Understanding and adapting to the natural evolution of a community is vital to a local government’s overall plan to provide and sustain important services to its residents and businesses. Moreover, when examining a community’s focus toward development and growth, it’s important to determine if an established comprehensive plan has met the goals and priorities of its residents. These and other important questions were the impetus behind Bath Township’s creation of a community survey, designed to better understand if local government services are meeting resident expectations.
For the past several months, Bath Township leadership has been developing a variety of questions through the online portal Survey Monkey as part of a resident survey on township services and zoning/land use. The survey is accessible through a variety of options including:
- Online at baththownship.org by clicking on the “Community Survey” link located on the homepage, or scan the QR code at the bottom of the postcard sent to residents. A unique identifier, known as UIN or UIC, is listed on the postcard and the summer issue of the Bath Quarterly and will be needed to access the survey.
- In person drop off. For those who don’t have internet access, a hard copy of the community survey can be obtained at the township administration office, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Residents who require additional assistance with the survey may contact the township administration office at 330-666-4007.
With a staff of professional employees in the Bath Township Police Department, communications center, fire department, road department, zoning department, administration and parks division, responding to the needs of residents and business owners is central to the township’s mission of service to the community. Resident input on satisfaction with these services will help township officials better understand how to improve the delivery of these vital services in the future.
Several questions on the survey relate to township website access. In 2019, Bath Township migrated to a new web platform through the firm Revize. This change was part of a rebrand of the township logo and media presence. The new platform was designed to provide greater access to township information and services and continues to evolve to include online payment solutions, and a portal to notify various departments of resident concerns. Bath Township has seen increased website usage and hopes to learn more through the survey about resident access and potential website feature additions.
Residents periodically inquire about access to broadband service in the township and the limited options currently available. Survey responses will be used to discuss the future of broadband at the county level, where plans are underway for a countywide loop network to install fiber in a 125-mile loop through Summit County. Although current plans for the project limit fiber loop connection to government offices, schools and libraries, it’s hoped private investment will expand fiber connection to residential and business customers.
From humble beginnings, the Bath Township Parks system grew from roughly 40 acres to 510 acres of well-maintained and highly utilized parks. As the township evaluates the increasing cost of maintaining the parks system, through personnel and subcontracted labor and materials, survey input will assist in determining how best to apply existing levy funds for operations and maintenance, as well as identifying additional resources needed long term.
Housing availability and land use were key topics in the development of the resident survey. With a limited supply of developable land, resident input on satisfaction with current zoning regulations and interest in future residential/commercial development will assist township officials as they adapt to future needs of the community.
Bath Township has seen considerable growth since its formation in 1818 and local government leadership continues to promote and prioritize programs that serve the best interests of the community. Recognizing the community has evolved, resident input through the survey will help shape the goals and expectations of Bath Township for the future. ∞