A broad survey of residents in Cass, Douglas, Sarpy, Saunders and Washington counties in Nebraska and Harrison, Mills and Pottawattamie counties in Iowa shows the majority of people appreciate the region and ranks it near the top in terms of quality of life. Greg Youell is the Executive Director of the Metro Area Planning Agency (MAPA), the organization that requested the survey, and says the commissioned the survey as they get ready to prepare their Heartland 2050 long range development project.
Youell says while most residents are very pleased with the region they still have big concerns about the crime rate, the need of quality jobs, retaining well educated young adults and lowering property taxes. 60% of those responding to the survey believe the region is on the right track and well above the national average.
Results show 66% of those responding think reducing crime and making neighborhoods safe his the highest priority. 59% believe more needs to be done to increase the number and quality of jobs. 57% want more to be done to retain well-educated, well trained young adults. 56% say education needs to improve and 54/% want property taxes lowered.
Youell says the values shown in the survey will be part of four future development scenarios resulting in a plan for responsible regional growth.