West Jeff conducts income survey
By Kevin Dye
It appears that many West Jefferson residents are hesitant to reveal financial information or have not taken the time to fill out the income survey that was sent to their homes. Village council members are now preparing to visit residents door-to-door in an effort to get the surveys completed.
The village government felt that the most recent U.S. Census over estimated what the median income is for village residents. A higher resident median income can actually cost the village when it comes to qualifying for federal and state grants for improvement projects like road repairs or infrastructure repairs like water and sewer line replacement. Thousands of free grant dollars could be at stake and that would mean using village funds to complete an expensive improvement project.
“A couple of council members have already picked up the surveys for their wards,” Service Director Harold Walker said. “Sheila Nelson has already started and Steven Johnston and Cory Coburn have picked their packets up.”
Walker explained that the survey is critical for the village to be able to refute the findings of the recent census and show that the median income for the village is less than portrayed. He understands that people are nervous to reveal their income levels, even anonymously, but ultimately it can reduce village costs by earning free grant money for projects.
“The council members will go door-to-door with the survey with an evelope that people can seal right then after filling it out,” Walker said. “So no one will see them. We are trying to save the village money and those surveys will help us to save money by becoming eligible for grants.”
Originally, the village mailed out 500 income surveys on a random basis to residents and needed at least 400 of them to be returned. If you still have the original survey that came to your mailbox, Walker said to fill it out.
“If you still have a survey and haven’t filled it out, go ahead and fill that one out and help the village out,” Walker added.