National Community Survey
The National Community Survey is a biennial survey the City has done since 2005. The City has contracted with the National Research Center (NRC) in Colorado to conduct the survey; previous survey information has been used in developing City Council goals.
The NRC was again contracted in the latter part of 2021 to conduct the survey for the City. The survey results were compiled, formatted, and analyzed in early 2022. The 2021 survey targeted 3,700 randomly selected households with a hybrid collection strategy, traditional mailed, and online-only options. collection strategy, traditional mailed and online-only options.
From the NCS Dashboard Summary:
The National Community Survey™ report is about the “livability” of Pasco. The phrase “livable community” is used here to evoke a place that is not simply habitable but that is desirable. It is not only where people do live, but where they want to live. Great communities are partnerships of the government, private sector, community-based organizations, and residents, all geographically connected. The NCS captures residents’ opinions considering ten central facets of a community:
- Community Design
- Natural Environment
- Parks and Recreation
- Health and Wellness
- Education, Arts and Culture
- Inclusivity & Engagement
When reviewing the report, changes greater than nine percentage points between the 2019 and 2021 surveys are considered to be statistically significant. Overall ratings continue to remain stable (see page 7 of "The NCS Report") with the exception of overall quality of parks and recreation opportunities, likely attributable to restrictions and reductions in programming over the past two years; and overall quality of the utility infrastructure.
Highlights of the survey include:
Quality of Life
- Respondents reported a higher quality of life in Pasco, increasing excellent/good ratings from 61% to 69%. City efforts to promote community and organizational successes are likely to be supporting the continued steady increase of Pasco's overall image/reputation.
- Respondents reported a significant decrease in the value of services for taxes paid to Pasco (2019-50%; 2021-33%) likely attributable to public facilities (including non-City) being closed or limited. With limitations on in-person meetings and limitations on technology, respondents also reported lower levels of satisfaction for City of Pasco welcoming resident involvement (2019-49%; 2021-37%) and treating residents with respect (2019-60%; 2021-48%).
- Respondents indicate that Pasco’s economy should be a top priority for the City for the next two years. At least half of the respondents provided favorable reviews of the City’s overall economic health, economic development, and overall quality of business and service establishments. Positive reviews of Pasco as a place to work increased since 2019 (from 56% to 67%), as did ratings for the city’s employment opportunities (from 47% to 56%). Ratings for the variety of business and service establishments dipped from 54% to 45% and the vibrancy of Pasco’s downtown/commercial area also decreased (from 29% to 19%).
- Respondents reported similar level of satisfaction of the overall quality of the transportation system however reported lower satisfaction for traffic flow on major streets (from 41% to 29%); ease of public parking (66% to 49%); and ease of travel by bicycle (from 44% to 33%). This has been a priority area of staff over the past several years with significant efforts to complete the City's first Transportation Master Plan this year.
- 43% of respondents rated the overall design or layout of Pasco's residential and commercial areas as excellent or good, down from 51% in 2019. Areas of focus include well-planned residential growth, public places where people want to spend time, variety of housing options, and the availability of affordable quality housing. This has also been a priority for staff with efforts including securing 20-years of sales tax revenue through HB 1406 which may be used for the acquisition, rehabilitation or construction of affordable housing; the operation and maintenance cost of new units of affordable or supportive housing; or rental assistance to tenants that are at or below the 60% of the area median income. Additionally, staff are also beginning a Housing Capacity Plan to be funded through the State.
- Respondents excellent/good rating of Pasco's utility billing increased 10% in 2021 (from 54% to 64%). The overall quality of utility infrastructure decreased (from 74% to 64%) however, utility services generally remained stable with the exception of quality of drinking water which returned to historic levels this cycle (2019-82%; 2021-66%).
- Responses identified public safety as an area of continued importance. It is important to highlight several recent actions/activities when reviewing data for this facet; these include:
- 2021 State Legislative actions related to police response
- 2021 Washington State Supreme Court Blake decision (possession of controlled substances)
- National dialogue on police reform
- Respondents' ratings in this facet decreased after remaining steady for the last several survey cycles. Respondents indicated a decreased feeling of safety in Pasco's downtown/commercial area during the day (48%-2021; 66%-2019); and a decrease in the quality of crime prevention services (46%-2021; 61%-2019). Additional areas to note are decreases in ambulance and emergency medical services (69%-2021; 82%-2019) and fire prevention and education (58%-2021; 59%-2019) both likely to be attributed to COVID-19 impacts/restrictions.
- 50% of respondents rated the overall quality of natural environment as excellent/good.
Parks and Recreation
- Quality of parks and recreation opportunities decreased significantly (59%-2019; 43%-2021). Although COVID-19 closures impacted these opportunities, staff is in the final stages of a Park and Recreation Master Plan to create an actionable plan that is in line with the City's projected growth, its newly completed comprehensive land use plan and to identify community needs, gaps and priorities.
Health and Wellness
- This facet is one the City does not control but actively participates to influence. Characteristic ratings remained stable. Education, Arts, and Culture This facet is influenced by the ability to gather, something that remained limited since the last community survey. As would be expected favorable ratings decreased.
Inclusivity and Engagement
- As seen since 2020, discussions around diversity, equity, and inclusion have been at the top of our residents, and the City's, minds. Although a decrease was seen in the community valuing/respecting residents from diverse backgrounds (67%-2019; 49%-2021), Pasco remains similar to national benchmarks. Other areas where decreases are seen such as neighborliness of residents (49%-2019; 39%-2021); opportunities to participate in social events and activities (42%-2019; 30%-2021) and opportunities to volunteer (55%-2019; 37%-2021) can also be attributed to COVID-19 restrictions.
For more information on the survey, contact the City Manager’s Office at (509) 545-3404.