Monday, August 2, 2021

2021 Highland City Survey Overview and Responses to Comments

2021 Resident Survey Participation Comparison
This year we had the highest number of survey respondents since we started the surveys. Thank you to those who participated. Your responses really do impact decisions. Nearly half of those who submitted a survey provided written comments (631 out of 1270).

The top three issues based on the % of comments made were:
  • Taxes & Fees (26% pf comments): A number of residents asked that the city quit raising taxes or fees. The city has not raised property tax since at least 2008. For 2020 Highland City had the 2nd lowest property tax rate in N. Utah County. We have added a public safety fee and road fee in recent years and adjusted the other fees (Pressured Irrigation, Sewer, Storm Sewer, & Culinary Water) to cover the costs of maintaining those systems. In spite of those changes our utility rates are slightly below the N. County Average. Click here for comparative information.
  • Parks & Trails (24% of comments): It is clear from comments that parks and trails are valued in Highland and that residents want us to take better care of them, especially the trails. A number of people indicated that they do not want trails to be sold. Earlier this year the council approved a 5-year trail rehabilitation plan, last year we seal coated over 60% of the trails, we’ve started a puncture control program this year. One other note is that it looks like we will be starting to develop the Mountain Ridge park next year.
  • Roads & Traffic (22% of comments): Some expressed concern regarding the lack of progress on our roads. We are in the 4th year of our 7-year road rehabilitation plan and are on track. However, we still have 3 years to go so there is a fair amount of work we still need to do. Click here to see all the projects we did in 2020. For information about our 7-year road plan and the current status please click here. One of the  most asked about projects, 6800 W south of 9600 W (road to Costco), was delayed until 2022 because of right of way acquisition issues. We did complete the connector road between Alpine Hwy and Highland Blvd this year, something many thought would never happen. Many are concerned about the increase in traffic in Highland as well as speeding.  Unfortunately, we will not see a decrease in traffic in the coming years as Highland and the rest of the county continues to grow. Creating more road connections does help disperse traffic and improve traffic flow within the city.

Note, the next highest category was density/development/zoning which represented 10% of the comments.

Comparing this years results with previous years here are some things I found interesting:

  • The quality of life rating improved for the first time in 6 years. We’ve been holding at 3.5 but bumped up to 3.5 the year.
  • Overall, ratings improved by 0.6%.
  • Roads has improved each year since 2016.
  • All public works ratings improved this year (average 5.2%)
  • All public safety ratings declined this year (average -1.8%). Crime prevention and fire had the biggest decline 2.2%. Interestingly enough according to the most recent FBI data Highland (and Alpine) have the lowest crime rate of any city in Utah with a population over 10,000.

Below are charts and graphs that include a comparison of common questions from the 2016 to 2021 survey responses and summarize the 2021 survey responses  Please be patient they may take a while to load.

2016 to 2021 Comparisons

2016 to 2021 Source Data:

2021 Survey Charts

Click here to view the 2021 summary data upon which these charts were based.

Comments and Replies

Please note, my replies to comments were written between March and July of 2021. They represented my thoughts at the time. As I learn more about an issue my opinions are subject to change. I did try to be accurate in my responses but I may not have had all the facts or circumstances may have changed since I replied.

Comment sentiment ratings (positive, neutral, or negative) were subjective. I based the ratings on the tone of the comment. For example, most suggestions for improvement were deemed neutral or in some cases positive. If the comment included a personal attack or adjectives like horrible, terrible ... I rated it negative.

Comment Summary Information

All Comments and Responses
Comments are ordered by the survey section the appear in: General, Library Adult, and Library Youth.

Comments by Top 3 Topics

1. Taxes and Fees

2. Parks & Trails

3. Roads and Traffic

Links to current and prior survey data:

List of links that were included in replies to comments:

Other Links

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