Silverthorne residents have their say | SummitDaily.com

Silverthorne residents have their say

HARRIET HAMILTON
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado

SILVERTHORNE – The results of the 2007 Silverthorne Community Survey are in and responses indicate the town population continues to increase in both age and education level, Northwest Colorado Council of Governments (NWCCOG) researcher Doug Westenskow told the town council at its work session Tuesday night.

Results of the study show a substantial increase in the percentage of respondents over the age of 55 since the town’s 2005 survey, as well as considerable growth in the percentage of respondents who have graduate or professional degrees.

Of the more than 2,500 surveys sent to a random sample of registered voters, property owners, and licensed Silverthorne business last fall, nearly 600 were returned, Westenskow said.

Some neighborhoods had higher rates of response to the survey than others, affecting the study’s overall findings. Residents of Eagles Nest/Three Peaks were most likely to return the questionnaire and those living in Sierra Madre and Blue River Apartments the least. The questionnaire asked respondents to rate their satisfaction with town services, rank their priorities for potential town improvements, and list what they see as the most important issues facing Silverthorne in the near future, in addition to answering straightforward demographic questions.

Respondents listed growth management, forest/pine beetle mitigation, and development of the downtown core as their three highest priority issues. The three suggestions for town improvements receiving the most support were maintenance of water quality, improved fire mitigation, and maintenance of town facilities.

The poorest ratings from the survey tended to cluster around affordable housing issues – including employee-housing problems for businesses ” and land use planning and zoning.

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According to town manager assistant Ryan Hyland, the nearly $11,000 study “is one of many tools the Council utilizes to determine the community’s opinions on specific and general policy issues.”

Councilmembers received the complete results of the survey Tuesday night and town manager Kevin Batchelder said a version of the report will soon be available to the public on the town’s website.

At its regular Wednesday meeting, the council approved the sketch plan for the South Maryland Creek Ranch development and authorized continued design work on the joint fire department/public works facility to be built north of Silverthorne Elementary.

Mayor Dave Koop, on behalf of the town, presented Loren “Stinky” Steinbrink with a plaque to honor his long service on Silverthorne’s SPORT committee, and acting Police Chief Mark Hanschmidt introduced three new police officers to the council: Brent Jones, Matt Tarnoff, and Anthony Passalacqua.