BARTONVILLE — Several Bartonville residents say the quality of life and rate of growth in their small rural town is excellent and that little change is needed, according to a recent community survey conducted by the town in partnership with the University of Texas at Arlington.
In the fall, town officials partnered with a team of graduate students from UTA’s Institute of Urban Studies, which works with clients throughout Texas to develop solutions to urban and rural challenges, said Brian Guenzel, director of the institute.
Guenzel said the institute offers services that are on par with other consulting companies.
“This is a professional service,” he said. “This is a job for us and the students, not a class.”
On Jan. 11, Town Council members will conduct a work session to discuss in further detail the results of the survey and the members will consider moving forward with implementing some of the suggestions.
“This work session will give us a better idea what our goals and priorities will be moving forward,” interim Town Manager Stacey Almond said.
The UTA institute was established in 1967 and has assisted several Texas cities including Arlington, Burleson, Celina, Benbrook, Fairview, Fort Worth, Kaufman and DeSoto.
“We’re here to help cities update,” he said. “And we’re here to help the cities plan as far down the road as possible.”
Town officials began pursuing efforts to conduct a town survey in the summer and were willing to spend no more $10,000 for the service.
Almond, however, discovered UTA’s program that offered the services at no cost to the town. The only expense the town had to pay for was postage.
Town officials say the goal of the survey is to establish benchmarks for tracking the quality of services to residents and gather data to guide the council “in making decisions that meet the needs and wants of the community.”
Bartonville has a population of about 1,500 residents. According to town documents, approximately 370 residents responded to the survey.
The survey addressed several key topics including gauging residents’ satisfaction with town administration, services, infrastructure and community involvement.
And the UTA students made several observations and gave many recommendations, according to the report.
Town officials said the most notable observation made by the students from the survey stated that residents do not want to lose the small-town feel. Residents also stated they want police patrols 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
And though residents seemed in agreement on maintaning the town’s rural environment, there were a few areas in the survey were residents were split.
For instance, 55 percent of residents surveyed said they believed the police department was too large, while 37 percent said it was just right and 8 percent felt the department was too small.
Residents also requested more community events to allow them to feel more engaged.
Another recommendation is for the old Bartonville Town Store to be sold to a developer willing to maintain the building’s appearance to enhance the small-town feel residents’ desire.
A full copy of the survey can be viewed on the town’s website at www.townofbartonville.com.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.