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Online survey seeks feedback from residents

DANNEMORA The residents of the town of Dannemora now have a new way to have their voices heard or more to the point have their opinions read. An on-line survey is now featured on the towns Web site, http://townofdannemora.tripod.com, which chiefly asks residents what issues concern them most. Kristine Bowman, secretary to the town supervisor, developed the survey for the Web site using a program through FreeOnlineSurveys.com. Bowman, who also maintains the town Web site, said the surveys creation stemmed from an issue raised at a recent town council meeting. During the meeting, some residents asked the council if they would consider investigating whether or not the town is in within a flood plane. As the town has no official designation of being in a flood plane, residents, particularly those who live on the shores of Chazy Lake, cannot purchase flood insurance, said Bowman. Other residents in attendance for the meeting were opposed to the town pursuing such a designation, she said, as a flood plane designation would require those buying property on the lake to purchase flood insurance. I guess its very expensive, said Bowman, adding the price was determinate on a propertys assessed value. The process for the town to pursue a flood plane designation would take up to a year, Bowman added, prompting her to suggest the idea of a survey to town supervisor Barbara Douglas. Theres certainly people who dont want it, but theres certainly people who do want it, Douglas said, referring to flood insurance. This is one way of finding out what the people want. Bowman said she suggested including topics for residents to comment on such as taxes, assessments, roads and youth programs, which Douglas ultimately approved. We figured wed get feedback in general about what people are interested in and, actually, Ive had quite a few comments, good and bad, said Bowman. The survey, which was posted on-line Aug. 5, has received 17 responses to date. Of that amount, eight were in favor of obtaining flood insurance. Thirteen of the respondents also chose taxes as an area of concern for them, while another resident chose playground equipment. Bowman said she will print the results of the survey and submit them to the town council for their review at their Aug. 27 meeting. The survey will be a useful tool for this topic and others in the future for receiving feedback, said Douglas. Though town council meetings are typically held the last Wednesday of every month, few attend them unless there is an issue of personal concern, she said. We always want to hear what the residents have to say about what we can do better, Douglas said. We want to hear the complaints as well as the positives so we can do better in the future.

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