ll explore two sets of the survey findings: how many years respondents have lived in Merriam; and the value residents place on having a community recreation center in Merriam.

First, the number of years respondents have lived in Merriam was quantified using two different variables. First, by age only, then by households with and without children. Here are the results:

Under 35

72% have lived in Merriam
less than 10 years

Age 35-44

64% have lived in Merriam
less than 10 years

Age 55-64

58% have lived in Merriam 11
– 30 years

Age 45 – 65

64% have lived in Merriam 11
– 30 years

Over 65

74% have lived in Merriam over 21 years

These two breakdowns indicate that people choose to live or move to Merriam to raise their family, then choose to stay here as “empty nesters.” This information, when compared to city household demographics, breaks down the following way:

Age of People in Household

Percentage of Population

Under age 10

12%

Age 10 – 19

10%

Age 20 – 34

17%

Age 35 – 44

26%

Age 45 – 65

30%

Over age 65

18%

These numbers are significant when trying to determine what amenities and programs are needed for various facilities. It will be important that whatever decision is made it will meet the needs of future generations.

The second question asked a series of value statements related to a community recreation center. There were five options to consider: strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, or strongly disagree. The three statements reviewed included:

  • It is valuable to me to have a community recreation center
  • I believe a community recreation center boosts property values
  • The City of Merriam needs a new community recreation center

The results of these questions by household revealed the following:

Value Statement

Household children

 under 10

Households children

10 – 19

Households

20 – 54

no children

Households 55

no children

It is valuable to me to have a community recreation center.

81.5%

77.8%

78.8%

71.6%

I believe a community recreation center boosts property values.

80%

69.8%

78.6%

70.7%

The City of Merriam needs a new community recreation center.

69.6%

63%

60.3%

47.4%

In addition, staff reviewed responses of those that disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement. Those results were:

Value Statement

Household children

under 10

Households children

10 – 19

Households

20 – 54

no children

Households 55

no children

It is valuable to me to have a community recreation center.

4.1%

7.5%

4.5%

6%

I believe a community recreation center boosts property values.

4.4%

7.6%

3.4%

9.4%

The City of Merriam needs a new community recreation center.

4.4%

11.2%

5.6%

16.8%

Results indicate that residents see value in recreation services and amenities in Merriam — both personally and in property values. It also shows support for a new community recreation center.

Staff will continue to review the survey information in the coming days and weeks, ensures that a resident-driven approach is taken to determine a long-term solution. Carefully reviewing the data and using the different data sets for review, will help staff make an informed and educated recommendation to City Council regarding the strategy for moving forward with our Parks and Recreation facilities.

Contact Parks & Recreation Director Anna Slocum with questions or to get additional information.

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