Washington asks residents about economic development
WASHINGTON — An online survey went live last Thursday after town officials realized they were missing a lot of resident input for one simple reason: many Washington home-owners don’t live there full-time.
So in an effort to reach weekenders and summertime visitors who rarely make an appearance in Town Hall, the Washington Economic Development Committee asked the Connecticut Economic Resources Center to find out just what Washingtonians want done over the next year.
The joint effort resulted in a 36-question survey, which is a new way of doing an old standby, said First Selectman Mark Lyon. Lyon estimates that about 25 percent of Washington home-owners don’t live in town year-round, he said.
While a July 2015 Economic Development Committee meeting identified what the town focused on for that year; this year, town officials wanted a wider reach. So instead of setting up a meeting, they setup a link on their website.
Last year the committee established a newsletter, a town event calendar and improved signage around town parks.
Now the year-old committee wants to find out what to do next.
Although the survey should only take 10 minutes, a press release said, it could still prove helpful for town officials vying to better accommodate the seasonal crowd.
Lyon hopes that the committee can help make the town irresistible to home-owners, he said, adding that he hopes many people who summer in Washington could consider settling there year-round.
The first eight questions of the survey ask takers to identify how often they’re in town, while other questions have more to do with the town itself.
The survey also asks residents to rank “quality of life” factors like proximity to stores and in-town presence of arts and culture.
Lyon doesn’t know how many people have taken the survey so far, he said.
After the survey closes just after Labor Day, the committee will meet and begin work on their second year, and second round, of projects.