Marquette Township residents weigh in on survey

MARQUETTE — Marquette Township residents were recently given an opportunity to weigh in on multiple aspects of living in the municipality via the township’s 2018 Community Survey.

During its regular meeting on Tuesday, the Marquette Township Board heard the results of the survey, which was sent out to 750 randomly chosen township residents in June.

Township Planning Administrator Jason McCarthy said survey participation was better than expected, with 248 residents responding.

“We are confident (this is) a fairly accurate depiction of public opinion on the subject matter in the survey — 145 (surveys returned) was our goal,” McCarthy said.

A slight majority of respondents — 52 percent — said improving snow plowing efforts was the most important action the township could make; 39 percent said improvements in safety efforts by police would be most important, with another 38 percent citing fire protection as being most important. Improving park maintenance was indicated to be the least important action, according to the survey findings overview.

The survey also asked questions of residents to obtain feedback about whether certain services should be funded by a millage.

During a regular meeting in June, the board directed township Clerk Randy Ritari to draft ballot language requesting .6 mill to pay for Marquette Township Fire Department apparatus replacement and .4 mill for a portion of supplemental police services provided by the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office to be put before voters on Nov. 6.

The survey found that 55 percent of respondents were either supportive or very supportive of maintaining current police services if funded by a millage, 23 percent of respondents were not supportive, and 22 percent were unsure.

A slight majority of those surveyed were in favor of funding new fire department equipment using a millage.

Fifty-one percent of respondents indicated support for a one-half mill investment dedicated to the future replacement of fire department apparatus, survey documents show, with 15 percent indicating support for a 1.5 to 2 mill millage. About a third of the survey respondents (34 percent) noted that they were not supportive of an increased investment for fire department apparatus.

The survey also asked if respondents would support the township pursuing land acquisition opportunities, shared services with neighboring communities, and what type of growth or land use was preferred by respondents.

The document will now be used by the township planning commission to draft a new master plan, McCarthy said, but can also be used as a guideline for other things.

“This is going to be used by the planning commission in drafting our master plan, but really this is a good tool to have in your toolbox as a board member, as a commissioner, anyone in a leadership role, because you have the public telling you what they think about how you are doing and what you are doing right before you in front of your eyes on a hard copy,” McCarthy said. “This is great information to use, sort of the goals and objectives in the master plan will reflect some of these things, and you will have the opportunity, of course to review that and provide comment and amendments to it.”

The full survey report can be found in the packet materials on the Marquette Township website.

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is lbowers@miningjournal.net.

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