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The results of the 2019 Calistoga Community Survey are in, and it’s no surprise that the biggest concerns for residents are business retention, PG&E’s power shutoff programs, affordable housing, water rates, and the condition of local roads.

More than 600 members of the community participated in the survey, designed to get feedback on various concerns and issues. It featured a variety of questions related to quality of life, community perceptions, infrastructure, downtown, city and recreation services.

The survey was available in English and Spanish, however, it’s important to note that 71% of the respondents were older than the age of 51, and the majority, by about 90 percent, were Caucasian, said Zac Tusinger, senior city planner. Survey responses were anonymous.

Asked whether things in Calistoga are generally headed in the right direction, 47% said they were mostly headed in the right direction, while an equal 47% said they were headed in the wrong direction.

Respondents said the most serious problems facing the town are housing, 30%, and water rates that are too high, downtown rents that are too high for businesses, and streets in need of repair. Eleven percent of respondents said there is too much development, 43% said there is about the right amount of growth, and 87% said they feel some sense of community.

The survey was available online and in a paper version for three weeks in November. The next survey will strive to include more of the Latino population, Tusinger said, by possibly offering the survey at a different time of year. Cost to conduct the survey was less than $2,000. The results are available on the city’s website.

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You can reach Cynthia Sweeney at 942-4035 or csweeney@weeklycalistogan.com.

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The Weekly Calistogan Editor

Cynthia Sweeney has been editor of The Weekly Calistogan since July, 2018. Previously, she was a reporter for the St. Helena Star, and North Bay Business Journal. She also spent a significant amount of time freelancing in Hawaii.