MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio — Nearly 900 residents participated in a survey or focus group, answering questions about what is most important to them when it comes to city recreation.
The questioning, which took place over the course of four months, comes in the wake of the springtime passage of Issue 9, the city’s .5 percent income tax increase. The city has earmarked 40 percent of the approximately $5 million the tax increase will generate by 2023 — or about $2 million per year — to recreation.
“I’m very, very thrilled,” said Krista Rodriguez, of The Impact Group, which performed the survey, in speaking about the 852 residents who completed a survey on paper or online. “That’s a high number for getting a response rate for a city of your size, and that was very good to see.”
Rodriguez shared results of the survey with City Council during a Committee-of-the-Whole meeting Monday (Oct. 12).
First discussed were a number of questions pertaining to the city’s stated goal of building a new swimming pool to replace the more than 60-year-old Dragga Pool at City Park. It was found that 77 percent of respondents were aware of the city’s plan for a new pool, as well as its plans to use tax money to upgrade roads, sidewalks and parks.
Sixty-two percent said that they do not use the pool at all during the summer, but some stated that their lack of use was attached to the condition of the pool which, among other things, needs regular repairs to cracks on the bottom.
In other responses, 56 percent thought it was very or somewhat important that the new pool has a splash pad; 89 percent favored umbrellas or shaded areas; 69 percent, a water slide; 68 percent, a children’s playground in the water; 63 percent, zero-depth entry; 53 percent, a diving board; and 48 percent, lap lanes.
As for what Rodriguez termed “online trends,” residents asked that Mayfield Heights take a look at Mayfield Village’s pool before building, as they very much like the village’s pool.
Residents also called for extended pool hours, both earlier and later in the day. Seniors and swim teams, in particular, wanted lap lanes, while others wanted expanded parking, a lot of poolside chairs, shaded areas and for the city to not raise membership fees just because the pool would be new.
The city currently has two playgrounds at City Park and one at Oakville Park. While 84 percent of respondents want updated play equipment at the playgrounds, 82 percent want to ensure that the new playground or playgrounds would have amenities for those with special needs. Seventy-seven percent want new rubber surfacing.
As for online trends, residents suggest that the city look at Beachwood’s Preston’s Hope playground for children with special needs to use as a guideline, while others want the new facilities to include stimulating new learning opportunities for children.
Residents also asked for new seating for adults at the playgrounds, fencing to keep in