Official results of the Put-in-Bay Property Association survey, conducted during April and May 2023, were made public at a packed-house meeting on Saturday afternoon in the Put-in-Bay Senior Center.
The complete set of survey results with all the comments will be available on the Put-in-Bay Property Association Web page next week, as well as in a forthcoming issue of the Put-in-Bay Gazette. A paper copy will reside in the Put-in-Bay Library.
Peter Huston, from the Great Lakes Alliance, shared the origins of the survey and gave thanks to the Property Owners Association, the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce, and the Put-in-Bay Gazette for making the process possible.
Betsy McCann, a marketing research professional and resident of South Bass Island, conducted the hour-long presentation. In her opening remarks, Ms. McCann stated, “This is a general survey, not very deep. The idea is to go broad during first contact to cast a wide net.” The number of respondents was 224 out of 356 contacts–a 63% result.
Acquiring information from people who live on the Bass Islands was the first priority; however, others were invited to contact the Property Association if they wished to participate. 217 came from South Bass Island, six from Middle Bass Island, and one from North Bass. While some data is broken down by location and permanent/seasonal resident, Peter Huston stated, “Focus was on the Township to generate an inclusive spirit of community.”
54 respondents live in the Village of Put-in-Bay, 170 in the Township. 103 are permanent residents, 121 are seasonal; 14 of the latter are considering become full-time residents.
158 respondents own property, 15 rent. 114 are registered to vote on the islands, 103 vote at other locations. 37 respondents are in the 31-29 age range; 32 are in the 50-59 group; 74 are in the 60-69 range; 67 are in the 70+ category.
Comments generated by the survey vary in length, according to Ms. McCann. “Limited economic development, too many golf carts, lack of medical care, and business owners pushing the party atmosphere too far” are a few of the prominent remarks in the survey results. Mr. Huston suggested, “In order to have a sustainable community we need to encourage growth of the 31-50 age group.”
Processing the comments for informative conclusions required coding responses to identify priorities.
Another concern the survey investigated is whether respondents prefer single or multiple forms of government. The question did not identify village or township preferences. A strong preference for single-form governing is indicated in the results.
140 survey respondents offered additional comments.
Ms. McCann gave community members several opportunities to ask follow-up questions and closed the meeting by asking for a show of hands of those who would like to see a second survey to determine the answers to more narrowly focused issues. Peter Huston added, “The point of the survey is to start conversations. My hope is Village Council and Township Trustees will use the data to move the island forward. We are a satisfied group which wants to tweak island life.”