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Published: 2/23/2010

Whitehouse council eyeing results of community survey

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Most residents of Whitehouse like their community's small-town atmosphere and don't want to mess with that by bringing in big-box stores or heavy manufacturing plants.

They would like to see more recreational opportunities, though, as well as a more appealing downtown business district similar to those in Waterville, Maumee, Sylvania, and Perrysburg.

Those were among the findings of a communitywide survey Village Council conducted last summer. Council members sat down last week to review the data.

"We're going to analyze the results and determine what we can do from these results, what way we can best move the village in the direction we've been told by the residents they want to move in," said Maridee Curry, chairman of council's economic development committee.

Hearing it straight from residents was important to council members who not only created the survey questions over several months but took the surveys door-to-door last summer and returned to pick up the surveys.

Ms. Curry said that not only saved money but engendered goodwill.

"It meant more, and that was something we heard from our constituents too," she said. "Many said, 'Thank you for caring enough to knock on my door and listen to what I think.'•"

The only expense incurred so far, Whitehouse Finance Director Jordan Daugherty said, was $700 the village paid to a consultant who created a PowerPoint presentation and executive summary of the survey results.

Mr. Daugherty said he will present a second draft of the results to council March 9, and village officials plan to present the findings in detail to the public by the end of March.

Ms. Curry, who conceded that nothing in the results floored her, said council did the survey because it wanted to make sure its economic development strategy is consistent with residents' vision for their village.

"Most affirmed what I already thought," she said. "We had a large outcry for Whitehouse to become and continue to grow as a recreational community, to utilize the assets we already have."

Some 70 percent said they would like to see the Nona France Quarry reopened for swimming and other recreational pursuits.

Sixty-four percent favored a community center, while 52 percent said they would like to see a senior center in town.

Residents said they were strongly opposed to additional taxes, and some expressed concerns about stepped-up enforcement of zoning rules, poor sidewalk conditions, and the perception that the police department is overstaffed.

Mr. Daugherty said about 700 residents from 1,600 households completed the surveys.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at:

jfeehan@theblade.com

or 419-724-6129.



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