Schools, utilities key concerns in Windham resident survey
During the July 30 planning board meeting, town staff and members of Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission (SNHPC) revealed results of the survey.
A separate survey conducted by Northeastern University, centered on residents’ economic development preferences, is still underway. Scott said those results would be addressed publicly this fall.
A total of 357 responders, representing 96 percent of those surveyed, are full-time residents. One responder was a seasonal resident, while 13 responders owned businesses in town.
Average age of responders was in the 35 to 54 range. Forty percent of them indicated they plan to remain in town for “more than 20 years.”
Munn said those responses weren’t included in the 106-page summary, as the SNHPC’s policy is to omit “vulgar” comments.
Munn told him he didn’t believe they did, though Scott suggested some of the negative comments be considered while writing a final report.
The town administrative facilities were deemed “adequate” by responders, though Golden Brook, Center and Windham Middle schools were considered “poor.”
Nearly 200 responders indicated it was a high priority to increase school capacity: 88 said it was a medium priority, while 211 responders agreed protecting local lakes, streams and wetlands was also a high priority.
“Overall, it seems almost everybody feels increasing the capacity of the schools is very important,” Munn said.
Twenty-nine percent of survey participants thought the town should provide public water for both residential and commercial properties, though 34 percent disagreed.
Forty-two percent of participants, or 158 people, said they’d like the town to provide natural gas for both residential and commercial properties. A complete list of the Windham master plan survey results may be viewed via the “2015 Master Plan” link on the home page of the town website, www.windhamnewhampshire.com.